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Outstanding service lauded at Law and Safety Day ceremony

February 13, 2011|By TRISH RUDDER | trishr@herald-mail.com
  • West Virginia State Police Sr. Trooper T.S. Perry, center, poses for photos as he is presented with an award Sunday night by Elks Lodge 778 Exalted Ruler Larry Ott. Perry was one of the winners honored as part of the the annual Law and Safety Day ceremony at the Elks Lodge.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Tommy Newcomb of the Berkeley County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management was recognized Sunday for his outstanding contributions to the community at the 18th annual Law and Safety Day ceremony.

Newcomb was one of 16 members of law enforcement, firefighting and emergency medical services from Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties who were honored by the Martinsburg Elks Lodge 778 at its recognition event.

Newcomb is the fire chief of Bedington Volunteer Fire Department, was named Professional Firefighter of the Year and is “a true public servant,” said Capt. G. Edgar Gochenour, deputy director of the Homeland Security office.

“His leadership skills set him apart,” Gochenour said.

Deputy 1st Class Dennis M. Jenkins of the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department was very humbled by his award and said he was just doing his job by “protecting the citizens of Morgan County,” he said.

Sheriff Vince Shambaugh said Jenkins had an outstanding year.

“He’s top dog this year,” Shambaugh said.

“It’s an honor to be recognized,” said West Virginia State Police Sr. Trooper P.L. North of Berkeley County.

West Virginia State Police Sgt. J.D. Burkhart said North is “well-rounded and he excels in his job. He’s one of the top guys in performing his duties.”

“I’m proud of him,” said his wife, Cassandra North, who attended the ceremony along with their son, Jaden.

Jefferson County Sr. Trooper T.S. Perry of the West Virginia State Police is one of the “top go-getters in Jefferson County,” Burkhart said.

He had many criminal and DUI arrests, plus he handled more than 800 service calls from the public, he said.

Perry said he was very excited to receive an award and was happy his mother, Norma Perry, was at the ceremony.

“I’m very proud of him to receive this honor,” Norma Perry said.

Gene A. Kilduff, police aide for the Berkeley Springs Police Department, was recognized for his administrative duties, addressing the Town of Bath’s parking problems and for getting the town’s reserve police officers’ program running.

“He’s like my right and my left arm,” Police Chief Craig A. Pearrell said.

Senior Master Sgt. David W. Stevens was honored by the 167th Airlift Wing of the West Virginia Air National Guard.

Maj. John Poland said Stevens coordinated Thunder Over the Blue Ridge, the air show held in September that raised about $100,000 for United Way of the Eastern Panhandle.

Detective Jared Luciano of the Martinsburg Police Department “will be the future of our department,” said Detective Lt. George B. Swartwood, who recruited Luciano, he said.

“It’s well earned,” Swartwood said of Luciano’s award.

Also recognized were Sgt. Matthew Zollinger of the Eastern Panhandle Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force, Martinsburg City Police Department; Deputy William Christian of the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department; Sgt. Robert S. Sell of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department; Lt. Brian Nadenbousch of Martinsburg Fire Department; Sgt. Aaron Mann of Eastern Regional Jail; Deanna Cole of the Martinsburg Correctional Center; Detective Ronnie Kerns of the Charles Town Police Department; Lt. Michael J. Porter of the Veterans Affairs Police Service; and state police Cpl. A.T. Peer, who was unable to attend.

A common theme about all the recipients honored was they all are outstanding at what they do.

“A top performer that does his job 100 percent,” said Charles Town Police Chief Barry Subelsky of Detective Kerns.

“I know how good you are and I am privileged to work with you,” Gochenour told the audience of about 70 people.

Larry Ott, exalted ruler of Lodge 778, said the recognition program has been headed up the last 17 years by Elks members Swartwood, who chairs the event, and Martinsburg City Council member Rodney Woods, co-chair.

The keynote speaker was 23rd Judicial Judge Christopher C. Wilkes, who said the annual award ceremony was a great opportunity to recognize all public servants in the Tri-County area.  

“It’s a great thing,” Wilkes said.

Wilkes said he has been the guest speaker at the event about four times. After he finished his speech, he was awarded a plaque from the Elks lodge for his “high level of integrity in administering justice,” Swartwood said.

“His interest in the community goes beyond all bounds,” Woods said.

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