Monday night’s annual Baltimore County Police Foundation Awards ceremony honored 12 sworn officers and one civilian for exceptional performance. The honorees include Officers William M. Flaherty and Bernardo Tubaya, who put their lives on the line to apprehend a fugitive and murderer on February 14, 2015.
Master of Ceremonies Stan Stovall hosted the awards dinner at the Baltimore Hunt Valley Inn on April 25, 2016. Chief James W. Johnson, and Stephen P. Somers, Foundation President, presented the awards.
The following personnel received the 2016 Baltimore County Police Foundation Awards:
Valor – Officer William M. Flaherty, Precinct 2/Woodlawn and Officer Bernardo Tubaya, Special Operations Section/K-9
On February 14, 2015, Officers Flaherty and Tubaya responded to a crash in Precinct 11/Essex that followed a multi-county pursuit. The suspect was a teenager from Kentucky discovered later that day to have murdered his family. Officer Flaherty was shot in the shoulder while confronting the suspect, and Officer Tubaya fired and wounded the suspect.
Crime Prevention – Detective Albert Carl Lindhorst Jr. Criminal Investigations Division, Homeland Security and Criminal Investigation Section
A 28-year BCoPD veteran, Detective Lindhorst was honored for his work as a physical security specialist. His efforts to identify and prepare for security threats involve a comprehensive review, including recommendations, for all Baltimore County schools.
Distinguished Contribution – Mr. Mike Leedy, Planning and Crime Analysis Section, Crime and Traffic Analysis Unit
Mr. Leedy, a statistical analyst, has worked for the department for 21 years. In 2015, Mr. Leedy created the Local Crime Analysis Program (LCAP), saving the Department a significant amount of money.
Exceptional Performance – Sergeant Allen Meyer and Detective Gary Childs, Criminal Investigations Division/Person Crimes, Homicide/Missing Persons Unit
On April 20, 2000, 24-year-old Heidi Bernadzikowski was found murdered in her home. Sergeant Meyer worked this difficult case off and on for 11 years. In 2011, Sergeant Meyer brought in Detective Gary Childs. They re-examined DNA found under Heidi’s nails and found a Colorado man who was in Baltimore at the time of the murder. Another suspect, interviewed in Colorado, confirmed the man’s story. Both men were hired online by her boyfriend to kill Heidi. All three men were convicted.
Exceptional Group Performance – Criminal Investigations Division/Persons Crimes, Sexual Child Exploitation Squad:
Sergeant Kenneth Smith, Detective Christina Childs, Detective Dana Kaczynski, Detective Christopher J. Raut, and Detective Joshua Rees
The Squad began a new initiative, working with the Sex Offender Registration Team (SORT). The members accompanied SORT detectives to home visits with sex offenders and conducted computer scans to ensure that the offenders were not using computers to exploit children.
Community Service – Sergeant Mandy L. Biter and Officer Tabitha Hays, Precinct 8/Parkville
Working with an elementary school, Sergeant Biter assisted a needy family - a mother raising four children, including an infant. BCoPD provided essentials, as well as Christmas toys and other gifts. Sergeant Biter also “adopted” several elderly residents at the Morningside Assisted Living Center.
Officer Hays helped two grandparents raising their six grandchildren. Officer Hays and a friend from the Baltimore City Police set up a Facebook event to raise money, and made the holidays special for the family. Both officers spent many hours of their own time raising money, planning, organizing and preparing these events.
The awards program began in 1980 as a way to recognize Police Department employees for outstanding performance and to strengthen the relationship between the business community and the Department. The foundation contributes resources, including seed money and in-kind services, for the development of new projects.
All members of the department, both professional staff and sworn, are eligible for nomination.