The January 2018 Officer of the Month is awarded as follows:

Precinct 1 - Wilkens: Officer L. Wisniewski #5485

Officer Wisniewski regularly demonstrates that she is an outstanding officer through proactive patrol that routinely results in on-view case clearances. She is a skilled investigator, able to recognize signs of criminal behavior, just as she did one night in January when she observed an occupied vehicle parked in a suspicious location. She approached the driver and began asking questions, taking note of signs of deception during their conversation. When she observed illegal narcotics in the vehicle the suspect began to flee in the vehicle, striking Officer Wisniewski as he sped away. Officer Wisniewski had, however, already obtained enough information during her interview to place the driver under arrest when he later attempted to make a false-report for the theft of his vehicle. Good work, Officer Wisniewski, and congratulations!

Precinct 2 - Woodlawn: Officer D. Kolb #5678

Officer Kolb was busy investigating hit-and-run crashes and arresting the intoxicated drivers causing them in January. He had two significant cases, the first involving multiple hit-and-run crashes by the drunk driver, whose vehicle Officer Kolb found crashed into a tree. The driver was arrested and determined to have a .28 breath alcohol content; the legal limit is .08 for a DUI charge. Another drunk driver committing a hit-and-run crash was charged after Officer Kolb thoroughly investigated the crash and came up with possible suspect information, which was confirmed by the victim. Officer Kolb has proven his dedication to his role as a law enforcement officer and to the people of the community he serves. Well done, Officer Kolb.

Precinct 3 - Franklin: Officer S. Janowitz #5372

Officer Janowitz demonstrated excellent communication skills in two notable cases this month when he obtained confessions from suspects involved in crimes he was investigating. In one case he was able to obtain a full confession from one of two suspects apprehended for a theft of a vehicle on Caraway Road. In the case of a home-invasion robbery on Wessex Court, Officer Janowitz was able to facilitate a suspect turning himself in to police and giving a full confession. Officer Janowitz was able to recover the stolen property and return it to the owner. In addition to those skills, Officer Janowitz understands the importance of keeping himself familiar with repeat offenders in his patrol area. This allowed him to quickly identify and apprehend a suspect in an attempted 1st Degree Burglary on January 8. Great job this month, Officer Janowitz!

Precinct 4 - Pikesville: Officer J. Swem #5356

Officer Swem conducted an exceptional investigation into a domestic related 1st degree assault this month after a woman's ex-husband broke a window and began firing a gun at the woman's fiance'. The man fled the scene but a coordinated effort tracked him into Pennsylvania where he was arrested on a warrant obtained by Officer Swem, and a handgun and a shotgun were recovered. Officer Swem could have concluded his investigation there, but instead he obtained a search warrant for the man's residence with the assistance of the precinct Investigative Services Unit, where more than 30 additional firearms and a large quantity of ammunition was seized. Officer Swem clearly understands the importance of fully and thoroughly investigating such serious crimes and keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals. Well done, Officer Swem!

Precinct 6 - Towson: Corporal M. Worden #3798

Corporal Worden from the Towson Traffic Team was selected as the winner of the Officer of the Month award because of the phenomenal work he does keeping drivers safe with traffic enforcement, but also because of the additional work he does on a regular basis. In January he wrote 14 police reports, made 2 felony arrests, 2 misdemeanor arrests, and cleared 20 serious traffic cases. He is quick to help patrol with routine calls for service, and all of this while still successfully handling all of his administrative duties as a supervisor. Corporal Worden is a true leader, setting the example for the officers he supervises and the other officers in the Towson Precinct. Excellent work, Corporal Worden.

Precinct 7 - Cockeysville: Officer J. Harding #5047

You can't teach an officer good instincts; they are learned over time through experience. Officer Harding is a tenured officer whose invaluable experience and great instincts brought a series of burglaries that had residents in the Falls Road corridor of Baltimore County living in fear to an abrupt end (read media release here). On January 26, while working the burglary detail, Officer Harding noticed a call for a burglary report come in that was outside of the general area where the burglars had been striking. Still, he looked the address up on Google Maps and saw that the victim's home was similar in layout to the other burglaries, so he decided to investigate. He coordinated with other officers to make a strategic approach to the area and soon located a vehicle that matched the description of a possible suspect vehicle in the rash of burglaries. He followed the vehicle until the driver made evasive actions and attempted to elude Officer Harding. Officer Harding cornered the vehicle in a driveway and then initiated a foot pursuit when the driver began fleeing through residents' yards. With the help of another officer and the aviation unit, Officer Harding was able to corner and apprehend the suspect. Knowing the suspects were working in teams of two or three, Officer Harding and the other officers working the detail continued canvassing the area for other suspects. Approximately two hours later an officer spotted a man exiting a wooded area nearby and verbally challenged him, but he turned and fled back into the woods. Officer Harding responded to the opposite end of the woods where he thought the man would likely be headed, and, with the help of other responding officers, apprehended two more suspects as they exited the woods right in front of him. Congratulations on an award well earned, with sincere gratitude from the relieved residents of Baltimore County for bringing this burglary trend to an end!

Precinct 8 - Parkville: Officer L. Perry #5823

Officer Perry has proven herself to be a genuine and compassionate officer with an ability to connect with troubled juveniles during police contacts. Two incidents involving juveniles at the Arrow Project are good examples - the first involving a disruptive girl. Officer Perry utilized her training in deescalation and recent Crisis Intervention Training to establish a rapport with the girl and resolve the problem through good communication. She has also maintained that connection by continuing to check up on the girl following the incident. The second involved a destruction of property for which she arrested a boy, giving her the opportunity to maintain a lengthy conversation with him about his situation - he has had no further contact with police since that incident. This is a credit to Officer Perry and her ability to interact with juveniles in a meaningful way to help them make positive changes for themselves. Officer Perry is an asset to the Baltimore County Police Department and to the citizens of the Parkville Precinct. Congratulations, Officer Perry!

Precinct 9 - White Marsh: Officer G. Moore #5820

Officer Moore is a dedicated professional committed to the community and the command he serves. Working just 16 days during January he cleared 13 cases, making 10 criminal arrests. He also issued 111 pieces of enforcement for traffic violations, the majority of which were written warnings, understanding that violations of traffic law are a good investigative tool for the detection and deterrence of crime. In addition, he conducted 45 checks on businesses while on patrol, ensuring the safety of the businesses, employees, and consumers. Officer Moore is recognized for his outstanding proactive work during the month of January. Keep it up!

Precinct 11 - Essex: Officer J. Moroz #5822

Officer Moroz also had an outstanding month of proactive work. Officer Moroz understands that calls can quickly evolve, so an officer must always be vigilant and pay close attention. During a call at the Colony Inn, what started as a domestic related argument between a couple quickly became a narcotics violation when Officer Moroz detected they were in possession of illegal narcotics. Both individuals were arrested and charged. In another drug related incident, Officer Moroz made a routine traffic stop on a vehicle with a suspended registration plate. During his encounter with the driver he detected the odor of marijuana and searched the vehicle, discovering multiple baggies of marijuana along with cannabis oil. The driver was arrested and charged. Officer Moroz is described by his supervisor as a tenacious patrol officer and an asset to the Essex Precinct. Well done, Officer Moroz!

Precinct 12 - Dundalk: Officer M. Flaherty #6011

Police work can sometimes be a dirty job, as Officer Flaherty found out after making a traffic stop on Yorkway in January. The odor of marijuana led Officer Flaherty to conduct a search of the vehicle. Not only did he find the marijuana, but also heroin and a fully loaded 9mm handgun. All of the occupants were placed under arrest, and while one of the suspects was being searched he attempted to discard another baggy containing individually packaged bags of cocaine. Once at the precinct, a secondary search was conducted during which Officer Flaherty found additional baggies of cocaine and heroin concealed inside the suspects' undergarments, as well as inside their buttocks. A thorough investigation by Officer Flaherty led to the confiscation of all of their illegal drugs that day, and charges for distribution and a weapons violation.

Another case Officer Flaherty worked on worth mentioning revolves around numerous package thefts that occurred around the eastern portion of Baltimore County in December and into January as previously reported on the Baltimore County Public Safety News Blog. Numerous officers handled cases independently in differing precincts, including Officer Flaherty, who responded to a call for a large quantity of discarded package boxes alongside a building on Dundalk Avenue. He took the time to track down each of the victims named on the package labels, then located surveillance video of the suspects. Officer Flaherty worked with officers from other precincts and with the Dundalk Investigative Services Unit to tie the individual cases around the county to the suspects, who were arrested and charged. Excellent work, Officer Flaherty!

Congratulations to all of the winners of the January Officer of the Month Award!