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Baltimore County Police and Fire News

Official News Blog of Baltimore County police, fire, homeland security and emergency management. Call 911 to report crimes in progress and emergencies.
Keyword: bcopd

While cell phone technology makes life on the go more convenient, it also has its drawbacks – and its dangers. Every time we pick up our phones to call, text or receive information, we run the risk of crashing into another vehicle or pedestrian.

Why park the phone? Getting pulled over for a violation can get expensive. If you are caught using your phone while driving, you could receive a ticket of up to $160.

Why park the phone? You could save a life. According to the Maryland Highway Safety Office, distracted driving kills or injures approximately 27,000 people per year. It contributes to 58 percent of all crashes in Maryland. These deaths and injuries are totally preventable.

Why park the phone? Causing a crash while distracted can have dire consequences. If the driver is found to be responsible for a serious injury or death while talking or texting, the driver could go to prison for years and face thousands of dollars in fines.

Why park the phone? Maryland law enforcement is increasing its mobile device enforcement throughout the state. Officers will be on the lookout for drivers using cell phones in travel lanes. And yes, that includes holding the phone on speaker or checking your texts at a red light.

Every time you get behind the wheel, park the phone before you drive. It’s more important than any call or text you may receive.















This is a photo taken earlier this year of a Baltimore County Police car that was struck by a distracted driver. Luckily, no one was injured in this crash.

Last night the Baltimore County Police Department presented awards to officers and county residents as part of an annual awards ceremony.

The department also honored the Reverend James Lane, a former Baltimore County Chaplain, for his 40 years of service to the community.

The event was held at Goucher College, 1021 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, 21204.

The departmental awards are given to officers who have performed extraordinarily over the past 12 months. The Baltimore County Police Department Awards Review Board spends months reviewing nominations based on departmental standard criteria.

Awards are presented to officers in the following categories:

Medal of Honor: This is the highest and most prestigious Departmental Award. It is awarded to persons who, with the knowledge of risk, found themselves in a life-threatening situation, and intelligently committed themselves to dangers. The award was presented posthumously to Officer Amy Sorrells Caprio.

Silver Star: This is the second highest Departmental Award. It recognizes officers who demonstrate valor, courage, intelligence and bravery over and above that normally demanded and expected.

  • Corporal Mathew Gonzalez
  • Detective Anthony Armetta
  • Detective Robert Easter
  • Detective Jeffrey Lauer
  • Detective Jonathan Trenary
  • Officer Gail Wickless

Commendation: This is the third highest Departmental Award. It is awarded to officers who display courage and devotion to duty above that normally required; or who display intelligence during unusual circumstances; or who demonstrate initiative in solving a crime; or one who, under certain circumstances, arrest an armed and dangerous person.

  • Captain Wes J. Fischer
  • Captain Jeffrey C. Hartman
  • Captain David P. Trivett
  • Sergeant Brandon A. Branham
  • Sergeant W. Shawn Havens
  • Sergeant Bruce E. Markwordt
  • Sergeant Brian S. Martin
  • Sergeant Steven M. Longo
  • Corporal Christopher D. Cullip
  • Corporal Patrick M. Wilhelm
  • Detective Stephanie Brooks
  • Detective Jennifer C. Ende
  • Detective Joseph P. Grant
  • Detective Scott D. Kilpatrick
  • Detective Jaime R. Layhew
  • Detective Jason Metz
  • Detective Ernest L. Moore
  • Detective Andrew L. Muska
  • Detective David L. Phillips
  • Detective Michael J. Romano
  • Detective Alexa H. Smith
  • Detective Amy M. Taylor
  • Detective Christopher M. Toland
  • Officer Brian D. Beckford
  • Officer Michael R. Deremeik
  • Officer Ryan M. Dickel
  • Officer David L. Dillard
  • Officer Steven C. Dix
  • Officer William A. Downs
  • Officer William M. Flaherty
  • Officer Jasmine R. Fleet
  • Officer Jeffrey S. Gale
  • Officer Trevor C. Grove
  • Officer Andrew R. Gwinn
  • Officer Jessica L. Harris
  • Officer Victoria J. Hawkins
  • Officer Darnell L. Isaac
  • Officer James A. Koscielski
  • Officer Benjamin J. Kummerlowe
  • Officer Brandon G. Langley
  • Officer Kevin W. Lehnert
  • Officer Rashad L. Mitchell
  • Officer Joseph V. Murray
  • Officer John C. Myers
  • Officer David C. Nilsen
  • Officer Sidney L. Pierce
  • Officer Hector M. Pomales
  • Officer Jeremy R. Price
  • Officer Fahim M. Rafiq
  • Officer Carlyle S. Riche
  • Officer John K. Rogers
  • Officer Kenneth C. Shields
  • Officer Kathleen M. Strickler
  • Officer Timothy N. Thulion
  • Officer Timothy R. Usher
  • Officer David D. Vandergriff
  • Officer Evan T. Vicarini
  • Officer Antonio A. Yanes

Emergency Service: The Emergency Service Award is awarded for an effort to save a human life.

  • Sergeant Richard T. Delea
  • Detective Deryck J. Lee
  • Detective John P. Sullivan
  • Detective Isaac M. Thorn
  • Officer Stephanie M. Amer
  • Trooper Tyreze Braxton (Maryland State Police)
  • Officer David P. Crum
  • Officer John J. Dill
  • Officer Jasmine R. Fleet
  • Officer Mason S. Gwinn
  • Officer Gregory J. Meyers
  • Officer Roy M. Mitchell
  • Officer Patrick W. Murphy
  • Officer Jeffery S. Parsons
  • Officer Andrew M. Peters
  • Officer Kenneth L. Pitts
  • Officer Philip A. Sears
  • Officer Ashley K. Vandervall

Awards were presented to citizens in the following categories:

Citizen’s Award of Valor: Presented to a citizen who provided courageous assistance, particularly in which a criminal is seized and detained until the arrival of a police officer.

  • Jasmine White

Distinguished Citizen’s Award: Presented to a citizen who rendered valuable assistance to Department member.

  • Amanda Briton
  • Lassell Burger
  • Cavelia Duvall
  • Cynthia Dwyer
  • Joseph Dwyer
  • Adam Friedman
  • Jose Reyes
  • Erin Upton
  • Steven Weis

Driving for many of us is a part of our daily routine. We drive to work, to school, or to shop. There are others on the road who spend their days behind the wheel of a semi-tractor trailer. We depend on them to deliver everything from milk to gasoline, fruits and vegetables to meat and poultry. You name it, a truck brings it.

Give those 16-wheelers some room

The drivers work long hours in all sorts of weather. They depend on us to be courteous and share the road.










Here are some important safety tips from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, FMCSA, on sharing the road with those big rigs:

  • When passing, you need to see the trucker’s face in his side mirror. If you can’t see it, then he can’t see you. Don’t drive in a blind spot. Slow down or move ahead to stay visible.
  • After you have passed the truck, look in your rear view mirror to be sure that there is sufficient room between you and the truck before you move back into the lane. Trucks need extra room to accommodate you. According to Utah’s Department of Transportation, it takes nearly the distance of two football fields for a fully loaded (80,000 lbs.) tractor trailer to stop when traveling 65 mph. A car (3,000 to 4,000 lbs.) takes about the length of a football field to stop at 65 mph.






  • Perception of the distance, reaction time and the braking distance all contribute to how we manage a safe stop both as truck drivers and average drivers. Basically, it means all drivers must be aware of the road conditions and the vehicles around us.
  • Never pass a truck while going downhill. Trucks pick up speed on downgrades.
  • Tailgating in any situation is dangerous but it is especially so when behind a truck. You are in the truck driver’s blind spot or the NO ZONE. Trucks are higher off the ground, if you don’t stop in time or get hit from behind, you could end up sliding under the truck.
  • Never try to pass a truck on the right as it is turning right. Trucks need more room to turn; squeezing by or getting between the curb and the tractor trailer is dangerous. Semis have a turning radius of 55 feet. Give the truck driver room to turn.

These tips are for dry roads. Be especially careful when driving in wet weather. Passing a truck is more difficult as the road spray hits the car’s windshield, leaving you temporarily blind to conditions. When possible, get in the furthest lane from the truck to have clear sight ahead and beside on major roads.

Most of these tips also apply to driving alongside buses. They too need more room to stop and turn.

Be courteous, drive safely and share the road!

Revised June 27, 2017