2021 Annual Report
The Charles County Sheriff’s Office is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.
2021 Fast Facts
County Population: 166,819*
Sworn Officers: 292
Corrections Officers: 121
Court Security Officers: 14
Automated Enforcement Unit (AEU) Deputy: 1
Civilian Employees: 190**
Calls for Service: 240,356
Motor Vehicle Citations / Warnings / Safety Equipment Repair Orders (SERO): 6,115 / 16,432 / 1,844
DUI Citations: 149
Automobile Fatal Crashes / Deaths: 9 / 9***
Alcohol or Drug-Related Automobile Crashes / Deaths: 2 / 2***
*Number based on the 2019 U.S. Census Bureau estimate.
**Full Time and Part Time, includes Court Security Officers and AEU Deputy
***Statistics do not include Maryland State Police traffic fatality investigations.
Crime statistics for Charles County, to include crimes investigated by the Maryland State Police and the La Plata Police Department, are available in the Maryland Uniform Crime Report. Citizens can also search for crimes investigated by the Charles County Sheriff’s Office using CrimeReports.com, which provides citizens with near instant access to calls for service data.
A Message from Sheriff Troy Berry
As the Sheriff of Charles County, I am honored to present our 2021 Annual Report.
This report is a culmination of our statistics, activities, and accomplishments in 2021 – none of which would be possible without the hard work and dedication of the more than 650 men and women of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office. I commend them for their commitment to this community and this Agency, especially in the face of the challenges that have been presented by the COVID-19 pandemic over the last two years.
With a steadily increasing county population and nationwide shortage of police officers which we are feeling the effects of locally, we continually find new and innovative ways to prevent and fight crime. We utilize the latest advancements in technology in our investigations. We work closely with allied agencies to more efficiently address crime trends. We maintain strong relationships with businesses, neighborhoods, and organizations throughout Charles County in order to serve the needs of our community. We are truly stronger together.
One area in particular that we have focused on during my tenure as Sheriff, both in the community and within our Agency, is mental health. Officers are continuously trained within their areas of responsibility on ways to diffuse problems associated with emotional or mental illness. We also know that keeping our employees healthy will make them more productive and ready to serve, and that includes their mental health as well. In 2021, we launched a wellness app for our employees, retirees, and their families, in order to provide them with the resources they need in order to take care of their mental and emotional health. Mental and physical wellness is crucial to a professional, successful agency.
The support we have from within our community and the relationships we foster with our citizens are critical to our success. I’m very proud of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office and the community that we serve. Together, I’m confident that we will continue to accomplish great things and keep Charles County a wonderful place for our families.
Troy D. Berry
As the primary law enforcement agency in Charles County, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO), one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the United States, is a full-service operation. The CCSO provides all the services commonly associated with police departments and sheriffs’ offices and operates the Charles County Detention Center.
The CCSO has a hallowed obligation to maintain law and order and to protect life and property. Centuries of growth and innovation have transformed how the CCSO fulfills its mission, but its rich history is an indelible element behind its modern achievements.
When the CCSO was established in 1658, it was staffed by only one law enforcement officer, Sheriff Nicholas Gwyther, who served dually as sheriff in St. Mary’s County. Sheriff Gwyther’s responsibilities were collecting taxes, serving warrants, apprehending criminals, and occasionally investigating witchcraft. He conducted business wherever he could, usually at his home.
Nearly 100 sheriffs have served as Charles County’s chief law enforcement officer since Sheriff Gwyther, and throughout the years these sheriffs have addressed the perpetually growing demand for law enforcement services, most of which are a result of commercial and residential growth. As the responsibilities of Charles County Sheriffs grow, so too grows their contingent of personnel. Today, the CCSO employs more than 650 police, corrections, and civilian personnel.
As the CCSO transformed from a one-man operation into one of its community’s largest employers, it expanded its physical presence in Charles County. In the 20th century, the Sheriff’s Headquarters moved from the County Courthouse to an abandoned military site and then to a renovated truck stop, which now serves as the La Plata District Station. The current Headquarters, which sits adjacent to the La Plata Station, opened in 2000 and was the first building erected specifically as the CCSO’s flagship. Additional district stations are operated in Waldorf and Bryans Road. A Community Services and Property Management annex opened in 2005 beside the Charles County Emergency Operations Center, a state-of-the-art facility for police communications officers and the county’s Emergency Services Department personnel.
The first county jail was built next to the county’s original courthouse in Port Tobacco, the former county seat. The second jail was built in 1897 behind the current courthouse in La Plata and a third, which the CCSO still uses for Court Holding, was built beside it in 1926. A detention center behind the La Plata Station operated from 1981 to 1995 and reopened in 2007 as an annex of the current detention center.
The CCSO earned accreditation from the Commission on the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) in 2001 and 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. The CCSO earned CALEA’s flagship status in 2010 and in 2020 was accredited with Excellence, the highest rating possible, designating it as one of the best among accredited agencies worldwide.
Mission and Values
The men and women of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office are dedicated to service through superior performance. We believe mutual respect, trust and pride in our organization, combined with traditional values and innovative techniques, will ensure the community’s right to a safe environment.
The men and women of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office are bound by a higher standard of conduct as exemplified in the following values (P.R.I.D.E.):
Professionalism – We believe in delivering a level of service which will reflect the pride we have in our community and organization.
Respect – We believe in individual human dignity and the preservation of human rights under the rule and spirit of law, always treating others as we would like to be treated.
Integrity – We believe in maintaining the public trust by holding ourselves accountable to the highest moral and ethical standards.
Duty – We believe the protection of life is our highest priority.
Excellence – We are dedicated to service through superior performance.
The Year in Review
Much like 2020, the year 2021 brought with it many of the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Together, we navigated the ever-changing rules and restrictions as they related to masks and vaccination requirements, ensuring that we could continue to provide top-level services to our citizens and in a way that was safe for everyone. Despite these circumstances we managed to continue business as usual, celebrating the successes of the Agency and our employees and further strengthening the connections within our community. Here is a look back at 2021:
Unity in the Face of Tragedy: In May of 2021, tragedy struck our Agency and community as two of our officers were struck by gunfire while attempting to serve an arrest warrant on a wanted subject with a mental health history. On May 17 at 3:47 p.m., officers were dispatched to the 6300 block of Josephine Road in Waldorf to serve an arrest warrant for a man who had violated his probation related to a prior assault conviction. Officers entered the house, with the goal of taking the man into custody as safely as possible, and the man suddenly began shooting, striking two officers multiple times. Officers were able to safely evacuate the injured officers and the man’s mother and father who were inside the house. The injured officers were subsequently flown to a trauma hospital. Sadly, the man who shot the officers took his own life that day.
There were many heroic and meritorious acts of service that day. The brave officers on the scene, the communications employees who managed the officers’ response, and the members of our Emergency Services Team as well as our allied agencies, including the Maryland State Police, La Plata Police Department, St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office and the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, all contributed toward ensuring that no additional lives were lost that day.
PFC Andrew Fenlon and Officer Bradley Harris, who were injured in the line of duty, both underwent numerous surgeries, but they survived the incident and returned home from the hospital the following week. Members of the Agency as well as hundreds in the community provided the officers with a supportive and warm welcome home. Miraculously, both officers made full recoveries and were able to return to work several months later.
Exemplary Service: Throughout the course of the year, many officers and employees were honored by the Agency and outside organizations for their service.
In October, Sheriff Berry and Captain Charly Baker, Awards Committee Chair, presented the following awards to Agency employees:
- Silver Medal of Valor:
- Police Officer First Class Andrew Fenlon #544
- Officer Bradley Harris #681
- Police Officer First Class Jonathan Kelly #450
- Corporal Brandon Morrison #615
- Bronze Medal of Valor:
- Lieutenant Kyle Evans #413
- Police Officer First Class Duvauchelle Elliot #396
- Police Officer First Class Charles Figgins #280
- Police Officer First Class Brian Moore #512
- Officer Brandon Weinmann #705
- Injury Citation:
- Police Officer First Class Andrew Fenlon #544
- Officer Bradley Harris #681
- Meritorious Service Award:
- Officer Matthew McCuen #697
- Police Communications Officer Jacob Cambell #1853
- Police Officer First Class Shawn Joffe #608
- Sergeant Robert Gottschall #339
- Police Officer First Class Hakim Burgess #589
- Officer Erik Marvin #724
- Corporal Larry Blake #525
- Officer Mark Bigelow #702
- Corporal Richard Pickeral #616
- Corporal Christopher Long #318
- Sergeant John Elliott #351
- Corporal Christopher Curtis #527
- Sergeant Charles McCue #284
- Lifesaving Award:
- Sergeant Katie Goddard #507
- Police Officer First Class Darin Behm #444
- Certificate of Commendation:
- Lisa Estes #1504
- Charles Ramsuer #1727
- Lieutenant Scott Grove #305
- Ward Grove #1872
- Karlee Adams #1606
- Janelle Love #1782
- Reagan Henehan #1582
- Deputy Director Laurie Coyle #1382
- Correctional Officer Elizabeth Brown #2731
- Sergeant Robert Padgett, Jr. #2415
- Correctional Officer Luke Leapley #2744
- Correctional Officer First Class Ricardo Oliva #2709
- Sergeant John Arcadipane #2508
- Correctional Officer First Class Henry Giroux #2728
- Sergeant Phillip Norris #2610
- Correctional Officer Michael McCloskey #2753
- Correctional Officer Dustin Mayfield #2616
- Corporal Robert Donnelly #2550
- Correctional Officer First Class Archie Turner #2690
- Corporal Jack Hunt #2583
- Sergeant Sean Craig #2250
- Master Corporal Tristan Taylor #2284
- Correctional Officer First Class Jemal-Eugene Williams #2672
- Master Corporal David Smith #2157
- Correctional Officer Kendall Ambroz #2742
- Correctional Officer First Class Janice Leukhardt #2518
- Correctional Officer First Class Cortez Smith #2648
The CCSO also hosted a Retirement Banquet on November 12 at the Greater Waldorf Jaycees. The following retirees were honored, with a combined 682 years of service:
- Corporal Linda D. Fagnani, #2431, 09/30/2002 – 2/05/2020
- Debra A. Deakins, #1169, 06/24/1991 – 12/23/2020
- Police Officer First Class Robert D. Snyder, #346, 01/27/1997 – 01/29/2021
- Rita A. Williamson, #1277, 04/12/1993 – 01/29/2021
- Sergeant Madalyn A. Francis, #2272, 04/07/1997 – 02/27/2021
- Corporal Claude Clevenger, #337, 01/11/1999 – 04/25/2021
- Master Sergeant Daniel J. Bacon, #215, 08/24/1992 – 05/08/2021
- Peter Lambert, #1788, 08/10/2015 – 05/08/2021
- Police Officer First Class Robert L. Herbert, #399, 02/24/2003 – 05/21/2021
- Master Sergeant Stephen L. Potter, #237, 09/19/1994 – 06/19/2021
- Sergeant Haven E. Smith, #302, 04/02/1997 – 07/16/2021
- Sergeant Kristian D. Syvertsen, #325, 02/09/1998 – 07/16/2021
- Terrence O. Wood, #1656, 03/30/2009 – 07/17/2021
- Master Corporal David M. Smith, Jr, #2157, 06/03/1991 – 07/30/2021
- Deputy Director Robert M. Studds. #2130, 10/26/1987 – 07/31/2021
- Lieutenant Donald C. Stahl, III, #253, 01/09/1995 – 08/03/2021
- Master Corporal Richard A. Boggs, #244, 11/01/1993 – 08/03/2021
- Master Corporal Roger R. Calloway, #226, 12/27/1993 – 08/14/2021
- Lieutenant Jonathan B. Burroughs, Sr., #354, 09/07/2000 – 08/17/2021
- Master Sergeant David P. Willis, Jr., #275, 07/07/1997 – 08/17/2021
- Lieutenant Paul B. Gregory, #263, 09/20/1995 – 08/27/2021
- Master Sergeant Augustus A. Proctor Jr., #238, 06/03/1991 – 08/27/2021
- Master Corporal Jason C. Hopkins, #349, 01/31/2000 – 08/27/2021
- Master Corporal Richard I. Heishman, #281, 08/16/1995 – 08/31/2021
- Master Corporal Kimberly Selkirk, #320, 08/18/1997 – 09/17/2021
- Cynthia D. Ricker, #1380, 02/28/2000 – 09/17/2021
- Tracy Swann, #1162, 01/11/1988 – 10/08/2021
- Master Sergeant Kevin Keelan, #265, 01/17/1995 – 11/05/2021
- Connie Gray, #1526, 1/24/2005 – 11/27/2020
In April, the CCSO and CCDC Command Staff announced that Corporal Justin Davis was named the 2020 Correctional Officer of the Year. Cpl. Davis was nominated for Officer of the Year by his supervisor, Sergeant Matthew Kline, for his tireless efforts in planning, coordinating, and overseeing many long-term projects and improvements to the Charles County Detention Center facilities. By using his knowledge and expertise for these projects, Corporal Davis saved the Agency tens of thousands of dollars.
In June, the Sons of the American Legion (Squadron 82) named Police Officer First Class William Halt the Police Officer of the Year for 2019, and Corporal Gregory Champaign as the Police Officer of the Year for 2020. The announcement for the 2019 award was delayed due to the pandemic. Commander David Tatman presented the awards to both officers in front of members of the Command Staff, stating “We appreciate the work all officers do. We selected PFC Halt and Corporal Champaign due to the extraordinary bravery they displayed during these incidents.(described below)”
- On June 19, 2019, PFC Halt responded to the area of Berry Road and Buttonbush Drive for the reported motor vehicle accident involving a motorcycle. The motorcycle operator was located bleeding severely as the result of an amputated right leg below the knee. PFC Halt immediately applied a tourniquet to the leg to stop the flow of blood. The operator was flown to a hospital and survived. An on-scene medic stated the tourniquet likely saved the man’s life. PFC Halt was awarded a Lifesaving Award from the CCSO in 2019 for his actions during this incident.
- On April 22, 2020, while units were at a gas station in La Plata for an unrelated call, Cpl. Champaign noticed a male dispensing gasoline fuel over his head and shoulders from the fuel pump. Upon seeing this, Cpl. Champaign and Officer Roys (La Plata Police Department) ran over to the subject, who was armed with a lighter and attempting to ignite himself on fire in front of the fuel pump. The officers engaged the subject and were able to pull him away from the fuel pump and get the lighter out of his hands. The actions taken by the officers that day undoubtedly saved the life of a troubled citizen, while risking their own personal safety. Due to their heroic actions, both officers were awarded a Bronze Medal of Valor by the CCSO in 2020.
In November, Corporal Eric Keys of the Corrections Division was awarded a Carnegie Medal for his act of extraordinary heroism in 2019, when he rescued a 37-year-old woman from a vehicle that was on fire. The mission of the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission is “to recognize and support those who perform acts of heroism in civilian life in the United States and Canada.”
Focus on Mental Health: Over the summer, we launched an app geared toward helping CCSO personnel, their families, and retirees address mental health and wellness. “Now, more than ever, it is critically important to make sure all employees, past and present, know that they have resources available to help them at any given time,” said Sheriff Troy Berry.
The CCSO Wellness App includes videos, articles, and guides created specifically for those who serve or have served in high-stress occupations. With the wellness app, employees and their family members have on-demand access to relevant, trusted, and effective wellness resources ranging from mental health, chaplain support, self-assessments, nutrition, fitness, finance, and guided meditations.
New Officers Complete Police, Corrections Academy: The Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy, located in Charles County, hosted several academy classes in 2021.
The following officers graduated from the Police Entrance Level Training Program in 2021:
- Bryan G. Aber
- Nicholas S. Baxley
- Shayne D. Cannon
- Christopher B. Cooley
- Darian K. Glover
- Bradley D. Harris
- Maurice S. Johnson
- Matthew A. Neel
- Hazel T. Ptack
- Braxton J. Shelton
- Emily K. Stalnaker
- Russell J. Watson, Jr.
- Ardon P. Williams
- Trey S. Brown
- Zachary A. Clark
- Tommy J. Edwards
- Christopher L. Fowler
- Jesse T. Halterman
- Dylan B. Heishman
- Haley M. Holt
- Dawson A. Jewell
- Vernon L. Karopchinsky
- Brian E. McCourt, Jr.
- Gary E. Owen, Jr.
- Michael L. Pagano, Jr.
- Matthew A. Thomson
- Eddie J. Vanover, III
- Colin M. Wedding
The following officers graduated from the Corrections Entrance Level Training Program in 2021:
- Kendall Ambroz
- Shiloh Beale
- Elizabeth Brown
- Luke Leapley
- Justin Martin
- Deven Roney
- Charles Watley
- Korey Collick
- Michael McCloskey
Community Engagement: As COVID restrictions began to relax, we were able to safely bring back many community programs and events in 2021 that we were unable to host in 2020. Our School Resource Unit was able to hold their summer youth camps, including Ladies Leadership Soccer Camp, Football Camp, Badges for Baseball Camp, and the Just Say No Camp.
The Community Services Section initiated a new series of events called “Friday Night Lights and Sirens.” These pop-up block parties were held in neighborhoods around the County on several Friday evenings through the Spring and Summer. Neighbors were invited to enjoy music, games, cold treats, and fun interaction with officers. “It’s so important to us that we meet citizens where they are – in their communities – and get to know them on a personal level,” said Sheriff Berry. “Strong relationships between police and citizens are vital to public safety, and they are what make Charles County a truly special place.”
In addition to Friday Night Lights, the Special Operations Division hosted another wildly successful event: the CCSO’s first ever Trunk or Treat. Hundreds of citizens attended the Thursday evening festivities. Every division in the agency participated with fun and creative displays, and many local individuals and businesses generously donated candy for the trunk-or-treaters.
The CCSO also hosted National Night Out again in 2021 after it was canceled in 2020. The event was held on Tuesday, August 3, and more than 40 neighborhoods throughout Charles County participated. In October, the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Maryland took place in Charles County. As always, the community’s support for this event and for Special Olympics Maryland was outstanding. In 2021, more than $113,000 was raised in t-shirt and hat sales.
The holiday spirit was alive and well in 2021. In December, the Special Operations Division, with the help of the Patrol Division, held Christmas pop-up events for several deserving families around Charles County. Officers shopped for the children individually, and all of their gifts were wrapped. Businesses donated gift cards and stocking stuffers for each family as well. On the evening of the Christmas pop-ups, the Motors Unit escorted Santa to each motel to pass out the presents to the families. Additionally, the K-9 Unit held its annual “Santa Paws” event, which benefited two young girls who attend local schools. Officers within the unit used their own money, along with a donation from a generous local donor, to purchase presents for the children and present them at a fun holiday gathering.
About Our Agency
Office of the Sheriff
The OFFICE OF THE SHERIFF is comprised of the Sheriff, Chief of Staff, two Assistant Sheriffs, the Office of Professional Responsibility, and the Office of the General Counsel.
Sheriff Troy D. Berry is a 29-year veteran of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office and was first elected as Sheriff in 2014. He was re-elected in 2018. He leads an Agency of over 650 employees and is the final authority on all matters of policy, operations, and discipline.
Mr. Brian Eley serves as Sheriff Berry’s Chief of Staff. He is the highest responsible senior administrative and supervisory authority of all employees of the Agency. He is directly responsible for the Office of the General Counsel and the Executive Services Division. Chief of Staff Eley is a retired CCSO Captain and previously served as the Assistant Sheriff of Administration.
Two Assistant Sheriffs are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Agency. Major Michael Almassy serves as the Assistant Sheriff of Operations and is responsible for Patrol Operations, the Criminal Investigations Division, and the Special Operations Division. Major Ronald Farrell serves as the Assistant Sheriff of Administration and is responsible for the Corrections Division, the Special Services Division, the Information Technology Division, the Training Division, and the Administrative Services Division.
The Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) is an independent component of the CCSO and maintains the integrity of the Agency by ensuring the professional conduct of Agency personnel. OPR’s two functions include Internal Affairs and Standards and Audits, and it operates under the command of Captain William Edge.
Internal Affairs (IA) handled fifty (50) cases in 2021. The following is a list of the dispositions:
- 12 cases in which the policy violation(s) were exonerated
- 7 cases in which the policy violation(s) were unfounded
- 5 cases in which the policy violation(s) were sustained
- 2 case in which 1 policy violation was exonerated and 2 were unfounded
- 1 case in which 2 policy violations were unfounded and 1 was sustained
- 1 case in which 1 policy violation was exonerated and 3 were unfounded
- 1 case in which 1 policy violation was unfounded and 1 was not sustained
- 1 case was for a lost badge
- 1 case in which 1 policy violation was unfounded and 2 were sustained
- 1 case had five respondents:
- First respondent had two sustained policy violations
- Three respondents the policy violation was unfounded
- One respondent the policy violation was exonerated
- 1 case had two respondents:
- First respondent had 1 policy violation that was exonerated and 1 that was unfounded
- Second respondent had 1 policy violation that was exonerated and 2 that were sustained
- 1 case in which 1 policy violation was exonerated and 1 was not sustained
- 1 case had two respondents:
- First respondent the policy violation was unfounded
- Second respondent the policy violation was exonerated
- 1 case had three respondents:
- Two respondents the policy violation was exonerated
- Third respondent the policy violation was unfounded
- 1 case in which 1 policy violation was exonerated and 1 was unfounded
- 1 case in which 3 policy violations were exonerated and 1 was sustained
- 1 case in which 1 policy violation was unfounded and 1 was sustained
- 11 cases are still open
The IA cases involved forty-seven (47) police officers, twenty (20) correctional officers and four (4) civilian employees.
The Office of the General Counsel is assigned to provide legal advice and represent the Office of the Sheriff, and serves as the Agency’s liaison with the Maryland Attorney General’s Office. Mr. Jerome Spencer, a former prosecutor and Circuit Court Judge, serves as the Agency’s General Counsel, and Ms. Misty Good serves as Deputy General Counsel. The Office of General Counsel provides ongoing legal education for the Sheriff’s Office, including annual in-service instruction for sworn officers and introduction to criminal law and procedure at the Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy. The Office of General Counsel actively participates in the Maryland Chiefs’ and Sheriffs’ Associations legislative committee, the Maryland police legal advisors group, the Maryland State Bar Association State and Local Government Section, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police legal and impact projectile sections.
When life or property is in peril, citizens rely on the protection of the CCSO’s first responders — the officers of the PATROL DIVISION — whose chief responsibilities are maintaining law and order and restoring peace when public safety is threatened. The Patrol Division prevents and investigates crime, responds to calls for service including crimes in progress, non-emergency calls, and medical emergencies, and enforces traffic laws. The Patrol Division also provides assistance at large community events such as the Charles County Fair and Fourth of July events. It is the CCSO’s most visible component.
Charles County covers 643 square miles. For the purposes of law enforcement, the county is divided into two divisions: North and South. Each division comprises four districts. Captain Jason Carlson serves as the Commander of the Northern District and Captain Caroline Baker serves as the Commander of the Southern District.
Five shifts of 22 patrol officers (ranked corporal and below) and four sergeants each provide police services day and night throughout Charles County. An additional shift consisting of nine officers and one sergeant serves as the permanent midnight shift, allowing the other five shifts to rotate between days, evenings, and midnights. Each officer is assigned to either the Northern District or the Southern District of the county. Additionally, 11 lieutenants serve as shift commanders in the Patrol Division, ensuring a commander is always on duty in both the Northern District and Southern District. Shift commanders coordinate the Patrol Division’s response to major incidents and make critical operational decisions.
Patrol officers responded to 64,206 calls for service in 2021, which included a variety of emergency and non-emergency situations.
Patrol officers made 1,418 arrests in 2021. These include not only arrests made on-scene after responding to calls but also those made after interrupting crimes in progress during proactive patrols, during traffic stops where more serious crimes like drug or weapon possession are uncovered, and as a result of extensive investigations.
Special Operations Division
The SPECIAL OPERATIONS DIVISION performs tactical assignments and provides community and school-based services that engage citizens and businesses in public safety activities. Captain Chris Schmidt is the division’s commander. The division includes three sections: Field Operations, Community Services, and School Resource. The School Resource Section was formerly a Unit within the Community Services Section; however, with a continually growing student population and added responsibilities for this Unit, a Lieutenant was designated in 2021 to command School Resource as its own section.
The Field Operations Section is supervised by Lieutenant William Donley and includes the Traffic Operations Unit, Marine Unit, K9 Unit, and the Emergency Services, Hostage Negotiations, and Special Events Response Teams.
The Traffic Operations Unit investigates traffic fatalities, school bus crashes, school bus complaints, and abandoned vehicles; conducts radar operations and commercial vehicle inspections; manages crossing guard assignments; provides funeral escorts; and manages all traffic-related grants awarded to the CCSO.
The Marine Unit is a specially-trained team of officers and civilians who provide law enforcement services on the waterways of Charles County. The vessels are specially designed for law enforcement use and are equipped to handle a variety of possible situations.
The K-9 Unit consists of a Master Corporal/trainer, 1 civilian trainer and 8 dogs of which include 4 Patrol/Narcotics detection canines, 2 Patrol/Explosive/Weapons detection canines, and 2 Bloodhound/Trailing canines.
Each K-9 team is certified by our agency, International Police Working Dog Association (IPWDA) and Old Dominion SAR/K-Star standards. In 2021, the unit conducted 73 building searches, 43 criminal tracks, 24 evidence searches, 66 narcotic scans, 20 explosive scans, 29 weapon scans, and 9 bloodhound trails.
As a result of this work, the Unit made 53 patrol arrests, 25 narcotics arrests, 16 evidence recoveries, 23 weapon recoveries, 2 bloodhound trail recoveries and conducted 23 canine demonstrations for the community.
The Special Events Response Team (SERT) is comprised of 40 CCSO officers and 5 La Plata Police Department (LPPD) officers who respond to large-scale demonstrations, natural disasters, and other significant events that require additional manpower and resources.
The Hostage Negotiations Team is specially trained to bring situations involving barricaded individuals and hostages to peaceful conclusions. Negotiators volunteer for the team in addition to their regular duty assignments.
The CCSO’s Community Services Section, under the command of Lieutenant William Welch, administers innovative and effective crime prevention programs, provides instruction and security in county schools, and leads numerous community outreach efforts. As a testament to the success of the Community Services Section’s programs and its commitment to working closely with citizens and businesses to prevent crime, the CCSO has received the Maryland Governor’s Crime Prevention Award each year since 1988. The Community Services Section oversees the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Unit and Crime Prevention Unit.
The Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Unit is comprised of six officers and one sergeant who maintain a close relationship with neighborhoods that participate in the program. Each neighborhood works with the COPS team who helps implement crime prevention programs; addresses problems and concerns; attends community meetings; and conducts foot, bicycle, and ATV patrols. As a result of their diverse training, these officers are often assigned to special details to address specific crime trends in the county. In 2021, the unit participated in over 30 community or business meetings, organized the 1st CCSO Halloween “trunk-or-treat”, a Haunted Car Wash event, Children’s Aid Society’s annual Christmas Connection program, graduation events, Lifestyles of Maryland events, and over 300 hours of other special assignments or events.
The Crime Prevention Unit is comprised of crime prevention officers, a Community Organizer, an Alcohol Enforcement Officer, an Alcohol Inspector, and Electronic Fingerprint Function. The unit is tasked with coordinating various events such as National Night Out, the Charles County Fair Display, Project Graduation, Crime Watch Kickoff and Citizens Advisory Council. The Crime Prevention Unit is responsible for the Project Lifesaver Program, various safety presentations for the commercial and residential community, Neighborhood Crime Watch training and residential and commercial security assessments. In 2020, the Crime Prevention Unit made 15 presentations, attended 57 community meetings and events, performed 1,011 commercial security assessments and 911 information updates for local businesses, made 136 Project Lifesaver contacts, and participated in 583 hours of special assignments.
The Community Services Section also supervises the Honor Guard, which was originally formed to assist families of fallen officers at funerals. It is now a dignified presence at many CCSO and community functions including police and correctional officer graduations and an annual candlelight vigil hosted by the Center for Abused Persons.
The School Resource Section, under the command of Lieutenant Ken Klezia, facilitates the strong alliance between police and Charles County school students. As part of an agreement with Charles County Public Schools, officers are assigned to each elementary, middle, and high school to provide programs such as Safe Schools, Truth and Consequences, and Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE). The officers host an annual Ladies Leadership Soccer Camp, Badges for Baseball Camp, Cops for Kids Football Camp, Just Say No Camp, a Summer Youth Achievement Program, and We Care, a program designed to reduce teen traffic fatalities by using innovative methods to encourage young motorists to drive safely. This Section also operates a Student Crime Solvers program, which provides an opportunity for reward money when students anonymously submit information about crimes in schools. The program is offered in conjunction with Charles County Crime Solvers.
High school students considering a career in law enforcement have an opportunity to learn about the criminal justice system as part of their academic curriculum in the Criminal Justice Program offered through an alliance between the CCSO and Charles County Public Schools. The program is held at North Point High School.
Teen Court provides first-time youth offenders with an opportunity to accept responsibility for traffic offenses, misdemeanor crimes, and tobacco and alcohol offenses without the stigma of a formal criminal record. Youth offenders are represented by youth defense attorneys, prosecuted by youth prosecutors, and sentenced by youth juries. An adult volunteer serves as a judge. The program teaches students about the criminal justice process, helps them better resolve problems, and reduces recidivism. In 2020, Teen Court heard 37 cases and sentenced youth offenders collectively to 1,657 hours of community service.
Criminal Investigations Division
The CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS DIVISION (CID) investigates complex crimes and crime trends. Under the command of Captain Joseph Pratta, the division operates five sections — Persons Crimes, Property Crimes, Forensic Science, Homeland Security, and Narcotics Enforcement.
The Persons Crimes Section, commanded by Lieutenant Andrew Schwab, includes the Major Crimes, Special Victims, Robbery, and Forensic Science Units.
The Major Crimes Unit investigates homicides, deaths, shootings, stabbings, life-threatening assaults, cold cases, missing persons, and the rare occurrences of police-involved shootings. Detectives investigated eight homicides in 2021, in eight separate cases. By year’s end, six of the cases were closed; six arrests were made.
The Special Victims Unit (SVU) investigates rapes, sexual assaults, physical and sexual child abuse, and the exploitation of the elderly. The circumstances of these investigations can be difficult and very emotional for detectives. Of the total cases assigned to SVU, at the year’s end:
- 73 were closed;
- 90 were closed with arrests;
- 4 were closed exceptional;
- 12 were closed unfounded;
- 72 were open/suspended;
- 9 cases open warrant service;
- 22 were active;
- 150 intakes were accepted;
- 623 intakes were screened out for various reasons;
- 123 cyber tips were received from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children;
- Liberty, the Unit’s Comfort K-9, had 25 victim contacts/community events attended.
The Robbery Unit investigates citizen and commercial armed robberies. In 2021, the unit was assigned 36 cases. Of those cases, at the end of the year:
- 16 closed with arrest;
- 9 open suspended;
- 11 were active;
- 0 pending warrant service.
The robbery unit also conducted 25 miscellaneous investigations. These investigations included assisting other law enforcement agencies, missing persons, rape, burglary, death investigations, felony assaults, witness intimidation and accidental injuries. Several of the miscellaneous investigations were closed by arrest. During the course of the combined 61 investigations, detectives secured and executed 66 search and seizure warrants.
The Property Crimes Section, commanded by Lieutenant Anthony Celia, investigates property and financial crimes; analyzes crime trends; and provides services to crime victims.
In 2021, the Property Crimes Unit investigated 79 cases, closed 33 and made 31 arrests. There were 187 burglaries in 2021; 49 were commercial and 138 were residential.
The Financial Crimes Unit investigates fraud schemes, identity theft, and embezzlement. In 2021, detectives investigated 53 cases. Of these investigations, 33 cases were closed and 35 arrests were made by the end of year.
Detectives assigned to the Auto Theft Detail were assigned 35 cases. Of these investigations, 24 cases were closed and 28 arrests were made in 2021. A total of 198 vehicles were stolen in Charles County, and 118 were recovered. There were an additional 66 vehicles recovered which were stolen from outside Charles County.
The Victim Services Unit works with local, state and regional agencies including the Center for Abused Persons, the Center for Children, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, and Victims Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) to ensure victims understand their rights and have access to counseling and compensation. In certain circumstances, the Victim Services Unit also provides support to victims and witnesses on the scene of serious and tragic incidents.
The Forensic Science Section (FSS), managed by Deputy Director Noelle Gehrman, is comprised of a Quality Assurance Manager, Forensic Science Technicians, and Latent Print Specialists who provide critical support to patrol officers and detectives by processing crime scenes and analyzing evidence.
In 2021, the FSS was assigned more than 597 cases. Technicians processed more than 60 scenes, including crime scenes, vehicles, and attending autopsies. They investigated approximately 396 cases involving DNA —totaling approximately 1,753 DNA items, and at least 197 cases involving firearms—totaling approximately 338 firearms. During 2021, the Latent Print Specialists worked on 238 latent fingerprint cases resulting in 193 identifications made. The Latent Specialists also worked an additional 57 cases in the Maryland Automated Fingerprint Identification System “Unsolved Latent” queue.
In September 2019, the Section began utilizing the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) – a program managed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). The NIBIN program automates ballistics evaluations and provides actionable investigative leads in a timely manner by allowing forensic examiners to compare ballistic evidence to crimes throughout the region. In 2021, the FSS had 269 cases with NIBIN entries resulting in 427 correlation requests, 110 leads, and 11 leads warranting microscopic comparison. This is a 62% increase in cases with NIBIN entries, a 66% increase in correlation requests, and a 144% increase in NIBIN leads.
The Homeland Security & Intelligence Section, commanded by Lieutenant Ashley Burroughs, investigates street gangs, outlaw motorcycle gangs, extremist activities, threats against public officials, terrorism, and organized crime. The Section receives and disseminates intelligence information and publishes law enforcement bulletins for the CCSO and allied agencies nationwide. An investigator from the Homeland Security & Intelligence Section is also part of the Southern Maryland Information Center (SMIC), a regional operation that facilitates information sharing between the CCSO, the Calvert and St. Mary’s County Sheriffs’ Offices, the Maryland State Police and the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center. Representatives from each agency analyze reports and identify cross-jurisdictional crime trends.
The Crime Analysis Unit collects, analyzes, and disseminates crime data for the CCSO’s CompStat program. CompStat is an analysis-driven method of proactively addressing crime problems. District Commanders use the crime analysis data as part of weekly CompStat meetings to address crime in their districts.
The Firearms Investigations Unit (FIU) is a team of experienced detectives who investigate cases involving the illegal manufacture, sale, and/or possession of firearms, gun trafficking, and other crimes involving firearms. The FIU coordinates their efforts with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and is responsible for following-up on leads developed from NIBIN (National Integrated Ballistic Information Network).
The Narcotics Enforcement Section (NES), commanded by Lieutenant Harry Ivers, works covertly and aggressively to disrupt drug trafficking in Charles County. The effective disruption of drug trafficking is vital to the reduction of crime overall. The section includes the Major Narcotics Unit and the Narcotics Street Enforcement Unit. In 2021, NES investigations led to executing 86 search warrants and the seizure of:
- Alprazolam (DU) Xanax: 3,116 dosage units
- Buprenorphine (DU): 1,419 dosage units
- Cocaine (g): 84 grams
- Crack (g): 393 grams
- Ecstasy (g) MDMA: 250 grams
- Heroin (g): 316 grams
- Marijuana: 81 pounds
- Marijuana plants: 51 plants
- Oxycodone (DU): 3,780 dosage units
- Psilocybin (g): 593 grams
- Fentanyl (g): 300 grams
- PCP (ml): 214 ml
- THC WAX (g): 62 grams
- Eutylone (g): 103 grams
- Firearms: 85
- Currency: $308,430.92
- Vehicles: 14 vehicles worth $217,310.00
- Real Property: $11,990
- CDS Street Value: $1,851,896.50
The CCSO employs a full-time Heroin Coordinator as part of the Opioid Addiction Program. In 2021, there were 131 recorded overdose incidents in Charles County (compared to 163 in 2020). Narcan was administered 77 times (compared to 95 times in 2020), and there were 26 overdose deaths, 1 less than in 2020 when there were 27. The average age of the involved parties was 38.
The responsibility of keeping inmates at the Charles County Detention Center (CCDC) secure rests with the CORRECTIONS DIVISION under the command of Director Brandon Foster and Deputy Director Ryan Ross. The CCDC is a secure facility that opened in 1995 and stretches 135,000 square feet with 203 cells. In 2021, Corrections processed 4,715 arrests through intake and booked 1,194 incarcerated individuals into the facility. The CCDC maintained an average daily population of 146 inmates.
The Custody and Security Section, commanded by Captain Matthew Dixon, is responsible for internal and external security of the facilities. This section is comprised of four security teams which are the main operational element of the Corrections Division.
Four Lieutenants serve as Shift Commanders to ensure there is always a commander on duty. The Shift Commanders manage the daily security operations of the detention center. The four Shift Commanders are Lieutenant Richard Hulvey, Lieutenant Ryan Taylor, Lieutenant Brian Gardiner, and Lieutenant Kevin Conley.
The Special Services Section, commanded by Captain Gerald Duffield, is responsible for standards and accreditation, training, security maintenance, inmate commissary, and supplies.
The Standards and Accreditation Commander is Lieutenant Matthew Irby. He conducts audits and inspections to ensure the CCDC operates according to the hundreds of standards set by the Maryland Commission on Correctional Standards (MCCS). In 2001, the CCDC became the first detention facility in Maryland to score 100 percent on an MCCS audit and achieved 100 percent scores after audits in 2004, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2016, 2019, and 2022.
Lieutenant Matthew Becker serves as the Corrections Division’s Training Commander. He ensures all correctional officers fulfill training obligations mandated by the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions (MPCTC).
Lieutenant James Kelly serves as the Corrections Division’s Facilities Management Commander. He ensures the facilities are well maintained and properly supplied. He also works closely with contractors who maintain various systems and equipment within the detention center.
The Support Services Section, commanded by Captain Amy Stine, is responsible for central processing and inmate programs and services. This section also oversees the inmate library and the law library.
Lieutenant Jonathan Palmer serves as the Central Processing Commander. He ensures the completeness, accuracy, and security of inmate records and maintains communication with court systems, police agencies, and other correctional facilities. The unit is comprised of Records, Intake, Finance, Transportation, and Court Holding.
Lieutenant Stacy Kelly serves as the Inmate Services Commander. She strives to reduce recidivism by offering programs that help inmates re-enter society as productive citizens. One program, Successful Transitioning and Reentry Skills (STARS), provides inmates with skills and knowledge to help them succeed in life. Inmates who apply for the program write a resume and appear before an interview panel. Other inmate programs include the Diamonds Program, a faith-based life-skills and transitioning program that addresses specific issues for female inmates, a General Equivalency Diploma (GED) program, and an annual Re-Entry Fair.
Lieutenant Tony Oliver serves as an Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) investigator to ensure the integrity of Corrections Division personnel.
The Corrections Division operates the Detention Center Annex adjacent to the primary Detention Center. The Annex houses inmates assigned work-release and school release. The building served as the county jail from 1981 to 1995 and reopened as the Annex of the current detention center in 2007 to better utilize bed space and alleviate overcrowding in the primary detention center.
Support Services Division
The employees of the SUPPORT SERVICES DIVISION, commanded by Captain Chris Bean, are the critical link between citizens and the police and between officers and the information they need to do their jobs safely and efficiently.
The Records Management Section, managed by Deputy Director Judith Torney is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day activities of the centralized records unit and the receptionist area in the Headquarters building. Maintains and monitors police records systems, oversees security, storage, retention, retrieval, and disposition activities of all police records. As the custodian of police records the obligation to ensure that the record is complete, readable, and accessible for its full retention period and that proper disposition is carried out after its retention period is fulfilled. In 2021, the employees in this section:
- Processed and catalogued 17,516 police reports and supplemental reports which includes incidents, accidents, missing person, alcohol influences reports;
- Scanned and filed 4,084 arrest cards with charging documents;
- Completed 1,265 expungements;
- Processed 23,186 citations including ETIX, parking citations, warnings, traffic stop data sheets, and safety equipment repair orders;
- Recorded 727 false alarm notifications;
- Validated 2,368 METERS entries;
- Handled all initial questions from 3,535 visitors to the Sheriff’s Headquarters;
- Answered 7,703 telephone inquiries;
- Processed 13,595 pieces of postal mail;
- Processed 952 In-car camera video requests, 2,013 State’s Attorney’s discovery requests and 3,288 other report requests; and
- Processed 719 record checks for employment purposes.
The Communications Section, commanded by Lieutenant Charles Gass, provides police radio communications to officers and clerical coverage of the district stations in La Plata, Bryans Road, and Waldorf. Each district station is staffed by Station Clerks responsible for answering the CCSO’s non-emergency telephone lines and for helping citizens who visit the district stations. The station clerks’ training prepares them to handle a variety of citizen reports and inquiries, from life-threatening emergencies to the occasional non-police matter. Their primary mission is to obtain clear and concise information and relay that information to Police Communications Officers (PCOs), who dispatch the information to officers conducting patrol or other assignments. In 2021, our Communications Section answered 209,209 calls for service, of which 203,201 were dispatched.
Information Technology Division
The INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DIVISION (ITD), led by Director David Hanna, is vital in ensuring the CCSO functions efficiently in our digital world. ITD develops and implements a strategic plan to maintain and evolve systems, infrastructure, physical and virtual servers, enterprise applications, security, cloud, mobile initiatives, training and future growth to support the objectives and success of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office. The highly knowledgeable staff assigned to the Technical Support, Applications Support, and Systems Operations Support Sections maintains hundreds of PCs, printers, networks, complex servers, and software applications. Every function of the CCSO relies on the daily use of computers and digital police databases, and the ITD personnel are always available to ensure law enforcement services are uninterrupted.
Special Services Division
The SPECIAL SERVICES DIVISION, commanded by Captain Charles Baker, handles judicial matters, ensures the security of the Charles County Courthouse, and maintains the Agency’s fleet, supply stock, and property inventory.
The Judicial Services Section, commanded by Lieutenant John Dodge, serves arrest warrants, civil papers, and other legal documents; and addresses child support and domestic violence problems. In 2021, the Judicial Services Section served:
- 1,455 criminal summonses
- 1,190 warrants
- 9,659 criminal summons and warrant service attempts
- 4,148 civil summonses
- 1,947 evictions
- 1,313 protective orders
- 1,474 peace orders
- 160 extraditions
- 5,634 rent notices
- 1,464 evictions
The Property Management Section, commanded by Lieutenant Ben Voorhaar, manages the CCSO’s Quartermaster, Fleet Management, Property Held Unit, and Firearms Tracking Operations.
The Courthouse Section, commanded by Lieutenant John Elliott, contains Volunteers in the Community (VICS) and the Court & Judicial Security Unit. The Court & Judicial Security Unit is responsible for physical security, maintenance of courtroom order and general law enforcement duties within the Charles County Circuit Court.
Executive Services Division
The EXECUTIVE SERVICES DIVISION, commanded by Captain David Kelly, manages Planning and Accreditation, Media Relations, the Chaplain program and acts as the liaison to the Sheriff.
Planning and Accreditation, managed by Deputy Director Laurie Coyle, writes and maintains the policy contained in the CCSO’s Administrative and Operational Manual and ensures the CCSO maintains its internationally recognized accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA). The Agency continues to maintain the highest standards. In October 2021, the Commission conducted a web-based assessment of 181 of the standards the CCSO is required to comply with to maintain accreditation. The Agency was found to be in full compliance with all 181 standards.
The Agency’s Grant Coordinator researches, applies for and maintains grants the agency uses to fund vital projects necessary to complete our mission. In 2021, the agency was awarded $1,601,884 in grants.
The Media Relations Office coordinates the distribution of information about police investigations, crime prevention, and CCSO events to the news media and public. The office issues regular press releases; manages the content of the CCSO’s website; produces the Annual Report, an, advertisements, brochures, posters, and fliers; and develops content for and manages the CCSO’s social media accounts. At the end of 2021, the CCSO had more than 88,000 followers combined on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Nextdoor, and TikTok.
Local clergymen offer guidance and inspiration to CCSO personnel, their families and the public through Chaplain Services. Chaplains minister to CCSO personnel in times of personal need or strife and provide comfort to those who are injured or afflicted. They accompany officers who must notify families of the death of a loved one and would assist in notifying the family of an officer who was seriously injured or slain. In addition they play a critical role in acting as a liaison between the Agency and the faith-based community. Chaplains also provide invocations and benedictions at CCSO ceremonies.
Administrative Services Division
The CCSO is committed to maintaining a highly qualified workforce, to utilizing financial resources efficiently, and to maintaining thorough and accurate record keeping. The ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES DIVISION, commanded by Captain Kevin Leahy, is responsible for helping the CCSO meet its strict personnel, budgetary, and records management standards.
The Budgeting Section, managed by Deputy Director Erin Shoemaker, provides leadership on all accounts and projects which affect the budget for the Office of the Sheriff. This section is responsible for preparing the annual budgets and financial analyses of the Sheriff’s Office operations for upper level management and County agencies. A well trained team of budget professionals promotes the sound budgetary management practices, oversees the budget preparation process, and assists in meeting the CCSO’s personnel and operational needs.
The FY2021 approved budget (which runs from 7/1/20 through 6/30/21) was $96,364,700. This included the sworn officers continuing with year two (2) of the pay parity as it relates to the Maryland State Police pay scale. Through mutual cooperation and good faith negotiations, sworn officers received a five percent cost of living increase effective July 1, 2020. The authorized strength of the Sheriff’s Office was increased by two (2) new sworn officer positions (pending COPS grant approval).
Charles County Government took a conservative approach for their revenue projections which could have been affected negatively due the COVID-19 pandemic. The Charles County Commissioners requested the Sheriff to identify $320,000 in cuts to his general operating budget. A substantial amount was identified in the fuel account due to the lower costs of gasoline being experienced.
The FY2021 Capital Improvement Program, coordinated with the Department of Public Works, includes funding to begin the Detention Center Annex Office Space Renovations $952,000 and $337,000 to replace the chiller at the Detention Center.
The FY 2021 budget included $2,155,000 for Sheriff’s Office vehicles and various equipment.
The Human Resources Section, managed by Deputy Director Brian Daniels, handles administrative personnel tasks for potential and current employees. Once the Human Resources Section determines an applicant meets position requirements, the Pre-Employment Unit performs an extensive background investigation of the applicant. The unit’s mission is to ensure only the applicants with the highest levels of integrity are awarded positions with the CCSO. Background investigations involve polygraphs, psychological examinations, physical examinations, and drug screenings.
The Pre-Employment/Recruitment Unit seeks the best potential police and correctional officer candidates for employment with the CCSO. The unit attends job fairs and other events to engage those who are interested and to guide those who have decided to pursue careers in law enforcement, and also promotes and advertises positions within the Agency in various ways. In 2021, the Pre-Employment/Recruitment Unit:
- Completed a Police and Corrections 30 second spotlight commercial with Comcast which aired on multiple stations for a term of one year;
- For a 60 day term, a brief overview of our Correctional Officer open position was announced over 98.3/102.9 radio stations;
- Completed a mock agility with North Point Criminal Justice High School Students;
- Announced a Sworn/Correctional Officer Sign-On Bonus and Employee Referral Bonus Program;
- Held several virtual information sessions with public high schools in Carles and St. Mary’s Counties;
- Attended 18 recruitment/hiring events;
- Hosted four recruiting sessions; and
- Attended two training events.
In 2021, the Human Resources Section and the Pre-Employment Unit were faced with the same challenges that they faced in 2020 regarding how to operate and function during the COVID pandemic. They continued to use proper safety procedures to allow for testing and interviewing of external applicants and internal employees for vacant positions. The Human Resources Section also continued to ensure proper timekeeping, tracking and contact tracing due to the COVID pandemic, and conduct new employee orientations. All were done in order to comply with the Governor’s orders and the ever-changing recommendations from the CDC.
The TRAINING DIVISION ensures the CCSO meets state-mandated requirements and provides a variety of other training needs. Commanded by Captain Bobby Kiesel, the division is comprised of the Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy, the Firearms Instruction Detail, and the Cadet Program.
The Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy (SMCJA) provides entry-level training to all police and correctional officers in Southern Maryland. The SMCJA is funded and governed by the sheriffs’ offices in Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary’s Counties, which provide the Academy’s full-time staff of instructors and support personnel.
Once officers have completed entry-level training, they must complete a required number of hours of “in-service” training. The Training Division handles all annual in-service training classes and ensures all required documentation is submitted to the Maryland Police and Corrections Training Commission (MPCTC) to maintain each officer’s State certification.
The Firearms Instruction Detail is comprised of highly-skilled instructors who must maintain expert proficiency in firearms. The Chief Firearms Instructor and his staff provide regular firearms training to all new and veteran officers and to Correctional Officers who carry firearms in the performance of their duties. In addition to the required qualification courses officers must complete annually for the handgun and twice annually for the shotgun and rifle, officers are also trained in tactical scenarios, shooting on the move, shooting behind various types of cover, general marksmanship skills, and various other courses of fire related directly to the performance of duties as a police officer.
People ages 18-21 who want to pursue a career as a CCSO police officer gain invaluable on-the-job experience in the Cadet Program. Cadets perform a variety of duties while learning law enforcement techniques, CCSO policy and procedure, and criminal and traffic law. These duties include traffic direction and enforcement, seatbelt and child safety seat inspections, flagging abandoned vehicles, and truck and school bus safety inspections.
All Gave Some, Some Gave All
Deputy Sheriff Lawrence H. McParlin
Deputy Sheriff Lawrence McParlin is the first Charles County Sheriff’s officer known to have fallen in the line of duty. On May 21, 1918, a short time after becoming a police officer, Deputy Sheriff McParlin and Metropolitan Police Department Officer John Conrad attempted to serve a court summons in Washington, D.C. As they entered the building, the suspect, who was wanted, shot and killed both officers. Learn more about Deputy Sheriff McParlin by reading “A History Lesson.”
Patrolman First Class Dennis L. Riley, #49
On January 11, 1977, PFC Riley was killed in a crash at the intersection of Route 228 and U.S. Route 301 in Waldorf. As he waited for a traffic light to change, a tractor-trailer fuel tanker skidded to a stop and overturned on his cruiser, killing him instantly. PFC Riley was survived by a wife and four children.
Sergeant Francis “Leo” Yates, #40
On June 8, 1988, Sgt. Yates suffered a fatal heart attack as he left the Charles County Courthouse. He was survived by a wife and four children.
Sergeant Joseph E. Stine, Jr., #62
On May 12, 1990, Sgt. Stine arrested a disorderly subject and transported the resisting prisoner to the Charles County Detention Center. Sgt. Stine then collapsed and suffered a fatal heart attack. He was survived by a wife, two children and three step-children.
Sergeant Timothy C. Minor, #109
On February 12, 1996, Sgt. Minor was killed when a vehicle pulled in front of his police motorcycle on Route 257 in Newburg as he was responding to a call near Cobb Island. Sgt. Minor was survived by a wife and two children.
Station Clerk Willard C. Keesee, #1123
On January 23, 1998, Mr. Keesee was on-duty at the Indian Head District Station when he suffered a fatal heart attack. He was survived by two sons and a daughter.
Corporal Jamel L. Clagett, #447
On December 21, 2014, Cpl. Clagett was killed in a single-vehicle crash on Route 218 near Route 641 in King George, Virginia, while returning home from working a midnight shift. He was survived by his mother, two brothers, and a sister.