Officers and Employees Honored for Completion of Service, Excellent Field Work, and Bravery

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to share the honorees of our Annual Retirement and Awards Banquet for 2023. The Agency honored 16 retirees and 62 award recipients at the Greater Waldorf Jaycees. Honorees were recognized for their service to the Agency, excellent fieldwork, or acts of bravery. Mr. Jim Handly, an evening News Anchor from NBC News 4 Washington, served as the Master of Ceremonies. The Charles County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard presented Colors; the St. Charles High School Spartones sang the National Anthem; and Pastor Aaron Jones delivered the invocation and benediction.

“Tonight we are honoring 16 retirees who provided a combined 364 years of service to Charles County. We are proud of their contributions to this community and our Agency and thankful for their service,” said Sheriff Troy Berry. “To those receiving awards, thank you for going above and beyond the call of duty, for saving lives, and for your superior service. We also thank the Spartones for their amazing performance!”

The following retirees were honored (listed with dates of service):

  1. Captain Charles Bean (10/1998 –05/2023
  2. M/SGT Timothy Miner (07/1994 – 08/2023)
  3. SGT Ralph Peters (12 /2001 – 03/2023)
  4. M/CPL Tracy Lee (11/1993 – 12/2023)
  5. M/CPL. Renee Cuyler (06/1997 – 10/2022)
  6. M/CPL Charles Smith (04/1996 – 10/2023)
  7. CPL. Patrick Hood (01/1999 – 11/2022)
  8. PFC Charles Figgins (04/1995 – 11/2023)
  9. PFC David Sylvestre (06/2003– 04/2023)
  10. PFC Steven Hawkins (12/2003 – 07/2023)
  11. Director Brandon Foster (01/1997– 07/2023)
  12. M/SGT Carol Figgins (10/1998 – 11/2023)
  13. Susan Thompson (08/1997 – 12/2022)
  14. Jeri DeAtley (01/2001 – 07/2023)
  15. Nolan Woodland (01/2013 – 05/2023)
  16. Audrey Langley (03/2014 – 08/2023)

The following Meritorious Awards were presented:

  • Officer Vernon Karopchinsky: On April 21, Officer Karopchinsky was off-duty traveling in Baltimore when he observed a vehicle stopped on an overpass. Officer Karopchinsky realized the woman was going to jump from the overpass and he was able to rescue her and prevent her from harming himself. He and his wife called 9-1-1 and waited until EMS could respond. His actions contributed to saving a citizen’s life and represent the finest traditions of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office.
  • Lt. Travis Yates: On March 5, officers responded to a home for the report of a man armed with a gun and threatening to kill himself. Upon arrival, they were confronted by a male sitting on the front lawn holding a firearm to his head. Lt. Yates established a rapport while the other officers moved in a tactical direction. When it was safe, the officers were able to quickly approach the man, disarm him, and take care of him until EMS arrived. The officers showed courage and professionalism and for that Lieutenant Yates is awarded a Meritorious Service Award and Patrolman First Class Behm, Patrolman First Class Conner, Patrolman First Class Wynne, and Police Officer Torreyson were awarded Certificates of Commendation.
  • Deputy Director Noelle Gehrman, Sgt. John Elliott, and Supervisor Shreya Kamath: Their work in a 44-year-old murder case led to the identification of a suspect, an indictment by a Charles County Grand Jury, and brought justice to a family. Through the years, many investigators took up the case and tirelessly pursued any leads that came to light. As the case was passed to Detective Sergeant Elliott, Deputy Director Gehrman, and FSS Supervisor Kamath, the team looked into new investigative leads and forensic techniques to move the case forward. In the fall of 2022, the Forensic Science Section used a new DNA technique to obtain a suspect DNA sample. This led to a DNA database hit that provided a suspect that was never before known. For their hard work and dedicated pursuit of justice, Detective Sergeant Elliott, Deputy Director Gehrman, and Supervisor Kamath were presented with Meritorious Service Awards.

The following individuals received Life Saving Awards:

  • PFC Dylan Chadbourne and PO Vernon Karopchinsky for helping to save the life of an eight-month-old baby who had been ejected from a car in a car crash and suffered severe trauma to the head. They provided care to the infant’s wounds until EMS arrived.
  • Cpl. Jason Wilson, PO Ardon Williams, and PO Haley Holt for pulling a man out of a burning car and providing medical care until help arrived.
  • PO Matthew Thompson and PO Eric Otey for saving a man who had hung himself from a ceiling. Officers Thompson and Otey were able to quickly get the man to the ground and provide care until medical help arrived.
  • PO Cody Bottorf and Officer Kalen Kerere (LPPD) for their efforts in rendering CPR to an occupant of a car that had crashed. The driver was unconscious and not breathing. The officers took turns providing CPR until EMS arrived.
  • Sgt. Ryan McMullen, PO Alana Snyder, and PO Joseph Huston for providing CPR to a man who had suddenly lost consciousness at a sporting location and was not breathing. The officers provided CPR including rescue breaths and chest compressions until EMS arrived.

The Following individuals received the Sheriff’s Award:

  • Captain Louis C. Schmidt, III; Captain Andrew Schwab; and Lt. Erica Budd. During the past several years, Captain Schmidt, Captain Schwab, and Lieutenant Budd were tasked with developing a leadership training program for the Charles County Sheriff’s Office. This program was built from the ground up, focusing specifically on those skills and abilities necessary for both seasoned and newly promoted supervisors and commanders to become effective and efficient leaders. They created a high-quality and well-developed program of instruction that has been delivered across the spectrum of responsibilities within the agency. As a direct result of their efforts, both today’s and tomorrow’s leaders of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office are better positioned to meet the challenges that face them.
  • Captain Caroline Baker; Captain Matthew Dixon; Lt. Christopher Cusmano; Lt. Mark Kaylor; Lt. Mathew Irby; Deputy Director Amber DiToto; Sgt. Kristen Clark; Sgt. Shawn Gregory; Sgt. Katlin Goddard; Sgt. John Arcadipane; Katrina Burrows; Cpl. Nina Garner; PFC James Ryan; PFC Jerome Jackson; Jacqueline Burson; Vicki Bladen; and Jennifer Hackney. The Agency would like to recognize the CCSO Wellness Committee members for their diligent and hard work in 2022 and 2023. Highlights for the years include encouraging health incentives, providing relief at the Charles County Fair, all-day information sharing on LEO Suicide Awareness Day, the Inaugural Santa Run at Laurel Springs, the Inaugural Wellness Fair at the Blue Crabs Stadium, Agency Red Cross Blood drives and the Agency-wide wellness newsletter. Thank you all for the hard work put forth in bringing together these events, as well as your commitment to providing positive, meaningful programs and support to our fellow employees and their families.
  • Jessica Foster: Ms. Foster has been commended for her remarkable dedication and contribution to victim services in Charles County. Her unique background as a certified Child Life Specialist with a Master’s Degree in Child Life, Administration, and Family Collaboration enabled her to revamp and modernize the program since her hiring in 2021. Jessica has not only increased awareness of the program within the community but also gained recognition as a respected victim services professional in both Charles County and the state of Maryland. She achieved this by promoting victim services to the public, enhancing communication among local service providers, leading the Southern Maryland Human Trafficking Collaborative, engaging with victims of crime directly, and delivering presentations on victim services topics. Her exceptional achievements include writing a chapter in a college textbook about the role of Child Life Specialists in community settings. Jessica’s commitment has significantly improved the program, fostered collaboration among various providers, and enhanced the agency’s public image through community outreach and communication efforts.
  • CFC Justin Lloyd; PO Sally Knutsen; and the Charles County Mobile Intensive Care Unit. In February 2023, Officer Knutsen attended a multi-agency active shooter training exercise. The training presented officers with a variety of scenarios and challenged them on how to respond. Following the training, Officer Knutsen looked for ways to better prepare our officers for dealing with victims of serious traumatic injuries. Officer Knutsen included Correctional Officer First Class Lloyd as she brainstormed ideas because he was the Vice President of the Charles County Mobile Intensive Care Unit. Lloyd presented their ideas to the intensive care unit Executive board. The result of the presentation was the executive board agreed to donate supplies totaling over $30,000 worth. Due to their efforts, the Charles County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Trauma Bag program was developed and set into action. The program is already delivering results with citizens receiving better medical attention from first responding law enforcement officers during traumatic events.
  • Lt. Travis Yates; Sgt. John Arcadipane; Sgt. Steven Bryant; Sgt. Chrissy Gilroy; Sgt. Dustin Hendricks; Sgt. Phillip Norris; Sgt. Phillip Conrad; Sgt. Amber Hancock; Sgt. Derek Arends; Sgt. Ryan McMullen; Cpl. Ron Walls; Cpl. Katie Bottorf; CFC Justin Lloyd; CFC Ronald Goldsmith, PFC Lee Elliot; PFC Stephen Duley; PFC Michael Hancock; PFC Kevin Makle; PFC Dureyea Toland; PFC Alan Acosta; PO Rick Perry; PO Jordan Wheeler; and PO Henry Giroux. The Charles County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard represents the very best of the Sheriff’s Office. This award nomination is to recognize the men and women of this team with a Sheriff’s Award for their continued dedication to excellence. This all-volunteer collateral duty often calls for short notice responses, additional training, and many hot days standing in full uniform. This group can be seen year-round at community events, memorials, agency functions, and providing honors at funeral services. In two months, from April 20, 2023 to June 15 2023 the Honor Guard honored five retired officers through well-coordinated display of professionalism during the funeral process. These honors were in addition to the Blue Crabs opening day, a Corrections Graduation, the CCSO Wreath Laying ceremony, Police Week, and Vigil.

The following individuals received Certificates of Commendation during private presentations held previously at CCSO Headquarters:

  • Patrolman First Class Darrin Behm #444
  • Patrolman First Class Troy Conner #661
  • Patrolman First Class Chance Wynne #689
  • Police Officer Andrew Torreyson #757

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The Charles County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) was accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) in 2001 and has since earned the highest rating of Excellence. Established in 1658, the CCSO is one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the United States. For more information, visit

Charles County Crime Solvers offers rewards of up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest or indictment of a person responsible for a crime in Charles County. All individuals who provide tips through Crime Solvers will remain anonymous. Anyone with information about an unsolved crime or the location of a fugitive may contact Charles County Crime Solvers by calling 1-866-411-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted online at or by using the P3Intel mobile app, which can be found in the Android Store and Apple store by searching P3tips. For more information about the P3 program, click on this link:


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Media Relations Office

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