Thirteen Candidates – Three from Charles County – Graduate Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy Corrections Entrance Level Training Program

Charles County Sheriff Troy D. Berry is proud to announce the Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy (SMCJA) celebrated the graduation of thirteen correctional officers from the Corrections Entrance Level Training Program (CELTP) at a ceremony held August 5 at the First Baptist Church of Calvert in Prince Frederick.

Three of the graduates will work at the Charles County Detention Center, four will head to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center, and six will be employed with the Calvert County Detention Center. “We are proud of all of the graduates. They have chosen a difficult – but very rewarding – career path,” said Major Chris Becker, who gave remarks at the ceremony. Major Becker emphasized the vital role Correctional Officers play in rehabilitation and their ability to have a positive impact on the lives of the inmates in their care and custody.

Director of the SMCJA, F/Sgt. Keith Hicks, welcomed the graduates, their families and friends and spoke about the 10-week training program that started May 28 and included 382 hours of instruction.

During the ceremony, SMCJA instructors presented awards to graduates who excelled in several categories: Charles County Correctional Officer Jemal-Eugene Williams received the Scholastic Achievement Award for earning a 98.4 percent grade point average, the highest in the class. St. Mary’s County Correctional Officer Rainer Hersh won the Steve Allen Leadership Award, named after one of the original founders of the SMCJA who died of cancer several years ago. Acting Director of the Charles County Detention Center Brandon Foster presented the award. He said, “The Steve Allen Leadership Award is a distinguished honor. The recipient must demonstrate strong leadership, scholastic aptitude, and succeed highly in all training categories.” Calvert County Correctional Officer Donovan Hamilton won the Physical Training Award, scoring 718 out of 800 points during PT tests administered at the beginning and end of the training program. The class motto, chosen by the officers at the beginning of the training program, was “With Discipline, We Persevere.”

Jane Sachs, Director of Correctional Training, Maryland Police and Correctional Institutes Training Commission, shared opening remarks. The Academy’s Board of Directors — Major Chris Becker of the Charles County Sheriff’s Office (representing Sheriff Troy Berry), St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Captain and Corrections Division Commander Michael Merican (representing Sheriff Tim Cameron), and Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans — also spoke about the graduates’ new career. The Calvert County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard presented the colors. St. Mary’s County Correctional Officer graduate Rainer Hersh was the class speaker. Mr. Ed Moroney of the College of Southern Maryland spoke about an articulation agreement between the Academy and the College that provides each graduate with six college credits toward a criminal justice degree. Pastor Ralph Nevin of the First Baptist Church of Calvert delivered the invocation and benediction.

The Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy congratulates the following graduates:

Charles County Sheriff’s Office:

Sean M. Magargle
Michael L. Moreland, Jr.
Jemal-Eugene Williams

St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office:

Brianna M. Edelen
Rainer W. Hersh
Alexander G. Tasciotti
Dale I. Wade

Calvert County Sheriff’s Office:

Kiana J. Brooks
Jordan L. Curtin
Donovan J. Hamilton
Anthony R. Marinelli
Scott A. Musegades
Travis J. Underwood

Academy Staff:

Director: F/Sgt. Keith Hicks, Calvert County
Assistant Director: Capt. Richard Gray, St. Mary’s County
Class Coordinator: CFC Benjamin Luffey, St. Mary’s County

Staff Instructors:

Cpl. John Hotchkiss, Calvert County
Sgt. Harry Ivers, Charles County
Cpl. Michael Licausi, St. Mary’s County
Cpl. Brianne Gray, Calvert County
M/Cpl. Joseph Piazza, Charles County
Jennie Wood, Charles County

Administrative Assistants:

Kate McDonald, Calvert County
Maureen Uebelhoer, Calvert County

Photo from L to R: Captain Gary Summers, Captain Morris Gant, Acting Director Brandon Foster, CO I Jemal-Eugene Williams, CO I Michael Moreland, Jr., CO I Sean Magargle, Major Christopher Becker, Master Corporal Joseph Piazza, and Sergeant Harry Ivers.

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. 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, texting CHARLES + the tip to CRIMES (274637) or submitting tips online at All individuals who provide tips through Crime Solvers will remain anonymous. Learn more at the CCSO’s website.

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office is a full-service law enforcement agency comprised of more than 600 police, corrections and civilian personnel responsible for protecting more than 150,000 residents. The CCSO was accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) in 2001 and has been designated as a CALEA Gold Standard of Excellence agency since 2011. Established in 1658, the CCSO is one of the oldest law enforcement agencies in the United States. For more information, visit      

Media Contact
Janelle Love