Officers Awarded Policeman of the Year from Waldorf Moose Family Center #1709 during Annual Valor Awards Ceremony

Charles County Sheriff Troy D. Berry is proud to announce Corporals Joseph Piazza and Robert Gottschall, along with Officer Samuel Hooper, were named Policemen of the Year during the Waldorf Moose Family Center #1709 Annual Law Enforcement Awards Ceremony. Mr. Larry Dean, Prelate and Valor Awards Chairman, served as emcee and presented the officers with the awards at a ceremony held on August 5 in White Plains. “We appreciate our officers and the work they do to protect us day in and day out,” said Dean.

Sheriff Berry, Cpl. Gottschall, Officer Hooper and Mr. Dean

Sheriff Berry, Cpl. Gottschall, Officer Hooper and Mr. Dean

The awards stemmed from an event that occurred on February 23, 2015, when Officers Piazza, Gottschall and Hooper responded to an address in Waldorf for the report of an assault in which a man severely choked his girlfriend and then threatened to kill her with a gun. The woman escaped from the house and called police. When officers arrived, they were confronted by the suspect who was standing on the front porch armed with a long gun. The officers ordered the suspect to drop the gun, but he refused. Instead, the suspect lifted the gun and pointed the weapon in the direction of Officer Hooper who discharged his service rifle, striking the suspect and causing him to fall to the ground. Corporals Piazza and Gottschall immediately approached the suspect and secured the long gun. Then, they began to render medical aid to the suspect by applying direct pressure to the gunshot wound. Cpl. Gottschall assessed the suspect’s injuries and recognized the need for a tourniquet. He ran to his cruiser, obtained a first aid kit, and applied the tourniquet to the suspect’s leg to stop the bleeding. The suspect was transported to a hospital, where it was later determined the medical attention given to the suspect by the officers was critical in saving the suspect’s life.AwardsIMG_3633

Cpl. Gottschall and Officer Hooper were on hand to receive the awards. Sheriff Berry accepted on behalf of Cpl. Piazza. Also during the ceremony, Captain William Caswell of the Waldorf Volunteer Fire/EMS was named EMS of the Year. “It’s always nice when local civic organizations take time to recognize the outstanding work of emergency workers.  We thank the Waldorf Moose Family Center for honoring our police officers with such prestigious awards,” said Sheriff Berry.

At the 2015 Awards Banquet hosted by the Charles County Sheriff’s Office last year, Corporals Piazza and Gottschall were honored with a Life-Saving Award for their heroic actions, and Officer Hooper was awarded a Bronze Medal of Valor.

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
Diane Richardson