DATE: February 20, 2018        
Janelle Love
Media Relations Office
301-609-6538 or (240) 419-0646

Twenty-four New Police Officers – Seven from Charles County – Graduate Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy Police Entrance Level Training Program Session 44

Charles County Sheriff Troy D. Berry is proud to announce seven new officers will join the Charles County Sheriff’s Office after their recent graduation from the Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy (SMCJA). The officers were among a total of 24 candidates – eight with Calvert County, eight with St. Mary’s County, and one with the Cheverly Police Department – who graduated training on February 9. “We are proud of all of the graduates for their dedication to this rigorous program, as well as the Academy Staff, who worked tirelessly to prepare them for their careers as police officers,” said Sheriff Berry. Addressing the graduates, Sheriff Berry discussed several important values. “Always strive to demonstrate leadership, integrity, teamwork, and excellence in everything that you do. By focusing on these areas, you will serve your communities well.”

Session 44 final inspection

Director of the SMCJA, F/Sgt. Keith Hicks, welcomed the graduates, their families and friends and spoke about the 26-week training program that started in August 2017 and included over 1,000 hours of instruction.

Albert Liebno, Jr., Acting Executive Director of Police & Correctional Training Commissions, shared opening remarks. The Academy’s Board of Directors — Charles County Sheriff Troy D. Berry, St. Mary’s County Sheriff Timothy K. Cameron and Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans — also spoke about the graduates’ new career and the difficulties and rewards each of them will encounter.

Deputy Andre Mitchell and Mrs. Joy Mitchell of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office performed the national anthem, and the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard presented the colors. Charles County Sheriff’s Office graduate, Luke Smith, was the class speaker. Mr. William “Ed” Moroney of the College of Southern Maryland spoke about an articulation agreement between the Academy and the College that provides each graduate with fifteen college credits toward a criminal justice degree. Reverend Gwen Bankins (St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Chaplain) delivered the invocation and benediction.

During the ceremony, SMCJA instructors presented awards to graduates who excelled in several categories: Andrew Crum (Calvert) won the Physical Fitness Award by scoring 1,587 points out of a possible 1600; Ashton Brown (Charles) won the

Ashton Brown Receives SMCJA Firearms Award

Firearms Award by earning an overall average of 98.71 percent; Richard A. Forbes, Jr. (St. Mary’s) won the Emergency Vehicle Operations Award;  Branden Deleon-Suero (Calvert) won the Scholastic Award with a GPA of 97.95 percent; and Stephen R. Bowlan (Calvert) received the Steve Allen Award, named after one of the original founders of the SMCJA who died of cancer several years ago.

Class Coordinator, Sgt. Harry Ivers (CCSO), Class Leader, Deputy Branden Deleon-Suero, and Guidon Bearer, Deputy Ashton Brown retired the Class Guidon.

The Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy congratulates the following graduates:

Charles County Sheriff’s Office:

  • Justin E. Bonaccorsy
  • Ashton W. Brown
  • Taylor N. Eshleman
  • Hunter D. Mohler
  • Luke A. Smith
  • Richard V. Welch, III
  • Tyler C. Willis

St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office:

  • Dianne C. Carty
  • Robert G. Chase
  • John A. Fenwick
  • Richard A. Forbes, Jr.
  • Warren M. Forinash
  • Benjamin G. Raley
  • Thomas J. Snyder
  • Tyler M. Westphal

Calvert County Sheriff’s Office:

  • Stephen R. Bowlan
  • Andrew C. Crum
  • Branden Deleon-Suero
  • James A. Flynt
  • William E. Freeland
  • Michael V. Lewis, Jr.
  • Michael V. Lorenzano
  • Shane D. Naughton

Cheverly Police Department

  • Kevin T. Genna

Academy Staff:

  • Director: F/Sgt. Keith Hicks, Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy
  • Deputy Director: Captain Richard Gray, St. Mary’s County
  • Class Coordinator: Sgt. Harry Ivers, Charles County

Staff Instructors:

  • M/Cpl. Joseph Piazza, Charles County
  • Brianne Gray, Calvert County
  • Benjamin Luffey, St. Mary’s County
  • Michael Licausi, St. Mary’s County
  • Michael Bomgardner, St. Mary’s County
  • CFC Joseph D’Agostino, Calvert County
  • Jennifer Wood, Charles County

Administrative Assistants:

  • Maureen Audley, Calvert County
  • Melinda Hatch, Calvert County

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. 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 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