DATE: March 5, 2019        
Janelle Love
Media Relations Office
301-609-6538 or (240) 419-0646

Twenty-nine New Police Officers – Nine from Charles County – Graduate Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy Police Entrance Level Training Program Session 46

Sheriff Troy Berry and members of the CCSO Command Staff with the nine Charles County Graduates of the SMCJA Session 46 Police Entrance Level Training Program

Charles County Sheriff Troy D. Berry is proud to announce nine 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 29 candidates – seven with Calvert County and thirteen with St. Mary’s County – who graduated on February 22. “It takes a great deal of perseverance and dedication to complete the Academy, and all of the graduates and their families should be very proud. We are thankful to our top-notch SMCJA staff who provided excellent training and instruction to the recruits to prepare them for the road ahead,” said Sheriff Berry.

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 2018 and included over 1,000 hours of instruction.

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 Charles County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard presented the colors. St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office graduate Benjamin Luffey was the class speaker. Associate Professor Katrina Robertson 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. Chaplain Larry Palmer (Charles County Sheriff’s Office Chaplain) delivered the invocation and benediction.

During the ceremony, SMCJA instructors presented awards to graduates who excelled in several categories: Benjamin Luffey (St. Mary’s) won the Physical Fitness Award by scoring 1,925 points out of a possible 2000; Benjamin Luffey won the Firearms Award by earning an overall average of 98.8 percent; Joseph Bowling (St. Mary’s) won the Emergency Vehicle Operations Award;  Andrew Burgess (St. Mary’s) won the Scholastic Award with a GPA of 98.51 percent; and Benjamin Luffey received the Steve Allen Award, named after one of the original founders of the SMCJA who died of cancer several years ago.

Class Coordinator, Cpl. Michael Licausi (St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office), Class Leader, Deputy Benjamin Luffey, and Guidon Bearer, Officer Richard Swann, Jr., retired the Class Guidon.

The Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy congratulates the following graduates:

Charles County Sheriff’s Office:

  • Marshall C. Furr
  • Tony A. Garner
  • Michael J. Hoffmaster
  • Adam T. Miedzinski
  • Casey A. Phillips
  • Michael C. Skodzinski
  • Colin M. Stine
  • Richard A. Swann, Jr.
  • Michael C. Wagner

St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office:

  • Latisha Q. Baker
  • Joseph A. Bowling, III
  • Andrew D. Burgess
  • Austin L. Edelen
  • James A. Fretwell
  • Michael G. Graves
  • Samuel K. Grierson, Jr.
  • Kyler D. Kilgore
  • Benjamin C. Luffey
  • Michael A. Rycyzyn
  • Max W. Schell
  • Travis M. Wimberly
  • Alexander J. Wynnyk

Calvert County Sheriff’s Office:

  • Howard B. Anderson, Jr.
  • Anthony L. Aranda
  • Jermaine P. Mason
  • Nicholas A. Savick
  • James R. Sturdivant
  • Herschel C. Wilder, III
  • Brady M. Wilson

Academy Staff:

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

Staff Instructors:

  • Chris Cusmano, Charles County
  • M/Cpl. Joseph Piazza, Charles County
  • DFC Andre Mitchell, Calvert County
  • Harry Ivers, Charles County
  • CO Rainer Hersch, St. Mary’s County
  • Joseph D’Agostino, Calvert County
  • Jennifer Wood, Charles County

Administrative Assistants:

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

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

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: