Stafford, Va. The Stafford County Sheriff's Office held its annual awards ceremony on Wednesday, May 5, 2010 to honor law enforcement personnel who have provided exemplary service to the community.
"Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to serve and protect the citizens of Stafford," said Sheriff Jett. "The awards ceremony is an opportunity to formally acknowledge their extraordinary efforts and show our appreciation for their hard work and dedication."
Sheriff Charles Jett presented 38 honorees with awards for their actions and performance. A Silver Star was awarded in instances where a Sheriff's Office member knowingly exposes himself or herself to great personal risk on the performance of an official act. A Meritorious Award was given for emergencies in which a Sheriff's Office member demonstrated judgment, ingenuity or performance that clearly exceeds what is required and expected. A Commendation Award was given in the instances in which a Sheriff's Office member demonstrated exemplary service.
Individuals were selected by an Awards Committee consisting of personnel from the Operations, Criminal Investigations and Civil//Court Divisions and the Public Information Office. Individuals were nominated by other deputies or personnel of the Sheriff's Office. The committee evaluated the nominations based on the following criteria: bravery and heroism; exemplary performance which directly resulted in the solution of a major crime or crimes, or apprehension of a particularly dangerous criminal; and exceptional performance. The committee forwarded all nominations that they recommend to the Sheriff for his review and action.
The following personnel received awards:
First Sergeant Ray H. Davis, II, First Sergeant Brain K. Jacobs, Sergeant David M. Stout and Deputy Joshua A. Truslow each received a Letter of Commendation for their teamwork in apprehending an intoxicated driver operating a stolen vehicle. These officers are commended for their sharp tactical thinking, decisive actions and bravery that removed a potentially deadly killer from the roadways.
Deputy Elizabeth A. Cole and Deputy Tiffany N. Dove each received a Meritorious Award for their assistance with an incident which occurred onboard an aircraft en-route to National Airport from Portland, Maine. Deputies Cole and Dove were on an extradition, with a prisoner, from Maine. A threatening note was found by a passenger and given to the pilot. The pilot, knowing that there was no Air Marshall on board, contacted the deputies. While Deputy Cole secured her prisoner, by herself, Deputy Dove went about the business of checking on the security of the passengers and plane.
Deputy John C. Wright and Deputy W. Tyler Johnson are the recipients of a Letter of Commendation for their work which resulted in the identification and arrest of several individuals involved in a credit card forgery and theft ring amounting to approximately $120,000.00. As a result of these deputies' efforts, 100 victims were identified and a total loss to these victims was in excess of $70,000.00. This state wide crime ring was stopped in its tracks.
Deputy Brian D. Miller was awarded a Meritorious Award for his efforts in saving the life of a young suicidal subject. Deputy Miller, and his K-9 partner Griff, were able to locate the subject after he had taken 100 pills and run into the woods. Deputy Miller's quick action certainly gave the man a second chance at life.
First Sergeant Brian K. Jacobs is a recipient of a Letter of Commendation for his assistance in subduing a wanted suicidal subject. Stating that he wanted a particular deputy to shoot him, the subject was taken into custody when First Sergeant Jacobs seized an opportunity to use a less lethal weapon and gain control of the subject.
Deputy Brian D. Miller received a Letter of Commendation for his assistance in locating a subject who was attempting suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. Through dedicated and thorough investigation, Deputy Miller was able to locate the suicidal subject, in his vehicle, at Quantico Cemetery attempting to take his own life. Deputy Miller's actions, without question, saved the life of this young man.
Sergeant Randy Shaw, Deputy William T. Johnson, Deputy John C. Wright and Detective Brian L. Smyser are recipients of a Letter of Commendation for their efforts in locating two homicide suspects. These two suspects were wanted for a brutal homicide in Northern Virginia. They were both members of a violent street gang. These members of the Special Problems Unit and this Detective are commended for their tenacity and relentless pursuit of justice.
First Sergeant Ray H. Davis, II, Deputy Christine M. Hammond, Deputy Joshua H. Truslow and Detective David K. Wood are recipients of a Letter of Commendation for their work that led to the arrest of four criminals who abducted and scammed an 87-year old Stafford man. Thanks to Deputy Hammond's quick recollection, the astute observation skills of First Sergeant Davis, Deputy Hammond and Deputy Truslow, and the tireless and meticulous efforts of Detective Wood, which spanned seven states, four scam artists were apprehended and charged.
Deputy Kassandra A. Lawrence and Deputy Mark E. Persson, Jr. earned a Meritorious Award for their lifesaving actions in reviving a respiratory arrest victim. Deputy Persson Jr. and Deputy Lawrence discovered an elderly man unconscious in his vehicle, sitting in an intersection. These Deputies quick response and lifesaving techniques saved the life of this citizen.
Sergeant David M. Stout is a recipient of a Letter of Commendation for his work that led to the recovery of a stolen vehicle valued at $94,000.00. Sergeant Stout located a vehicle that was reported stolen out of New Jersey. After the stolen vehicle stopped for Sergeant Stout, the vehicle sped off. Sergeant Stout pursued the vehicle until it wrecked after a brief pursuit. The suspect and his passenger were taken into custody.
First Sergeant Ray H. Davis, II is a recipient of the Meritorious Award for preventing a suicide. First Sergeant Davis responded to a suicide call with a man threatening to shoot himself with a gun. He was able to grab the gun, as he was trained, in such a way so that the gun could not go off. The subject was then restrained by several other deputies. First Sergeant Davis is credited with saving the man's life and preventing an untold tragedy.
Deputy Lee Peters received a Letter of Commendation for his work investigating a fatal traffic accident involving a tractor trailer and a car. Deputy Peters' tireless investigation discovered that the driver of the tractor trailer ran a red light, had faulty brakes, which the owner was aware of, while carrying a load of sand weighing over 83,000 pounds. Deputy Peters is commended for his tenacious pursuit of justice and exceptional skill as a Motor Carrier Inspector.
First Sergeant Eric Jesse, Detective Chadwick Oxley, Detective Vernon Galyen, Detective Todd Nosal and Detective Ken Pedigo, all members of the Drug Enforcement Unit, have been awarded a Meritorious Award for an undercover sting operation. This 14 month investigation, initiated in Stafford County, involved illegal cigarette smuggling from Virginia to New York. This criminal organization had an ongoing operation that conducted the illicit sales of illegal guns, drugs and property in the immediate region. The investigation, which ultimately involved the ATF, thwarted a multimillion dollar smuggling operation that had ties to China. These law enforcement professionals brought to justice some very dangerous criminals.
Captain William Bowler, Detective John Hughes, III and Detective Donald Lenhart are recipients of a Letter of Commendation for their work that led to the arrest of a man wanted in a series of bank robberies.
Three different banks were robbed in as many months when these men were able to develop a suspect, locate his residence and actually follow him as he went to rob another bank. Captain Bowler and Detectives Hughes and Lenhart were able to catch this suspect in the act of robbing that bank. These men are commended for successfully bringing this crime spree to an end.
Detective Christopher P. Cameron is a recipient of a Letter of Commendation for his work on a sexual abuse case. The 12 year old child, in this case, was victimized by her biological father and her uncle. Detective Cameron's integrity, compassion and love of children were clearly evident as he pursued justice for this child, even travelling to another state to collect evidence and interview several individuals.
Detective Shawn R. Efimenco has received a Letter of Commendation for his work on the Crisis Negotiation Team. In addition to his primary duties as a member of the Criminal Investigative Team, Detective Efimenco has taken the lead developing a 13 member Crisis Negotiation Team that is better trained and equipped.
Detective Michelle M. Gibbons has been awarded a Letter of Commendation for her investigative efforts on a breaking and entering case. This case was complex in nature and required dealing with 6 other localities. Detective Gibbons linked these criminals to a second unsolved burglary case and her organized, investigative skills were critical in bringing these criminals to justice.
Deputy John C. Wright is a recipient of a Letter of Commendation for his work with the Rappahannock Regional Gang, Terrorism and Drug Taskforce. Although not assigned to this Taskforce, Deputy Wright has gone above and beyond what is expected as he has been involved with nearly all of the Taskforce's gang investigations.
Deputy Larry W. Sturdivant is a recipient of a Letter of Commendation for his outstanding efforts during the "Drugged and Drunk Driving Campaign." Deputy Sturdivant took the most drunk and drugged drivers off the roads of Stafford County during this campaign.
Telecommunication Officers Chris Conley, Kimberley Cottle, Angela Davis and Tammy Tolson have been awarded a Letter of Commendation for their joint efforts that aided in the rescue of a woman abducted by force. Through an interpreter it was determined that the woman had been abducted and placed in a trunk of a car and was being taken to an unknown location. These outstanding communication officers were able to locate the victim, provide updates to the deputies so that they could locate the victim and release her from the trunk of the car, all the while still dealing with a number of 911 calls that were coming into the Emergency Communication Center.
Deputy Joseph A. Bice and Deputy Daren A. Volpe, Jr. are recipients of a Letter of Commendation for their assistance in an attempted suicide. The suicidal subject had reportedly taken 300 pills and was on a rampage wielding a machete. This was a very dangerous situation that ended peacefully when Deputy Bice provided cover and Deputy Volpe deployed his taser which caused the man to drop his machete. These deputies' actions saved the life of the man and prevented possibly serious injuries to the deputies on scene.
Detective Sean M. Danyluk has been awarded a Letter of Commendation for his work on a first degree murder case. Detective Danyluk was the lead detective on this case which involved the premeditated murder of a female by her husband. He worked tirelessly on every detail and clue of this case to bring justice for the victim. Detective Danyluk was able to prove premeditation on part of the suspect illustrating the dedication he has for citizens who are no longer able to speak for themselves.
Detective Timothy A. Covington and Deputy Lee Peters, III are recipients of the Silver Star Award for their rescue efforts in a tragic automobile accident. Detective Covington was the first responder to an automobile that was on fire and in its roof. Despite the fire, Detective Covington was able to get one victim out of the car, being burned himself in the process. Deputy Peters was on scene and was able to extinguish the flames that were engulfing the female passenger and was able to assist Detective Covington as he attempted to get to his feet and get away from the car before it exploded.
Sergeant Randy Shaw received the Deputy Toby Humphrey Award the highest honorary award afforded by the Stafford County Sheriff's Office. Deputy Toby Humphrey lived and died serving others. His life of service was cut short when he died in the line of duty on October 9, 1980. Deputy Humphrey had a passion for children and youth. Sergeant Randy Shaw shares Deputy Humphrey's love of children and has been the driving force behind two youth program provided for the young people of Stafford County. During the last 6 years Sergeant Shaw has organized the Sheriff's Office Youth Football Camp which has served over 1,600 students. In addition, Sergeant Shaw initiated the Badges for Baseball program in conjunction with the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. This program pairs law enforcement professional as mentors and coaches with youth from community based programs. Sergeant Shaw's leadership on this program has been so successful that the Stafford County Sheriff's Office program has been chosen as a national model.