With British Royalty Prince Charles and his wife Camilla arriving this week at Joint Base Andrews just north of us for a short visit our Country, we can take pride in showing off our own home grown Royalty with the announcement of David Payne as our new “King” following this year’s United Way’s Mardi Gras celebration. King Payne was awarded his “Title” for having raised more funds than his completion in this annual charity event. This year’s Queen is Cindy Dinan who raised the most money in the Queen competition.
Many of you will recognize David as he is a very popular member of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Department and is extremely involved in many youth programs throughout the County. But, like most of the personalities that I have introduced over the past several months, David wasn’t born here, but somehow found his way to our “mother land” and has spent most of his entire adult life here volunteering in many capacities to improve the quality of life for the needy within our community.
David was born in the small town of Beloit, Wisconsin, an area I visited when my youngest brother married a nearby young “dairy maid”. I remembered the folks there were some of the nicest, most hospitable people I have met, and that is saying some as I have been all over this world of ours. David’s parents were great parents that took David and his brother camping and were actively involved in outdoor activities all summer and kept them occupied with indoor activities all winter. His mother volunteered for every fundraiser and special event that came her way and as a result, David and his dad and brother found themselves going along and supporting mom and it was this experience that instilled in him the value of helping one another. He credits both of his wonderful parents for their example and the hard Midwestern work ethic that still guides him today!
As a teenager, David played all sports at his small high school where he was able to know everyone on a true personal level. He claims his best mentors, next to his parents, were his coaches who he came to admire. When not practicing or competing in the many school athletic events, he would spend summers working outdoors in many various jobs and activities. It was at that time he realized he wanted to become a member of the “greatest fighting force on earth”, the United States Marine Corps! Please note these are David’s words and as the father of a former Marine Captain and a retired Naval Officer myself, I can neither confirm nor deny his comments, but I salute him and give him a big “ooo rah” for his service [and it goes without saying we desperately need our Marines and all members of our military services].
Following an enjoyable tour as a Marine that took him to many States and countries, he was offered a position with the Defense Intelligence Agency and found his way to the “mother land of Calvert County” [David’s words again!]. He was hired a few years later by the Calvert County Sheriff’s Department where he realized his passion was working with the youth of the County much as others had worked with him in his early days. He worked the Patrol Division from 1998 until 2002 when he became an instructor for new police recruits at the Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy, turning young energetic men and women into sharp, polished police officers. For his work with these young people, David received “Maryland Police and Corrections Officer Instructor of the Year Award”. As a member of the Special Operations Team, he rapidly advanced through the ranks of Corporal and Sergeant prior to returning to the Patrol Division in 2006.
In 2009, he was promoted to the rank of First Sergeant and has been certified in many areas including Police and Corrections General Instructor, Firearms Instructor, Defense Tactics Instructor, Coast Guard Boat Captain, Hazard Material Tech, and Open Water Dive Certified. Obviously, his Marine training has greatly prepared him for these duties. I 2011, he received his promotion to his current rank of Lieutenant. He is now assigned as Commander of the Administrative and Judicial Services Bureau. He is also tasked with the Sheriff’s Department Social Media duties and often is called upon to conduct the Security Operation Plans for special events scheduled throughout the County.
David is obviously a policeman’s “policeman” for all his many talents and skills, however the portion of his life that impresses me the most is the time and energy he devotes to our youth. He began his volunteerism as a youth football coach with the Solomons Steelers in 1999. He continues to coach kids in various sports and is currently working with the Calvert High football program. He has mentored several students and takes great pride in the individuals who go on to college and become productive in their lives away from football. He often receives questions from his former students and often hears of the milestones in their lives that they have reached. One of his greatest joys is a tradition he started in 2010 while a member of the Special Operations Team; he formed a group that would identify and “adopt” a needy family each Christmas and provide them with the best Christmas morning possible for these deserving folks. This project continues with little to no fanfare or publicity.
Quickly, David has many additional exploits and attributes that could fill a whole new column and includes his work on the Southern Maryland Network Board of Directors and his active membership with the St. Leonard VFD. And of course, his awesome record of accomplishment is best signified by his selection as this year’s Mardi Gras King! Did I say in winning this “Title” he was responsible for raising more than $30K in needed funds!?!
David lives in Port Republic with his wife Christina and son Tyler, a student at Salisbury State University and a nine year old daughter who attends Mutual Elementary. David or “King” or “Lieutenant”, to all of us you are a friend and a truly great citizen of this County! I want to thank you for all that you have done and all that you do. Keep up the great work!
Dave Spigler resides in Lusby and has been a resident of Calvert County since 1979. He has been recognized many times for his years of community service. He received the “Calvert You Are Beautiful Award” for 2013 and recognized by the Knights of Columbus as the “Maryland Citizen of the Year” in 2011. He was a member of the HOGETTES, the Washington Redskins “Biggest Fans” for 22 years. If you know of an unsung citizen of Calvert County, please contact Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org.