Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel William Pallozzi today recognized sworn and civilian employees of the year at barracks and units throughout the Department, which culminated with the announcement of the statewide Trooper, Non-Commissioned Officer, Police Communications Supervisor and Police Communications Operator of the Year for 2016.
The statewide Trooper of the Year award was presented to Trooper Charles Tittle, of the North East Barrack. The Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year for the Maryland State Police was awarded to Sergeant Jeremy Vogt, of the Criminal Enforcement Division. The statewide Police Communications Supervisor was presented to Police Communications Supervisor Sydney Sarrichio of the Rockville Barrack. The 2016 Police Communications Operator of the Year award was won by Police Communications Operator II Ashley Howard, of the Easton Barrack.
“These awards represent the highest level of performance, achievement, commitment, and dedication,” Colonel Pallozzi said. “The sworn and civilian employees recognized today rose to the top last year in their performance, perseverance, and passion for doing their best. They provided selfless and superior police services to the people of Maryland. I am grateful for their commitment to making Maryland safer and to upholding the highest traditions of the Maryland State Police.”
Trooper Charles Tittle was named statewide Trooper of the Year in only his second year as a patrol trooper. In 2016, he arrested 60 impaired drivers and arrested 109 people wanted on warrants. He responded to almost 2,000 calls for service and recovered seven firearms during traffic stops.
Trooper Tittle made 1,010 traffic stops and issued 1,400 citations last year. He was number one at the North East Barrack in both these categories. He was named the North East Barrack Trooper of the Month seven times last year.
The examples of his outstanding work last year are many. He used his interview and investigative skills during a traffic stop to recover cocaine. That recovery enabled federal authorities and the MSP Gang Unit to obtain search warrants that helped them close a two-year investigation into cocaine importation into Maryland by a cartel in Puerto Rico.
His same skills on another traffic stop led to the arrest of four suspects, including a member of the Bloods street gang. He recovered a handgun and large quantities of heroin, crack, and drug-related cash.
Trooper Tittle responded to a call for a stabbing and, although the armed suspect was still at large, he entered the crime scene without hesitation and found a victim who had sustained multiple serious stab wounds. Trooper Tittle gained control of the hysterical and drug-impaired victim and began immediate emergency care, which included recognizing the need for and applying an occlusive dressing. EMS personnel said Trooper Tittle’s quick-thinking and proper emergency care likely saved the victim’s life.
This was not the only life saved by Trooper Tittle in 2016. During the year, he was the primary trooper on eight heroin overdose cases and assisted on two others. He personally administered Naloxone to nine overdose victims, including two who were unconscious in the same residence. Each of the nine victims treated by Trooper Tittle recovered.
During 2016, Sergeant Jeremy Vogt was a supervisor for the Criminal Enforcement Division team in the Northern Region. He served as the case manager for almost 90 investigations, in addition to being the primary investigator for more than 50 felony criminal cases and assisted with more than 60 additional investigations. He was the affiant for almost 40 search warrants and assisted with 50 additional warrants.
Sergeant Vogt’s investigations, or those he managed, took him throughout Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania last year. His investigative tenacity and prowess have made him an often sought expert by the Maryland State Police, allied Maryland agencies and law enforcement in surrounding states. On numerous occasions, Sergeant Vogt was specifically called upon to assist investigative teams from the Pennsylvania State Police in Lancaster County.
Near the end of 2015, Northern region investigators received information about a Harford County resident using fraudulently obtained gift cards to purchase merchandise from retail outlets in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and New Jersey. Using various investigative techniques, Sgt. Vogt and a team of investigators were able to corroborate the information and identify the suspect. After an extensive investigation, search warrants were served at the suspect’s Harford County residence. Investigators recovered more than 300 fraudulent gift cards and stolen property with an estimated resale value in excess of $1 million. The investigation was linked to numerous crimes along the East Coast and Midwestern United States, resulting in a widespread investigation by federal authorities.
In February and March of last year, Cecil County experienced an increase in violent crime. In response, Sgt. Vogt organized a team of investigators from the Northern Region Criminal Enforcement Division.
The collective persistence of the Maryland State Police North Central Region investigators ended three violent commercial robbery sprees, solved more than 50 residential burglaries and dozens of incidents of thefts from vehicles. The criminal investigators also captured three suspects, who committed a violent home invasion, made off with 30 guns and torched the victim’s minivan.
Under Sgt. Vogt’s direction and in cooperation with the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland State Police investigators wrote and served more than 20 search warrants, conducted dozens of in-depth interviews and numerous operations and surveillance details. Their efforts paid off with nine arrests in direct connection with the robberies. They also apprehended three other fugitives and recovered a variety of drugs, weapons and property.
Police Communications Supervisor Sydney Sarrichio began his outstanding service early in 2016. In January, a state of emergency was declared for a winter storm as Maryland received several feet of snow. Vehicles were abandoned both on the shoulders and in the travel lanes of Interstate 495 and Interstate 270.
The Rockville Barrack was assigned to handle disposition of over 100 of these vehicles. PCS Sarrichio took charge by implementing a vehicle tow and disposition log accessible by all Rockville Barrack. This accounted for every vehicle towed from the interstates during the snow emergency plan. Every vehicle was eventually recovered by owners.
PCS Sarrichio worked more than 16 hours each day and stayed at the Rockville Barrack for several days to ensure uninterrupted communications service. Multiple calls for service were dispatched during this time, including many vehicle collisions and welfare checks. This was a very fast paced and confusing time at the radio console which was handled with outstanding proficiency by PCS Sarrichio.
PCS Sarrichio was also tasked by Headquarters to update the warrant entry and stolen property log. He successfully updated this form with needed entries and computerized the form for electronic entry. This form is now used statewide. He also added 29 additional forms relating to NCIC entry and dispatch and converted them to a computerized form for electronic entry. PCS Sarrichio has created multiple spreadsheets to ease the burden of troopers at the Rockville Barrack, including an up-to-date warrant ledger, the DUI log, warrant maps, a very comprehensive agency contact list and other related documents.
PCS Sarrichio shows incredible time management skills, as he continually undertakes assignments not normally assigned to a communications dispatcher. He has assigned himself as the barrack supply supervisor. He maintains the barrack administrative supply and completes supply requests for troopers. He travels to Quartermaster Division for drop off and pick up of supplies.
Command staff at the Easton Barrack report Police Communications Operator II Ashley Howard did everything in her power during 2016 to support and assist the sworn and civilian employees at the barrack. They describe her as the quintessential team player, who is proficient, dedicated and highly motivated. She regularly works beyond her assigned shifts and never seeks recognition. She makes a positive impact on all barrack missions which she is a part of.
In 2016, PCO II Howard was instrumental in setting up the Criminal Enforcement Division Upper Shore Facebook page, which was then linked to the Easton Barrack page ‘crime tip lines.” Her work was essential to streamlining the process for investigators to receive crime tips and information. She is also one of two people who maintain the Easton Barrack Facebook page.
On multiple occasions in 2016, PCO II Howard assisted other barracks in the region that were without a PCO, or were extremely busy due to an incident. She provided her assistance on her own initiative and was never directed or asked to do this. She sees a job that needs to be done and gets it done.
PCO II Howard is not intimidated by the fact that Easton is a full-service barrack responsible for three counties. Numerous times in 2016, she exhibited her commitment to going above and beyond to ensure the safety of her troopers on patrol and the citizens they protect.
One example was when troopers stopped a woman for speeding and were presented an ID card, but no license. The woman gave a name and PCO II Howard’s check showed the name was spelled differently. Instead of passing this off as a simple mistake, PCO II Howard conducted an extensive search of available databases and files. She was able to determine the woman in the traffic stop was trying to avoid positive identification. PCO II Howard determined the woman’s true identity and located multiple warrants on file for her. After arresting the woman, troopers found drugs, a credit card skimmer, dozens of stolen credit cards and more than 130 fraudulent gift cards. This led to consultation with the US Secret Service and the identification of an extensive fraud and theft ring operating in Maryland.
PCO II Howard remained committed to recruiting others for the important job of police communications operator in the Maryland State Police. She spoke to high school students, prepared a PowerPoint presentation about the job and constantly sought opportunities to increase awareness about the opportunity to work as a PCO.
PCO II Howard constantly seeks additional training and experience. In 2016, she was selected to attend the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions Train the Trainer course. She was trained in the NCIC audit process and is a certified instructor and trainer for a variety of specialties including NCIC, communications, and CAD.
She is repeatedly commended by the duty officers and patrol troopers who describe her as calm, pleasant and professional on the radio, regardless of the situation. She provides prompt, accurate and complete information during traffic stops, DUI arrests, criminal investigations and warrant services.