Police commendation list reveal acts of courage

By Tony E. Windsor

The accomplishments of Seaford Police Department personnel were highlighted as part of a special honors banquet held recently. On Thursday night, Jan. 23, the 19th annual police department awards were presented at the Nanticoke Senior Center, Seaford, by Chief Gary Morris and Capt. Gary Flood.

In addition to uniformed officers, Seaford Emergency Center dispatchers were also honored for the role they play in supporting not only the actions of the officers, but other community-wide emergency efforts as well.

Commendation Awards

A Commendation Award was presented to dispatcher Kyle Mitchell, for obtaining superior scoring on annual accreditation. According to police, dispatchers are required to maintain standards set by the National Academy of Emergency Medical Dispatch in order to maintain compliance for national accreditation. Mitchell maintained a 99.62 percent compliance average dispatching 181 emergency medical service calls through Seaford Center.

Also receiving a Commendation Award was Cpl. Toby Laurion in connection with a Sept. 9, 2013 incident. Police say that on that night Laurion was following up a report of a stolen vehicle from Laurel. He checked a number of parking lots throughout Seaford and discovered the vehicle parked in the parking lot of the Chandler Heights apartment complex. As he approached the vehicle three individuals exited the vehicle and fled on foot. Laurion was able to apprehend two of the individuals; the third suspect was subsequently apprehended. When Laurion checked the vehicle he found a loaded 38-caliber revolver inside.

Unit Citation Commendation Awards

On July 10, 2013, officers responded to a vehicular homicide that occurred in the east Seaford area. It was determined the victim was struck by a vehicle and died from her injuries. A lengthy investigation ensued which included valuable information received by a dispatcher. The information revealed a suspect and warrants were obtained for his arrest by the criminal investigations division. Honored for their role in the investigation and subsequent arrest were Sgt. Tommy Lee, Cpl. Eric Chambers, Cpl. Valerie Horn and dispatcher Angie Cowgill.

On Feb. 3, 2013, officers conducted a traffic stop in the Pine Street area of Seaford. As an officer was speaking to the driver the passenger opened the glove box, revealing a silver automatic pistol. The officer took the subjects into custody and a search of the vehicle revealed a large knife, 4 grams of marijuana, and two rifles with ammunition. It was also determined that the driver was a person prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition from past mental history. Awarded were Sgt. Joe Bowen, Cpl. Cole Scott, Cpl. Toby Laurion and Cpl. Jim Bachman.

On April 30, 2013, gas crews were working in the west Seaford area. During construction a gas line was damaged and dangerous levels of gas was escaping. Dispatchers were notified and began to contact appropriate agencies to have residents evacuated from the area. Police said this fast and efficient handling of the incident by the dispatchers brought the appropriate resources to the scene and secured the leak. Awarded were dispatchers Angie Cowgill and Brandon Givens.

On May 19, 2013, officers responded to the Food Lion parking lot in reference to a robbery that had just occurred. Information was received regarding the suspect and a vehicle. Officers set up a perimeter around the area and observed a vehicle matching the description in the area of Middleford Road. The officers initiated a felony traffic stop and as a result took suspects into custody and recovered the victims property along with marijuana, a switch blade knife, brass knuckles and numerous packets of heroin. Awarded were Sgt. Jason Sterner, Cpl. John Wingate, Cpl. Marc Russell, Cpl. Chris Miller and dispatchers Angie Cowgill and Brandon Givens.

On June 10, 2013, the Seaford PD Criminal Investigations Division conducted a joint operation with the US Department of Agriculture in reference to unlawful transactions involving EBT cards (food stamps). The undercover two-month investigation revealed that EBT cards were used to obtain cash from an area business. A search warrant was obtained and three suspects were arrested along with the seizure of $3,000 in cash. Awarded were Cpl. Eric Chambers and Cpl. Valerie Horn.

On June 29, 2013, officers responded to the Meadowbridge apartment complex in reference to a person armed with a gun. Upon arrival, officers observed the suspect and took him into custody. The investigation revealed that when the suspect observed the police he threw the weapon inside a vehicle and a juvenile sat on the weapon.

Three suspects were taken into custody and officers located a stolen 22-caliber revolver. The subjects were all persons prohibited due to a criminal history. Awarded were Sgt. Jason Sterner, Cpl. Matt Mills and Det. Cpl. Eric Chambers.

On Aug. 10, 2013, officers responded to Seaford Meadows apartment complex in reference to a structure fire. When officers arrived they encountered heavy smoke and were advised that people were inside the residence. Officers made entry and used their fire extinguishers and performed a search of the residence. All occupants had exited the building and fire officials stated that the actions the officers took prevented the fire spreading to adjacent apartments. Awarded were Cpl. Steve Flood and Cpl. Chris Miller.

On Aug. 23, 2013, while on routine patrol officers ran a computer check of a registration which revealed the occupants of the vehicle were wanted on felony warrants for numerous charges including organized crime and racketeering. A felony stop was conducted by the officers and the suspects were taken into custody without incident. Evidence of the crime was located inside of the vehicle. Awarded were Cpl. Steve Flood and Cpl. Kyle Linville.

On Oct. 13, 2013, officers responded to the area of Locust Street, Seaford, in reference to a burglary in progress. Upon arrival, the suspect fled the scene and a foot chase ensued. The officers were able to take the suspect into custody. The suspect was arrested for burglary and burglar tools and all property was recovered. Awarded were Sgt. Mike Rapa, Cpl. Chris Miller, and Patrolmen Frank Bradley and Dusty Hamilton.

On Nov. 4, 2013, the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) was contacted by the Maryland State Police and the U.S. Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) to assist them with a gun shop burglary. CID conducted an investigation which led to a search warrant from information that claimed a suspect had received five of the weapons taken during the burglary. During the search warrant officers recovered 15 grams of marijuana, and $396 cash. Valuable information was also obtained from the suspects on the locations of the weapons. Awarded were Sgt. Tommy Lee, Cpl. Eric Chambers and Cpl. Valerie Horn.

On Dec. 1, 2013, officers responded to the Oak Street area of Seaford in reference to a burglary. An elderly female stated that the burglar had kicked in her garage door and was inside. Officers responded and discovered the burglar had fled. Officers canvased the area and made contact with a subject matching the description. The suspect was taken into custody and his boot was compared to a footprint near the door of the garage. Faced with these facts the suspect confessed to the burglary and was subsequently arrested for the crime. Awarded were Sgt. Jason Sterner and Cpl. Mark Russell.

On Dec. 10, 2013, officers received information in regards to an escaped work crew inmate. The investigation revealed that the inmate had been dropped off at the Meadowbridge Apartment complex. The officers were able to utilize the complexs security system to determine an approximate area where the suspect was hiding. Officers began a search of the area and located the suspect hiding in a laundry area of the building. Awarded were Cpl. Kyle Linville, Megan Tavares and Cpl. Russ Little.

On Dec. 28, 2013, officers observed a vehicle in the area of East Popular Street going the wrong way on a one-way street. Officers conducted a traffic stop. As the officers made contact with the driver, the driver and passengers became nervous and started moving inside the vehicle. Officers took suspects into custody and recovered 33 grams of marijuana along with a loaded 32-caliber pistol. Awarded were Cpl. Steve Flood and Cpl. Lyle Linville.

On Dec. 10, 2013, officers responded to the Seaford Walmart area in reference to a robbery of a 57-year-old female. Officers made contact with victim and witnesses who stated the suspect fled. Officers observed a suspect hiding on a grassy area along US 13 and were able to take the suspect into custody. The victims purse and property were recovered. Awarded were Cpl. Kyle Linville and Cpl. Russ Little.

On Dec. 26, 2013, officers responded to Chandler Heights apartment complex in reference to shots being fired. Upon arrival, witnesses provided information on the suspected vehicle and the direction of travel. Officers were able to locate the fleeing suspects vehicle which led to a pursuit. After several miles the suspects stopped their vehicle and officers were able to take the suspects into custody along with a large quantity of marijuana and a 25-caliber pistol. Awarded were Sgt. Mike Rapa, Cpl. Chris Miller, Det. Sgt. Eric Chambers, Det. Cpl. Valerie Horn and dispatchers Anita Bell and Marc Hunter.

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