The Optimist Club of Dundalk held its annual Respect for Law Program at its North Point Boulevard clubhouse, bestowing honors on seven nominated officers of the North Point Precinct, ranging from Officer of the Year to Outstanding Officers of the Year.
Optimist Vice President Tom Toporovich was the master of ceremonies while Captain Butch Wilson and Lt. Mike Sansosti represented the Dundalk Precinct on behalf of the Baltimore County Police Department.
Due to their outstanding performances of their duties, two officers were honored with the Dundalk Police Officer of the Year Award. They were Officers David Dillard and Daniel Topper.
Toporovich instituted this program back in 2006 to show the community's appreciation of the work these officers do who serve the Dundalk area.
The Officers of the Year received a plaque along with a $1,000 check from the Optimists.
Officers recognized for their outstanding service to the community received an engraved paper weight and a check for $100.
The following is the list of those officers and their achievements.
- One of the Officers of the Year awards went to Officer David Dillard, who was credited for saving the life of a fellow officer for which he was also awarded the Medal of Honor. He was also credited with arresting three suspects in a carjacking and preventing an armed robbery.
- Officer Daniel Topper, the second recipient of the Officer of the Year award, was credited with providing field training to two new recruits during a 147-day period while making 100 of his own arrests. In addition he tracked down a suspect in a $21,000 theft that lead to an arrest and recovery of $3,340 of the victim's money.
- Officer Clifton Gamble was noted for his enforcement efforts which lead his entire shift. In addition to his proactive police approach he investigated a large theft of money form a Dunbar armored car. Through his investigation and testimony in court, a conviction was achieved in which the state's attorney largely credited Officer Gamble’s work.
- The next officer to receive recognition was Officer Matthew Wazlavek. Officer Wazlavek was honored for responding to a home invasion call where he disarmed and arrested the suspect who was in the course of fleeing.
- Officer Marianne Snyder was honored for outstanding contributions as an outreach officer and her interaction with the community along with working with the county’s Police Athletic League. While performing these duties she also kept up her enforcement efforts.
- Detective Justin Ferguson solved several crimes by tracking stolen cell phone information which allowed him to pinpoint and arrest the suspects. He was also credited for a successful investigation into one of the most active gangs in the Dundalk area, DMI, also known as Dead Man Incorporated.
- Officer Matthew Krauch who, while investigating an attempted murder, not only provided first aid to the stabbing victim but was able to apprehend the suspect and handcuff him to a metal fence until assistance arrived.
Congratulations to all of the award winners.