News from the DNR Office of Communications

Maryland Natural Resources Police Honor Maryland Citizens And Officers

Annapolis, Md. (April 28, 2010) – The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) honored officers and private citizens from across the State last night with certificates of merit and appreciation for life saving actions and their dedication to the mission of NRP. The ceremony was held at Calvary United Methodist Church in Annapolis.

“The Natural Resources Police officers and the citizens who assist in its mission are crucial to ensuring the safety of Maryland families as well as our treasured land and aquatic resources,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “I congratulate all of the award recipients. Their contributions to our State are immeasurable.”

Those in attendance at the event were: DNR Secretary John Griffin, NRP Superintendent Col. George F. Johnson IV and NRP Deputy Superintendent Lt. Col. Alphonso W. Hawkins. Also attending was Maryland Park Service Superintendent Nita Settina and MPS Deputy Superintendent Chris Bushman. NRP Captain Robert Davis served as emcee for the evening and NRP Lt. Joe Offer gave the invocation and benediction.

The Award of Valor was presented to Officer First Class Timothy Pheabus (Hampsted, Md.).

On July 14, 2009, Officer First Class Pheabus was attempting an arrest when the subject fled. The subject was pursued onto the Route 231 Bridge over the Patuxent River near Benedict. The subject stopped just over the main span of the bridge, stated that he was going to kill himself and proceeded to jump over the side of the bridge. Officer First Class Pheabus was able to grab the subject, who was suspended over the side of the bridge, until an off-duty State Trooper stopped to assist him to pull the subject back onto the bridge.

The Award of Valor is given to an officer who performs a courageous act beyond the call of duty. During this course of action, the officer knowingly and voluntarily exposes himself to danger.

Awards of Merit
The following officers received Awards of Merit for specific situations that demonstrated a high level of expertise, initiative, resourcefulness, or dedication in the delivery of an important police service or an attempt to save a human life:

Cpl. Jeffrey Sweitzer (Swanton, Md.) – While on patrol by himself in a vessel during a rainy, foggy night just after midnight on Deep Creek Lake, Cpl. Sweitzer rescued an intoxicated, disoriented person that had fallen off a vessel into the water. The vessel operator and its other occupants were not aware of the man’s disappearance. Cpl. Sweitzer was able to successfully return the person to the boat operator’s residence and charge the operator with negligent operation of a vessel.

Cpl. Roy Rafter (Ingleside, Md.) - While off duty and with his family, Cpl. Rafter noticed three men in the water hanging onto a cooler to stay afloat after their vessel had sunk. Cpl. Rafter notified the Communication Center and then responded to nearest patrol boat to rescue the men. Cpl. Rafter is also receiving a commendation from the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators for this action.

Agency Awards

Maryland Park Service Officer of the Year – Corporal Robert Ford (Denton, Md.)

Superintendent’s Special Achievement Award – Deborah O’Dea (Annapolis, Md.)

Conservation Officer of the Year – Sergeant John Bailey (Mechanicsville, Md.)

Boating Safety Officer of the Year – Officer First Class Andrew Felsecker (Clarksville, Md.)

NRP Officer of the Year – Officer First Class Timothy Kraemer (Great Mills, Md.)

Certificates of Appreciation
The following individuals were awarded Certificates of Appreciation for their selfless actions or contributions made to assist NRP in meeting its overall mission, goals and objectives:

Lt. Dave Gough (Centerville, Md.) Sgt. Daniel Long (Salisbury, Md.)
Sgt. Mel Adam (Elkton, Md.) Cpl. N. Paul Carey (Fruitland, Md.)
Sgt. Shawn Garren (Lusby, Md.) Cpl. John Capozzoli (Elkton, Md.)
Cpl. Kenneth Layman (Snow Hill, Md.) Cpl. Brent Trautman (Havre De Grace, Md.)
Cpl. Diane Roschli (White Hall, Md.) Cpl. Brenda Rohrback (Clear Spring, Md.)
Ofc. Danielle Brown (Elkton, Md.) Ofc. Norris Shannon (Laurel, Md.)
Ofc. Michael Beckwith (Odenton, Md.) PCS Kitty Witter (Baltimore, Md.)
PCO Erica Smith (Pasadena, Md.) PCO Erin Stringer (Arnold, Md.)
Barbara Stelzer-Herfel (Stevensville, Md.) Kathy Lantz (Gransonville, Md.)
Amy Greenwood (Centreville, Md.) Denise Nicolaisen (Annapolis, Md.)
Lynne Richards (Pasadena, Md.) Rick Morris (Snow Hill, Md.)
Catoctin Mountain Zoo Herpetology Staff William Dudley Jr.
William Dudley, III Earl Johnston
Aaron Creighton Reserve Officer Phil Harper
Edmund Cook Richard Cook
Geoffrey McHenry Phil Harper
Robert McMillan Maryland State Police TFC Michael M Newman
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent Kenneth Endress

Superintendents Commendations
The following individuals received Superintendents Commendations for outstanding performance and dedication above and beyond the call of duty in a specific situation or incident:

Sgt. Fran Gower (Laurel, Md.) Sgt. Jack Bailey (Mechanicsville, Md.),
Cpl. Cathy Jones (Easton, Md.) Cpl. Richard Kaufman (Annapolis, Md.),
Cpl. Brain Rathgeb (Dunkirk, Md.) Cpl. David Bailey (Leonardtown, Md.),
Cpl. Jeff White (Clear Spring, Md.)

Western Region Area 8, District 6:
Cpl. Harold Cage (Flintstone, Md.) Cpl. James Clise (Lonaconing, Md.)
Cpl. Michael Friend (Friendsville, Md.) Ofc. Gary Crowe (Mt. Savage, Md.)
Ofc. Curt Dieterle (Rawlings, Md.) Ofc. James Satterfield (Frostburg, Md.)
Off. Angela Englehart (Big Poole, Md.) Sgt. Michael Kueberth (Lavale, Md.)
Cpl. Jeffrey Herndon (Clear Springs, Md.) Lt. Bradley Stafford (Lavale, Md.)

The following Natural Resources Police Personnel received promotions to the designated rank and area of responsibility:

Paul Hanyok (Frederick, Md.) promoted to Captain of Western Region.

Beth McVeigh (Annapolis, Md.) promoted to Lieutenant of Matapeake Complex.

Kelly Johnson (Frederick, Md.) promoted to Lieutenant of Area 5.

Rick Kaufman (Annapolis, Md.) promoted to Sergeant of Training Section

Harold Cage (Flintstone, Md.) promoted to Sergeant of Garrett County.

For information on particular individuals or awards, or for photos of the ceremony, please contact Sgt. Windemuth at 410-713-8449.

   April 28, 2010

Contact: Sgt. A.A. Windemuth
410-260-8003 office | 410-713-8449 cell

The Maryland Natural Resources Police is the enforcement arm of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). With an authorized strength of 247 officers and a dedicated staff of civilian and volunteer personnel, the NRP provide a variety of services in addition to conservation and boating law enforcement duties throughout the State of Maryland. These services include homeland security, search and rescue, emergency medical services, education, information and communications services on a round the clock basis. NRP is the only police force aside from the Maryland State Police that has statewide jurisdiction.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries, and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic, and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at