News from the DNR Office of Communications

Maryland Natural Resources Police Honor Officers, Maryland Citizens

Annapolis, Maryland (April 29, 2011) – The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) honored officers and private citizens from across the State last night with certificates of merit and appreciation for saving lives and their dedication to NRP. The annual ceremony was held at Calvary United Methodist Church in Annapolis.

“I would like to congratulate and offer my appreciation to all of the award recipients,” said Governor Martin O’Malley, “The contributions of Natural Resources Police officers and the citizens who assist in its mission are vital to keeping Maryland families and our treasured land and marine resources safe and sound.”

DNR Secretary John Griffin, Deputy Secretary Joe Gill, NRP Superintendent Col. George F. Johnson IV, NRP Deputy Superintendent LTC. Alphonso W. Hawkins, Maryland Park Service (MPS) Superintendent Nita Settina and MPS Deputy Superintendent Lt. Col. Chris Bushman were on hand to show their appreciation for the officers. NRP Captain Robert Davis served as emcee for the evening and NRP Lt. Joe Offer gave the invocation and benediction.

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:

Officer First Class Patrick Thompsen (Pocomoke, Md.) — Officer Thompson dove into the water to assist a person that was struggling to stay afloat after becoming disoriented and falling into the water at the West Ocean City Harbor in Worcester County.

Officer First Class Murray Hunt (Odenton, Md.) — Officer Hunt responded to a personal injury boating accident at Thomas Point Light in Anne Arundel County and dove into the water to save a critically injured person that lost consciousness and slipped below the surface as he arrived.

Corporal Cameron Brown (Glen Burnie, Md.) and Officer First Class Rodney Smith (Randallstown, Md) — The officers responded in perilous conditions in the vicinity of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to rescue two stranded kayakers during a storm.

Corporal Max Schulte
(Finksburg, Md.) and Officer First Class Benjamin Lillard (Frederick, Md.) — The officers broke through three-inches of ice to get out of the harbor in perilous conditions to rescue a father, son and dog that became stranded while waterfowl hunting during a winter storm at Hart Miller Island in the Chesapeake Bay.

Agency Awards

Maryland Park Service Officer of the Year – Sergeant Shawn Garren (Lusby, Md.)

Superintendent’s Special Achievement Award – George Beyerle (Baltimore, Md.)

Conservation Officer of the Year – Officer First Class Frank O. Sutton (Cambridge, Md.)

Boating Safety Officer of the Year – Corporal Jeffrey W. Sweitzer (Swanton, Md.)

NRP Officer of the Year – Corporal Michael D. Friend (Keyser, W.V.)

National Wild Turkey Federation Officer of the Year – Corporal Mark McMillan (Lonaconing, Md.)

Shakir-Safari International Club Award — Corporal Michael D. Friend (Keyser, W.V.)

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:

Lieutenant Greg Bartles (Boonsboro, Md.)
Corporal John Atkins (Chester, Md.)
Roger C. Youngerman (Lusby, Md.)
Philip Andrew Jarusek (Frenchtown, Md.)

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:

Officer David Rice (Denton, Md.)
Sgt Aaron Parker (Owings Mills, Md.)
Cpl. Melissa Scarborough (Pasadena, Md.)
Officer First Class Devin Corcoran (Sudlersville, Md.)

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

Robert G. Kersey (Dover, Del.) promoted to Lieutenant, Area One Commander, Wicomico, Worcester, and Somerset Counties.
Robert D. Ford (Denton, Md) promoted Sergeant, Area 2, District 9, Kent County

Aaron R. Parker (Owings Mills) promoted to Sergeant, Area 3 District 4, Anne Arundel County

For information on particular individuals or awards, please contact Sgt. Windemuth at 410-713-8449.

Click here for high resolution images of the award recipients.

  April 29, 2011

Contact: Sgt. A.A. Windemuth
410-260-8850 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 is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly a half-million 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 11 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