2010 Annual Award Recipients

CRIME PREVENTION


Detective Sergeant Robert J. Jagoe

Criminal Investigation Division/Regional Auto Theft Team
Years of Service: 31

Detective Chris McDonold and Sergeant Bob Jagoe are considered to be the Auto Theft prevention authorities for the Baltimore County Police Department. They have dedicated their careers to accruing the most comprehensive body of knowledge that they could on vehicle theft. They have organized training for investigators, citizens, and private and public safety personnel to reduce the crime of vehicle thefts in the Baltimore Metro area.

They made sure that they prepared themselves by getting the best training available to them. They have advanced training in cargo thefts, legislative updates, industry security perspectives, local and federal prosecution efforts, bait trailer and decoy operations, container safety and seal bypass methods, as well as high-security logistics.

Sgt. Jagoe and Det. McDonold have proactively shared their experience and knowledge with colleagues. They trained hundreds of patrol officers and investigators of the Baltimore City and Baltimore County Police Departments, along with members of the Baltimore City School Police, the Maryland State Police and Howard County Police.

They provided specialized patrol roll-call training when trends involving specific types of cars or motorcycles developed locally. They created and produced a six-minute roll-call training video and reference card for “Taking the Initial Police Report for Stolen Autos.” The main goal of this video was to have officers ask and document seven questions that are critical when interviewing victims of vehicle theft. They showed the video at evening and midnight roll calls across Baltimore.

Both men have worked diligently to coordinate intelligence networks with neighboring jurisdictions.

 

CRIME PREVENTION 


Detective Christopher T. McDonold

Criminal Investigation Division/Regional Auto Theft Team
Years of Service: 22

They have conducted community outreach activities to keep the public vigilant with crime prevention tips and techniques. They delivered crime prevention presentations to the public to prevent car theft, and served as media experts on anything related to the previously mentioned topics. They organized a competition where area college students would produce 10, 30-second PSAs that will be aired on local television stations.

They assisted the U.S. Government with regulation as it applies to car theft. They assisted the Department of Justice with developing a national training program.

They assisted the MVA with investigative skills training. They consulted on new Maryland laws to suspend/revoke the driver’s license of people who are convicted of vehicle theft or unauthorized use; to create a statutory presumption that states that keeping a victim’s vehicle for more than seven days will constitute “permanent deprivation” under the theft statute; and to elevate “removing and obliteration of serial numbers, if on an object worth more than $1,000” to a felony rather than the current status as a misdemeanor crime.

They employ the latest technology, and keep an eye on trends. They brought the Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPRs) project to Baltimore County. They have worked to install ALPRs in 12 police vehicles along with mobile broadband systems to upload license plate data. In this year alone, they have scanned more than one million license plates in the effort to prevent crime and arrest violators of the law.

They continue to serve as expert ambassadors to those who need information or training about vehicle theft reduction. For this reason, Detective Sergeant Robert J. Jagoe and Detective Christopher T. McDonold have earned the Crime Prevention Award.

 

DISTINGUISHED CONTRIBUTION


Captain Howard B. Hall

Support Operations Division/Operational Services Section
Years of Service: 24

In 2008, Police Chief James Johnson asked Captain Howard Hall to study the correlation between traffic crashes and crime in Baltimore County. Captain Hall enlisted the help of the Crime Analysis Section, and worked with them to look at the data where robbery, burglary and auto-theft patterns overlapped with traffic crashes. They were able to identify six major roadway corridors where there were significant crime and crash statistics. Captain Hall developed an operation program called the “Crash and Crime Project” that focused enforcement efforts on those targeted roadways.

The State and National Offices of Highway Safety included this project as one of six nationwide demonstration sites to test the theory that if you reduce the crime in these traffic areas that there will be a big decrease in overall crime. The program was renamed Data Driven Approaches to Crime and Traffic Safety (DDACTS). By the end of 2008, over 51,000 special enforcement hours had been devoted to the target corridors.

In the first six months of the DDACTS program, total crashes were down 3 percent, burglaries down 14 percent, robberies down 26 percent, motor vehicle theft down 31 percent and traffic stops down 36 percent. These successes received national attention, and have been held up as a model for other similar efforts throughout the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration describes the DDACTS program as “an example of what can be achieved when agency managers understand the capabilities of modern crime and crash analysis, and then apply them in a new way to counter the full range of law enforcement problems.”

Captain Howard B. Hall earns the Distinguished Contribution to the Profession Award for his faithful stewardship of the DDACTS program.

 

EXCEPTIONAL PERFORMANCE


Officer Robert C. Easter

Precinct 2/Woodlawn
Years of Service: 2

Officer Easter is known by his colleagues as a dedicated and hardworking officer who has substantially contributed to the success of his shift and the precinct through his outstanding efforts. His extraordinary energy, drive and can-do spirit have brought distinct credit upon himself, the profession and the Woodlawn Precinct.

Since graduating from the Police Academy in December 2008, this young relatively inexperienced officer has excelled in the performance of his daily duties as a first responder. He has demonstrated maturity, initiative and skills of an officer far beyond his years.

Officer Easter is a model employee who is self-motivated, assertive, and whose advancement will only be limited by his own aspirations. His intelligence combined with his “street-smarts” make him the top officer that he is. What characterizes Officer Easter’s personality more than any other trait is the relentless nature of his investigations. He takes on all types of cases, and lets nothing impede his investigation to its successful completion.

In his first nine months on the road after training, Officer Easter led his squad in issuing 675 pieces of traffic enforcement, including 5 traffic-related arrests. He was the squad’s leader in criminal enforcement by clearing 85 cases, making 84 physical arrests, 44 of which were for felony crimes. These numbers are stellar for any officer, let alone someone fresh out of the Academy.

He has worked on cases involving burglaries, rape, narcotics, robbery, child abuse and DUIs. He has experienced everything from almost being run over by a subject on a motorbike, to saving a teenager from her mother attempting to kill her with a knife. Based on all of this, Officer Robert C. Easter receives the Award for Exceptional Performance.

 

VALOR


Officer Joseph S. Ruth

Precinct 11/Essex
Years of Service: 5

Two employees were opening a Rite Aid store, and were forced at gunpoint to the back of the store to open the safe. One employee managed to escape and flagged down a delivery driver outside. They took cover behind his truck and called 911 to report what was going on.

Officer Joseph Ruth was dispatched to the scene. As he arrived, he knew that this store was located in a high-crime area and had been the target of previous robberies. He was told by the 911 operator that the suspect was armed and was holding a clerk in the rear of the store. He was the first on scene. He had no backup and he saw that bags were scattered all over the parking lot.

He took a position that allowed him to see both the front and back exits. He saw a man wearing a mask running out of the back door. Officer Ruth demanded that he stop, but the suspect ran down an alley, and began jumping over the fences. Officer Ruth followed him through the neighborhood and over fences. He then grabbed the man before he was able to scale another fence. The suspect was strong and resisted the officer’s physical force and verbal commands.

Officer Ruth removed his pepper spray and attempted to control the man, but the suspect tried to grab it from him. Officer Ruth grabbed the suspect in a headlock in an attempt to keep the man from using the spray on him. He heard the suspect unsnap his holster. He then felt a pull on his service weapon and knew that the suspect was trying to take it from him. Officer Ruth quickly let go of the man so that he could concentrate on keeping his gun. As the struggle for his weapon continued, Officer Ruth gained control, and fired at the man who was still in close contact with him. Officer Ruth backed away, while covering him at gunpoint, and called for paramedics. CPR was rendered to the suspect. He was pronounced dead at the scene, and the stolen property was recovered.

Officer Ruth displayed bravery and courage in the face of death. He knew exactly what he was about to experience, but did his job anyway. He could have been killed following the armed felon into a residential neighborhood, either by he suspect himself or by an accomplice laying in wait. When the suspect tried to remove the officer’s gun, his intent to kill the officer was evident. Officer Ruth was clearly in a struggle for his life and he focused on keeping everyone involved safe. For this act of heroism, Officer Joseph S. Ruth is given the Award of Valor.