2014 Annual Award Recipients

COMMUNITY SERVICE

Rabbi Norman Lowenthal

Police Chaplain

Rabbi Norman Lowenthal is a licensed clinical social worker and counselor for the Talmudical Academy in Pikesville. He mentors and provides guidance for his students. He is generous with his time and volunteers for several organizations including Camp Simcha in Glen Spey, New York – a get-away camp for children with cancer and other serious illnesses. 

 Over the past six years, Rabbi Lowenthal has served as a volunteer police chaplain for the Police Department.  He is a dedicated member of the Department and has developed a genuine relationship with the officers and supervisors at the Pikesville Precinct.  In May 2012, Pikesville Precinct officers responded to a robbery and serious assault involving an Israeli jeweler.  The victim was severely beaten, and the suspects also deployed a TASER in the assault.  During the interview of the victim, officers and detectives were unable to obtain information from him due to a language barrier.  The victim spoke Hebrew and very broken English.  Detectives reached out to Rabbi Lowenthal to assist with translation.  Rabbi Lowenthal became an integral part of the investigation establishing a rapport with the victim.  During the investigation, it was learned that the suspects lived in New York.  Rabbi Lowenthal assisted the detectives in multiple interviews.  Four suspects were apprehended after a lengthy investigation.  The case wrapped up in 2013.  Rabbi Lowenthal’s service was an essential component to the successful resolution of this case.

 Later in 2013, swastikas and other graffiti were spray painted on the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation property.  Rabbi Lowenthal was contacted by the Pikesville Precinct detectives for assistance.  In situations such as this and during the recent spate of home burglaries in the area, Rabbi Lowenthal served as a liaison to community leaders and groups helping to reduce citizen’s fears due to these crimes.ent to the successful resolution of this case.

 For his dedicated efforts in serving the community and assisting the Pikesville Precinct in these complex investigations, Rabbi Norman Lowenthal receives the award for Community Service.

 

CRIME PREVENTION

School Assessment Team

Community Resources Team members: Sergeant Theresa M. DuBose, Detective Albert C. Lindhorst, Jr., Detective Frederick J. Carter, Jr., Officer Bryan C. Dietsch, and  Officer Jennifer S. Arnett, PC7, Officer Edward L. Borman, PC8, Officer Daniel J. Coyne, PC11, Officer Warren J. Fluck, PC12,  Officer Kristy L. Fuka, PC6, Officer William S. Havens, PC9, Officer Alisha M. Helphenstine, PC2, Officer Andrew K. Kauffman, PC3, Officer William A. Rubie, PC1, Officer Larry C. Stallings, PC4, Ms. Christina R. Arellano, Personnel Section.

 Shortly after the tragic shooting on December 14, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and in response to increased concern about multiple casualty active shooter school violence in the United States, the Baltimore County Police Department (BCoPD) was asked by the Baltimore County Public Schools’ (BCPS) administration to utilize their expertise in physical security to take a closer look at Baltimore County school security.  The BCoPD was asked to conduct comprehensive security assessments for each of the 165 schools and recommend prevention strategies to not only combat multiple casualty violence, but also to improve the schools’ day-to-day operations. The Community Resources Team, along with a BCoPD Research and Assessment Analyst, met several times with the Executive Director of the BCPS Department of School Safety and Security to identify concerns and develop a strategy to properly identify individual and systemic school vulnerabilities.  

Due to the size of this project, a team of ten BCoPD Community Outreach Team officers, who are trained in conducting security assessments, was formed to assist the Community Resources Team detective who is routinely responsible for conducting large scale security assessments.  Over the next several months, 165 Baltimore County Public Schools were assessed with results entered into the database by assessment team officers.  Each school assessment was conducted by two members of the assessment team.  Upon the completion of all the assessments, Community Resources Team detectives and the analyst conducted quality control audits to ensure the uniformity of the assessment process. 

 At the close of the project, each school principal was provided a detailed report including photograph pages depicting identified vulnerabilities, detailed recommendations, a GPS photograph of the school, school floor plans and safety plans, and a school inventory document. The results of this project will be determined in the years to come, as the safety and security of Baltimore County schools continue to improve with the implementation of recommended physical security provisions and practice of security-based protocols. 

For their dedicated efforts on this project, which will certainly contribute in keeping our most valuable resource, our children, safe and secure, the School Assessment Team receives the award for Crime Prevention.     

(In photograph, back row (left to right): Rubie, Lindhorst, Stallings, Carter, Havens, Kauffman, Dietsch, Fluck; front row (left to right): Arellano, Helphenstine, DuBose, Arnett, Fuka)

 

DISTINGUISHED CONTRIBUTION TO THE PROFESSION

 Sergeant John P. Hyman

Criminal Investigations Division/Warrant Apprehension Task Force

Sergeant John Hyman has been a supervisor with the Warrant Apprehension Task Force (WATF) since its inception in 1999.  The primary mission of the WATF is to serve new Baltimore County arrest warrants on subjects who reside in Baltimore City.  Warrants unable to be served are returned to Warrant Control at the Records Management Unit. 

 Sergeant Hyman saw the need to go back and work the backlog of unserved warrants.  His persistent request to create a “Cold Case Squad” to work on the warrants that had been sent to Warrant Control was ultimately approved.  Sergeant Hyman was given command of the existing Investigative Squad, which consisted of a Corporal and four detectives, and three new detectives were assigned to the WATF to establish the Cold Case Squad.  Sergeant Hyman was tasked with continuing the Investigative Squad’s previous workload along with developing new methodologies to attack the older warrants.  He immediately took on the responsibility of following up on tips received by the WATF.  He also identified certain high priority crimes and had lists developed for open warrants for those crimes.  The lists were divided among the three Cold Case Squad detectives to begin researching.  The detectives found updated information on several of the subjects.  Once they amassed enough cases with updated information, they attempted service on those warrants as a team.  The effects were immediate and the level of productivity of the newly formed squad remained consistently high.  Together, the Investigative and Cold Case Squads finished the first twelve month period with a 253% increase in overall productivity from the previous twelve month period, serving a total of 1,086 total warrants.  Sergeant Hyman has incorporated both the Investigative Squad and the Cold Case Squad into each others’ workflow.  This has continued to produce high levels of productivity well beyond what was expected.     

 For his persistence and expertise in developing and implementing the WATF’s Cold Case Squad, Sergeant John P. Hyman has earned the Distinguished Contribution to the Profession Award.

 

EXCEPTIONAL PERFORMANCE

 Officer Ryan J. Daffron

Precinct 6/Towson

Officer Ryan Daffron began his career as a cadet in 2007, aspiring to continue his family’s tradition in law enforcement, serving the citizens of Baltimore County.  He is currently assigned to the Towson Precinct, Shift 2, East Squad.  His supervisors describe him as motivated and driven.

 During the past 12 months, while fulfilling his role as a patrol officer, Officer Daffron issued 689 traffic citations, 721 warnings, 95 repair orders, 23 parking citations and conducted 48 field interviews, totaling 1,576 enforcement actions making him the top performer at the precinct.  He also ranked first in arrests – totaling 120 for the year.  He had the most case clearances – 284, wrote the most reports – 246, and handled the most calls for service – 1570. 

 In January 2013, Officer Daffron conducted a traffic stop of a Ford truck with expired tags.  Upon stopping, a passenger fled from the vehicle.  After a search of the vehicle, a purse was located with TJ Maxx price and security tags still attached.  Officer Daffron went to the nearby TJ Maxx store and reviewed the security video footage, which showed the driver and passenger of the truck in the store together stealing 3 purses.  Although the driver would refuse to provide the passenger’s identity, Officer Daffron identified this unreported crime, recovered some of the property and charged the driver with theft.

 In 2013, the Baltimore County Police Foundation donated three electric standup vehicles, commonly referred to as T-3’s, to the Towson Precinct.  Officer Daffron embraced the T-3, becoming one of the first officers to be trained to operate it.  Numerous officers have become certified operators who routinely patrol central Towson.  Officer Daffron spearheaded a movement amongst officers to volunteer their time, before and after their tour of duty, providing extra patrols in and around central Towson using the T-3’s and bike patrol.  He has taken the lead in an attempt to ensure Towson remains safe and enjoyable for all.

 For his outstanding enforcement efforts and leadership, Officer Ryan J. Daffron is deserving of the award for Exceptional Performance.       

 

EXCEPTIONAL GROUP PERFORMANCE

Vice/Narcotics Section

Pharmaceutical Diversion Team

Sergeant Bruce T. Vaughn, Corporal Steven M. Sunderland, Detective Noel C. Arciaga, Detective Lisa C. Krebs, Detective Douglas P. Kriete, Detective Isaac M. Thorn, Detective James L. Vermont

 The Pharmaceutical Diversion Team (PDT) was instituted in late 2006 to address problems caused by the growing use, abuse and distribution of prescription drugs throughout Baltimore County and the Baltimore Metropolitan area.  The Team  targets all avenues in which pharmaceutical drugs are diverted to abuse, from those selling their own prescription drugs to medical and/or pharmacy professionals dispensing these pills illegally for profit.  

The PDT was the first of its kind in the area, and to this day, operates in a way that sets it apart from other squads by maintaining close relationships with area pharmacies, which ensures that Diversion Team investigators are called directly to respond when forged prescriptions are passed.  The Diversion Team’s response to the scene in plain clothes and in non-descript vehicles has allowed them to identify and implicate many of the distributors who many times wait nearby.  

A notable case in 2013 was the investigation of a Towson attorney who was using and selling prescription drugs.  This was a lengthy investigation involving hours of surveillance, pages of documents, and numerous investigative interviews.  The evidence obtained was enough to secure search and seizure warrants, which led to the indictment of the attorney and her entire organization.  Upon serving the nine search warrants, six suspects were arrested on felony drug charges and an abundance of drugs, paraphernalia evidence and US currency was seized.  Some other cases in 2013 involved pharmacy technicians who were filling forged prescriptions for personal use; stealing stock bottles of pain medications for distribution and sale, and one technician altered pharmacy sales figures to hide her crimes.  Community complaints about  prescription drug dealers were also investigated resulting in arrests and significant jail time for the offenders.  

The PDT made 305 arrests (168 felonies), served 52 search warrants, conducted 42 undercover operations, and exceptionally cleared 249 cases during the calendar year 2013.  They also led the Narcotics Section in undercover purchases of controlled substances in 2013.  In addition, the Diversion Team seized $33,189 in cash/assets and 3,745 doses of prescription medication.  

For their exemplary, dedicated efforts in these detailed and complex investigations in 2013, the Pharmaceutical Diversion Team is deserving of the award for Exceptional Group Performance.  

 

VALOR

Vice/Narcotics Section

Western Community Drug Unit (WCDU)

Detective Chadd J M. Lettau, Detective Rebecca Petrone, Detective Adam L. Rock, Detective Scott C. Young

On June 18, 2013, detectives assigned to the Western Community Drug Unit (WCDU) were conducting surveillance at a hotel on Security Boulevard in Woodlawn.  Foot traffic coming from a specific room led the detectives to investigate further.  As they approached, the detectives witnessed an argument between two females in the doorway and three males inside the room.  The odor of marijuana was emanating from the room.  The detectives entered the room, and Detective Adam Rock observed one male turn away from them and reach for his waistband.  The detectives recognized this threatening move and immediately reacted.

Due to the size of the room, and the number of persons in close proximity, the detectives instinctively opted for controlled measures to detain the suspect.  Detective Rock grabbed and spun the suspect around into the direction of Detectives Scott Young and Rebecca Petrone who each grabbed an arm, but the suspect resisted by pulling away.  Reaching for his waistband again, the Detectives wrestled him to the ground and continued the struggle.  During the struggle, the suspect attempted to raise himself in an effort to throw the Detectives off and gain access to his weapon.  Detective Chadd Lettau joined in the struggle to control the suspect’s head and neck area.  Upon controlling the suspect, Detective Petrone was able to pull a loaded .38 caliber revolver from the suspect’s right hand, disarming him.  The suspect was placed under arrest.  

Further investigation revealed that the renter of the room, who was not present during the incident, was placed at the hotel by another government agency.  When the Detectives approached, the mother and a friend of the person under protection had just arrived at the location and discovered unknown persons inside the room.  The armed suspect pulled his hood over his face and reached for his waistband in a threatening manner toward the mother as the Detectives approached the room.  Follow-up investigation revealed the suspects had ties to the Black Guerrilla Family gang, and speculation by those involved was that the armed suspect was there to murder the subject under government protection.

 The WCDU Detectives placed themselves in harm’s way by engaging the suspect, who had a violent criminal history, hands-on instead of resorting to a gun battle in close proximity to other persons and nearby rented rooms.

 For their courage and bravery during this life-threatening encounter, Detectives Chadd J M. Lettau, Rebecca Petrone, Adam L. Rock and Scott C. Young receive the Valor Award.   

 

VALOR

 Officer Christopher A. Helphenstine

Support Operations Division
Tactical Unit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 Officer Jason L. Schneider

Support Operations Division
Tactical Unit

 

 

 

 

On August 19, 2013, the Police Department’s Violent Crimes Unit was called to investigate a shooting on Shipley Avenue in the Winters Lane community of Precinct 1/Wilkens.  A male subject had been shot in the neck.  Suspects were later developed and believed to be staying at a home on Roberts Avenue.  Detectives obtained a search and seizure warrant for the Roberts Avenue location.

 On August 28, 2013, due to the high risk of encountering armed suspects, the Department’s Tactical Unit was requested to execute the search and seizure warrant.  At 5:20 a.m., the Tactical Unit breached the front door of the Roberts Avenue location.  Immediately upon entry, one suspect fled from the front of the house to the kitchen, which was in the rear of the home.  Officer Jason Schneider, using a body bunker, with Officer Christopher Helphenstine as his cover officer, pursued the suspect.  As Officer Schneider gained control of this suspect on the floor, a second suspect began firing his weapon from an adjoining room.  Officer Schneider returned fire.  Officer Helphenstine observed the gunfire and discharged multiple rounds from his rifle at the shooter.  Although Officer Schneider had sustained multiple wounds, he continued to return fire, protecting himself and Officer Helphenstine.  The Officers ended the assault by the suspect and also enabled the arrest of the second suspect, preventing additional Tactical officers from being injured.  It was later learned that the second suspect had fired numerous rounds from his position.  When his firearm was recovered, there were no live rounds remaining in it.  Despite all medical intervention, Officer Schneider succumbed to his injuries.

 Officer Jason Schneider and Officer Christopher Helphenstine with the knowledge of risk committed themselves to a dangerous, life-threatening situation, accomplishing their objective to arrest serious felons while protecting other officers and the surrounding community.

 For their courage and bravery during this incident, with Officer Schneider making the ultimate sacrifice, losing his life, Officer Jason L. Schneider and Officer Christopher A. Helphenstine receive the Valor Award.