2016 Annual Award Recipients

COMMUNITY SERVICE  

Sergeant Mandy L. Biter

Sergeant Mandy L. Biter

POFC Tabitha Hays

POFC Tabitha Hays

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sergeant Mandy Biter and Officer Tabitha Hays are both assigned to Shift 2 at the Parkville Precinct; their primary duties are patrol functions and responsibilities.   Both Sergeant Biter and Officer Hays took on several community service projects in 2015 that went beyond their normal call of duty. The projects they carried out were successful and meaningful due to their dedicated efforts to assist the community.

Sergeant Biter visited the Villa Cresta Elementary School and asked the guidance counselor to identify a family that was in need for the holiday season. Without hesitation, the counselor thought of a family who was struggling. Sergeant Biter personally met with the mother, who was raising four children, ages 14, 8, 5, and 7 weeks. The family was living in her father’s home, but he had unexpectedly passed away. The family experienced the added stress of finding a new home. Sergeant Biter spoke to her shift officers and met with other units within the Precinct. She also met with the Parkville PCR group to gain their support. She organized the efforts to assist the family in getting the essentials they needed, as well as the gifts the children wanted from Santa. Sergeant Biter spent countless hours of her own time shopping, collecting donations, organizing and wrapping all of the items. She delivered the gifts from “Santa” before Christmas. Then, she and the officers working on Christmas Day delivered the abundance of other items for the family, including a brand new crib for the baby. Sergeant Biter and the officers were able to spend time with the family as they opened the gifts and even helped assemble some of the new toys.

Sergeant Biter also visited the Morningside Assisted Living Center near the Precinct and spoke with the director. She arranged to “adopt” several of the elderly residents there who did not receive visitors. After speaking with several drug stores in the area, they agreed to donate gift cards. Sergeant Biter was able to purchase personal items, small gifts and toiletries for the seniors. She made gift baskets for each senior, including clothing, candy, books and pens. She and other shift officers met with the seniors on Christmas Day. They were surprised by the visit and could not believe the officers “would do that for them”.

In 2015, Officer Hays also planned several projects during the holidays. In October, she organized a “Police Car Trunk-or-Treat” event. On Halloween, while working the 3-11 shift, the officers strategically parked their vehicles in highly-populated neighborhoods and turned on their overhead lights. Not only was it fun for the children to interact with the officers in a positive way, but it provided a sense of security to their parents and local residents.

As the Christmas holiday approached, Officer Hays worked with the counselor at Carney Elementary School to find a family who needed assistance. A family was selected, which consisted of two grandparents who were raising their six grandchildren. Officer Hays and a friend, who is a Baltimore City Police officer, set-up an event on Facebook, titled “Ho Ho with the Po Po’s”. Officer Hays had many friends, family and fellow officers who were eager to assist. The response was overwhelming. Officer Hays was able to shop for gifts including winter coats, new shoes, undergarments, hats, gloves, and many essential items many of us take for granted. Each child also received books and educational toys, as well as gift cards for future needs.

Officer Hays learned that the family’s gas and electric had been turned off due to a lack of payment. She suggested that the family come to the Precinct for a Christmas celebration in the roll call room. That day, the children were thrilled with their gifts and enjoyed spending time with the officers. Officer Hays contacted BGE on behalf of the family. She donated her own funds to help reduce the balance due. The remaining balance was paid by an attorney, who is the wife of a fellow Parkville officer. Officer Hays presented the grandmother with a Christmas card with a note advising that the power would be restored by the next morning. The grandmother was deeply touched by this generosity.  

These acts of kindness and compassion involved many officers, citizens and businesses. Sergeant Biter and Officer Hays both spent a great deal of their own time and money on planning, organizing and preparing for these events. They are selfless individuals who understand the importance of giving without receiving, and the feeling of gratification in making a difference in the lives of these families and community members. Sergeant Mandy L. Biter and Officer Tabitha Hays have earned the Community Service Award.  

 

CRIME PREVENTION

Detective Albert Carl Lindhorst, Jr.

Detective Albert Carl Lindhorst, Jr.

Detective Albert Carl Lindhorst is a physical security specialist assigned to the Homeland Security & Criminal Intelligence Section. He is a 28-year veteran of the Department, with 18 years of experience in Outreach/Homeland Security positions.                    

Rather than wait for opportunities to be brought to his attention, Detective Lindhorst proactively sought out facilities and conducted physical security assessments for locations and communities where he observed a need. Aligning his assessments with Homeland Security strategic objectives, he initiated assessments and discussion-based exercises for identified critical locations and faith-based facilities in 2015. Each physical security assessment and exercise is a comprehensive process that requires a great amount of detail and insight in order to maximize the benefits to the facility to protect, prevent, and mitigate against criminal activity.

Detective Lindhorst actively teaches crime prevention techniques, but his primary medium is comprised of conducting physical security assessments and table top exercises. He also reviews and makes recommendations for policy such as crisis response plans. These recommendations help to enhance overall security and detect and deter criminal activity. In 2015, Detective Lindhorst completed 38 comprehensive security assessments. He also completed eight comprehensive security lighting assessments, and assisted in preparing and conducting eight discussion-based table top exercises, two functional exercises and three trainings. These exercises and trainings brought the necessary stakeholders to the table in order to discuss policy and response in reference to a crafted scenario during an integrated response.

What makes Detective Lindhorst’s accomplishments exemplary in his position is that he is aware of the threat atmosphere of not only localized crime, but also domestic and foreign terrorism. For his tenacious and dedicated efforts, Detective Albert Carl Lindhorst, Jr. has earned the Crime Prevention Award.

 

DISTINGUISHED CONTRIBUTION

TO THE PROFESSION

Mr. Mike Leedy

Mr. Mike Leedy

Mike Leedy is a statistical analyst assigned to the Crime Analysis Section. He has been with the Police Department since March 1995. The Crime Analysis Section is essential to the Department, providing invaluable information on crime statistics and related data, crime trends and patterns, information on criminal groups and their activities, as well as producing crime bulletins, post car alerts, and other crime-related reports. Chief Jim Johnson often refers to the analysts as “keyboard crime fighters”.  

In 2015, Mike created the Local Crime Analysis Program (LCAP), saving the Department a significant amount of money, which would have been required to purchase replacement computer software. Due to countywide computer software upgrades, the current program used by Crime Analysis would no longer function. Mike was able to create and transfer our data over to the new system without a disruption of service or decrease in the quality of the many Department-wide reports distributed each week. Mike created over 100 tables altered to work better with the LCAP. Creating LCAP in-house also resulted in more flexibility, allowing Crime Analysis employees to utilize the data now available through the Field-Based Reporting (FBR) system. This allows for an increase in efficiency by importing data of populated fields into the LCAP program from FBR, instead of data entry. The time saved in data entry increases the time Crime Analysis employees can devote to analyze the data.

The LCAP program is now able to be customized in order to track unique incident characteristics. Analysts can also change or add fields to track to keep pace with the changing elements of crimes committed in the County. As a result, the Crime Analysis Section has provided valuable assistance in order to clear cases.

For his outstanding and dedicated efforts on this project, Mike Leedy has earned the Distinguished Contribution to the Profession Award.

 

EXCEPTIONAL PERFORMANCE

Sergeant Allen Meyer

Sergeant Allen Meyer

Detective Gary Childs

Detective Gary Childs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On April 20, 2000, the Department was called to respond to a home on Codd Avenue in Dundalk. Upon arrival at the scene, officers found a subject sitting on the floor holding the body of his 24-year-old girlfriend, Heidi Bernadzikowski. According to the subject, he had dropped off Heidi at their home several hours earlier and left to run several errands. The subject returned home and found her with fatal injuries, lying on the living room floor.

Detective Allen Meyer, who was recently assigned to the Homicide Unit, was assigned to investigate the case. He interviewed the subject, who provided a uniquely detailed alibi for the hours after dropping off Heidi. Because there was no forced entry and nothing appeared to be stolen, the subject was interviewed extensively. The subject did not make any incriminating admissions. Shortly after the murder, Detective Meyer found out that the subject and the victim had obtained life insurance policies for each other. Also, not long after the murder, the subject went to Heidi’s workplace to inquire about life insurance she had there. These facts only raised Detective Meyer’s suspicion of the involvement of Heidi’s boyfriend.

None of the DNA evidence recovered at the scene resulted in leads to a suspect. Detective Meyer and his partner began to focus on the boyfriend’s associates and contacts who he may have solicited to commit the murder. Throughout his career, Detective Meyer was promoted and re-assigned to other units in the Department. However, he never gave up on Heidi’s case and continued to conduct interviews hoping to obtain new information.

After promotion to sergeant, Detective Meyer was assigned back to the Homicide Unit. Over the years, new methods of testing and analysis had been developed to allow more complete DNA profiles to be developed. In 2011, Sergeant Meyer was notified that the DNA evidence was a match for a specimen taken from a 32-year-old man living in Colorado. The name of this subject had never surfaced during the course of the investigation.

To assist him going forward, Sergeant Meyer assigned Detective Gary Childs, a skilled interrogator with over twenty years’ experience at the Baltimore Police Department, to partner with him to complete the investigation. After finding nothing to link the Colorado subject to Heidi or her boyfriend, they flew to Denver to interview him. Detective Childs interviewed the subject, who advised that he was, in fact, in Baltimore around the time of March-April 2000. The subject said he came to Baltimore to attend a concert with friends, who then abandoned him. He was in the area for almost two months before contacting a friend to ask for assistance in returning to Colorado. When the subject was asked if he had any contact with any women while he was here, he stated that he did not. When asked why then would his DNA be found on a young woman who was murdered, he said he remembered a confrontation involving a woman at a bus stop. During the incident, he advised that she may have scratched him. The subject was shown photographs of several women. He identified two photographs; both photos were of Heidi Bernadzikowski.

This suspect’s friend in Colorado was located and interviewed about the suspect’s story of traveling to Baltimore, being stranded and then calling for help to get home. The story was corroborated. After being pressed further, he advised that soon after his friend returned from Baltimore he said that while there, “I hurt someone really bad; “I think I killed someone”. The suspect was extradited back to Maryland. After being offered a proffer agreement by the State’s Attorney’s Office, the suspect advised that his friend in Colorado had been in contact with someone in Baltimore via the internet. That person was looking for someone to kill his girlfriend. This friend/third subject was the link between the Colorado suspect and Heidi’s boyfriend. The two men were expecting to be paid after Heidi’s boyfriend collected on her insurance policy.

Sergeant Meyer and Detective Childs relentlessly pursued justice for the murder of Heidi Bernadzikowski. From the beginning, then Detective, Meyer suspected Heidi’s boyfriend was responsible for her death. Including the trials of the three conspirators, Sergeant Meyer pursued this case for over 15 years. Sergeant Meyer and Detective Childs expended thousands of man hours, interviewed hundreds of people, executed several search warrants, and monitored hundreds of hours of telephone calls to solve this case.

For their perseverance, persistence and dedicated efforts, which resulted in the ultimate conviction of the three conspirators, Sergeant Allen Meyer and Detective Gary Childs are deserving of the Exceptional Performance Award.

 

EXCEPTIONAL GROUP PERFORMANCE

Sexual Child Exploitation Squad

Sexual Child Exploitation Squad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back Row (L-R): Detective Dana Kaczynski, Detective Christopher J. Raut, Detective Joshua Rees

Front Row (L-R): Detective Christina Childs, Sergeant Kenneth Smith

 

The Sexual Child Exploitation Squad is responsible for the investigation of the sexual exploitation of children via the internet and child pornography. The Squad consists of a sergeant and four detectives who follow-up on reports from patrol officers, investigate cybertips referred by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and plan proactive details to arrest online predators.

In 2015, the Squad conducted 198 investigations and reviewed and investigated 201 cybertips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. As a result of the investigations, the Squad served 97 search warrants and arrested 54 suspects.

The Squad investigated numerous notable cases this past year. To summarize, they included – a suspect who was identified after he placed a hidden camera in a home in which he rented a room. The suspect admitted to recording over 50 videos of the 16-year-old victim and the victim’s 17-year-old girlfriend; a suspect who befriended a 15-year-old girl and would go to her home after her parent left for work. He gave the victim cough syrup and alcohol and would then take pictures of her. The suspect was charged with the production of child pornography and other sex offenses. Also, a suspect was identified after a detective was able to download child pornography from the suspect’s address. After obtaining search warrants for the suspect’s home and workplace, the suspect confessed to viewing and downloading child pornography for several years. Over 250,000 images were recovered from the suspect’s computer and external storage media. The suspect was the leader of a local church youth group.      

During the past year the Squad also began a new initiative, working with the Sex Offender Registration Team (SORT). Squad members accompanied SORT detectives on home visits with sex offenders and conducted computer scans to ensure that the offenders were not using computers to exploit children. In addition to targeting online predators, Squad members conducted numerous internet safety presentations to community groups and school children throughout the year to raise awareness about the dangers of online exploitation.

The investigations conducted by the Squad are routinely complex. This Squad continually leads all law enforcement agencies in the State of Maryland in arrests and search warrants involving these types of crimes, resulting in the removal of sexual predators from the communities in Baltimore County. The Sexual Child Exploitation Squad is frequently used as a model for other agencies in Maryland.

For their exemplary, dedicated efforts in these detailed and complex investigations, the members of the Sexual Child Exploitation Squad are deserving of the Exceptional Group Performance Award.

 

VALOR

POFC William M. Flaherty

POFC William M. Flaherty

POFC Bernardo Tubaya

POFC Bernardo Tubaya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On February 14, 2015, the Maryland State Police (MSP) attempted to stop a vehicle, with a Kentucky license plate, for speeding on southbound I-95, near the Maryland House Travel Plaza. As the vehicle crossed into the northbound lanes of I-95, endangering other drivers, MSP stopped their pursuit and broadcasted information to Baltimore County Police about the suspect vehicle. A short time later, the vehicle was observed on Security Boulevard in the Woodlawn area. A pursuit ensued onto eastbound I-695 involving our officers and the Aviation Team. The suspect vehicle traveled from I-695 onto MD Route 702 in Essex, where it crashed into a civilian vehicle and became disabled at the roundabout at Rt. 702 and Hyde Park Road.

Officer Bernardo Tubaya and Officer William Flaherty approached the vehicle to attempt to arrest the suspect. As they approached the driver’s side door, the suspect produced a handgun and fired a round, striking Officer Flaherty in his left shoulder. Officer Tubaya, who was standing beside Officer Flaherty, immediately recognized the eminent danger to Officer Flaherty and helped him move to safety, out of the line of fire. Officer Tubaya then moved into a position where he, and several other officers, was able to return fire, incapacitating the suspect and eliminating the danger.

Inside the suspect’s vehicle, officers found five handguns (two of which were loaded), a shotgun and a backpack loaded with ammunition. During the course of the investigation at the scene, investigators sent Kentucky law enforcement personnel to the address of the registered owner of the suspect’s vehicle. Receiving no answer at the door of the home, the law enforcement personnel made entry. Inside the home they found the suspect’s mother, father and sister shot to death. The 16-year-old driver was suspected of killing his family and then fleeing to the East Coast in his parents’ car, armed with the firearms and ammunition.        

For their courage and bravery during this incident, Officer Bernardo Tubaya and Officer William M. Flaherty are deserving of the Valor Award.