More than 50 troopers from across Maryland gathered to find out who among them had won the competitions for “Trooper of the Year” and “Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year.”
Maryland Department of State Police Secretary Colonel Thomas E. Hutchins addressed the group of distinguished participants.
“You have set yourselves apart—not in a way to seek attention or fame. Your dedicated efforts have distinguished you as the finest examples of fairness, integrity, and selfless service the Maryland State Police has to offer,” said Col. Hutchins. “You have shown, by example, what it takes to be the very best.”
Hutchins announced Trooper First Class Christopher M. Conner, 30, as the state’s Trooper of the Year. Conner has been a member of the Department for seven years.
The “Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year” for 2004 is Corporal David L. Ruel, 30, an eight-year veteran of the Maryland State Police.
TFC Conner is currently assigned to the Pro-Active Criminal Enforcement (PACE) team, a unit comprised of selected personnel who were chosen to identify potential terrorists, drug couriers, and other organized criminals who traverse Maryland’s interstates. Conner has been a leader on the team since its inception.
During 2004, Conner made 32 criminal apprehensions, with the majority involving felony drug seizures. He participated in removing from the streets more than five pounds of pure heroin; 51 grams of crack cocaine; 10 pounds of powdered cocaine; and 17 pounds of marijuana destined for Baltimore and the surrounding metropolitan area.
In the inaugural “Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year” competition, Cpl Ruel was named the winner. He has since been promoted to sergeant and assigned to the Annapolis Barrack. Even with his administrative and supervisory responsibilities, Ruel was among the top performers in criminal and traffic enforcement.
During 2004, Ruel issued 466 traffic citations, 601 warnings, and made 14 DUI arrests. He also made 31 criminal apprehensions and removed 11 offenders from the street for narcotics violations.
For more information visit www.mdsp.org.