Several St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office law enforcement officers and civilians were recognized and commended for their service at the 18th Annual St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Awards Banquet.
Included for the first time at the ceremony were Great Mills High School Unit Citations for the response to a student shooting at Great Mills High School on March 20, 2018, which took the life of 16-year-old Jaelynn Willey and left 14-year-old Desmond Barnes injured.
Members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Baltimore Field Division, Bay District Volunteer Fire Department, Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, Charles County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Maryland State Police, Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office and St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office were awarded unit citations at the ceremony held at the Bay District Volunteer Fire Department on Friday, May 18, 2018.
Their supporting actions after the shooting at Great Mills High School went above and beyond the call of duty and were in keeping with the finest traditions of public service.
Sheriff Tim Cameron presented the Willey family with a Great Mills High School Unit Citation in loving remembrance of their daughter Jaelynn.
Great Mills High School Teacher Jenna Costello was also presented with a Great Mills High School Unit Citation and Lifesaving Award for her immediate and heroic actions in the attempt to save and sustain the life of Jaelynn Willey. Sheriff Cameron said, “Jenna was Jaelynn’s best possible chance of survival” until Emergency Medical Services personnel could arrive.
Several other awards and recognitions were given at the Sheriff’s Office Awards Banquet.
Deputy First Class Blaine Gaskill was awarded the Bronze Medal of Valor. Gaskill, a School Resource Officer at Great Mills High School, responded with immense bravery and determination, placing himself in grave danger to stop the attack on March 20, 2018, saving the lives of students and staff.
|Major Michael Merican, DFC Blaine Gaskill and his son and Sheriff Tim Cameron|
Corporal William Ray was named Deputy Sheriff of the Year for 2017. As a founding member of the Lexington Park Community Oriented Policing Unit, Ray has been intrinsic in formulating operational solutions to various community and commercial problems. Ray has been a driving force in establishing meaningful partnerships with local schools, churches and many other human service organizations.
Correctional Officer First Class Patrick Britt was named the Correctional Officer of the Year for 2017. Britt promotes positive interaction with his coworkers, supervisors, community and inmate population.
Ashley Knight was named Civilian Employee of the Year for 2017. In June 2017 she was promoted to Patrol Administrative Coordinator. While still learning her new position, she volunteered for numerous additional shifts as a station clerk, including nights and weekends.
|Sheriff Tim Cameron and Ashley Knight, Patrol Administrative Coordinator|
Corporal Brian Connelly, Corporal James Stone, Deputy Daniel Sidorowicz, Corporal John Kirkner and Correctional Office First Class Ryan Goodwin were awarded for meritorious actions at the ceremony.
|Sheriff Tim Cameron and Dep. Daniel Sidorowicz|
|Sheriff Tim Cameron and CFC Ryan Goodwin|
Lifesaving awards were bestowed to Deputy First Class David Lawrence, Corporal Timothy Snyder, Deputy First Class Vincent Pontorno, Deputy First Class Rozier Steinbach, Deputy Shawn Bowie and Corporal Shawn Cathcart.