At a ceremony held March 2, superintendent of the Delaware State Police, Col. Nathaniel McQueen Jr., announced the winners of the annual Trooper of the Year and Civilian of the Year awards.
To help recognize the significance of the ceremony several distinguished guests were also in attendance to offer congratulatory remarks. They included Gov. John C. Carney Jr., Chief Deputy Attorney General Alexander Mackler and Acting Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security Kimberly Chandler.
Each year, the Delaware State Police executive staff selects one trooper for the Trooper of the Year Award. To be nominated, a trooper must exceed performance standards and be recognized by his or her peers, as one who epitomizes the core values of the division: honor, integrity, courage, loyalty, attitude, discipline and service.
This year, 11 troopers were nominated; out of those nominees, the executive staff selected a corporal first class, name withheld, who was honored for his outstanding efforts and contributions to the division and the citizens of Delaware. The trooper is assigned to the Troop 3 Criminal Investigations Unit.
His investigative knowledge and work ethic has contributed to the successful prosecution of multiple criminal cases. He works to make Delaware a safer state to live and travel in. He works very well with other investigative units, and other departments both at the local and federal level. When commenting on his achievements, in true form he attributed his success to his fellow troopers.
The trooper was also presented with the Randall Armistead Trooper of the Year Award on behalf of the Delaware State Troopers Association. Presenting the award was Lt. Thomas Brackin, DSTA president.
Other Trooper of the Year nominees were Senior Cpl. Jalal Kelsey, Division of Gaming Enforcement; Master Cpl. John Messick, Intelligence Section; Trooper 1st Class George Justice, Troop 1; Cpl. 1st Sean Rodrigues, Troop 2 Patrol; Cpl. Michael Macauley, Troop 2 CIU; Senior Cpl. Robert Cowden, Troop 4; Trooper 1st Class William Schuele, Troop 5; Cpl. Michael Adkins, Troop 6; Cpl. 1st John Wilson, Troop 7; and Cpl. Stephen Douglas, Troop 9.
Each year the Delaware State Police executive staff also selects one civilian employee for the Civilian of the Year Award. Civilian employees who are nominated for this award display outstanding performance and meet the following criteria: exceptional service as identified by the employee’s performance evaluations; a consistent record of such service through their years of employment; and recognition by their peers for outstanding character and integrity.
This year, eight Delaware State Police civilian employees were nominated for the award, and the executive staff of the Delaware State Police selected Victim Services Specialist Corrie Schmitt as the 2019 Civilian of the Year.
Schmitt has been with the victim services unit since 2007 and is known to consistently go above and beyond. In 2019, she was asked to take on a larger area of jurisdiction which included much more responsibility, two additional troops and six additional municipal departments. The typical caseload for a victim specialist can range from 40-50 cases a month. Schmitt began handling almost double that amount averaging approximately 80 cases per month. In two different months, she handled 100 cases.
Other Civilian of the Year nominees were Joe Mulford, Headquarters Communications; Katie Pena, Headquarters Communications; Lawrence Parker, communications, Regional Communications Center; Nicole Rovira, communications RECOM; Ryan Welch, communications, Kent County Communications Center; Brandi Ober, communications Sussex County Communications Center; and Richard Daniels, Troop 9.
In addition to the Trooper and Civilian of the Year, troopers were presented with the Exceptional Performance Award and Lifesaving Award.
Exceptional Performance Award winners were Cpl. Randel Abrenica; Cpl. Corey Bastianelli; Cpl. Michael Brent; Senior Cpl. Todd Buchert; Trooper Jermaine Cannon; Senior Cpl. James Dempsey; Cpl. Jenny Gleim; Trooper Hasan Halis; Senior Cpl. Bridget Harris; Cpl. Michael Harrison; Trooper 1st Class George Justice; Trooper 1st Class Kathleen Koff; Master Cpl. Craig Lewis; Cpl. Rosendo Luna-Lopez; Cpl. Logan Pavlik; Cpl. Sean Rodrigues; Corrie Schmitt; Trooper William Schuele; Master Cpl. Ed Sebastianelli; Trooper Zachery Sherwood; and Patrolman Brandon Smith, Laurel Police Department.
Lifesaving Award recipients were Cpl. Jason Aviola; Trooper 1st Class Casey Breidigan; Officer Chelsea Chillas, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control; Officer Joshua Churchill, P&P; Cpl. Everett Eschbach; Master Cpl. Justin Galloway; Cpl. Christopher Garcia; Trooper Patrick Gaskin; Trooper Trevor Greenwalt; Trooper 1st Class Eric Gumbs; Trooper 1st Class Jennifer Hastings; Cpl. Donald Hickman, Trooper Dean Johnson, Pfc. Ashley Little, Laurel PD; Senior Cpl. Matthew Long; Cpl. Rosendo Luna-Lopez; Cpl. Robert Mitchell; Trooper Cody Moyer; Cpl. Sean Murray; Cpl. 1st Class Christopher Nicholson; Officer Thomas Passwaters, DNREC; Trooper Kyle Perry; Officer Jamier Powell, Camden PD; Agent Frank Robinson, Department of Justice; Cpl. John Scaramazza; Trooper William Schuele; Trooper 1st Class Matthew Skidmore; Trooper 1st Class Jordan Smith; Cpl. Robert Spanier; Cpl. Zachary Spudis; Trooper Anthony Stimac; and Cpl. William Wallace.