County Sheriff Kenneth Tregoning announced that the annual Carroll County Sheriff's Office Personnel Awards were presented to the following recipients in recognition of their commitment to public service and exemplary performance:
• Sgt. Thomas Hoffa, commander of the Sheriff's Office Court Security Division, was named Deputy of the Year. Hoffa's position requires a balance of diplomacy, sound judgment and supervisory skills in order to provide for the safe and efficient management of security for Carroll County Circuit Court and prisoner detention for District Court. His work ethic, attitude, dedication, commitment and personal demeanor personify the true meaning of the award, according to the sheriff's office.
• Correctional Officer III Michael Boyd was selected as Correctional Officer of the Year for the Carroll County Detention Center. An employee with the Carroll County Detention Center since 2007, Boyd is currently assigned to the Security Services Bureau. His supervisors consider him highly motivated with personal attributes and skills that made him an outstanding candidate for selection as an instructor, according to the office.
• The Civilian Employee of the Year is Gwen Bell, an administrative secretary with 14 years of service with the Carroll County Sheriff's Office. During her tenure with the Domestic Violence Unit and Sex Offender Registry, she has received the highest performance ratings in all categories on every performance appraisal. As administrative secretary for the Domestic Violence Unit, she processes and tracks critical documents and interviews victims and witnesses of domestic violence. Her knowledge of victim's rights, as well as the regulations and procedures regarding situations of domestic violence help her to communicate professionally and effectively with victims, the courts, the State's Attorney's Office and agencies. Her grant management and professional job skills are also utilized as the administrative secretary for the Sex Offender Registry, which oversees and registers all sex offenders in the county, according to the office.
• Correctional Specialist Colby Brewer of the Pretrial Services Unit was chosen as the Carroll County Detention Center Civilian Employee of the Year. Brewer interacts with offenders assigned to Pretrial Services in a skillful, tactful, and professional manner. He treats those assigned to Pretrial Services with respect and communicates effectively without being demeaning or confrontational. Brewer is quick to identify and take action when offenders appear to pose a risk to themselves or others, according to the office..
• The Auxiliary Officer of the Year is Chaplain Patricia Geyer. "Chaplain Pat" has logged thousands of hours of volunteer service and is available to law enforcement officers and county residents 24 hours a day, seven days a week. She has assisted and counseled more than 125 family members and friends after the death of a loved one, with 10 of those family members young children who had been directly exposed to trauma or extreme situations involving varying stages of grief. Her training, spirit, sense of community service, enthusiasm and compassion help her play a vital role in crisis intervention within the agency and community.
The press release from the sheriff's office noted that Geyer was recently deployed to Connecticut after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In addition to providing spiritual and emotional support for the families of the victims and funeral attendants, she was also asked to aid the first responders who had been directly exposed to the trauma associated with the tragedy.