Harford County Sheriff’s Office Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey wore badge number 186. His son, Deputy Tyler Dailey, will wear number 1186.
Senior Deputy Dailey, along with Deputy First Class Mark Logsdon, were killed in the line of duty Feb. 10, 2016, in and near the Panera Bread restaurant in Abingdon.
Tyler Dailey was among the 19 recruits — 12 from the Harford Sheriff’s Office, five from Cecil County Sheriff’s Office and two from Elkton Police Department — in Entrance Level 34 to graduate the Harford Sheriff’s Office Training Academy Thursday night.
“To me, there is no greater honor than to become a deputy sheriff. And above all, I want to thank my biggest inspiration, the reason I’m standing here today, my role model, the best friend and teacher I ever had, the person who I would give anything to have here with me today, my dad,” Dailey said as the valedictorian of his class. “All I ever wanted to do was bring honor to my family name.”
Harford Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler knew Senior Deputy Dailey for 30 years before he was killed.
“He would be proud,” Gahler said. “To see Tyler accomplish this, take the next step forward in his career, I think Pat would be, as any father, very, very proud.”
Dailey was the Sheriff’s Office’s first cadet, a program that started in July 2017. It has been proposed already, but when Gahler realized Dailey was planning to go to Baltimore County Police as a cadet, he and Harford County Executive Barry Glassman found funding to start the program with one cadet.
“I was so proud that day and I’m equally proud today to see his path continue,” Gahler said.
As valedictorian of EL 34, Dailey talked about the team they had become.
“We learned to work together because one day, our lives may depend on each other,” he said.
Their class motto was “here we are, send us.”
“Because we applied to this profession to be the first line of defense against evil as the prey on the innocent in our communities and our country,” Dailey said. "None of us here want to sit back and do nothing. We are go-getters and we are willing to fight. We all made it through this together and even though our uniforms may be different colors, we are one family.”
In addition to being the valedictorian of the class and being chosen by his fellow recruits for the Class Leadership Award, Dailey was presented with a lifesaving award for his efforts last month, Gahler said. No one in the agency could recall a recruit has earned an award before earning his badge, he said.
DFC Michael Burgess responded to a call July 14 on Philadelphia Road in Abingdon in which a woman was suffering from cardiac arrest, according to Training Director Lt. Mark Fox.
Burgess began CPR and Dailey, who was off-duty and out of uniform, stopped to render aid, as did Deputy Christian Nadeau, who assisted with an AED and airway management. The woman had regained her pulse and was conscious before being taken to a local hospital.
Both deputies and Dailey were presented with the Lifesaving Awards at Thursday’s ceremony.
The only woman in the class, Deputy Tarah Zimmerman, was presented with the Top Shot award, the recruit who was most proficient in firearm use.
Another graduate is also a product of the Sheriff’s Office. Deputy John Perry is the son of Sgt. Kenneth Perry, in the office of professional responsibility.
“It’s always nice to see those in the family line continue in the footsteps of the generation before,” Gahler said.
The sheriff spoke to the recruits, congratulating them on reaching their graduation day after a long 28 weeks of classes, physical and mental training, learning to work as a team and “proving your commitment and intestinal fortitude," Gahler said.
As the recruits recited their oath in front of family and friends, Gahler urged them to think about the words they were saying.
“It’s a promise to yourself, a commitment to everyone you touch in the days, the months, the years ahead,” Gahler said. “It’s your commitment to do your very best every single day to provide the services of your office with courage, honor and integrity — this is what our citizens deserve every day.”
He encouraged them to make a difference each day and to go about their duties with “every ounce of effort and compassion.”
“These experiences will indeed be so very rewarding at times and so heartbreaking at other times, but in each instance, a time to make a difference,” Gahler said. “My hope for you is a long, safe and successful career.”
Congressman Andy Harris, who gave the commencement address, told the recruits that choosing to serve is honorable.
He asked them to find a community place along their routine patrol, where they can stop daily and have conversations with the public and establish relationships in the community, and to show compassion, whether it’s to someone who’s injured, to a victim or a lost child.
“You also need to show courage,” Harris said, and maintain the line between order and chaos.
After 28 weeks in the academy, the 12 Sheriff’s Office graduates had the weekend off before reporting for their first shifts Monday.
They will be paired with senior deputies for 12 weeks working rotating shifts and precincts to learn the ropes, Gahler said. They’ll also spend time at the Emergency Operations Center and the Harford County Detention Center. Then they’ll be assigned shifts on their own, he said.
Harford sheriff’s deputies graduated included David Claridge, Jason Landsverk, Austin Leibforth, Alex Mansell, Justin Meistering, Joshua Mueller, Ryan Neuberger, Garrett Rach and Logan Thumma.
Cecil County Sheriff’s deputies were Nathan Cryder, Matthew Imming, Alexander Kerns, Dontae Odom and Carter Pries.
Elkton Police Department officers were Jeffrey Chandler and Kyle Thomas.