A pair of Carroll County police officers -- Tfc. Bryan Pearre and Deputy 1st Class Clint Cromwell -- were among 109 nominees honored yesterday at The Sun's annual Police Officer of the Year luncheon.
The nominees, the largest number in the 43-year history of the awards event, represented 15 state and local police and correctional agencies. They were nominated by commanding officers in two categories, for excellence in community service or law enforcement last year.
The grand winners, selected by an independent committee, each received a crystal award and $1,500.
Officer Charles Welter of Montgomery County police earned top honors for community service. In addition to his police work in the Rosemary Hills community, Welter coaches youth soccer, helps in an after-school homework club and volunteers as a counselor for the American Cancer Society's Camp Sunrise.
Officer Kevin J. Allis of Baltimore City police won the top award for law enforcement. In September, Allis was on a call when he responded to the sound of gunshots nearby. Fellow officers and two suspects were exchanging fire during an attempted robbery.
One suspect was wounded. Allis went into the line of fire to pull the wounded suspect to safety.
Both Carroll recipients said they were humbled by their nomination, considering the deeds performed by the other 107 candidates.
Pearre, assigned to the Westminster barracks, also was nominated for the annual award in 1998. Last year, he responded to 1,322 calls for service, issued 1,026 motor vehicle citations and filed 270 criminal charges, including 36 drug arrests.
A trooper for 3 1/2 years, Pearre, 24, used investigative skills to determine the identity of one suspect who offered two sets of identification after a traffic stop on Route 140. The trooper seized cocaine from the man and learned he was wanted on five warrants from Connecticut.
Cromwell, 25, spent 1 1/2 years in the Marine Corps and 2 1/2 years with Taneytown police before becoming a deputy sheriff in 1997.
While on patrol last year, Cromwell issued 512 traffic citations and warnings.
On one occasion, Cromwell stopped to assist an apparent disabled motorist, found cocaine in the vehicle and helped halt an interstate theft ring operating in West Virginia and four northern Maryland counties.