Deputy Michael A. Zepp was honored as the 2001 Deputy of the Year in ceremonies yesterday at the Carroll County sheriff's office.
Zepp, 31, joined the department three years ago after serving as a Taneytown police officer. Last year, he made 43 arrests for drunken driving and had 25 criminal arrests, including 15 drug charges, said Sheriff Kenneth L. Tregoning.
"Deputy Zepp is a very conscientious, sincere, dedicated and aggressive law enforcement officer, and he is multifaceted in his approach to law enforcement: equally good at traffic enforcement as well as criminal enforcement, including the narcotics laws," Tregoning said.
The sheriff also awarded commendations yesterday to a Maryland State Police trooper and a deputy whose investigative skills led to the arrest Thursday in East Baltimore of a man who had escaped Jan. 23 from Springfield Hospital Center in Sykesville.
Tregoning praised Deputy Bruce T. VanLeuvan and Cpl. Alfred A. "Andy" Eways of the Westminster barracks of the state police for developing information that led to the recapture of Craig William Hann, 24, who was at the hospital for mental evaluation pending trial in 70 burglaries in Carroll.
VanLeuvan, Eways and a task force that included state police and Baltimore officers made the arrests without incident after hundreds of man hours searching for the fugitive, said Lt. Terry L. Katz, Westminster barracks commander.
The sheriff also recognized Cpl. Hillard R. Fritz and Deputy Robert Sokolinski, both nominated for the Deputy of the Year honor.
In addition to other investigations, Fritz was nominated for an arrest after a traffic stop and the seizure of a large quantity of club or rave drugs and more than $2,000 in cash.
Sokolinski brought his partner, Guiness, a brown Labrador retriever, to the ceremony. The dog helps enforce drug laws and also demonstrates police dog work to the public.