Troopers at the Maryland State Police Westminster barracks were among those earning citations and promotions from the law enforcement agency during its annual awards ceremony in Pikesville.
The Carroll County Drug Task Force earned a unit citation for excellence for its work last year. The unit - composed of state troopers, Westminster police officers, county sheriff's deputies and prosecutors in the county state's attorney's office - conducted nearly 200 investigations and made 121 arrests last year.
The task force recovered thousands of dollars in drugs and assets, and 12 deadly weapons. The unit has seven state officers assigned to it, but two others who have been moved to other assignments were also recognized during Wednesday's ceremony, said Capt. Scott Yinger, commander of the Westminster barracks.
"It's one of the most active task forces in the state," Yinger said.
Also honored with a unit citation for excellence, general performance, professionalism and exceptional standards were the troopers who cover the Mount Airy area.
The Mount Airy troopers were Sgt. Palmer Grotte and Tfcs. Chris Heid, Wesley Herman, Paul Schur and Daniel Pickett.
A group who helped apprehend three robbery suspects in Eldersburg last winter were also recognized. Pfc. Shawn Kilgore of the Sykesville Police Department, Ed Ruch of the state fire marshal's office in Sykesville and resident Brant Howard assisted state police Cpl. Charles Hahn, Tfc. Anthony Riley, Trooper Shane Buzzard, Trooper Michael Myers and Trooper Candidate Joyce Watkins make the arrests.
"They were all involved in the apprehension ... at Blockbuster Video Feb. 2," Yinger said. "The arrests involved a foot chase and were made with no injury or incident."
A similar robbery at Pizza Hut a few days before "had police on alert in the area, so we had an immediate response to Blockbuster. Troopers were on the scene within a minute," Yinger said.
Nine officers from the barracks were promoted from trooper to trooper first class. They were Kenneth Cain, Gary Masimore, Daniel Pickett, Mike Myers, Shane Bussard, Ronald Menchey, Charles Rankin, Conrad Smith and Eric Gregson.
Tfc. Tracy Hart was promoted to corporal and transferred from the Golden Ring barracks to Westminster.
Also representing Carroll County at the awards ceremony was Tfc. Scott Zimmerman, trooper of the year for the Westminster barracks.
"We have outstanding troopers here," Yinger said. "They all were well-deserved awards."