Media Advisory: 5th Grade Safety Patrol Member to Receive Lifesaving Award

What:  Captain Thomas Didone, MCP Traffic Director, to present Director’s Lifesaving Award to Jarius Taylor who is a 5th Grader and a member of the School Safety Patrol for Flower Valley Elementary School.

When:  Today, Tuesday, June 12 at 1:45 p.m.

Where:  Flower Valley Elementary School located at 4615 Sunflower Drive in Rockville.

On April 26, Jarius Taylor was monitoring the intersection of Baur Drive and Lake Drive in Rockville when an MCPS school bus arrived to pick up kindergarten students at that intersection.  Taylor pulled a kindergarten student, who began to run across the street to board the school bus, to safety when he observed a vehicle traveling on Baur Drive and not slowing after the school bus had activated its red stop lights.  This incident was captured on the school bus video cameras and is being released.




MCPD Detective Recognized by Department of Justice for Exemplary Efforts in Missing Girl Case

MCPD Detective John Witherspoon (holding award) with DOJ Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio.

On Wednesday, May 23, as part of their recognition of National Missing Children’s Day, the Department of Justice presented Montgomery County Police Special Victims Investigations (SVID) Detective John Witherspoon with a Missing Children’s Law Enforcement Award. The award recognizes law enforcement efforts for significant investigative or program contributions to child safety.

Detective Witherspoon was honored for his exemplary efforts in investigating the disappearance of a 15-year-old girl from Gaithersburg who was later found murdered in Fairfax County, Virginia. Once the homicide was confirmed in Fairfax, he continued to work with Fairfax County Police in tracking down ten gang members who played a role in her death. He also provided personal support to the victim’s family; helping to arrange a community memorial service and to ensure their safety during the investigation.

“Detective Witherspoon demonstrated unusual tenacity in tracking down the vicious murderers of a teenage girl, and also showed extraordinary compassion in supporting her family through the investigation,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jesse Panuccio. “The Department commends Detective Witherspoon for his remarkable combination of personal and professional commitment in this case.”

Witherspoon, who has been with the department for nearly 20 years, investigated and assisted in the recovery of 166 missing children last year. Prior to his current assignment as a SVID detective, he served for ten years as a School Resource Officer at Bethesda Chevy-Chase, Paint Branch, Springbrook and Watkins Mill High Schools.

For more details on this award and the other honorees, see the Department of Justice press release.

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MCP Holds Quarterly Award Ceremony

The Montgomery County Police Department held its Quarterly Awards Ceremony earlier today at the Public Safety Headquarters. The awards ceremony featured the presentation of the following awards: Lifesaving, Commendation, Problem-Oriented Policing, the Chief’s Award, and Supervisor of the Year. The award recipients are as follows:

Lifesaving Award – Awarded to an employee who makes a major contribution toward saving the life of another by providing essential medical treatment prior to the arrival of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel.

Lifesaving Award Recipients:

Police Officer II Glenn Altshuler

Police Officer III Brandi Barber

Police Officer II Michelle Barger

Police Officer III James Barnes

Sergeant Alfred Dzenkowski

Police Officer III Nicholas Hoornstra

Sergeant Douglas Miller

Crossing Guard Pauling Miller

Sergeant James Rudnick

Police Officer III Emily Zupancic

A Commendation –  Awarded to an employee who makes a significant contribution to the mission of the department beyond the ordinary call of duty. It recognizes those incidents wherein the member’s courage, resourcefulness, tenacity, and/or perseverance in the performance of the employee’s duties has resulted in the protection of life or property, the prevention of a major crime, or the apprehension of an armed and dangerous criminal.

Commendation Recipients:

Forensic Specialist I Tiffany Brooks

Forensic Specialist II Kristine Calcara

Detective Fernando Carvajal

Detective Natalie Gwin

Detective Sergeant Lawrence Haley

Police Officer III Charles Heffley

Forensic Specialist II Jennifer Karschner

Forensic Specialist I Amanda Kraemer

Forensic Specialist I LaShon Perkins

Detective Dimitry Ruvin

Detective Frank Springer

Detective Beverly Then

Problem-Oriented Policing Award – The Problem-Oriented Policing Award is designed to recognize a person or group, who has gone above and beyond the person’s normal duties in the spirit of community policing.

Problem-Oriented Policing Award Recipient:

Police Officer II Brock Dulko

Chief’s Award – The Chief’s Award will be awarded by the Chief of Police to employees who exemplify the highest standards of service to the community by virtue of their diligence, dedication, and character.

Chief’s Award Recipient:

Sergeant Jonathan Green


Supervisor of the Year Award:

Sworn: Sergeant Paul Bandholz

Civilian: Spencer Kelly

Congratulations to all of the recipients.



Assistant Chief Luther Reynolds Retiring with 29 Years of Dedicated Service; Beginning New Role as Charleston South Carolina’s Police Chief

Assistant Chief Luther Reynolds

On April 9, 2018, Montgomery County Police Assistant Chief Luther Reynolds will complete his last tour of duty after 29 years of service with the Montgomery County Police Department.  He will become the City of Charleston (South Carolina) Police Department’s new Police Chief on April 16.

Assistant Chief Reynolds grew up in Gaithersburg and attended Seneca Valley High School.  Upon graduating from Florida State University in 1988, Luther Reynolds was hired by the Department as a civilian employee handling budgets and planning and policy issues. He entered the police academy in August of 1989.

His first assignment was as a patrol officer in the 5th Police District, which at that time combined coverage of both the Gaithersburg and Germantown areas. Reynolds rose through the ranks from Patrol Officer to Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain/Commander, to Assistant Chief.

Through the years, he has served in many positions to include Deputy Director of the 4th District, Commander of the 2nd District and 5th District, Director of the Personnel Division, Director of the Training and Education Division, and Director of the Special Operations Division. Since his appointment to an Assistant Chief in 2013, he has served as Chief of two bureaus: the Management Services Bureau and currently the Patrol Services Bureau.

Chief Tom Manger, commenting on Assistant Chief Reynolds’ retirement and future endeavor, said, “Charleston is getting one phenomenal police chief!  Chief Luther Reynolds has served Montgomery County with a commitment that is unsurpassed.   His genuine care for the public and for his troops has made him an outstanding leader.   He will remain a leading voice for our Nation’s law enforcement.”

“Montgomery County has been very good to me and my family.  We love the diversity, the proximity to D.C., the collaborative nature of government, and the strong support of policing and public safety.  This is a highly educated community filled with lots of very good people and leaders,” said Reynolds.  “I leave with the greatest respect for the men and women of the Montgomery County Police Department.  It has truly been an honor and pleasure to serve with them.  Chief Manger is an amazing man of much wisdom with regards to leadership and policing, as is Ike Leggett, our County Executive.”

Assistant Chief Reynolds has a Bachelor of Science degree in criminology from Florida State University, a Master’s degree in business from Johns Hopkins University, and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy as well as the FBI’s National Executive Institute. He is a member of the Police Executive Research Forum, International Association of Chiefs of Police, Senior Management Institute for Policing, and the Major Cities Chiefs Association.

Assistant Chief Reynolds, his wife Caroline, and their 21-year-old son Luke and 18-year-old daughter Grace have lived in Gaithersburg.

The Police Department is indebted to Chief Reynolds for his 29 years of dedicated service both to the Department and to the community, and we wish him great success as the Chief of the City of Charleston Police Department.

44th Annual Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce Public Safety Awards






Today, March 16, the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce recognized local public safety personnel for their acts of bravery and heroism at the 44th Annual Public Safety Awards luncheon.

Congratulations to the following Montgomery County police officers who were honored today:

Chief Bernard D. Crook, Jr. Community Service Award:      

Officer Melissa Coligan

Unit Citations:

Lyon Sisters Disappearance Investigation:                                                            

132 MCPD investigators (some retired and some posthumous awardees) who worked on this case from its inception in 1975 through its resolution in 2017.  Accepting the citation were:

Assistant Chief Russell Hamill

Captain Darren Francke

Captain Sean Gagen

Sergeant Richard Armagost

Sergeant Christopher Homrock

Detective Mark Janney

Detective David Davis

Detective Kathryn Leggett

Detective Frank Colbert

Westfield Wheaton Garage Rescue:                                                                    

Corporal Athanasios Bakalis

Officer Alan Yuill

Officer Michael Giacalone

Officer Kevin Correa

Honorable Mention Valor Awards:

Fourth Floor Bethesda Parking Lot Suicide :                                                                                                     

Officer Vincent Chan

Officer Alex Lanham

Rooftop Arrest :

Sergeant Brian Parker

Officer Sean Brennan                                                                                              

Officer Katelyn Stevens

Officer Eric Houston

Officer James Mirra                                                                                    

Michaels Store Response :                                                                                                          

Officer Charles Ricucci

Officer Gregory Walker

Westfield Wheaton Garage Rescue :                                                                     

Officer Andres Ramirez

Bronze Award:                                                                                                                                                                                     

Rooftop Arrest:                                                                                                         

Officer Brian Nesbitt                                                                                                                                                   For more information on the event and award recipients, see the Chamber of Commerce Public Safety Awards page: MCCCPublicSafetyAwards. See event photos.

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