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Maryland State Police News Release

State Police Present Awards For Outstanding Service And Recognize ‘Trooper And Non-Commissioned Officer Of The Year’

(PIKESVILLE, MD) – Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel William Pallozzi today presented awards for outstanding service and recognized sworn and civilian employees of the year at barracks and units throughout the Department, culminating with the announcement of the statewide Trooper, Non-Commissioned Officer, Police Communications Supervisor and Police Communications Operator of the Year for 2018.

The statewide Trooper of the Year award was presented to Trooper First Class Charles Tittle of the North East Barrack, who is now a two-time winner.  The Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year for the Maryland State Police was awarded to Sergeant John Bedell of the Computer Crimes Unit.  The statewide Police Communications Supervisor of the Year award was presented to Police Communications Supervisor Sydney Sarrichio of the Rockville Barrack for the fourth consecutive year.  The 2018 Police Communications Operator of the Year was awarded to Police Communications Operator II Heather Christner of the Cumberland Barrack.

“These awards represent the highest level of performance, achievement, commitment, and dedication,” Colonel Pallozzi said.  “The sworn and civilian employees recognized today exemplify the passion for service to others the members of the Maryland State Police are known for.  Their dedication to duty upholds the highest traditions of this Department and the law enforcement profession.  Their daily concern for others helped make citizens safer on the highways and in their communities across our state.”

During 2018, TFC Tittle responded to 892 calls for service and made 175 warrant arrests, a 56 percent increase over his warrant arrests last year and the most among all Field Operations Bureau troopers. He made 45 adult drug arrests and arrested 34 impaired drivers.  TFC Tittle made almost 1,000 traffic stops and issued 2,318 citations, which were 20 percent of all citations issued by barrack troopers at North East. He is a certified commercial vehicle inspector and performed 32 inspections last year.

Described by a commander as “undeniably one of the hardest working and most reliable troopers at the North East Barrack,” TFC Tittle is frequently requested by the Criminal Enforcement Division, Gang Unit, Drug Enforcement Division, Warrant Apprehension Team, and the Cecil County Drug Task Force to assist with investigations due to his knowledge, experience and performance in high profile criminal and drug-related cases.

TFC Tittle was the statewide Trooper of the Year winner for 2016.  He was also the Maryland State Police Alumni Association Trooper of the Year that same year.

The Maryland State Police “Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year” award is presented to the one supervisor whose performance has exceeded all others.  Sergeant John Bedell is assigned to the Maryland State Police Computer Crimes Unit and is accurately described as an “overachiever.” He serves as the supervisor of the Digital Forensic Laboratory and is responsible for all training, recertification, and scheduling for unit personnel.

Sgt. Bedell is a supervisor known for working as hard, or harder, than his subordinates.  In addition to supervising the unit, he continues to be an active digital forensic examiner.  He responded to more search warrants and handled more lab cases in 2018, than any other member of the lab.

Sergeant Bedell was chosen for a team to oversee acquisition of a mobile digital forensic laboratory, totaling nearly $500,000.  His opinions proved invaluable to the successful vendor approval and to the chosen vendor throughout the development of the mobile lab.

When especially challenging investigations are initiated, Sergeant Bedell is usually specifically requested to assist. He helped law enforcement and other government agencies at the local, state and federal levels in 2018.

Sergeant Bedell regularly provides assistance to more than just his assigned unit. Troopers, supervisors and commanders from divisions and units within each Department bureau regularly contact him with questions because they respect his opinion and they know that he will expeditiously respond.        His technology skills are unmatched.  He has designed computer programs and web applications used by units within every bureau of the State Police that collect, analyze and report information, schedule personnel, or automate a variety of other important functions.    He has been a member of the Mobile Field Force Serial Team since its inception and remains an active drug recognition expert, responding to requests throughout the state.

Commanders say Police Communications Operator II Heather Christner excels in her position as a police communications operator who has extensive training in processing 911 calls and experience that gives her the insight to properly prioritize “hot” calls.  Her calm demeanor and relaxed personality give her the ability to effectively handle hysterical callers during life threatening emergencies.  She is polite and courteous to all callers. She is greatly respected by barrack staff for her abilities and communications knowledge.

One of the more challenging situations PCO Christner handled last year involved a victim who  called when her home was broken into by an armed individual.  PCO Christner kept the caller on the line, obtained vital information, dispatched troopers, and maintained her professionalism throughout a barricade situation that ended with the suspect’s suicide.

PCO Christner volunteers her service as a member of the Maryland State Police Critical Incident Response Team and uses her experience to help other first responders in their time of need.  She also serves as a volunteer with the Bittinger Volunteer Fire Department.

Police Communications Supervisor Sydney Sarrichio began his career with the State Police as an intern at the Rockville Barrack. He became a fulltime employee in 2007.  He continued his studies and earned a master’s degree in criminal justice.

PCS Sarrichio speaks three languages and is often called upon to assist troopers interacting with non-English speaking individuals who call or visit the barrack.  In addition to his supervisory responsibilities, he is constantly willing to work overtime assignments and never delegates work he would not do himself.  PCS Sarrichio has incredible time management skills and continually takes on assignments not normally assigned to a communications dispatcher.  He assumed duties as the supply supervisor and maintains supplies at the barrack.

Just one example of his dedication to duty last year occurred when an 83-year-old man who spoke only Russian was found walking along I-270.  PCS Sarrichio searched several databases and identified a possible relative.  He was able to obtain a photo and send it to the trooper on the scene, which aided significantly in the ultimate return of the man to his family.

About 50 members of the Maryland State Police and allied law enforcement agencies were presented with awards for outstanding service.  They included lifesaving awards, Superintendent’s Commendations, and Superintendent’s Salutes.


2018 Trooper of the Year – Trooper First Class Charles Tittle


2018 Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year – Sergeant John Bedell


2018 Police Communications Supervisor of the Year – PCS Sydney Sarrichio

2018 Police Communications Operator of the Year – PCO II Heather Christner


CONTACT:    Greg Shipley – Office of Media Communications – 410-653-4236