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St. Mary's Optimists honor local law enforcement

From left to right, Cpl. Rick Starliper, Maryland Natural Resources Police; Cpl. Wesley Tillack, Patuxent River Police Department; Cpl. Brandon Foor, St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Department; Tfc. Christopher Ditoto, Maryland State Police Barrack T; Correctional Officer First Class Michael Labanowski, St. Mary’s County Department of Corrections; BM2 Richard Chandler, U.S. Coast Guard, St. Inigoes Station; and Mr. Daniel White, Esq.,  St. Mary’s County States Attorney’s Office. Behind the award recipients is Maryland South Delaware District Governor Dale Hoffert. Not Pictured : Officer Angelene Colas, St. Mary’s College Public Safety Office.

Leonardtown, MD - On Wednesday evening, May 17, the Optimist Clubs of St. Mary’s County held their annual Respect for Law banquet at the Olde Breton Inn in Leonardtown. The banquet is held to honor a member of each of the law enforcement agencies within the county. Each of the recipients are selected by their agencies or supervisors and have performed “above and beyond” their normal duties or tasking.

In attendance to honor the officers were Maryland State Senator Steven Waugh, State’s Attorney Richard Fritz, Assistant States Attorney Joseph Stanalonis, Sheriff Timothy Cameron, County Commissioners’ President Randy Guy, County Commissioner Thomas Jarboe, the supervisors nominating the award recipients and many members from each of the five optimist clubs in St. Mary’s County. John McKendrew, a past president of the St. Maries/Lexington Park club, was the master of ceremonies for the banquet.

During the ceremonies, both Sheriff Cameron and Mr. Fritz spoke about the unique connections and continued support between the Optimist clubs and the law enforcement agencies. During the year, Optimists and officers partner together for the Shop with a cop programs and Project Graduation. During these events, Optimist Club members and law enforcement officers work directly with the youth of the community to help foster communication and respect between citizens, service clubs, and law enforcement.

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