It was a joyous Tuesday night at the Dover Police Department as they celebrated career milestones of promoted officers and stories of bravery and heroism of others. The night began with the department’s Honor Guard presenting the colors to the spine-tingling sounds of the Dover Police and Fire Department’s Pipes and Drums Unit. Honorary Captain and Chaplain of the Dover Police Department opened the ceremony with his invocation, followed by words from Chief James Hosfelt and Dover Mayor Carleton Carey.
The first portion of the ceremony honored officers who have been promoted. The first promotion was Lt. Marvin Mailey. Mailey has served with the Dover Police Department for twenty years and has served in numerous capacities for the Dover Police Department during that time. He will now hold the rank of Lieutenant and serve as the Internal Affairs officer for the department.
Sgt. Todd Case was honored for his recent promotion to the rank of Sergeant. Case has also served twenty years with the Dover Police Department, spending much of his time in the Criminal Investigations and Juvenile Units. He will now serve as a Patrol Shift Supervisor for the department.
MCpl. Jeffrey Davis was honored for his promotion to the Master Corporal rank. Davis has served 18 years with the Dover Police Department, spending his time between the patrol unit and Community Policing Unit. Davis will continue to serve in the Community Policing Unit, as a unit supervisor.
Cpl. Thomas Hannon was honored for his promotion to Corporal. Hannon has served with the department for 8 years, spending time in the Patrol, Quality of Life, and TAC units. Cpl. Hannon will continue to serve in the TAC unit for the department.
Cpl. Christopher Bumgarner earned the rank of Corporal as well. Bumgarner is an 8 year veteran of the Dover Police Department, and had served with the United States Capitol Police prior to joining the Dover Police Department. Bumgarner will continue to serve as the Gang Intelligence Officer for the department.
Cpl. Peter Martinek was honored for his promotion to the rank of Corporal. Martinek has also served 8 years with the Dover Police Department and is a former Officer of the Year recipient. Martinek will continue to serve in the Quality of Life/Community Policing Unit for the department.
Cpl. Jason Pfeiffer also earned the rank of Corporal for the Dover Police Department. Pfeiffer is an 8 year veteran on the force and has served the last 4 years on the Special Enforcement Unit-Motorcycle Division, where he will continue to serve as a Corporal.
Pfc. Terrence Knight earned the rank of Patrolman First Class for the Dover Police Department. Knight is a 3 year veteran for the department, and currently serves on the Patrol Unit, where he will continue to serve at the rank of Patrolman First Class.
The awards ceremony also honored officers for acts of heroism, bravery, and superior service to the Dover community. Several officers from the “A” Platoon Patrol Unit received Distinguished Unit Commendations for their handling of several incidents:
On May 24, 2013 at approximately 2:30 in the morning, Officer Willson was patrolling the area of S. New St when he observed a group of 15-20 subjects loitering in front of 132 S. New St. Officers gathered to monitor the situation and observed a subject with dread locks enter a silver vehicle and place what they believed to be a handgun in his right rear pocket. They watched him hop the fence and head to toward S. Queen St. Officers then watched a second individual with dread lock go to the same vehicle a remove a long slender item from the trunk which they believed to be a shotgun or rifle. They watched him hand off this weapon to a third subject. Members of “A” Platoon, believing that a shooting was about to take place, sprang into action. Officers encountered these three suspects in the rear alley between New and Queen Streets and all three fled on foot. Two officers chased one of the suspects and after a lengthy foot pursuit apprehended the suspect who was found to be in possession of a loaded .38 caliber Taurus revolver. The suspect also had 5 additional rounds in his pocket. Three other officers chased and apprehended the second suspect who upon being contacted, threw down a pair of blue jeans which had a loaded sawed off shotgun concealed inside also with additional rounds of ammunition.
The third subject was apprehended by Officer Willson who upon a search located a pair of latex gloves in his pocket, which he had used in an effort to avoid leaving fingerprints. Further evidence that these 3 suspects were about to commit a violent crime.
On April, 26, 2013 officers from the “A” Platoon Patrol unit were patrolling Manchester Square when they observed a car with its lights on and two subjects slumped down in the seats acting suspicious. Officers contacted them and found one to be wanted. Upon obtaining consent to search the vehicle, officers located 19 bundles consisting of 359 bags of heroin inside a purse. The recovered a total of 10.77 grams of heroin. The female whom the purse belonged to, was inside a residence and upon seeing the officers ran back inside. She was ultimately apprehended and charged for the drugs.
On August 10, 2013 officers from A Platoon responded to Capitol Green for a report of shots fired after Dover Police Dispatchers received numerous calls of gunfire. MCpl. Sherwood was first to arrive to the area and observed a subject walking. When this subject saw the police car he immediately fled to a residence in the 500 block of River Rd. MCpl. Sherwood then observed a large amount of money lying on the porch. MCpl. Sherwood then talked his way into the residence called for other units to respond. He gained cooperation with a female resident who told him that three subjects were inside the house. Officers from A Platoon apprehended all three and also recovered two .22 caliber handguns which the suspects had hidden in the ceiling in the basement of the residence.
The very next day, A Platoon responded to Whatcoat Apartments for a subject reporting he had a gun pointed at him. Officers made contact with one of the victims who advised that a male subject known only by the nickname “Dubb”, had pointed a gun at him after an altercation in the Hamlet parking lot. He stated the suspect chambered a round and pointed the gun at both him and his brother. Officers tracked the suspect to a residence on Heritage Dr and were able to make contact with him by phone. He surrendered to officers. Upon a search of the residence, officers located a Glock-9mm on the kitchen table.
On August 19th members of A Platoon would respond to Whatcoat Apartments again for a report of a man waiving a gun around. Dispatchers received this call and immediately put out the description and particulars of the location, which happened to be near a gold colored Chevy Suburban. Officers arrived and cleared the suburban to find it unoccupied. It would have been easy for these officers to just clear and move on to the next complaint at this time. However, they decided to walk inside building 992, where they heard yelling from an upstairs apartment. The approached the commotion and an encountered a subject who upon a pat-down, officers located a 9mm handgun in his waistband. He was taken into custody and charged.
As you can see, this collective effort and teamwork demonstrated by members of A Platoon made the streets of Dover safer. For their efforts, they will receive the Distinguished Unit Commendation.
Recipients of the Distinguished Unit Commendations were:
Sgt. David Spicer (2)
MCpl. Brian Sherwood (2)
MCpl. Harvey Jaksch
Pfc. Joseph Bauer (2)
Pfc. James Piazza
Pfc. Krista Roosa (2)
Pfc. John M. Willson (2)
Ptlm. Matthew Krogh (2)
Ptlm. Ryan Schmid (2)
Ptlm. Anthony Griffin
Ptlm. James Wood (2)
Dispatcher Mark Hall (2)
Dispatcher Lee Jackson
Dispatcher Steven Kolodjeski
Perhaps the highlight of the night was when the department honored three officers with the Life Saving Commendation. Cpl. Mark Hoffman, Pfc. Terrence Knight, and Ptlm. Brian Berns were honored with the award for saving the life of Vera Paynter. Paynter called 911 and advised she was choking and could not breathe. Officers were dispatched to a residence in the Towne Point development. Cpl. Hoffman and the medical team began knocking and yelling into the residence they were advised the call came from. There was no answer and Hoffman forced entry, only to find the resident to be okay. It turned out that the dispatch center had obtained incorrect information. The dispatchers attempted to call the number back, but there was no answer. Officers Knight and Berns then arrived on scene and the decision was made by the three officers to check door-to-door. A short time later, the officers were notified to check another address, just a few houses from their location. When the officers arrived and made entry, they found Ms. Paynter on the floor and unable to breathe. First aid was rendered and the officers were able to dislodge the object that Ms. Paynter had been choking on. Ms. Paynter was in attendance at the ceremony and chose to speak, thanking the department and the officers who saved her life that day. The officers were reunited with Ms. Painter at the front of the room and exchanged hugs prior to receiving their Life Saving Commendation. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room upon hearing Ms. Paynter’s story and thanks. It truly was a great moment to be witnessed and an excellent end to a night that celebrated Dover’s finest and their service to the community.
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