The Dover Police Department 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 sounds of the Dover Police and Fire Department’s Pipes and Drums Unit. Honorary Captain and Chaplain McReedy of the Dover Police Department opened the ceremony with his invocation, followed by words from Chief Paul Bernat and Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen.
The first portion of the ceremony honored officers who have been promoted. The 1st promotion of the evening was Sgt. Anthony Digirolomo. Sgt. Anthony Digirolomo is a 21-year veteran of the Dover Police Department, graduating the Dover Police Academy in July of 1993 and holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Maryland. During his career, he has served on the patrol unit, the TAC Unit, the Drugs Vice and Organized Crime Unit, the Criminal Investigations Unit, and the Special Operations Response Team. During that time, he has received the following awards: 11 Distinguished Unit Awards, 3-time officer of the quarter, 2 Class A Commendations, 2 Meritorious Service Awards, 4 Safe Driving Awards, 1 Police Chief’s Award, 1 Distinguished Service Award, and 1 Service Achievement Award. Sgt. Digirolomo now serves as the Unit Supervisor of the Drugs Vice and Organized Crime and TAC unit of the department.
The next promotion was Sgt. Matthew Knight. Sgt. Matthew Knight is a 16-year veteran of the Dover Police Department, graduating the Delaware State Police Academy in 1999. Sgt. Knight has since served on the patrol unit, the Criminal Investigations Unit, the TAC Unit, Special Operations Response Team, Section Leader of the Criminal Investigations Unit, and currently serves as a platoon leader in the patrol unit for C Platoon. Sgt. Knight is the recipient of multiple awards throughout his career, including Officer of the quarter in 2011 and 2013, 3 DUI awards, 5 distinguished unit awards, 2 service achievement awards, and 2 safe driving awards and will continue to serve on patrol as a platoon leader.
Master Corporal James Stubbs was the next promotion recognized at the ceremony.
Master Corporal James Stubbs is a 13 year veteran of the Dover Police Department, graduating from the Delaware State Police Academy in 2002, and holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice from the University of Delaware. Master Corporal Stubbs has served in the patrol unit throughout his career and currently serves on A Platoon as a section leader. Master Corporal Stubbs is also the recipient of several awards throughout his tenure, including 2 live saving awards, 2 service achievement awards, 3 DUI awards, 1 distinguished unit award, 2 safe driving awards and 5 for perfect attendance. Master Corporal Stubbs will continue to work on the patrol unit as a section leader.
Master Corporal Kevin Streadwick was also promoted to the rank of Master Corporal
Master Corporal Streadwick is an 11-year veteran of the Dover Police Department, graduating from the Delaware State Police Academy in 2005 and holds an associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from the County College of Morris, in Randolph, New Jersey. Master Corporal Streadwick has served in the patrol unit, Criminal Investigations Unit, Special Operations Response Team, Collision Reconstruction Unit, the honor guard, and as a firearms instructor during his career and currently serves in the Criminal Investigations Unit. Master Corporal Streadwick is a highly decorated officer, receiving the following awards during his career: Officer of the year in 2006, officer of the quarter in 2006 and 2011, crime stoppers officer of the year in 2012, a meritorious service award, 5 DUI awards, 2 Mothers against drunk driving lifetime awards, 2 service achievement awards, 5 distinguished unit awards, a military service award, 2 safe driving awards, and 7 perfect attendance awards. Master Corporal Streadwick will be assigned to the patrol unit as a section leader.
Master Corporal Frank Fioravaniti also earned the rank of Master Corporal.
Master Corporal Fioravaniti is a 12 year veteran of the Dover Police Department, hired in 2003, and is a graduate of the Easter Short Criminal Justice Police Academy in 2001. Master Cpl. Fioravaniti served in the Dewey Beach Police Department prior to his hiring with the Dover Police Department in 2003. During his career, Master Corporal Fioravaniti has served in the patrol unit, the quality of life task force, and is now serving on the patrol unit as a K9 officer with his K9 partner Gerome. Master Corporal Fioravaniti has received the following awards throughout his career: Officer of the quarter in 2004 and 2012, 2 lifesaving awards, 1 service achievement award, 5 distinguished unit awards, 2 DUI awards, Mothers against drunk driving lifetime award, 2 safe driving awards, and 10 perfect attendance awards. Master Corporal Fioravaniti will continue to serve as a K9 officer on the patrol unit.
Finally, Patrolman 1st Class James Wood was recognized for his promotion to Patrolman First Class. Patrolman 1st Class James Wood is a 3 year veteran of the Dover Police Department, graduating from the Delaware State Police Academy in 2006, he first served the Town of Camden Police Department for six years prior to joining the Dover Police Department. During his time with the Dover Police Department, Patrolman 1st Class Wood has served in the patrol unit and now serves in the criminal investigations unit as a detective. Wood has also earned several awards during his career, including a lifesaving award, 3 distinguished unit awards, a military service award, and a perfect attendance award. Pfc. James Wood will continue to serve in the criminal investigations unit as a detective.
The Perfect Attendance award is presented to any department member, both sworn and civilian who did not use any sick leave during the 2014 calendar year.
The Safe Driving Award may be presented to any sworn member of the Department who operates a departmental vehicle safely for five consecutive years.
The military service award is awarded to any sworn or civilian employee of the department who is currently a member of any branch of the United States Armed Services or has been honorable discharged or retired from any branch of the United States Armed Services.
The Loyal service award is awarded to any civilian for continuous and loyal service to the department and is recognized In 5 year increments. Receiving the 20 year Loyal Service award is Elizabeth Parsons, of the department’s records unit.
The award for Distinguished Unit Commendation may be awarded for outstanding performance by employees of any section, platoon, or unit that perform any action or service which would qualify them for any one of the designated commendations and is the direct result of team work rather than individual performance.
On January 19th, Cpl. Brian Allen was on routine patrol in the downtown area, when he heard several shots fired. He immediately relayed the information to other officers on the radio just as dispatch began taking numerous 911 calls for shots fired at the Elks Lodge on North Kirkwood Street. As Cpl. Wisniewski responded to the Elks Lodge, he observed a gold Lincoln leaving the area with a male suspect in the driver seat and another in the back seat. With nobody being in the front passenger seat, Wisniewski found this to be unusual and continue to follow the vehicle. Once it was determined the shooting scene was under control, additional officers responded to Wisniewski’s location to aid in a traffic stop of the Lincoln, which had committed numerous traffic violations by that point. The vehicle pulled onto Weston Drive, and both occupants fled on foot at approximately 12:39AM. MCpl. Roswell, Cpl. Carlton Turner, Cpl Brian Allen, Patrolman first class wood and Figueroa, immediately set up a perimeter. Cpl Barrett and his K9 “Britt” began a track of the suspects along with Cpl. Wisniewski and Ptlm. Johnson. Over 30 minutes later, Brandon McDonald was found hiding in thick brush. After being taken into custody, officers found 39 bags of heroin on him. While this was going on, a female victim reported to the Dover Police Department to advise officers that her vehicle had been shot multiple times while she and another female were inside of it. Cpl. Barrett and Britt continued to search the area for the second suspect, and nearly 90 minutes after the original call, found Thomas Gordon hiding in a dumpster. During a search of the suspects vehicle, officers located a .32 caliber handgun that was reported stolen, a .45 caliber handgun with an obliterated serial number, and an additional 300 bags of heroin. This incident would not have ended successfully if it had not been for the instincts, patience, and professionalism of all the officers involved.
The Police Chiefs Commendation may be awarded to any employee who has participated or assisted in any unique event, situation of exceptional nature, or volunteer service to the community.
Between September 9th of 2014 and March 9th of 2015, the Criminal Investigations Unit worked diligently to apprehend a suspect involved in 18 commercial burglaries in Dover, and 55 overall between Delaware and Maryland. Dubbed the “rat burglar” for his unique entry method of cutting holes in walls roofs of buildings, Thomas Jenkins eluded law enforcement efforts for quite some time. The Dover Police Department invested 515 man hours in surveillance time during this investigation, working overnight hours monitoring activity at several commercial establishments in Dover. IN January of 2015, Lt. David Spicer was reviewing burglary information from Prince George’s County, in Maryland and learned that they had several similar burglaries in their area in addition to several others in throughout Delaware. A meeting was arranged between the various jurisdictions in Maryland and Delaware, where each agency was able to fill a timeline with the burglaries they were investigating and determined that they were dealing with a multi-jurisdictional serial burglar. Within a few days of the meeting, Prince George’s County developed a Jenkins as a suspect after locating a vehicle at the rear of a building that had been burglarized. After locating the vehicle, detectives were able to place a GPS tracking unit on the suspect’s vehicle. On March 9th, Prince Georges County observed Jenkins movements via GPS and became suspicious. They mobilized a surveillance unit and a helicopter to monitor Jenkins vehicle, watching him flee a commercial establishment after he had burglarized it. A pursuit ensued, ending in the successful capture of the rat burglar. Jenkins was found in possession of a loaded handgun in his waistband, and two other firearms in his vehicle. It was later discovered that the handguns were stolen in the burglary of a gun shop in Middletown, Delaware. Without the extraordinary efforts of the detectives of the criminal investigations unit, there is a good possibility that Thomas Jenkins would still be on the loose today.
From 2012-2014, Detective Christopher Bumgarner of the Dover Police Department and Special Agent Jason Kusheba of the ATF conducted an extensive investigation into gangs, drugs, and violent crimes in the Dover area, known as Operation Relentless. The operation was conducted under the supervision of prosecutor Mark Lee, Assistant United States Attorney and culminated in a federal wiretap of cell phone communications made by Edward Sturgis and LaShawn Ingram. The wiretap resulted in state and federal charges for drug trafficking, conspiracy, firearms possession, dog fighting, and identity theft. The case concluded in 2014 with the execution of 19 search warrants and 20 defendants being arrested. Overall, 287.1 grams of cocaine, 230.9 grams of marijuana, 12 firearms, 1 bullet proof vest, 3 dogs used for dog fighting, 2 cars, and over $58,000 dollars was seized. As of March 27th of this year, all but two defendants in this case have plead guilty.
The Service Achievement Commendation may be presented to any sworn member of the Department who has established an exemplary service record for five consecutive years of service.
CIVILIANS OF THE QUARTER 2014
1st Quarter: Dispatcher Michael O’Connor
Dispatcher Michael O’Connor has been with the Dover Police Department since 2009 as a dispatcher and was named the Civilian of the 1st quarter of 2014. O’Connor was recognized for his knowledge of policies and procedures and willingness to accept additional, sometimes undesirable tasks combined with his consistent professionalism. Finally, he is being recognized for his ability to handle a call for a bank robbery that occurred at the 1st national bank of Wyoming on February 5th of 2014. Dispatcher O’Connor was able to remain calm throughout the duration of the call and bring a sense of relief to the caller, all while obtaining critical information that greatly aided in the solving of the case.
3rd Quarter: Dispatcher Joshua Krumm
Joshua Krumm was named civilian of the quarter for the 3rd quarter for his efforts in a stabbing on July 29th of 2014. Upon dispatching officers to the hospital to contact the victim, it was learned that the girlfriend of the victim was the suspect and had fled in a rental car registered in New York. Krumm quickly thought that if he contacted the rental agency, they may be able to track the car through a GPS system. The rental agency cooperated and provided Dispatcher Krumm details of the car’s location who then relayed them to the officers on patrol. Due to Dispatcher Krumm’s quick thinking and actions, the suspect was successfully apprehended.
4th Quarter: Jessica Hand
The civilian of the 4th quarter of 2014 is records clerk, Jessica Hand. Jessica has been with the department since 2012 and has an excellent working relationship with everyone in the department and performed extremely well throughout her time here. Jessica has helped train new employees, and has taken on a massive project of converting the filing method of arrest files and has been meticulous in doing so. Jessica has also helped other members of the department with various projects including the planning and training unit and assisting with the development of the new Records management system recently adopted by the department. It is Jessica’s willingness to go above and beyond combined with her professionalism that has earned her the civilian of the 4th quarter award.
2nd Quarter/Civilian of the Year: Dispatcher Matthew Hawkins
Dispatcher Matthew Hawkins was named the civilian of the 2nd quarter the 2014 Dover Police Department civilian of the year for his continued dedication and excellent performance of his duties as a dispatcher for the Dover Police Department. In addition he is also the civilian of the year for 2014. Specifically, Hawkins was nominated for his handling of a complaint on April 17th of 2014. Hawkins took a call from an elderly victim advising he was robbed. After sending officers to the scene, it was discovered that the man was tied up and tortured, and had multiple stab wounds and even a part of his ear cut off. One of the suspects was identified as Shirley Smith. The next day while working, dispatch received a call from a convenience store clerk advising the suspect was in the store. Hawkins overheard this call and began relaying information to the officers immediately while the call taker kept the clerk on the phone. Soon after broadcasting the information, the suspect was arrested without incident. This is just one example of many that demonstrate Hawkins ability to remain calm and make quick decisions to accomplish a task. For these reasons he is the civilian of the 2nd quarter and civilian of the year for 2014.
Officers of the Quarter and Year 2014
1st Quarter: Cpl. Christopher Bumgarner
The Officer of the 1st quarter of 2014 is Detective Christopher Bumgarner. Bumgarner is the gang intelligence detective for the Drugs Vice and organized crime unit. When not at work, Bumgarner spends his time away learning ways to improve upon his abilities as an officer. Detective Bumgarner is also an avid martial artist and volunteers his time and expertise in that field to train his fellow officers as the department weaponless defense instructor. Despite all of this, Detective Bumgarner was nominated due to his role as the lead investigator involving the Dover Police Department, the ATF, the DEA, Delaware State Police, Smyrna Police, and Dept of Corrections into the Sex Money Murder Bloods Gang. The case had a significant impact in the area, resulting in the execution of 19 search warrants and 20 suspects being arrested as mentioned earlier. The dedication and performance of Detective Bumgarner to his duties have earned him the officer of the 1st quarter of 2014.
4th Quarter: Patrolman 1st class Michael Willson
The Officer of the 4th quarter for 2014 is Patrolman First Class Michael Willson. Officer Willson is a hard-working and highly motivated officer and currently serves in the patrol unit. Willson frequently volunteers for undesirable complaints and always maintains a positive attitude. Outside of his full-time patrol responsibilities, Officer Willson is a member of the Special Operations Response team, a field training officer, a shift investigator, and a firearms instructor. During the 4th quarter, Officer Willson was also selected as a member of the temporary street crimes unit. Despite all of the extra responsibilities, Officer Willson is still one of the top producing officers on the patrol unit, constantly trying to be proactive in his work, leading to numerous drug arrests during the 4th quarter. Congratulations Officer Willson on being named Officer of the 4th quarter.
2nd and 3rd Quarter/Officer of the Year: Patrolman Ryan Schmid
It is an honor to recognize Patrolman Ryan Schmid as the 2014 Dover Police Department Officer of the Year and the recipient of the Officer of the Quarter award for both the 2nd and 3rd quarters, Earning the title OFFICER OF THE QUARTER is not easy, but to earn it twice, in consecutive quarters, in the same year is unheard of. Patrolman Schmid is an energetic and highly motivated officer who has served for two years as a police officer with the Dover Police Department. Prior to his service as an officer, he was a dispatcher for our department and is currently a reservist with the United States Air Force as a loadmaster. Officer Schmid’s commitment to serving his country and community is nothing short of incredible. During the 2nd and 3rd quarters, Officer Schmid is responsible for taking 7 guns off the streets, two of which were stolen and linked to a home invasion in Maryland. He has also made countless drug arrests, including one in July during a traffic stop when he seized 53 bags of heroin, $1,234 cash, and a loaded .45 caliber handgun when a vehicle failed to maintain its lane. Officer Schmid’s proactive approach to police work has not taken away from his production as a patrol officer. Between the 2nd and 3rd quarters, Officer Schmid was responsible for 151 criminal arrests, 53 city ordinance violations, and 177 traffic arrests. Officer Schmid’s instincts, knowledge, and ability to handle high-stress and high-risk situations is superb, especially when taken into account he has only been on the force for a couple of years. Officer Ryan Schmid has quickly become one of the top producing officers in the department and often seen as a resource for both young and more experienced officers. Ptlm. Ryan Schmid is a model police officer of the Dover Police Department. It is with great pride that Ptlm. Schmid is the 2014 Officer of the Year for the Dover Police Department.