PURPLE HEART RECIPIENT AND COMMUNITY LEADER AWARDED TROOPER/NCO OF THE YEAR
(PIKESVILLE, MD) – Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel Marcus L. Brown awarded Trooper of the Year to a Purple Heart recipient and NCO of the Year to a trooper extremely active in his community and at work. In a ceremony that recognized the local winners from each barrack and division, Colonel Brown congratulated Trooper First Class Christopher R. Toey who won Trooper of the Year and Sergeant Michael J. Smart who won Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year. TFC Toey is assigned to Cumberland Barrack and Sgt. Smart supervises a work group at the John F. Kennedy Highway Barrack.
“The accomplishments of these troopers demonstrate the high standards of professionalism, dedication to duty, and commitment to the citizens of Maryland,” said Colonel Brown. “Both are continuing the tradition and outstanding reputation that the state police have been known for in our past and will continue in our future.”
The following narratives describe some of the work of TFC Toey and Sgt. Smart during 2012 which led to their awards today:
TROOPER FIRST CLASS CHRISTOPHER R. TOEY
The words, “excel, outstanding, dedication, and above and beyond the call of duty” are all used by his supervisors to describe TFC Christopher Toey and his performance as a Maryland state trooper. “Leads by example” also describes him, as proven by his performance statistics from 2012.
Last year, TFC Toey led the troopers at the Cumberland Barrack in traffic stops with 1,846 and in the numbers of citations, warnings and equipment repair orders issued, which totaled 2,489. He led the barrack in criminal investigation reports and the number of arrests, making 78 adult criminal and drug arrests. He made 44 warrant arrests, also more than any other trooper at the barrack. He answered more than 750 calls for service, again leading the barrack.
TFC Toey ranked second at the barrack for the number of firearms recovered with seven. He made the second highest number of drunk driving arrests at the barrack with 13.
TFC Toey’s commitment to excellence does not stop with his road patrol duties. Last year, he volunteered for deployment to New Jersey to assist with Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. He was instrumental in founding the Cumberland Barrack Law Enforcement Explorer Post. He contacted county schools and area media to promote the program. He recruited volunteers and put together a strong team to guide the youth who joined the program.
He also volunteered for Shop With A Cop and helped make holiday wishes come true for underprivileged children. He is an alumni member of the Wounded Warrior Project. He works as a peer mentor for wounded veterans. He volunteers packing backpacks with Under Armour items provided for our nation’s wounded veterans.
According to his supervisor, Sgt. Vincent Uphole, “TFC Toey’s reports are always clear, concise, and complete. He goes above and beyond in all investigations and is well prepared for court. He takes great pride in his uniform and appearance. His vehicle is always clean and well-maintained.” His barrack commander, Lt. Mike Fluharty, adds, “He will always volunteer for special assignments, like the deployment to New Jersey. He consistently asks for assignments that are challenging and exceeds expectations when he completes them.”
On April 9, 2012, a lookout was broadcast by police in West Virginia for a suspect who had assaulted several people and threatened to kill them while brandishing two loaded handguns. The lookout only gave a vehicle make and color.
Within minutes, TFC Toey located the vehicle and stopped it. Upon approaching the driver, he saw a handgun and immediately arrested the suspect. The second gun was also recovered.
The next month, TFC Toey responded to a call at a motel for a disturbance. When he found the persons involved, he knew one was wanted on a warrant. He arrested the known gang member and, because he already had a rapport with the suspect, was able to gain information about a methamphetamine lab operation at the hotel. He and another trooper returned to the motel and found the lab, making several more arrests in the process.
An AR-15 rifle was stolen in a residential theft TFC Toey was dispatched to investigate in October. Within hours, TFC Toey developed suspects, arrested them, and recovered the stolen rifle from where it had been hidden in West Virginia.
TFC Toey’s commitment to serve began long before he joined the Maryland State Police. After graduating from Westmar High School in 2001, he joined the United States Army. He was selected to be a member of the elite 82nd Airborne Division. He served our nation with distinction during combat in both Afghanistan and Iraq. While the Trooper of the Year award is impressive, it pales in comparison to the Purple Heart he was awarded for wounds he received in combat in Iraq.
The citizens of Maryland and the members of the Maryland State Police are fortunate TFC Toey was determined to recover from his wounds and continue his outstanding commitment to service as a state trooper.
SERGEANT MICHAEL J. SMART
JOHN F. KENNEDY HIGHWAY BARRACK
Sgt. Smart joined the Maryland State Police in 1997. Before his service in Maryland, he was an officer with the Winslow Township Police in Camden County, New Jersey, for 11 years.
In 2012, Sgt. Smart was given the opportunity to lead the JFK Highway Barrack’s Special Traffic Initiative on Ninety-five Group, also known as the STING Team. According to Detective Sergeant Gooding, his supervisor at the time, Sgt. Smart “displayed excellent leadership qualities….is continually sought after by peers and subordinates for his advice…..and motivates his personnel to excel and deliver positive results that are nothing short of the example he himself sets.”
As part of his strategy to meet barrack and department goals in 2012, Sgt. Smart planned and implemented 12 different criminal and traffic enforcement initiatives. The goal of these initiatives was to have a direct impact on local communities due to past criminal activity or violations of traffic laws that posed a threat to citizens in the areas selected for enforcement action. During the planning and implementation of these initiatives, Sgt. Smart demonstrated excellent communication skills by coordinating with numerous allied police departments at the local, state, and federal levels, and multiple Maryland State Police barracks, units and divisions.
The operations included: two Bel Air Criminal Initiatives, Operation Trojan Horse, Operation JOUST, Operation MOLE, Operation Bus PASS II, Operation COBRA, Operation Rolling on Rt. 22, the Cecil Co. Crime Initiative, Operation CRIME, Operation PREVENT, and Operation Chameleon.
During Operation Bus PASS II, the JFK Sting Team worked with the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, Maryland Transportation Authority Police and others to target passenger bus safety on I-95. The combined efforts led to 76 commercial buses stopped, with 36 being inspected. Five buses were placed out of service for safety violations and another four drivers were taken off the road due to license violations. Two were arrested for criminal violations.
Operation Rolling on Route 22 was a response to citizen concerns about speeding and crashes on Route 22 in Harford Co. In one day, the STING Team made 40 traffic stops and cited 70 percent of the violators for not wearing seat belts.
The STING Team was part of the Cecil Co. Crime Initiative that also involved the North East Barrack, the Maryland State Police Gang Unit, State Apprehension Team and the Criminal Enforcement Division. This operation resulted in 25 arrests for warrants, 15 drug arrests, including a heroin distributor, and the dismantling of three marijuana growing operations.
In 2012, the subordinates under Sgt. Smart’s supervision were responsible for 8,348 traffic stops, resulting in 6,224 citations and 5,415 warnings. They made 190 drunk driving arrests and 145 criminal arrests.
Sgt. Smart led by example. He was personally responsible for making 748 traffic stops with 1,048 citations and warnings issued. He made 16 criminal arrests and assisted with 35 other arrests.
Sgt. Smart is also an exceptional leader in his community. Six years ago, he started an annual holiday food drive for a family in the community who had fallen on hard times. He did this again this year and coordinated donations of money and food from the barrack and community to ensure the family in need this Christmas had a happy holiday.
He also started the annual community Christmas Eve Gift Run with Santa 14 years ago. Again this year, he donated his time and responded with Santa Claus to many homes throughout the area with small children to distribute gifts and promote a positive image of police.
Sgt. Smart is president of his homeowners association and frequently gives guidance and presentations on home security, child safety and drug abuse. He also helps run a youth basketball program at his church.
In summarizing the outstanding work of Sgt. Smart, Detective Sergeant Gooding said, “He routinely stands out at the JFK Highway Barrack as a member of the Department who is consistently reliable, hardworking, and dependable in completing his assigned duties. Sgt. Smart has been self-motivated and persistent at setting a higher standard of work ethics and accountability. He sets the example to be emulated by his subordinates and peers within the Maryland State Police.”