A Baltimore policewoman cited for solving cases and arresting suspects and a Baltimore County policeman who developed a youth program and a bicycle patrol were named last night as The Baltimore Sun Police Officers of the Year.
City Officer Wanda E. Dobbins, 39, whose record of solving crimes and making arrests was described as among the best in the Northern District, received the award for excellence in law enforcement.
County Officer Paul Richard Wieber, 39, won for outstanding community service in developing a Police Athletic League youth center in the Lansdowne-Riverview area and for establishing bike patrols in suburban neighborhoods.
The winners, chosen from among 41 officers nominated by their departments around the state, were announced at the 35th annual Baltimore Sun Officer of the Year Awards ceremony, held at Martin's West.
"These are difficult times for police officers," said the newspaper's publisher, Michael J. Davies, "not just in Los Angeles, but everywhere. You are now expected to be part priest, part psychologist, part social worker and, in your spare time, cops."
He added, "Tonight we are here to demonstrate that as a company, we understand your importance to our communities and to the fabric of our lives."
Officer Dobbins, a 6-year veteran of the city force, has worked in uniform, plainclothes and covert operations. Last year, she made 50 arrests and solved 32 cases. She was cited for investigative skills that helped win convictions in 90 percent of her cases.
Officer Wieber, a 17-year veteran, is assigned to the county's Citizen Oriented Police Enforcement (COPE) unit, which addresses problems at the neighborhood level.
He was cited for non-traditional methods that resulted, in part, in establishment of the bike patrols.