14 deputies, officers finish academy and start shifts

January 22, 1995|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,Sun Staff Writer

Harford County law enforcement got a little stronger yesterday, as 14 new sheriff's deputies and town police officers completed 19 weeks of training and reported for duty.

More than 350 dignitaries, relatives and friends jammed into the Chesapeake Center at Harford Community College to see graduates of the Harford County Sheriff's Office 12th Entrance Level Training Academy take the oath of office.

Led academically by class valedictorian Deputy Douglas Reppar, total of 25 graduates from three counties, Baltimore City and the state Division of Corrections were praised for their collective excellence at the interagency academy.

"The friendly competition for academic achievement was the sharpest of all the recruit classes we've ever had," Lt. Don C. Baker, director of the training, said.

The academy's academic program is based on 1,000 grade points, he said, and Deputy Reppar earned valedictorian honors by one point.

Deputy Reppar, 28, also garnered top honors in firearms proficiency, scoring 96.6 percent. Two classmates trailed with 96 percent.

He said his nearly 10 years in the Marine Corps, including a stint as a drill instructor at Parris Island, S.C., helped him to survive the rigid academy training.

"I've traveled all around the world for training, and nowhere was the instruction as professional as here," said Deputy Reppar, a veteran of Operation Desert Storm.

In his valedictory speech, the deputy thanked family members of classmates for the sacrifices they made to support each recruit.

Deputy Reppar noted his own family situation. His wife, Lynn Ann, gave birth to their daughter, Bethany Lauren, on Sept. 8.

"I got to hold my daughter for about one hour before leaving to report to the academy," he said. "For 19 weeks, Lynn Ann had to raise our daughter by herself."

All recruits were required to attain a minimum grade of 70 percent in courses such as criminal justice, investigation, law and corrections, as well as physical fitness, water safety and rescue, Lieutenant Baker said.

Additionally, they had to score 100 percent on 336 tasks required by the Maryland Police and Corrections Training Commission.

Yesterday's ceremonies included music by the 389th U.S. Army band from Aberdeen Proving Ground and remarks by U.S. Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., Second District Republican, and Sheriff Joseph P. Meadows.

"We're glad to have you," the sheriff said. "We need all the deputies we can get out on patrol."

Special awards were presented to Lt. Roy Clark, a veteran of 32 years' service, and Capt. Robert Smith, a 30-year veteran.

Graduates sponsored by the Harford County Sheriff's Office were Eric Blottenberger, Steven Dunlop, Laura Frazel, Wendy Isennock, Marc Junkerman, John Myrick, Catherine O'Brien, Mr. Reppar, Steven Spencer, Kevin Taylor, and Craig Thompson.

The Elkton Police Department had four graduates: James Anderson, Allen Johnson, Holly Santillo, and Kathleen Sweetman. The Baltimore County Sheriff's Office had three: Michael Herring, K. Arthur McGhee and Thomas Miller.

Others were: Division of Corrections, Brenda Bertram and Juanita Brown; Baltimore City Sheriff's Office, Mario Teresi and Brian Thompson; Aberdeen Police Department, Marilyn Dudley and Michael Palmer; and Havre de Grace Police Department, Marshall Thomas.

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