Trooper captures double honor Awards: Ronald W. Cullison Jr. of Hampstead is the first person recognized as Trooper of the Year by both the Maryland State Police and its Alumni Association.

June 09, 1996|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

Hampstead's Tfc. Ronald W. Cullison Jr. has staked a claim to a bit of state police history in a little more than six years on the job.

Cullison, a resident trooper in Carroll County, is the first honored as Trooper of the Year by both the Maryland State Police and its Alumni Association since the awards were instituted 35 years ago.

In 1995, Cullison worked 97 cases as the primary investigator for the Criminal Investigation Division of the Westminster barracks. He assisted on 24 others and solved more than 85 percent of them.

From those 121 cases he made 68 criminal arrests, eight juvenile apprehensions and two civil citations, resulting in 883 criminal charges being placed.

Citing Cullison's concern for the safety of state highways, his supervisors also noted that he arrested six intoxicated drivers and issued more than 100 traffic citations last year.

But getting Cullison, 27, to boast of his recent accolades isn't easy.

Supervisors at the Westminster barracks had to trick him into attending the awards announcement at state police headquarters in Pikesville last month.

"I thought I was going there to brief the superintendent on a case I have been working," Cullison said. "When they told me I was Trooper of the Year, it was like a bomb went off."

Cullison said he became interested in joining the state police while attending North Carroll High School after a trooper visited to speak to students at the school in 1988.

He signed up for the state police cadet program two months after graduating, and six months before his 21st birthday he was accepted into the state police training academy in March 1990.

His brother, Greg, 26, followed him through the academy and works highway patrol from the Westminster barracks.

Cullison transferred from highway patrol to the Criminal Investigation Division in 1994 at his own request.

"No matter what I was working on, the investigative part was always the most interesting to me," he said.

His supervisors cited Cullison's diligence, thoroughness and persistence as prime reasons for his success.

Cullison said those qualities are only part of the reason.

"I work with a great bunch of guys who are always eager to help out," he said. "Their help -- and some good luck -- has helped break some cases."

Cullison was credited with solving several armed robberies in the Westminster area last year, including one at a Union Mills store where two clerks were sprayed in the face with chemicals before the culprit fled with $386.

Cullison admits a fondness for burglary and theft cases, and not for the personal satisfaction he derives from putting the perpetrators behind bars.

"The most satisfaction comes in being able to call the victims and say, 'I've got your property back for you, and the guy who did it is in jail.' "

Pub Date: 6/09/96

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