State trooper and sergeant win agency's top honors


Baltimore & Region


A state trooper assigned to a team that identifies potential terrorists and drug couriers, and a sergeant who issued more than 400 traffic citations last year received top honors at a Maryland State Police awards ceremony yesterday at the agency's headquarters in Pikesville.

Tfc. Christopher M. Conner won the Trooper of the Year award, and Sgt. David Ruel won the Officer of the Year award for supervisors.

Conner, 30, a member of the Pro-Active Criminal Enforcement Team, made 32 criminal arrests last year, mostly involving felony drug seizures. He helped seized more than five pounds of pure heroin, 51 grams of crack cocaine, 10 pounds of powder cocaine and 17 pounds of marijuana, state police said.

Ruel, 30, a sergeant currently assigned to the Annapolis Barrack, issued 466 traffic citations and 601 warnings, and made 14 arrests for driving under the influence. He also made 31 criminal arrests.

Finalists for the two top awards were required to compete in exercises that included an oral interview, a job task simulation fitness test, a written test and firearms qualifications.

More than 50 other state police troopers and officers received awards for their service at their barracks and divisions, including Tfc. Anthony Jones, who was honored posthumously.

Jones, who was assigned to the College Park barracks, was struck and killed by a van on U.S. 50 near Bowie on Mother's Day morning last year while assisting at an accident scene. The driver of the van was charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

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