Wounded trooper is welcomed back

Westminster barracks turns out for Workman

March 06, 2007|By Laura McCandlish | Laura McCandlish,Sun Reporter

Trooper 1st Class Eric D. Workman sensed something suspicious as he readied for work yesterday.

His girlfriend, a trooper at the Golden Ring barracks, just happened to have a court appearance in Carroll County yesterday. His two supervisors joined him for breakfast at the Double T Diner in Catonsville before following him to work.

Workman's instincts were right.

A bright yellow banner, "Welcome Back Trooper Eric Workman" draped in front of the Westminster barracks on Route 140, greeted him.

As Workman pulled up, Lt. Dean Richardson, the barracks commander, motioned him toward the front entrance. There, fellow troopers - in full regalia - and staff lined up, embracing and saluting Workman.

"He's definitely the type of guy you want in your corner," Sgt. Doug Reitz, one of Workman's supervisors, said. "He's definitely someone who hasn't lost touch with the reason he became a police officer."

Workman, who was shot and critically wounded on the job three months ago, officially returned to work yesterday. A fugitive in a Carroll County home invasion shot Workman during the pre-dawn raid of a Baltimore County home Dec. 12, authorities said. Police returned fire, hitting the suspect, Steven T. Jones, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Workman was flown to Maryland Shock Trauma Center with a bullet - that had struck him in the armpit and hit his lung and kidney - lodged in his abdomen.

Doctors removed his spleen, but the bullet remains. He was released after a week under the care of Dr. Thomas M. Scalea, the surgeon who treated Workman in 1998 when he was struck by a car and nearly killed while on duty.

Workman was named Carroll County's Trooper of the Year in February, an honor for which he was nominated by his supervisors before he was shot.

Despite his two critical injuries, Workman will be back tracking down fugitives this week with the barracks' criminal investigations unit.

"I don't like working behind a desk," Workman said during the celebration. "I like the hunt. I like to go out and do law enforcement jobs. This is what I want to do."

laura.mccandlish@baltsun.com

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