Charles County Sheriff Troy D. Berry is proud to announce thirteen new officers will join the Charles County Sheriff’s Office after their graduation from the Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy (SMCJA) on February 26. The officers were among a total of 24 candidates – seven with Calvert County and four with St. Mary’s County – who graduated on February 26.
“It takes a lot of dedication to complete the Academy, and this class, in particular, was met with extraordinary challenges due to the pandemic. The graduates and their families persevered for 11 months to finish this program, and we are very proud. We are grateful to the SMCJA staff who overcame many obstacles and provided excellent training and instruction to the recruits,” said Sheriff Berry.
Deputy Director of the SMCJA, Lieutenant Harry Ivers, welcomed the graduates and their families and spoke about the training program that started in March 2020 and included over 1,000 hours of instruction.
The Academy’s Board of Directors — Charles County Sheriff Troy D. Berry, St. Mary’s County Sheriff Timothy K. Cameron and Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans — also spoke about the graduates’ new career and the difficulties and rewards each of them will encounter.
Senior Deputy First Class Andre Mitchell and Mrs. Joy Mitchell of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office performed the national anthem, and the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard presented the colors. Calvert County Sheriff’s Office graduate Christopher Murphy was the class speaker. Mr. John Delabrer of the College of Southern Maryland spoke about an articulation agreement between the Academy and the College that provides each graduate with fifteen college credits toward a criminal justice degree. Reverend Wilson Morales (St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Chaplain) delivered the invocation and benediction.
During the ceremony, SMCJA instructors presented awards to graduates who excelled in several categories:
- Preston Dixon (St. Mary’s) won the Physical Fitness Award
- Darian Glover (Charles) won the Firearms Award
- Matthew Krueger (Calvert) won the Emergency Vehicle Operations Award
- Matthew Krueger won the Scholastic Award with a GPA of 97.99 percent; and
- Preston Dixon received the Steve Allen Award, named after one of the original founders of the SMCJA who died of cancer several years ago.
Class Coordinator, Senior DFC Andre Mitchell (Calvert County Sheriff’s Office), Class Leader, Deputy Matthew Krueger, and Guidon Bearer, Deputy Preston Dixon, retired the Class Guidon.
The Southern Maryland Criminal Justice Academy congratulates the following graduates:
Charles County Sheriff’s Office:
- Bryan G. Aber
- Nicholas S. Baxley
- Shayne D. Cannon
- Christopher B. Cooley
- Darian K. Glover
- Bradley D. Harris
- Maurice S. Johnson
- Matthew A. Neel
- Hazel T. Ptack
- Braxton J. Shelton
- Emily K. Stalnaker
- Russell J. Watson, Jr.
- Ardon P. Williams