In September 2022, Corporal John Piersa received the prestigious Exceptional Police Performance Award from the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association (MCPA). Only three police officers in the State of Maryland receive the award annually. The award is competitive, with officers from around the state nominated by their agencies to the MCPA’s Awards Committee. The Awards Committee, comprised of senior law enforcement officers, selects the award recipients.

Although Corporal Piersa’s nomination covered numerous significant events/arrests, one incident stands out. In August, Corporal Piersa responded to a call for service about an individual brandishing a firearm on Pomonkey Way in La Plata.

Moreover, it was reported that the individual aimed a firearm at a small child. As officers approached the area, it was broadcasted that the individual had entered a sedan and fled. Corporal Piersa observed the vehicle, and with the assistance of two other La Plata police officers, a high-risk traffic stop was conducted.

The involved individual was secured without incident. Located in the vehicle were two firearms, a loaded polymer 9-millimeter “ghost gun,” and an AR-15 assault weapon with a loaded 30-round magazine. A ballistics test on the “ghost gun” found it had been used in a previous homicide.

Anytime an illegal firearm is removed from the street, it is impossible to know what future crime of violence has been prevented.

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