Cumberland Times-News

Outdoors

June 1, 2013

W. Md. natural resources police officers win statewide awards

CUMBERLAND — Three natural resources police officers from Western Maryland won statewide honors presented recently at the agency’s annual awards gathering.

Cpl. Jeffrey Sweitzer was named 2011 Boating Safety Officer of the Year.

Described as one of the most consistent and productive officers, Sweitzer had 164 boat patrol hours and made 13 arrests for operating a boat while intoxicated. He issued 43 citations and 162 warnings for boating violations.

Sweitzer also travels to Ocean City for boating law enforcement work.

Cpl. Mike Friend was named 2012 Conservation Officer of the Year.

Among Friend’s numerous cases were charges against 18 people for using bait to hunt bears and four for using bait to hunt turkeys.

Friend had many successful charges for deer hunting violations including spotlighting, hunting out of season, hunting without license, failing to tag and attempting to exceed the bag limit.

Fishing charges resulting in convictions included no license, undersized bass and fishing out of season.

Friend also was named Maryland’s recipient of the Shikar-Safari International Club Award for his wildlife enforcement work.

Cpl. Walter May was named the 2012 Police Officer of the Year.

This category takes into account enforcement work outside the hunting and fishing arena as well as wildlife and fish law enforcement.

For example, May detected eight controlled dangerous substance violations on public lands or along trout streams. He issued 76 boating citations including five for operating under the influence.

May’s successful cases ranged from littering to under-age drinking to illegal use of public lands.

In all, May detected 1,006 violations; 297 citations and 709 warnings.

May is involved in many specialized NRP efforts, including underwater operations, breath testing, first aid and fire and rescue efforts.

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