Three members of the were honored earlier this month for exemplary service leading to the arrest and conviction of suspects in two cases.
Sgt. Jeremy Emereck was commended for detaining a man found guilty of impersonating a police officer and carrying a handgun without a license.
Last summer, after responding to what turned out to be a false burglar alarm, Emereck noticed a man at the McDonald's on Riverdale Road carrying a holstered handgun and wearing a jacket that read "Police."
When he questioned the suspect, who was employed by McDonald’s as a security officer, the sergeant began to believe something was off.
The man claimed to be employed by the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Emereck said, and had permit to carry a handgun while on duty in that role. But his credentials were expired, prompting Emereck to confiscate his gun and check into his background.
After confirming that the suspect was no longer employed by the department—or even eligible for rehire—Emereck placed him under arrest. He was convicted in March.
Emereck, who hails from Bedford County, PA, has worked for the department since 2005. He said he always wanted to be a police officer and came to Maryland to find a job in that field.
Though he originally hoped to become a state trooper, Emereck said he is very happy working in Riverdale Park and no longer has that goal.
“When you work for a smaller agency, you always have backup. You get to know your area better and our people better," he said.
When not working, Emereck enjoys hunting, woodworking, and any activity that gets him outside.
Meanwhile, Sgt. Brian Slattery and Cpl. Larry Hayes were recognized for their work on a December 2011 case in which a car drove into a house.
The vehicle's operator, who was found to be intoxicated, had been charged with driving under the influence just eight days prior to the accident.
Though it can be difficult to convict a suspect of drunk driving if he or she has already left the vehicle when police arrive, Slattery and Hayes worked with prosecutors and were successful in proving the charge. The suspect was also convicted in March.
The commendations were awarded by Chief of Police David Morris and Mayor Vernon Archer at a town council meeting on April 2.
“In both cases, the officers were very adept and really followed through on doing their job,” said Riverdale Park Mayor Vernon Archer.
Archer said the officers exemplified the type of police work the town has come to expect.