Charles County Sheriff's Officers Nominated For Deputy Sheriff Of The Year

Left: Sgt. Craig Stillwell, center, receives his award from Thomas Golding, Hartford County Sheriff and Chairman of the Deputy of the Year Committee, left, and Sheriff Frederick E. Davis.

Right: Det. Charles Baker, right, receives his award from Sheriff Golding, and Sheriff Frederick E. Davis.

The Maryland Sheriffs' Association (MSA) recently presented two Charles County Sheriff's Officers with its 2005 Deputy Sheriff of the Year Award. Sgt. Craig Stillwell and Det. Charles Baker were recognized for their contributions to community service and crime prevention at a ceremony held in September in Ocean City, Md.

Sgt. Craig Stillwell supervises a squad of community policing officers and continuously dedicates his time and energy to Special Olympics and his church outside of his Agency assignments. For Special Olympics, Sgt. Stillwell assists with swimming and basketball activities and is involved in multiple fund-raising efforts, including an annual silent auction, the Shiver in the River and the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run. He serves as the south region coordinator for the Torch Run, attends County meetings and helps present awards at different functions.

Sgt. Stillwell's involvement with his church, Hughesville Baptist Church, includes teaching Sunday school to ninth and tenth graders. He is the activity coordinator and also works with the youth ministries. Sgt. Stillwell plays on the Church softball team and sings in the choir.

Det. Baker, a long-time auto theft detective for the Sheriff's Office, received the award for his investigation of a major vehicle theft ring in Charles and Prince George's counties last year.

Between April 8, 2004 and May 5, 2004, a car dealership in Waldorf was the victim of a series of thefts of high-end vehicles, including Cadillac Escalades and DeVilles. Det. Baker was assigned the cases and investigation led him to conduct surveillance in a Capital Heights neighborhood. The surveillance resulted in catching two suspects in the act of altering vehicle identification numbers and manufacturing false safety certification labels. In the sophisticated operation, the falsified numbers satisfied the Motor Vehicle Administration, allowing the stolen vehicles to be registered with the falsified documents.

Through Det. Baker's tireless efforts, he was able to expose an organized theft ring operating in Charles and Prince George's counties. With the assistance of a detective from the Prince George's County Police Department, Det. Baker recovered 23 vehicles, with a value of more than $750,000 and arrested two main suspects.

"I am very proud of both of these officers for their efforts to better our community," said Charles County Sheriff' Frederick E. Davis. "They are very deserving of this prestigious recognition and I am grateful to them for their valuable contributions and dedicated service to Charles County."

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