Stretch of Route 30 is dedicated to slain officer
Baltimore County police veteran, killed in 2013, was a Carroll Co. resident
Route 30 is a busy north-south roadway connecting Carroll and Baltimore counties.
On Sunday, it also served as a gathering place for hundreds of law enforcement officials and residents from both sides of the county line and beyond, who came to dedicate a portion of the road to slain police officer Jason L. Schneider.
Schneider, a 13-year veteran of the Baltimore County Police Department who lived in Carroll County, was shot to death in Catonsville in August 2013 as he and another officer attempted to serve a warrant. He was 36.
At a ceremony at Cape Horn Park near Schneider’s Manchester home, fellow officers and friends said that three years later, his colleagues and community are still struggling with the loss of a man recalled as an experienced officer, a helpful neighbor and a loving father, son, husband and brother.
“He was extremely loyal to his family, his community and his fellow officers,” said his father, Charles Schneider, a retired 25-year veteran of the Baltimore Police Department. “Even if he just met you, he would do anything for you.”
Schneider’s colleagues in Baltimore County worked with his father and state and local officials to gain approval to dedicate the section of Route 30 between Charmil Drive and the Hampstead bypass.
Those gathered Sunday said it’s a fitting Carroll County Sheriff Jim DeWees, left, stands Sunday in front of the newly unveiled sign honoring Baltimore County Police Officer 1st Class Jason Schneider. tribute. Schneider traveled the road almost daily. On the morning he was killed, Carroll County Sheriff Jim DeWees said, he took Route 30 “one last time to a career, an agency and a team he loved dearly and was devoted to.”
Schneider was posthumously awarded the Baltimore County Police Foundation’s Award for Valor. Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson called him a “noble man and a hero” who was a “shining example of the very best of police.”
Sunday’s ceremony on a hill overlooking the highway was a hometown affair — the Manchester Volunteer Fire Department brought water for guests, the town provided chairs and a podium, and speakers remembered Schneider as a local kid who attended North Carroll High School, served in the Marines and returned home with a strong desire to serve the community.
Yet several also made reference to a need to recognize first responders — especially at a time when police are facing scrutiny at the local and national levels.
Del. Haven Shoemaker, a Republican whose district includes areas along the county line, said some people “want to make bad guys the good guys, and good guys into the bad guys.”
“Jason Schneider was proof that police are the good guys,” he said.
The event was attended by Schneider’s parents, Charles and Karen, his wife, Ericka, children Brandon and Kayla, brothers Michael and Kenneth and scores of other family members and friends — many wearing T-shirts honoring him.
DeWees noted the bond that exists between the neighbor jurisdictions — he said many Baltimore County officers, like Schneider, state police troopers and other law enforcement officials make their home in Carroll.
A reminder of that fact came as Schneider’s memorial sign was unveiled. The marker stands about 20 yards across the highway from another marker, also recently erected, honoring Lt. Michael Howe.
Howe, who also lived in Manchester, was commander of a Baltimore County police tactical unit. He died in 2006 of a stroke following a police operation in Randallstown.
Johnson called the highway tributes to both men “an honor for all the region.”
Charles Schneider said he’s proud those who travel the heavily used commuter route will see a reminder of his son on a daily basis.
“I’ll feel good about it,” he said. “Losing a child is one of the most difficult things that can ever happen, but for people to remember him is a very positive thing.”