Op­ti­mist Club hon­ors of­fi­cers

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE - By CHAR­LENE MAYO cmayo@ches­pub.com

De­tec­tive Justin Se­rio, mem­ber of the Dun­dalk Po­lice Precinct 12 In­ves­tiga­tive Ser­vices Team, snagged the win­ning ti­tle for the Dun­dalk Op­ti­mist Club’s Of­fi­cer of the Year award.

“I think it’s great that the Op­ti­mist Club does this; it’s not some­thing that they

have to do,” Se­rio said.

“I think it’s great that they show the com­mu­nity that they are sup­port­ive,” he added.

Se­rio was a pa­trol of­fi­cer at the Dun­dalk Precinct for nine years be­fore be­ing pro­moted to de­tec­tive in 2014.

Ac­cord­ing to Sgt. Kim­berly DeFelice #4162, of­fi­cers earn a po­si­tion in the In­ves­tiga­tive Ser­vices Team by demon­strat­ing ex­cep­tional

per­for­mance and abil­ity to han­dle com­plex crimes that pa­trol of­fi­cers gen­er­ally are not ex­pe­ri­enced enough to han­dle.

De­tec­tives must com­plete a rig­or­ous process to de­ter­mine their abil­ity to meet the de­mands of the unit, she added.

“The process, in and of it­self, can be so daunt­ing that most of­fi­cers choose not to ex­pose them­selves to such an in­volved cri­tique of their abil­i­ties,” DeFelice said. Se­rio took the chance. Go­ing above the call of duty, stand­ing out in per­for­mance and nur­tur­ing the com­mu­nity of Dun­dalk is what made Se­rio stand out and win Of­fi­cer of the Year, ac­cord­ing to DeFelice.

The na­tional av­er­age clear­ance for the types of crimes De­tec­tive Se­rio in­ves­ti­gates is 33 per­cent.

De­tec­tive Se­rio’s per­sonal clear­ance rate for the same type of crimes is 59 per­cent.

“His clear­ance rate is di­rectly re­lated to his pas­sion for the job and ex­per­tise as an in­ves­ti­ga­tor,” DeFelice said.

In 2017, Se­rio made 18 ar­rest, had 21 case clear­ances, ex­e­cuted 3 war­rants and seized 2 firearms.

Ac­cord­ing to DeFelice, Se­rio shows com­pas­sion towards his vic­tims de­spite their crim­i­nal back­grounds and strives to solve each case.

“This is ev­i­dence by the fact that he ranked sec­ond in the unit in the number of cases as­signed and also the number of cases solved,” DeFelice said.

“In fact, his clear­ance rate is eight per­cent higher than the squad av­er­age. De­tec­tive Se­rio truly leaves no stone un­turned,” she noted.

Ac­cord­ing to Se­rio, he loves the dy­namic of Dun­dalk and its closeknit neigh­bor­hoods.

“The older com­mu­ni­ties work to­gether to make some of these ar­eas bet­ter,” Se­rio said.

“I like the peo­ple and the old his­tory,” he added.

“An award like this, com­ing from the com­mu­nity is so im­por­tant, es­pe­cially in a time when law en­force­ment is looked at so neg­a­tively,” Se­rio said.

He added, the award shows that the com­mu­nity re­ally does care about the Bal­ti­more County Po­lice De­part­ment and their of­fi­cers.

COUR­TESY PHOTO

Present at the Op­ti­mist Club Of­fi­cer of the Year awards were (back row, from left) Colonel Jones, Cor­po­ral Christo­pher Robin­son, Sergeant Kim­berly DeFelice, Cap­tain Wiedeck, Op­ti­mist Club pres­i­dent Bill Whit­comb, De­tec­tive Justin Se­rio (Of­fi­cer of the...

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