Local MSP honors trooper, non-commissioned officer
EASTON — Recently, the Maryland State Police Easton Barracks announced its Trooper of the Year and Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year.
Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year was awarded to Sgt. Barry Bauguess, a 27-year veteran of the force. Trooper of the Year was awarded to Garrett Graef, a young police officer who has worked his way through the MSP since he was 15.
“These are two of the finest troopers we have here at this barrack,” Lt. Prendi Garcia, commander of the Easton Barracks.
NCO is awarded to a corporal or a sergeant from each barracks annually.
Bauguess said, “In a sense, it is supervisor of the year, one that they say stands out above the rest.”
Bauguess is a humble public servant and said he does not do anything different than anyone else who puts on the uniform and comes to work.
“I dont really see where I do anything different other than making sure my guys have everything they need and are aware of trends and training,” Bauguess said.
Bauguess is from Hartford County and started with the MSP at age 24. He said he was assigned to the Easton Barracks following the academy, and he stayed because he fell in love with the area.
After nine years, he was promoted to corporal and worked in criminal investigations unit as a trooper first class. From there, he was promoted to sergeant. In 2013, he returned to uniform police work, serving as sergeant of Group Two.
“I have very much enjoyed my career,” Balgus said. “The state police has been a good place to work with a good group of guys to work with. I really have no complaints. Twenty-seven years and I still love my job.”
“Sgt. Barry Balgus has been a true leader not only this year but every year that he has been on the job and he runs the best group at the barrack,” Garcia said. “With moral, statistical data, he is constantly leading from the front, and there is no other person that we thought of when we said NCO of the Year.”
“It is an honor to be recognized, but I don’t really feel it. I don’t feel like I have done anything,” Bauguess said. “Here is the honest truth. I do not feel like I went above or beyond anything. I feel like I did what I was suppose to do, and I got recognized. It feels good, and it’s a good thing, but I feel bad for the other people because we are all doing our own thing.”
Trooper of the Year Graef shared in his superior’s sentiment and said, “I didn’t do anything special. I just came out and worked hard. It hasn’t really hit me yet, but I am not changing anything I do. It is an honor, but we just come to work like we have been taught.”
Graef started in the MSP Explorer program when he was 15 years old and quickly made his way through the ranks as explorer lieutenant. From there, he went on to become a cadet, trooper and now Trooper of the Year.
“Graef is out there, with all his experience as an explorer, cadet and trooper, and now trooper of the year. He is a fine young man,” Garcia said. “I think he is doing a fine job for us and an outstanding job for the state police. He deserves to be Trooper of the Year because he worked hard.”
Graef attributes his success to the leadership and guidance he has received through each stage of his career.
“I have been very lucky ever since I started at 15 to have building blocks in front of me with good people and a good support system to get me where I am at now,” Graef said.
Graef said Bauguess was instrumental in his training that led him to where he is today.
“When I became a trooper, I got assigned here and to this group with a great sergeant (Bauguess) and a greatcorporal. Probably the two best supervisors I have ever been around, and that’s the honest to God truth,” Graef said. “This is the second year in a row he has gotten NCO of the year, so that says something right there. He looks out for us and is always doing things in our best interest.”
Graef said the constant support he receives is reassuring to him.
“I am still learning. Everyday that I put on this uniform, I am always learning something new, and he (Bauguess) is always there if I need something,” Graef said.
Baguess said he doesn’t see it that way.
“He comes to work every day ready to go, so I don’t see where I am an influence,” Balgus said. “My job as a supervisor is to make sure the guys know what they are doing and have whatever they need. That is pretty much all I do. Just steer them in the right direction, but they do the work.”
From left, Trooper of the Year Garrett Graef; Lt. Prendi Garcia, commander of the Maryland State Police Easton Barracks; and Non-Commissioned officer of the Year Sgt. Barry Bauguess.