DOVER — Col. Melissa Zebley, superintendent of the Delaware State Police, announced the 2022 Trooper of the Year and Civilian of the Year at a ceremony March 10.
Gov. John Carney, Safety and Homeland Security Secretary Nathaniel McQueen Jr., Col. Zebley and the president of the Delaware State Troopers Association, Sgt. Troy Pezzuto, were in attendance to offer congratulatory remarks.
Trooper of the Year
This award is given to a sworn employee who is recognized by his or her peers for having outstanding character and integrity, and whose performance significantly exceeded expectations during the previous year.
This year, 12 troopers were nominated, and the executive staff selected Cpl. Thomas Leonardi of Troop 2 Patrol to be recognized.
Cpl. Leonardi has been with the division four years, having also served two years with the Delaware River & Bay Authority. Throughout 2022, he encountered various daunting challenges but persevered, while maintaining a professional appearance and attitude, Col. Zebley said in a news release. Cpl. Leonardi has the leadership skills of a seasoned trooper at an early stage in his career, which is reflected in his daily work habits, she added.
The Trooper of the Year nominees included:
- Cpl./1 Jeffrey Baldwin of Troop 9.
- Cpl. Hunter Bordley of Troop 1.
- Detective Kimberly Haley of the Troop 4 Criminal Investigations Unit.
- Detective Bridget Harris of the Troop 2 Criminal Investigations Unit.
- Trooper First Class Michelle Keane of Troop 3.
- Cpl. Kevin Kelleher of Troop 6.
- Detective John Messick of the Criminal Intelligence Section.
- Cpl. Hunter Raymond of Troop 5.
- Detective Anthony Tillman of Troop 3.
- Cpl. Brandon Triantos of Troop 7.
- Cpl. Thomas Vincent of Troop 4.
Civilian of the Year
The Civilian of the Year Award is given annually to a civilian employee whose service with the Delaware State Police has been outstanding throughout the previous year.
This year, nine were nominated, and the executive staff selected information technology client services manager Marissa Warren as the winner.
Ms. Warren began her career with the state police as a digital evidence technician seven years ago. At that time, she was the sole person responsible for managing video evidence.
She was later promoted to client services manager and took on the task of building out the body camera program. This involved coordinating the testing of new devices and deploying them to hundreds of sworn troopers, while building a team of digital evidence technicians and supervisors. In doing so, she worked with leadership to develop policies and create standard operating procedures for information technology support.
In addition, she emerged as a valuable member of the DSP Wellness Committee.
Col. Zebley said Ms. Warren’s tireless work ethic and attention to detail have resulted in the successful deployment of the cameras.
The Civilian of the Year nominees included:
- Jennifer Bastianelli of the Criminal Intelligence Section.
- Scott Ferguson of Troop 6.
- Monica Holmes of Human Resources.
- Patricia McSweeney of the State Bureau of Identification.
- Marty McWilliams of Human Resources.
- Donna Newth-Showell of Troop 6.
- Ashley Parker of RECOM.
- Kelly Tush of Troop 2.
The following honors were also given:
- Life Saving Awards are given to members of the Delaware State Police or allied partners who engage in any effort that saves a life — Cpl./1 Derek Balaguer, Cpl./1 Corey Bastianelli, Trooper First Class Schatzschneider Billy-Attoh, Trooper Troy Bowden, Cpl./3 Todd Buchert, Trooper First Class Anthony Carter, Trooper Steve Collins, Garfield Daniels of the Department of Transportation, Trooper First Class Cameron Drake, Trooper Daniel Fezza, Cpl. Jennifer Hastings, Trooper First Class Casey Hofmann, Trooper Shane Horn, Cpl./1 David Huynh, Officer First Class James Kiser of New Castle County police, Trooper Hunter Lecates, Cpl./3 Robert Lewis, Cpl. Richard Link, Cpl./1 Kevin Logue, Cpl./1 Rosendo Luna, Trooper Megan Marino, Sgt. Christopher Martin, David Moran of DelDOT, Cpl. Mitchell Moyer, Cpl./1 Daniel Myers, Cpl./2 Christopher Nicholson, Cpl./1 Frank Ofner, Cpl./1 Kyle Ogden, Cpl./2 James O’Neil, Cpl./3 Brian Page, Trooper First Class Nick Panissidi, Andres Ramirez of DelDOT, Cpl./1 Andrew Rosner, Trooper Ryan Santmyer, Cpl. William Schuele, Cpl. Douglas Schwartz, Trooper Lauren Skonezney, Derrick Smith of DelDOT, Cpl./1 Michael Spudis, Trooper Domenica Trace, Trooper Nathaniel Valenti, Trooper First Class Thomas Vincent, Trooper First Class Brian Whitehead and Trooper Jerome Williams.
- Exceptional Performance Awards are given to members of the state police who perform significantly above what would be expected in their normal realm of responsibilities — Cpl./1 Robert Alexander, Cpl. Jared Balan, Trooper First Class William Beinke, Cpl. Jermaine Cannon, Trooper First Class Michael Efelis, Cpl./3 Troy Frey, Cpl./3 Brian Greene, Cpl./3 Thomas Guarini, Cpl. Dean Johnson, Cpl. Michael Lipp, Special Agent Kristopher Long of the FBI, Trooper Megan Marino, Trooper Alexander McCabe, Sgt. Andrew Mitchell, Cpl. Mitchell Moyer, Trooper First Class Ryan Nowakowski, Trooper First Class Nicholas Panissidi, Lt. Troy Ralston, Cpl. Jodi Salyer, Trooper Ryan Santmyer and Cpl. William Schuele.
- The Superintendent’s Citation Award is awarded to a member of the Delaware State Police or allied partner who has participated or assisted in a randomly unique event — Trooper Arlen Kilmartin.
- The Valor Award is received by a member of DSP for an extraordinary act of courage in a situation when he or she is faced with the possibility of serious harm but performs his or her duty in a courageous manner — Cpl. Daniel Korenyi.
- The Cameron Logan Award is given annually to two troopers who exemplify dedication and commitment to DUI enforcement — Cpl. William Schuele and Cpl. Thomas Vincent.