Optimist Club of Dundalk honors Precinct 12 officers
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 12:41

Ferguson earns Officer of the Year accolade

by Ben Boehl

    To show its members’ appreciation of the efforts of local police, the Optimist Club of Dundalk last week held its 9th Annual Respect for Law program, to which police officers were invited to a free dinner and rewarded for their services.
    Det. Justin Ferguson was named the club’s Officer of the Year and officers Jason Butschky and Robert Rayner received Outstanding Officer awards.
    Ferguson was award a $1,000 check from the Optimist Club.
    “The Police Foundation offers their officer of the year $500,” noted Optimist program chair Tom Toporovich. “We thought our officers were twice as good, and we decided to give $1,000.”
    Capt. Jan Brown, commander of North Point Police Precinct 12, said that he is proud of the officers and thanked the Optimist Club for taking the time and the money to hold such an event.
    “In other parts of the county, they don’t have celebrations and ceremonies for our officers,” Brown said.
    Ferguson has been a member of the Precinct 12 Investigative Services Team for over five years.
    Colleagues said that Ferguson is more of a “behind-the-scenes” detective who likes getting work done without recognition.

“I would like to thank everyone here. I appreciated being recognized,” Ferguson said. “In our line of work, we deal with people that stray the wrong way. It’s nice to be with people that appreciate us.”
     Ferguson was honored for having made 24 felony arrests and clearing 41 felony cases. He also made three misdemeanor arrests and cleared 16 misdemeanor cases.
    Ferguson was assigned to 24 robbery investigations and was able to clear 13 cases within a year. That gave him a clearance rate of 54 percent, which is double the nationwide average clearance rate for robberies.
    “I got to know him well. I’m alway grilling him, but he has the answers,” Brown said. “I can always rely on Justin. He takes that extra step.”
    Rayner could not attend the event, but Brown said he was honored for taking a proactive approach during the midnight shift.
    “[Sometimes} the midnight shift is busy, and sometimes its not — and he chooses to go out and write tickets,” Brown said.
    “He does it all night long, and sometimes he’ll find a drunk driver or [other illegal activity].”
    Lt. Bill Isenhart accepted the award on Rayner’s behalf and said that the officer arrested 23 DUI offenders and made 56 criminal arrests within the last year.
    “Ofc. Rayner is very proactive at patrolling the area.” Isenhart  said. “The 23 DUI arrests and the 56 criminals arrested is phenomenal.”
    Cpl. Dana McCormick presented Butschky his award and called him “a role model” for all young officers.
    Butschky, who has only been an officer since 2008, was credited for achievements including a December 2013 robbery investigation in which, according to McCormick, Butschky used his investigative skills to identify the possible suspects.
    “He is an informal leader in our squad. Ofc. Butschky has given key information which was used to make an arrest,” McCormick said.
    Brown agreed with McCormick that Butschky is an officer who does what is needed to keep the community safe.
    “He answers ‘calls for service,’ but he is [assigned to] patrol. It is sometimes as simple as a missing person, but he takes the steps all the time.”
    Butschky deflected much of the credit to his police colleagues.
    “I appreciate everything that was said about me, but I couldn’t have done it without my supervisor and the people around me.”