Harford County Sheriff's Office Recognized by Maryland Sheriff’s Association

(Bel Air, MD - October 11, 2006) — The Harford County Sheriff's Office has been recognized by the Maryland Sheriff’s Association as “Deputy of the Year” winners for 2006. The awards were presented recently at the Maryland Sheriff’s Association annual conference in Ocean City.

Recipients of “Deputy of the Year” for 2006 were:

  • Gang Suppression Unit - Contribution to the Profession – Large Sheriff’s Office
  • DFC Scott Yosua - Crime Prevention – Large Sheriff’s Office
  • DFC John Blair - Correctional Deputy of the Year

The Harford County Sheriff's Office Gang Suppression Unit, which was formed in February 2005, was recognized for outstanding performance in combating gang related crimes and violence. The GSU is comprised of Cpl. Thomas Gamble, DFC Brian Battee, DFC Scott Blankenship and DFC Paul Ruszala, was formed following the December 2004 murder of Deral Howard Guess in Edgewood.

Members of the GSU have worked tirelessly to identify, control and eradicate gangs and their members with various local, state and federal agencies. During the past year, the GSU conducted over 600 traffic stops, issued nearly 800 citations/warnings; conducted over 900 field interviews; and arrested 200 individuals for gang-related offenses. Additionally, 10 criminal gangs, with 248 members operating in Harford County have been identified.

The GSU worked with the Intelligence Unit to develop a database of gang members and associates that have become an invaluable took to law enforcement agencies.

DFC Scott Yosua, of the Special Investigation Division, is a nine year veteran with the Sheriff’s Office. He has been a member of the Intelligence Unit since 2001; and for the past year has been responsible for capturing, documenting, compiling and analyzing all criminal gang activity in the county. To date, DFC Yosua has identified more than 120 criminal gang members and is responsible for the first gang members to be charged federally. Additionally, he has authored and developed numerous presentations pertaining to gang identification, awareness and prevention methods that have been presented to over 90 government and civilian agencies and organizations.

Finally, DFC John Blair assigned to the Harford County Detention Center was chosen as the “Correctional Deputy of Year” for his exemplary performance while assigned to hospital duty at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center.

While on duty at the hospital on July 1, 2005, DFC Blair observed three individuals bringing an unconscious male into the emergency room. DFC Blair assisted placing the individual into a wheel chair and notified staff of a possible overdose.

Upon turning the person over to hospital staff, DFC Blair started to leave the building when he was summoned to assist staff members with the male patient he helped into the emergency room a few minutes earlier. The patient was now conscious and combative. As DFC Blair was subduing the patient, a five-inch knife fell from the man’s pocket. The knife was then quickly retrieved by a nearby nurse.

DFC Blair’s quick response, initiative and tactics help contain a situation that could have resulted in serious injuries or death not only to hospital personnel but to other patients as well.

Commenting on the recognition of several members of the Harford County Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Tom Golding stated, “Each of these deputies has performed their duties with utmost professionalism and honor. They represent the finest attributes of a Deputy Sheriff and we are proud of their service to the people of Harford County.”