May 7, 2011 2:26 pm ET
Last night, before a captive audience, no pun intended, The Optimist Club of Dundalk held their annual Respect For Law Program, which is a 50-year tradition. For the last five years there’s been a very special addition – Dundalk Optimist vice-president Tom Toporovich’s donation of $1,000 dollars of his own money to the Police Officer of the Year, and $100 dollars to each of the Outstanding Officers of the Year.
Toporovich also served as master of ceremonies this year.
Did I say all the usual suspects were there?
The awards featured the Dundalk Optimist Club Police Officer of the Year, Andrew Minton; along with Outstanding Police Officer Awards to Officers Anne Cuddy, Adrienne Grant, Matthew B. Krauch and Robert Rayner, Jr.
The nominations were submitted by the North Point Precinct 12 various shift supervisors, who focused on achievements above and beyond the call of duty.
Guest speakers included Colonel Michael McCleese and Captain Butch Wilson of the North Point Precinct 12.
You might say the winner of the Police Officer of the Year award, Andrew Minton, is a repeat winner, as this is his third award for this category.
Along with his police duties and accomplishments, which are many, Officer Minton has been a volunteer firefighter and EMT since 1992. Talk about enough hours in a day!
What makes this a very special event is Mr. Tom Toporovich donates $1,000 dollars of his own money to the Police Officer of the Year, and $100 dollars to each of the Outstanding Officers of the Year. They also receive an engraved paper weight, which can come in handy as we all are aware of the amount of paper work involved in police work.
A Korean War veteran, Tom started his generosity five years ago to honor his deceased brother Edward Toporovich, who was killed in action as a tail gunner in a Middle River-built Martin B-26 Bomber during WWII. Edward was awarded three Military Air Awards posthumously.
What I saw last night is quickly becoming extinct in the world of technology, which excludes the element of face-to-face humane interaction.
If we lose that, then all the awards in the world won’t matter.
(For all those who read my comments on Patch stories, you see now that I can be positive, once in awhile!)