(PIKESVILLE, MD) – Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel Marcus L. Brown has announced the statewide 2011 Trooper of the Year for the Department.

In a ceremony that recognized the local winners from each barrack and division, Colonel Brown congratulated Trooper First Class Michael J. Bonczewski of the Bel Air Barrack as the 2011 Trooper of the Year.

The following narrative describes some of the work TFC Bonczewski performed during 2011 which led to his award:


During 2011, TFC Bonczewski continued the record of outstanding performance as a state trooper he began only four years ago when he joined the Maryland State Police. “Impressive, incredible and impeccable” are just three of the terms used by his supervisors to describe him. He led the barrack, or was second, in nearly every performance category. In some categories, his performance exceeded entire Bel Air Barrack work group performances. He was
the top producer at the barrack for seven months of 2011.

TFC Bonczewski made 2,585 traffic stops and issued more than 2,700 citations and almost 1,800 warnings. He issued more traffic citations than any other trooper in the Maryland State Police. He led the barrack in DUI arrests with 46 and was second in drug arrests with 23. He led the barrack in overall criminal arrests with 41 and was second in warrant arrests with 26. He led the barrack with 50 criminal investigations.

According to supervisors, TFC Bonczewski often worked past normally assigned shifts to ensure all his duties were completed. He often volunteered to work beyond his tour of duty to support barrack manpower needs. His uniform, equipment and attitude are always impeccable. He serves as a field training trooper and those he trains turn out to be top performers as well. He was chosen last year to serve on the Harford County Traffic Task Force, which has already impacted traffic safety in the county, thanks in no small part to the efforts of TFC Bonczewski.

When he was dispatched to an assault call in Edgewood last year, TFC Bonczewski employed his exceptional investigative intuition. While interviewing the suspect of an assault in a domestic violence case, he saw numerous gang tattoos . He developed a rapport with the man who eventually provided a wealth of information involving gang related crimes and member identifications. He also provided the only known copy of the “Blood Bible,” in the region. This is an extremely valuable aid for gang investigators working the Bloods gang in Maryland.

Another call involved a prescription fraud at an Abingdon pharmacy. The diligent investigation of TFC Bonczewski led to the arrest of the suspect and the recovery of hundreds of prescription medications.

He also recovered numerous fraudulent prescription slips and computer equipment used to make fake prescriptions and military documents. His investigation ultimately closed a tri-state crime spree involving forged prescriptions and a lucrative narcotics ring. The suspect he arrested was estimated to have passed over 5,000 illegal prescriptions.

In the words of his supervisor, Cpl. Ray Domico, “Trooper First Class Bonczewski’s ability and performance as a Maryland state trooper can be summed up as extraordinary. His overwhelming dedication, work ethic, and acts of self-sacrifice are the ultimate model that other Department and allied agency personnel should emulate. His level of performance and service has unquestionably made Harford County and our state a safer place to live.”

During his short career, TFC Bonczewski has accumulated an impressive list of awards. He was Trooper of the Year at the La Plata Barrack in 2009. That same year he was Trooper of the Year for the Southern Region. In 2010, he won Trooper of the Year for the Bel Air Barrack and won the same award that year for the Northern Region. He was the State Police recipient of the International Association of Chiefs of Police “Trooper of the Year” Award for 2010. He won the 2011 American Legion Officer of the Year.