Barrack X trooper earns top award for DUI enforcement

OCEAN CITY — Maryland State Trooper First Class Daniel J. Townsend was awarded the Officer Noah Leotta Memorial Award during the 18th annual Impaired Driving Law Enforcement awards ceremony held here Oct. 27.

TFC Townsend is the fourth recipient of this special award, named after Officer Noah Leotta of the Montgomery County Police Department. Officer Leotta was struck and killed by a drunk driver in December 2015. Officer Leotta had been working a special DUI assignment the night of the crash.

TFC Townsend graduated from the Maryland State Police Academy in April 2016 and was immediately assigned to the Princess Anne Barrack. Since his assignment, he has excelled in the area of impaired driving enforcement.

With a total of 108 impaired driving arrests throughout his short career, TFC Townsend has been one of the most productive troopers at the barrack in terms of combating impaired driving. Every year since 2017, he has led the Princess Anne Barrack in impaired driving arrests.

In addition, in October 2017, TFC Townsend attended Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) training in an attempt to further advance his skill level and knowledge of detecting impaired drivers. He has also assisted his shift partners, both subordinate and senior troopers alike, on multiple occasions by helping them detect impaired drivers as well.

Outside of his State Police duties, TFC Townsend enlisted in the U.S. Army in 2005 and continues to serve as a member of the National Guard, holding

the rank of staff sergeant. Even in that role, he has worked to take impaired drivers off the street. In January of 2019, TFC Townsend received his United States Army Military Police Instructor National Certification. He has since utilized that certification, spending seven weeks in California teaching newly trained military police personnel as an impaired driving instructor. Most recently, TFC Townsend attended the required training to become a certified Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) in Maryland. The annual Impaired Driving Law Enforcement Awards, a joint effort of the MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration’s (MDOT MVA) Highway Safety Office (MHSO) and the Washington Regional Alcohol Program, honored officers dedicated to eliminating impaired driving crashes, injuries and deaths. The awards ceremony recognized officers for DUI enforcement — including seven who made more than 100 arrests last year — and also thanked those who serve as a Drug Recognition Expert.

In all, 131 law enforcement officers were honored and Tfc Townsend is a first year honoree. Recognized for the fourth year was Cpl. Rondell Redding of the Princess Anne Police Department who had 11 DUI arrests in 2018.

The size of the agency is factored into determining award winners.