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Superintendent Colonel Melissa Zebley


Delaware State Police Announce 2020 Trooper and Civilian Employee of the Year


Date Posted: Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

Dover– At a ceremony held on Tuesday, April 20, 2021, Superintendent of the Delaware State Police, Colonel Melissa Zebley, announced the winners of the annual Trooper of the Year and Civilian of the Year awards.

To help recognize the significance of the ceremony Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security, Nathaniel McQueen Jr., was in attendance to offer congratulatory remarks.

Trooper of the Year

Each year the Delaware State Police Executive Staff selects one Trooper for the Trooper of the Year Award. To be nominated, a Trooper must exceed performance standards and be recognized by his or her peers, as one who epitomizes the Core Values of the Division, which are Honor, Integrity, Courage, Loyalty, Attitude, Discipline and Service.

This year, twelve Troopers were nominated, and out of those worthy nominees, the Executive Staff selected Senior Corporal DiGiacomo, as the 2020 Trooper of the Year, for his outstanding efforts and contributions to the Division and the citizens of the State of Delaware. Senior Corporal DiGiacomo is assigned to the Headquarters DIAC (Delaware Information and Analysis Center).

Senior Corporal DiGiacomo’s investigative knowledge and work ethic has contributed to the successful prosecution of multiple criminal cases. He works tirelessly in an effort to make Delaware a safer state to live and travel in. He works very well with other investigative units, and other departments both at the local and federal level. When commenting on his achievements, in true form he attributed his success to his fellow Troopers.

Senior Corporal DiGiacomo was also presented with the Randall Armistead Trooper of the Year Award on behalf of the Delaware State Troopers Association. Presenting the award was President of the DSTA, Sgt. Troy Pezzuto.

Trooper of the Year Nominees

  • Trooper First Class, George Justice – Troop 1
  • Trooper First Class, Thomas Leonardi – Troop 2 Patrol
  • Corporal Grade 1, Thomas Macauley – Troop 2 CIU
  • Trooper First Class, Trevor Pendleton – Troop 3 Patrol
  • Corporal Grade 1, Patrick Schlimer – Troop 3 CIU
  • Master Corporal Anthony Baker – Troop 4 Patrol
  • Corporal William Saylor – Troop 4 CIU
  • Trooper First Class Kyle Perry – Troop 5
  • Trooper First Class Benjamin Wingate – Troop 7
  • Corporal Grade 1 Leonard DeMalto – Troop 7
  • Senior Corporal Christopher Nicholson – Troop 9
  • Senior Corporal DiGiacomo – HQ/DIAC

Civilian of the Year

Each year the Delaware State Police Executive Staff also selects one civilian employee, for the Civilian of the Year Award. Civilian employees who are nominated for this award display outstanding performance and meet the following criteria:

  1. Exceptional service as identified by the employee’s performance evaluations.
  2. A consistent record of such service through their years of employment.
  3. Recognition by their peers for outstanding character and integrity.

This year, five Delaware State Police civilian employees were nominated for the award, and the Executive Staff of the Delaware State Police selected Human Resources Specialist; Rhonda Davis, as the 2020 Civilian of the Year.

2020 Civilian of the Year, Rhonda Davis
2020 Civilian of the Year, Rhonda Davis

Rhonda began her career 21 years ago as a Human Resources Specialist and became credentialed by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Her skills and abilities led the Delaware State Police (DSP) and our Human Resources Section in the successful navigation through the apex of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis in 2020. Within HR, Rhonda is Lead HR Specialist in several disciplines to include civilian employee acquisition & retention, civilian employee relations/Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC), retirement and benefit processing and a multitude of ancillary responsibilities. Rhonda’s leadership role expanded exponentially as the virus impacted all civilian and sworn work groups throughout the division. With determined dedication, she met ever-changing new and unprecedented challenges to Delaware and to the Division. Throughout the uncertainty of a global pandemic, civil unrest, staffing hurdles, labor disputes, and seemingly endless retirements, Ms. Davis remained a steadfast resource for the Division’s personnel. Her commitment to the men and women of the Division is evident in the countless hours Ms. Davis worked to ensure that our personnel were properly educated on COVID protocols, paid emergency leave, available resources, and documentation of illness, all while performing her other duties without interruption. Amid all these demands, she also processed 46 pensions and hired 57 new employees. She was pivotal in the implementation of COVID-related tracking and compensation and ensured that Divisional personnel were included in all decisions related to the Human Resources realm. Rhonda has been a model employee and consummate professional during her career with the Delaware State Police; her support and dedication to the Division is unsurpassed.

Civilian of the Year Nominees

  • Rhonda Davis – Headquarters/Human Resources
  • Rachel Dukes – DIAC (Delaware Information and Analysis Center)
  • Susan McNatt – Headquarters/Academy
  • Nicole Perregrino – Headquarters Communications
  • Ashley Torbert – Headquarters/Homicide

In addition to the Trooper and Civilian of the Year, the following Troopers were also presented with the following awards:

Valor Award:

Master Corporal David Chorlton, Senior Corporal DiGiacomo, Sgt Christopher Ennis, Master Corporal Sean O’Leary, Sgt Joshua Scaramazza, Master Corporal Ricardo Torres

Superintendent’s Citation:

Trooper First Class Carrie Foskey, Corporal Ryan Kirchenbauer, Corporal Charles Morris, Trooper First Class Cody Moyer, Master Corporal John Penrod, Sgt Brian Pixley, Corporal August Zickgraf

Lifesaving Award:

Corporal Sarah Bailey, Trooper Anthony Carter, Trooper First Class Irina Celpan, Trooper Kyle Finkbeiner, Trooper Cullen Fulton, Master Corporal Justin Galloway, Corporal Coban Goertz, Captain Jennifer Griffin, Corporal Eric Gumbs, Trooper First Class Robert Harris, Trooper Robert Horton, Corporal Andrew Johnson, Trooper Luke Justice, Corporal Daniel Korenyi, Corporal Carolee Lenoir, Corporal Sean Murray, Trooper Trevor Pendleton, Mr. Joseph Pepper, Trooper First Class Kyle Perry, Corporal Chase Petrella, Sgt Steven Robertson, Corporal Grade 1 Sean Rodrigues, Corporal Jonathan Scaramazza, Senior Corporal Scott Shelton, Trooper Michael Short, Trooper First Class Matthew Skidmore, Corporal James Smith, Corporal Jordan Smith, Corporal Robert Spanier Jr., Mr. Mario Street, Trooper Emanuel Velez, Master Corporal William Walker, Trooper First Class Trevor White, Trooper Kaitlyn Zebley

Exceptional Performance:

Dover Police Detective, Robert Cunningham, Corporal Justin Decowski, Corporal Sean Devenney, Corporal Kelly Diaz, Senior Corporal DiGiacomo, Corporal Grade 1 Christopher Donaldson, Master Corporal Gary Fournier, Corporal Daniel Galini,  Trooper First Class Patrick Gaskin, Corporal Johnathon Gibbons, Master Corporal Mark Hogate, Corporal Eric Huston, Master Corporal Joseph Joannides, Corporal Kathleen Koff, Dover Police Detective, Matthew Krogh, Corporal Pierre Lawler, Corporal Michael Lilley, Corporal Heidi Lingo, Corporal Richard Link, Corporal Michael Lipp, Corporal Michael Macauley. Corporal Thomas Macauley, Corporal Matthew McHenry, Trooper Mitchell Moyer, Corporal Bartlomiej Muziol, Trooper Trevor Pendleton, Sgt Christopher Popp, Trooper First Class Jodi Salyer, Corporal Grade 1 Patrick Schlimer, Corporal Lawrence Seitz, Trooper First Class Matthew Skidmore, Corporal Christopher Solda, Sgt Patrick Stock, Sgt Jason Vernon

Presented by Public Information Officer, Master Corporal Gary Fournier

Released: 042021 1830

-End-

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