An eight-year veteran of the Maine State Police who patrols in Hancock and Washington counties has been named Trooper of the Year. Corporal Christopher Smith of Hancock was named today at the annual State Police awards ceremony.

Smith grew up in Machias and joined the State Police in 2008 after serving four years as a patrol officer with Mount Desert Police. Smith is assigned to Troop J out of the State Police’s Ellsworth offices. He patrols with his canine Winger, the only drug detection dog in the troop.

Maine State Police

The Chief of the State Police, Colonel Robert Williams, said, “Corporal Smith is one of the best field training officers in the State Police with a natural ability of instruct younger Troopers and he is a true role model.”

Named “Legendary Trooper”, the highest honor for a State Police retiree was retired Lt. Herbert Morse of Hermon, who retired in 2003 after serving 42 years with the State Police. Morse was the commanding officer at Troop E in Orono for 27 years. Morse grew up in Bath and joined the State police in 1961.

Maine State Police

Major Christopher Grotton who served under Morse for twelve years as a member of Troop E, said, “Lt. Morse had an ability of inspire and mentor that forged his leadership legacy guiding scores of troopers. His sage advice and guidance made a significant impact on my career and many others.”

Maine citizens honored include:

Leonard and Rosemary Wallace of Steuben were presented bravery awards for rescuing two small children and a mother whose car careered into a pond in Hancock County in April.

Jason Forgues of Freeport and Paul Oleston of Topsham, Special Awards of Commendation, for rescuing a man from his burning truck in Freeport in April.

Trevor Hanna of Oakland and John Dow of Eliot, Special Awards of Commendation, for rescuing a young boy from a burning truck in Sidney last December.

Other honorees include:

State Police Sgt. Chad Fuller and Trooper John Darcy, Bravery Awards, for ending an armed standoff with a man in Smyrna in Feb. of 2015.

Troopers Darren Vittum and Chris Hashey, Meritorious Awards, for saving the life of a man who suffered a heart attack in Milford in 2015.

Trooper Ricci Cote, Colonel’s Award, for arresting 276 drunk drivers over the last eight years, including 50 in 2015.

Troopers Niles Krech, Adam McNaughton and Elisha Fowlie, Colonel’s Awards, for arresting a trio of scam artists from Georgia who were involved in a bad check writing scam.

Maine State Police Col. Robert A. Williams, left, Lt. Col. John Cote, right, stand with (from left) Sgt. Chris Rogers, Trooper Jared Stedman and Brunswick Police Det. William Moir, recipients of the Colonel's Award. (photo Brunswick Police Department)

Sgt. Chris Rogers, Trooper Jared Stedman and Brunswick Police Det. William Moir, Colonel’s Awards, for arresting a man accused of scamming more than 50 people from Maine to Florida out of nearly a half million dollars for excavation work never completed and firewood never delivered.

State Police Computer Crime Analyst Dawn Ego, Colonel’s Award, for her work with the FBI to identify a young girl from Canada who had been a victim of child pornography.

The awards ceremony was held Tuesday afternoon at 1 pm at The Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro.