MARTINSBURG POLICE DEPARTMENT

Officer of the Month

August 2019

Corporal Eric Neely & Patrolwoman Britney Conner

Corporal Eric Neely and Patrolwoman Britney Conner have been selected as the Martinsburg Police Department’s Officers of the Month for August 2019.  Eric Neely is an MPD veteran with 16 years of service and Britney Conner has a year and a half on the job.  In earning the Award, both officers demonstrated superior initiative, teamwork, and attention to duty in investigations that resulted in felony arrests and the shutting down of three more drug houses.            

Last month, Corporal Neely took the lead in a successful Drug House case, making a felony arrest, executing a search warrant, and uncovering a crack cocaine manufacturing and selling operation at 909 Fountainhead Lane.  Neely also continued to monitor 122 S. Raleigh Street, a location that he and his fellow Shift officers had discovered as a Drug House in June.  When they found continuing illegal drug activity, another search warrant was obtained, resulting in the arrest and eviction of the problem tenant. 

Lieutenant Justin Darby is Corporal Neely’s Shift Commander.  Lieutenant Darby says that, “Corporal Neely maintains a high level of enforcement activity while coordinating officer safety training for our newer officers.  Eric is a highly motivated, enthusiastic, and reliable supervisor who works to make our Department and community a better place."

Also during July, Patrolwoman Conner seized the initiative in taking a case from a hit-and-run crash, to a drug investigation, two search warrants with a felony arrest, and the shutting down of another drug house at 1101 Circle Drive.  Conner’s investigation resulted in the recovery of 222 grams of marijuana and the shutting down of a drug selling operation.

Patrolwoman Conner’s Shift Commander is Lieutenant Mike Usack who says that, “Britney Conner is a highly motivated young officer.  She is eager to learn, improve, and assist her fellow officers.  Britney regularly takes the initiative to apply her training to challenging situations.”

“MPD has a lot of really good officers, so it’s an honor to be recognized. It’s a special feeling to be part of a great team.”                                                                                   

Corporal Eric Neely


Upon being awarded Officer of the Month, Corporal Neely immediately acknowledged his fellow officers and states that “MPD has a lot of really good officers, so it’s an honor to be recognized.  It’s a special feeling to be part of a great team.”  He describes his Shift as, “a good balance of younger and older officers.”  “I really enjoy working on training and help everyone get better,” says Neely.  “We’re a great team and really work to build community support.  Getting out of your cruiser and walking in the neighborhoods is so important.  That’s the way you meet people where they live and interact with businesses and kids.  Going into schools does a lot to develop positive relationships too.  The kids learn that the police aren’t what they see on TV.  Also, it changes officers when you really get to know people.  It gives you a different perspective.”

Both Officers of the Month strongly believe that the Drug House Ordinance has been a game changer in fighting drugs and improving our community.  “I really like what we’ve done with the Drug House Ordinance.  It’s a great tool,” says Patrolwoman Conner.  “Holding landlords accountable is really important but it’s a wakeup call for tenants, too.  They know that they can’t just run amok anymore.  Citizens really appreciate that,” Conner added. 

Officer Neely notes that, “our Drug House Ordinance is so important.  When people know that we’re there to fix a problem, they’re more likely to step up and help clean up their own neighborhood.  That does a lot.  First, it puts an end to that particular problem.  A drug dealer gets put in jail, a decent tenant gets put in the house, and the problem on the block has been solved.  Then the word spreads and people on the next block say, ‘Hey, they got rid of their goofball—we’ve got a goofball over here.  Let’s work with the police and get rid of him too.  And not having to keep returning for repeat calls gives us more discretionary time to work on other things.”  Corporal Neely says that the positive impact on the community is noticeable.  “Another thing I’ve seen is that by shutting down so many drug houses, we’ve been shrinking the area for drug activity.  I’ve actually had more than one addict tell me that they were entering into treatment to get clean because, ‘I’ve got no place to get high.’  That’s pretty amazing.”


“We have a great Department and I’m proud to be part of it.  MPD is working.  We’re solving problems, getting things done and making a difference.”  

                                                                   Patrolwoman Britney Conner


As a newer officer with 18 months in the Department, Officer Conner says, “MPD is an exciting place to work.  We’ve got great veteran officers, excellent training, and lots of opportunities.  I think that’s really important for young officers because we’re encouraged to work every facet of a case, taking it and seeing it through from start to finish." 

In receiving her award, Britney recognized her fellow officers and stressed the importance of teamwork.  Conner stated, “I appreciate being recognized with this Award and I want to thank my fellow officers and co-workers for their dedication and support.  They live it.  We have a great Department and I’m proud to be part of it.  MPD is working.  We’re solving problems, getting things done, and making a difference.”

“Corporal Neely and Patrolwoman Conner are team players who step up…and are dedicated to getting the job done.”                                                                                                            

Chief Maury Richards


In recognizing the August Officers of the Month, Chief Richards says that, “Corporal Neely and Patrolwoman Conner are team players who step up to take on challenges, demonstrate initiative, and are dedicated to getting the job done.”  Deputy Chief Swartwood states that, “Eric Neely and Britney Conner are both deserving of this award.  Their recent activity and results have been outstanding.”


“Eric Neely and Britney Conner are deserving of this award.  Their recent activity and results have been outstanding.”                                                                                                  

Deputy Chief George Swartwood


 Through their exceptional skill, dedication, exemplary performance, and effectiveness in representing the Martinsburg Police Department and serving our community; Corporal Eric Neely and Patrolwoman Britney Conner are awarded Officers of the Month for August 2019.  Congratulations Eric and Britney!    

Officer of the Month Award

MPD is recognizing on a monthly basis, both sworn and non-sworn Department members who distinguish themselves by exemplary work and actions beyond the requirements of normal assignments and which represent the highest standards of policing and community service in the Martinsburg Police Department.

The Officer of the Month Award will be granted to a Department member or members whose performance of duty during a specific month was characterized by such exceptional professional skill that it merits recognition by the entire Department.

Criteria to be considered includes outstanding work that: Is varied and challenging; greatly affects people from all walks of life; improves community conditions and quality of life; furthers the ideals and values of the Martinsburg Police Department; achieves significant impact on public safety or crime reduction; resolves problems; brings credit to the Department; demonstrates leadership, initiative, and exceptional professionalism; improves police service to the public; or in other ways advance the goals of MPD.

Neely Conner

Corporal Eric Neely & Patrolwoman Britney Conner