CENTREVILLE — A first for Centreville Police Department, Friday evening, April 9, Chief Joe Saboury hosted what is hoped to be the beginning of an annual awards banquet recognizing the service of its outstanding officers and staff. The banquet was held at the Centreville Wharf and catered by Helen Todd Catering of Centreville.
Saboury welcomed officers and families, along with local officials, before a blessing on the evening’s program by Pastor Leroy Fitts. Following the meal, Saboury presented numerous awards.
Saboury said it was his privilege to recognize the officers for their honorable and heroic acts for the Town of Centreville.
The Chief’s Salute Award, was presented to Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office Detectives Jason Rickard and Steve Matthews. These detectives have worked closely with CPD providing valuable information in assisting common work between the two law enforcements organizations within the county.
CPD Officer Colin Rhodes received the Traffic Safety Enforcement Award, “During 2020, Officer Rhodes stopped nearly 1,000 motorists for violations of Maryland traffic laws, issuing over 550 warnings, citations, and repair orders to drivers. There is little doubt in my mind that the actions of Officer Rhodes impacted and improved traffic safety within the Town of Centreville,” Saboury said.
Corporal John LaBelle was presented the “Street Drug Enforcement Award” for 2020. Saboury said, “Well before COVID-19, Queen Anne’s County battled another type of pandemic in the Opioid epidemic. Over the last three years the town of Centreville was in the midst of 211 non-fatal overdose incidents, and 45 fatal overdoses. While the pandemic has occupied much of our attention, the Opioid and illegal street drug crisis continues to decimate lives. This year alone Queen Anne’s County has seen 14 known non-fatal overdoses and 6 fatal overdose incidents. It is vitally important to our communities that our law enforcement officers continue to identify and arrest illegal drug dealers.”
The “Impaired Driver Enforcement Award” was presented to Ofc. Colin Rhodes and Cpl. Chuck Harris. “Both have proved themselves an asset to CPD in detecting drivers under the influence and making Centreville roadways safer”, said Saboury. “Impaired driving is 100% preventable and I will continue to support our police officers efforts to remove impaired drivers from our roads.”
Somewhat of a surprise, the Chief’s Award was presented to Lt. Conrad Meil, who is the longest tenured law enforcement officer currently serving with the CPD the past 19-years. The surprise was that Saboury didn’t let Meil know he was receiving it (there was some laughter from the audience). Meil has worked every facet of a law enforcement officer; serving as patrol officer, criminal investigator, and administrator. He received this award for his continuing dedication, loyalty and excellence of service to the Town of Centreville.
A Group Citation Award was presented to four officers demonstrating “superior service worthy of recognition during the calendar year.” Work ethic, professionalism, dedication to duty, and performance, were all taken into account. Those officers were: Sergeant Andy Larrimore, Corporals Dennis Lannon, John LaBelle, and Todd Svehla.
The Life Saving Award, is an award presented to an employee who makes a substantial effort to rescue or stabilize a person in mortal peril or in imminent danger of losing his or her life. The award is only considered when the lifesaving act directly saves a person’s life, or makes a substantial contribution to it. This award was presented twice, for actions of CPD officers providing service back in 2016. The first, to Sgt. Robert Hobbs and Cpl. Charles Harris for actions taken on October 1, 2016, when they responded to a serious motor vehicle crash on Church Hill Road with life-threatening injuries. Some occupants of the vehicles were already deceased, however, one of the occupants was bleeding profusely from the neck. Actions taken by the officers stabilized that victim and his life was saved, Saboury said.
Harris was also recognized for his life-saving measures in the Dec. 29, 2016 shooting of Queen Anne’s Sheriff Deputy Scott Hogan. Harris found Hogan seriously wounded, openly bleeding from the stomach area, and with nothing but his bare hands, and a towel, applied first aid to control the bleeding. Paramedics soon arrived and Hogan was airlifted to Baltimore for emergency surgery. This was an especially emotional moment during the program for all present, as the award was presented to Harris by Hogan. They embraced as Hogan handed him the award.
Officer Colin Rhodes received the 2020 Officer of the Year Award presented by Colin’s father, retired CPD Chief Kenny Rhodes along with Saboury.
Chief Rhodes retired mid-way through 2020, where he and his wife, Kimberly, Colin’s mother, moved to Florida. Saboury took command in September 2020. Saboury said he felt it was only proper that this award also be representative of the time in 2020 Chief Rhodes was head of the department. Colin graciously thanked the members of the CPD for their support of him as an officer.
The Officer Michael S. Nickerson Award was presented by members of the Nickerson family in honor of Officer Nickerson who was tragically gunned down on Feb. 13, 2001, while responding to a noise complaint in Centreville. Saboury explained the recipient of the award is an individual who exemplifies the definition of policing by continuously demonstrating commitment to the department and community, and exhibiting selflessness, willingness to volunteer to better the agency, leadership, attention to detail, integrity and service. The 2020 Michael Nickerson Award was presented to Cpl. Chuck Harris.
Several other recognitions were presented, acknowledging the valuable associations CPD has with its partners. Among those were: Scott Haas, Director of Queen Anne’s County Emergency Services; Sheriff Gary Hofmann and Goodwill Volunteer Fire Company’s Jeff Keil.
In closing Saboury said, “I want each of you to know how much I support you; appreciate your sacrifice and service...Thank you for all you do.”
CHESTER — Some people just have it — like Ted Turner, Richard Branson and Bill Gates — the gift for the gab, the entrepreneur’s go get it mentality and charm that could sell ice to penguins. So when you find out that Colin Hartlieb, a recent graduate of Kent Island High School, is still at the University of Maryland College Park studying finance and has already achieved some pretty grown up stuff, it grabs your attention. At 19, he is already a founder and a CEO.
In his spare time between classes, he got his real estate license. And to top it off, a company he started in his teens has over 2,000 employees. Like Uber they are independent contractors, but still.
His company is Friendly Neighbor Services, and it offers to do lots of chores that young people are happy to get paid for and that other people would rather not deal with. Most of the workers are high school and college kids that do tasks like grass cutting, dog walking and junk removal.
Instead of getting a job, Hartlieb calls it, “the opportunity to follow my dreams of building relationships and helping the community in all ways.”
“People will like this because it helps a lot of people to get their weekends back for a decent price,” he said.
Hartlieb claims to offer over 300 services — and he says he offers them all across North America.
“We have providers everywhere, and now we are trying to get customers everywhere. We have been pretty much all referral based. Gotta give these people work, especially in these times when people don’t have any money. You can work at your own convenience at your own schedule with Friendly Neighbor,” he said.
“I would say our biggest three services are yard help, junk removal/moving, and handy man,” he said.
“I knew I had it in me when I started a company at 12 years old. I was 12 walking door to door asking neighbors if I could walk their dog or pet sit. It got to the point where we started getting all these different tasks. Then I got so busy I started giving tasks out to friends. That’s where the entrepreneurial stuff started around, when I was 15,” Hartlieb said.
Hartlieb started out helping neighbors with pet sitting, lawn mowing, and yard work, calling his service Colin’s Care. It grew into first enlisting his brother Braden to help with jobs, and then over the years grew to a list of at least 500 providers spread all over the U.S., with an emphasis on providers located in Maryland. During high school, Hartlieb competed in the Future Business Leaders of America; then at college he competed in as many competitions as possible to get the name out there.
Last fall he began the process of turning Friendly Neighbor into an LLC with a website and researching how to turn this idea into an app to help reach more neighbors that needed help with tasks. Hartlieb said he has been spending 15-20 hours daily for over a year now developing the business into a scalable app that can help neighbors all around the country.
The Friendly Neighbor Services app launched Sept. 24, 2020, on the Apple Store and March 23 on the Google Play Store.
Hartlieb wants to make a distinction with Angie’s List, a popular internet-based home services company, that’s ad budget is more significant than his own.
“We are free to use, and our prices are much more affordable, and you don’t have to compare rates anymore. If it is Friendly Neighbor Services, it is always the same rate. You can find the best work by finding who has the highest rating on the app. People have been super happy because we save them so much money. For yard help it would be $75 for two hours. If it took longer, it would be $8 for every 15 minutes,” he said.
Like another famous app, Uber, Hartlieb doesn’t pay for trucks or tools. The providers bring all that.
He is a lone proprietor. “I am a complete sole owner. I created the app myself and developed and designed everything myself. I have a marketing team of six people, and I pay them an hourly rate. We market on Facebook and Instagram. We try to market outside of a community once we take over the inside. We are trying to expand,” he said.
He said, “Facebook and Google cost so much money, but it is worth it. Anyone who sees the ad can get helped by it. We are way better off with word of mouth, but just to add some cherries on the top, we pay for some Facebook marketing. It’s a mobile app, so we do everything electronically. That is how the app works and automates it to where customers, when they upload a task, the providers get notified. And then customers can pick up a provider based on their rating,” he said.
He is interested in philanthropy and started a separate company for that.
“Every month we are going to pick a charity, nonprofit or organization that is giving back to the community and making a difference. We are going to give every task profit from a certain day of that month to that organization. Everyone who requests on that day, all the profits get donated in there,” he said.
His business plan is trying to offer same-day service, but he can’t guarantee it yet. He wrote the business plan while he was in college, and it took him over a year to develop and design the app. He says he picked up Photoshop and coding skills through YouTube.
“I definitely want to get into real estate investing. I bought my first rental property about six months ago. And since then I have been trying to get more rental properties. Being 19, it is really hard to afford all that stuff. If I can help people when they want to move, what about when they want to want to buy or sell their house? Now I can do that.” Hartlieb said.
Positivity, perseverance, confidence — Hartlieb exudes all three.
“Grind Now, Chill Later” is his working mantra.
“What you do in your present is going to put you where you are in three to five years,” he said.
Hartlieb is now a transfer student at University of Maryland College Park pursuing a business degree while being a real estate agent, real estate investor, the founder/CEO of Friendly Neighbor Services, and the founder/CEO of Friendly Neighbor Philanthropy.