Trollinger Law LLC is proud to announce the recipients of its second annual Hometown Heroes Awards. The recognition honors the commitment, devotion, and courage demonstrated by first responders throughout Southern Maryland.

“The dedication to others is apparent in all of this year’s winners,” says Matt Trollinger, founder of the Waldorf personal injury law firm. “All of them put themselves at great personal risk to do their jobs, all in the name of helping individuals around them.”

One of this year’s Heroes asked to remain anonymous. Meet the other winners here:

Jimmy BucklesJimmy Buckles works for the Town of La Plata Police Department. He is assigned to the University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center as part of a public/private partnership. During his shifts, Officer Buckles interacts with dozens of citizens, many of whom are facing difficult days. Buckles is a community-oriented police officer. He is regularly seen in La Plata smiling and talking with residents and business owners. People commend him for his genuinely caring personality. He is a great officer who is prepared to handle many situations, no matter if he’s on duty or off the job. Before working for the La Plata Police Department, Buckles dedicated over 20 years at the Prince George’s County Police Department. He is also a United States Army veteran. Serving and protecting our communities is what a Hometown Hero does, and Officer Buckles certainly exemplifies that.

Mark Kaufmann Jr.Mark Kaufmann Jr. is a member of the La Plata Volunteer Fire Department. Kaufmann provides first-class fire and rescue service to residents during their darkest hours. He joined the department as a junior firefighter when he was just 16-years-old. From the moment he joined, people could see his passion for helping people in times of crisis. Over the past 24 years, Kaufmann has progressed from an entry-level firefighter to leadership positions up to the rank of Assistant Fire Chief. During his tenure, he has developed, implemented, and delivered training programs to his fellow firefighters. He also presented fire prevention programs to schools, senior centers, and other community organizations. In 2015, Kaufmann was elected to be the Fire Chief for the Charles County Volunteer Firemen’s Association. In this position, he has been a powerful and accomplished leader. He led the charge to enhance the development of firefighter, officer, and equipment standards that exceed the national standard set by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). He also made remarkable strides in uniting all 17 individual volunteer departments in Charles County to conduct their response activity by the same operating procedures and policies. Kaufmann was also instrumental in reviewing and implementing a fire and emergency medical service (EMS) comprehensive plan that was recently completed for Charles County.

In addition to the La Plata Volunteer Fire Department and serving as the Charles County Fire Chief, Kaufmann also works as a Captain with the Naval District of Washington Fire Department in Indian Head. His dedication to his profession and the community it serves is precisely what we look for in a Hometown Hero.

Melissa LeeMelissa Lee is a member of the Capitol Police. She works in the command center and the Civil Defense Unit (CDU), which handles protests and riots. Lee worked approximately 15 hours on January 6, 2021, when a mob breached the U.S. Capitol to protest the 2020 presidential election results. She is also a life member with the Bryans Road Volunteer Fire Department. Working to protect our nation’s leaders and the public-at-large requires bravery, keeping a cool head to make strategic decisions, and commitment — everything that we see in our Hometown Heroes.

Learn more about the Hometown Heroes contest by visiting Trollinger Law LLC’s website today.

After a serious accident, an injury can leave you with ongoing medical expenses, unable to work, and worrying about your future. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in these situations, and the thought of hiring an attorney can be intimidating. At Trollinger Law LLC, we are here to listen to your story, explain your legal options, answer questions about what to expect, and help you make a smart decision about how best to move forward.