TOWSON, Md. - Police Officer First Class Jason Schneider is described by Baltimore County Police Chief James Johnson as "extraordinarily experienced."
Schneider was a leader of the police force's tactical unit. He was also a 36-year-old man with a family that lost his life in the name of public safety.
"This is a terrible loss for Baltimore County," Chief Johnson said of Schneider's death at a news conference Monday. "His noble work is greatly appreciated, and his bravery and role in the great human experience brought us here today. Low crime rates mean nothing today...all that matters is that we lost a police officer."
Schneider's death marks the ninth line of duty death for the Baltimore County Police Department since 1969.
Schneider served 13 years in local law enforcement and 10 years in the special tactical unit of the Baltimore County Police department, where he served as the unit's leader.
Retired Lt. Kevin Novak can attest to Schneider's leadership and character. Novak was in charge of Schneider's unit for four years.
"He was dedicated and was always trying to learn more and teach others to make them better and keep them safe," Novak said. "This is such a senseless loss."
Novak said Schneider was a true leader within the unit and was often the first one to enter a dangerous scene while serving a warrant. He added that Schneider was an instructor at the county's counter-sniper school, which taught officers locally and across the region.
"He wanted to make everyone he worked with better," Novak said. "He was always prepared and understood the risks. We train for every scenario, but unfortunately there is always an element of the unknown whenever you serve a warrant."
Novak said officers with his unit will lean on each other and work with the family to help get them through this tragic time. He added that while unit's like Schneider's are especially close given the extremely dangerous nature of their job.
"There's a complete trust among the officers," Novak said. "There has to be. You are placing your lives in each others' hands. We are like a big family."
Born Feb. 11, 1977 in California, he was the son of Charles Dennis Schneider and Karen Ann Buchheister Schneider.
He was the husband of Ericka Nicole Fulton Schneider. He was a graduate of North Carroll High School, class of 1995 and then served with the U.S Marine Corps. In addition to his wife and parents he is survived by his two children Brandon and Kayla, two brothers and their spouses, Kenneth and Autumn Schneider of Hampstead and Michael and Nicole Schneider of Westminster. Also survived by many other relatives and friends.
His funeral is set for 10 a.m. at St. Bartholomew Roman Catholic Church . Schneider's interment will be in Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium,
Gov. Martin O'Malley has ordered the Maryland flag flown at half-staff in honor of Schneider.
The Schneider family released a statement thanking the community during this difficult time.
"Our entire family would like to thank everyone for their support during a very difficult time," the statement read. "The support has been tremendous and we can't thank you enough. Jason was an amazing father, husband, son and brother. Jason was an honorable and affectionate man who will be remembered and never forgotten. Jason was a dedicated police officer and marine who loved and cared for everyone. Once again we thank everyone."
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on the life of an officer colleagues describe as noble, brave and reliable.
Officer Jason Schneider pic.twitter.com/SThyWv7XG5— Brian Kuebler (@BrianfromABC2) August 28, 2013