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Maryland State Police patch

The Maryland State Police is the official state police force of the State of Maryland.

Overview of the Maryland State Police

The Field Operations Bureau comprises twenty-three (23) barracks within six (6) geographical troop areas. It further comprises the Aviation Division, Special Operations Command, and the Transportation Safety Command that includes the Automotive Safety Enforcement Division, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, and the Transportation Safety Division which are responsible for traffic control and criminal law enforcement. [1]


Prior to 1921, the state of Maryland had no state-wide police force. In that year, in response to increasing crime, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles organized a team of police officers who were given statewide jurisdiction to enforce traffic and criminal laws. They gained jurisdiction through deputization by county Sheriffs. An associated plainclothes investigative unit became known as the "State Police Force." [2]

In 1935, the Maryland State Police was established as a separate unit of State government, funded out of revenues from the Department of Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. It was granted additional statewide police powers to enforce fish, oyster, game and other conservation laws and maintain a training school. It was made part of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services in 1970. [3]

In 1994, the Department of Maryland State Police was formed as a separate executive department; it was renamed the Department of State Police in 1995. [4]

Thirty-nine state troopers have been killed in the line of duty in the history of the force. [5]


The Maryland State Police has original and final jurisdiction in the State of Maryland and may,in it's descretion or at the request of any municiple agency,as empowered by the Governor of the State of Maryland,excercise and enforce statewide laws without regard to jurisdiction within the boundaries of the State of Maryland. The Agency does not however,as a matter of routine practice and procedure,enforce criminal laws within the jurisdiction of incorporated municipalities which have their own police force.Within these municipalities,the Department may exercise jurisdiction under certain conditions as defined by statute.The Department also has the authority and jurisdiction to investigate allegations of police corruption concerning any municiple agency within the State of Maryland.The Department also enforces controlled substance laws throughout the state.

The State Fire Marshal is a member of the department and is charged with investigation and prosecution of suspicious fires and arson throughout the state.

Uniform and equipment

The Maryland State Police uniform has remained the same since 1951. The standard Trooper uniform consists of olive pants with a black stripe down the side. A tan colored button-up shirt is worn, with long sleeves in winter and short sleeves in summer. A black tie is worn with the long-sleeve shirt. Class A uniforms consist of a dress blouse and Sam Browne belt. Sergeants and corporals wear yellow chevrons showing their rank on both sleeves.

A felt Stetson hat is worn in the winter months with a long sleeve shirt and tie, and a straw Stetson is worn in the summer months with the short sleeve shirt.

Maryland State Police, along with the Virginia State Police, the West Virginia State Police and the Massachusetts State Police, is one of the few police agencies to wear a badge directly over their shirt pocket.

Maryland State Police are currently issued the Glock 22 and the Remington 870.

Certain Troopers, based on experience are issued the following specialized weapons: Colt M16-A1 and the Colt AR-15.

In all cases, the shirttail is tucked in.


The Maryland State Police Training Academy is in Sykesville, Maryland in the same location as the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commission. The Academy is live-in and consists of twenty-six weeks of basic instruction.

Recruits take college-level academic classes for which they receive 45 college credits. Training includes instruction in the use of the agency's firearms as well as in criminal law, motor vehicle law and emergency vehicle operation. Vehicle training is conducted on the training commission's course.

Upon completion of training, troopers are assigned to one of twenty three barracks located around Maryland.

The Maryland State Police Training Academy is the third hardest academy in the nation.

Barracks [6]

Barrack ID Location Area Served
Barrack A Waterloo Howard Co.
Barrack B Frederick Frederick Co.
Barrack C Cumberland Allegany
Barrack D Bel Air Harford Co.
Barrack E Salisbury Wicomico
Barrack F North East Cecil
Barrack G Westminster Carroll
Barrack H La Plata Charles
Barrack I Easton Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot
Barrack J Annapolis Anne Arundel (southern areas)
Barrack L Forestville Prince Georges (south of Route 50)
Barrack M JFK Memorial Highway Cecil, Harford, Baltimore
Barrack N Rockville Montgomery
Barrack O Hagerstown Washington
Barrack P Glen Burnie Anne Arundel (northern areas)
Barrack Q College Park Prince Georges (north of Route 50)
Barrack R Golden Ring Baltimore
Barrack S Centreville Kent, Queen Annes
Barrack T Leonardtown St. Marys
Barrack U Prince Frederick Calvert
Barrack V Berlin Worcester
Barrack W Mc Henry Garrett
Barrack X Princess Anne Somerset

Rank structure

The Maryland State Police is a paramilitary organization with a rank structure modeled after the United States military. The ranks of Corporal through Captain are based on promotional testing; Majors and above are appointed by the superintendent. [7]

The Maryland State Police rank structure is as listed:

Rank Insignia Description
US-O6 insignia.svg
The Superintendent of the Maryland State Police holds the rank of Colonel. He is the Secretary of the Department of State Police and a member of the Governor's Cabinet.
Lieutenant Colonel
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There are three officers with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, each overseeing one of the three bureaus within the State Police.
US-O4 insignia.svg
Majors are responsible for a command within the State Police.
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The specific responsibilities of a Captain vary depending upon where they are assigned within the Agency. For example, a Captain may be a Troop Commander in the Field Operations Bureau or a Division Commander in one of the other Bureaus.
A Lieutenant is the Commander of each barrack. Other Lieutenants may command a unit.
Sergeant Major
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The Sergeant Major is responsible for ensuring a clear channel of communication from the Troopers on the road to the Secretary of the Department. There is only one Sergeant Major in the Department of State Police who is designated by the Superintendent.
First Sergeant
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First Sergeants are assistant barrack commanders or may perform administrative functions in other areas.
Detective Sergeant
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Detective Sergeants are in charge of all criminal investigations at a barracks, or may be assigned to other investigative functions.
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Sergeants act as shift commanders or duty officers.
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Corporals are the first-line supervisors and are usually assigned as road supervisors within barracks. In the absence of a Sergeant, they may act as the duty officer.
Trooper First Class
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Troopers who complete three years of satisfactory or exceptional service are promoted to the rank of TFC.
Recruits successfully completing the academy and field training are appointed as troopers. Since they have no insignia sewn on their shirts, they are known as "Slick Sleeves" among their fellow Troopers.

Demographics [8]

  • Male: 90%
  • Female: 10%
  • White: 78%
  • African-American/Black: 19%
  • Hispanic: 2%
  • Asian: 1%

Specialized units

  • Drug Enforcement Division (DED)
  • Homeland Security and Intelligence Division (HSID)
  • Criminal Investigations Division (CID)
  • Executive Protection
  • S.T.A.T.E. Team (SWAT)
  • Aviation Command
  • D.A.R.E.
  • Accident Reconstruction
  • Canine Unit (K9)
  • Crime Lab
  • Media Communications
  • Computer Crimes
  • Automotive Safety Enforcement Division
  • Police Academy or Training Division
  • Motorcycle Unit
  • Licensing Division
  • Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division

Drug Enforcement Division

Aviation Command

Maryland State Police operates a large aviation division focusing on medevac operations. Aviation also supports ground units of the state and local police. Funding comes from vehicle registration fees. [9]

As of October 2007 the Command operates 3 types of Aircraft[10]:

  • 9 Aerospatiale SA.365N-1 Dauphin
  • 2 Eurocopter AS 365N-2 Dauphin
  • 1 Eurocopter AS 365N-3 Dauphin
  • 1 Beechcraft B300 King Air 350
  • 1 Cessna P210N Pressurised Centurion

The aviation command was instrumental in the support of the first trauma center in the USA, the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore[11].

Trooper 2 based at Andrews Air Force Base is the busiest medevac helicopter in the nation.

Contact Information

1201 Reisterstown Road
MD 21208
Phone: (410) 653-4200

See also


  1. Maryland State Police webpage - Field Operations Bureau
  2. Maryland State Police webpage - History of the MSP
  3. Maryland State Police webpage - History of the MSP
  4. Maryland State Police webpage - History of the MSP
  5. Officer Down Memorial Page
  6. Maryland State Police webpage - Barracks
  7. Maryland State Police webpage - Rank Structure
  8. Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics, 2000: Data for Individual State and Local Agencies with 100 or More Officers
  9. Maryland State Police Aviation Command
  10. US civil aircraft register searches using "Maryland State Police" and "Maryland Department of State Police" as the Owner Name search parameters. Searches conducted 2007-10-31.
  11. History of Shock Trauma at the UMM

External links

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