Sergeant Eric Briggs, Maryland State
Police (ret.) is “a US Army veteran and a retired Maryland State Police sergeant. During his twenty-six year MSP career,
he worked in uniform patrol and criminal investigations, ending his career while a member of the FBI's Wash DC/PG County
Violent Fugitive Task Force. Sergeant Eric Briggs is the author of Signal 13: Chronicles of
a Calvert Trooper.
According to the book description of Signal 13: Chronicles of a Calvert
Trooper,, “When the electrifying code Signal 13 crackled over the cruiser radio heralding a brother trooper's
desperate call for help, your heart froze and your gut erupted into a fireball. Retiring Maryland State Police Sergeant Dalton
Bragg, hamstrung by mulish pride, was in desperate trouble, but even as the specter of death sneered in his face, he still
couldn't call for help.
Tormented by his demons, Bragg climbs to the sanctity he calls Purgatory Ridge,
his coveted Calvert Cliffs overlook high above the majestic Chesapeake Bay. Buttressed by booze and waning pride, the resolute
sergeant holds his own retirement party. Haunting memories come swirling back; those heady academy days, countless years of
intense camaraderie highlighted by hilarious and horrific experiences, the deaths of fellow troopers, the inevitable wreck
of his doomed marriage, and the State Police life that was created from a deck of stacked cards.
Fighting off abhorrent nightmares as the restless tiger aimlessly treads in his
head, the "silverback" sergeant holds on. Troopers take the pain!
For Dalton Bragg, clinging by fingernails to his tarnished image of "Maryland's
Finest," the dark experiences are irreconcilable, despite his budding relationship with the alluring MSP detective Diane
Coulson. Could his lofty refuge amidst soaring bald eagles be the perfect place for an imperfect end to his torment?”
One reader of Signal 13:
Chronicles of a Calvert Trooper said, “As a former trooper who worked under the author I was astounded
by the details he put in print. Most of everything in the book happened to someone during their time with the state police.
Obviously the names have been changed and unless you worked during that time frame you would not know who the players were.
I sort of skipped over the sex scenes, but I'm sure they were interesting. It was my honor the serve the state police
from 1978 to 1995 and Calvert was served well by most of it's state troopers. I can't wait for the sequel. I read
the book in one night, I couldn't put it down.
For starters, this is reality so transparently
cloaked in fiction that it amounts to putting a negligee on an Elephant. But what a spectacular elephant! It's redeeming
grace is the eloquence of the presentation and the powerful way it delivers its message. I bought it expecting a memoir, but
what an understatement that was; it's a total immersion experience and so well crafted that it's pure art. I feel
like I got caught up in one of those high-powered storm-surge waves and churned around head first on the bottom until I was
within an inch of drowning, before being spit out onto the beach exhausted. But it was one hell of a ride, and I want to jump
back in for more, but, alas, the waves have subsided to beach lappers.”
One reader of Signal 13: Chronicles of a Calvert Trooper
said, “This book contains it all. Fast paced, intermingled with soul searching introspection, it's the story of
a law enforcement life that's been centered around the call of duty, a call that wreaks havoc on Dalton's personal
life and slowly destroys the myths he once thought to be true. The author incorporates a reader friendly style throughout
the book which makes the audience feel as if they're experiencing all the highs, lows and numerous humorous escapades
right alongside the main character. The use of extensive "down to earth " dialogue exchanges between the characters
only adds to the feeling of being right there in the scenes.
I would imagine anyone who chose to commit themselves to a life of law enforcement
would want to read this book. On the other hand, "ordinary citizens" might find the book even more appealing because
it strips away the façade that somehow our "guardians" are immune to the problems associated with just trying
to make it through another day, i.e., shields of armor definitely do get dented.
The writing is very image provocative
and emotionally stirring, especially during those periods when the author is describing his innermost feelings regarding the
loss of a life; whether it be the death of a strangers' loved one, or the demise of another close, fallen comrade. Equally
impressive are his descriptions of the world of nature he loves so much and its ability to re-energize him when gloom threatens
his existence. Once you start reading this book, it's tough to take a break! And contrary to the lyrics of that popular
British song from the early 70's, the author's writing is definitely "Heavy.....and he's my brother.”
One reader of Signal 13:
Chronicles of a Calvert Trooper said “The promo blurb here doesn't begin to do this book justice.
Yeah, it's all of that, but it's so three dimensional and up in your face authentic you feel like you are right there
in that cruiser with him for the 26 year ride up to that lone wolf retirement party on that impossibly beautiful promontory
overlooking the Chesapeake Bay, another one of the ghosts present. It's the only way he can allow himself to celebrate;
he's so beat up from the years he spent on the job trying to live up to the impossibly high esteem he had for the organization
and those who served with him that anywhere along he could have grabbed a cushy tax free retirement and hung up his spurs,
but it isn't in him. He rode out hardship and losses that tore away his family and tormented his mind with horribly vivid
nightmares and pain. He carries those and the ghosts of his departed comrades up on that ridge with him and it's his mental
reunion with them and memories of still others he served with, in vivid detail, that sets the stage for the bigger story unfolding
on the ridge itself. The telling is made all the more real by the narrator taking on the voice of the protagonist. It's
this masterful technique that gives this story the first hand feel and authenticity that engages all of the senses to the
fullest. By the time the past merges into the present you are so caught up in the story and intimate with Dalton Bragg, the
main character, that you anticipate what's coming, but, like they say in the profession, you have to have been there.
So go, you won't be disappointed. The least you can take away from the experience is a new found respect for those behind
the Maryland State PoliceIn 1909, the Board of
Police Commissioners of Baltimore City urged the creation of a State detective force since the Governor, the Fire Marshal,
and State's Attorneys in the counties frequently sought help from Baltimore City's expert investigators. The first
tentative step towards a statewide police force, however, was taken in 1914 as a corps of motorcycle officers under the Commissioner
of Motor Vehicles began to enforce motor vehicle laws throughout Maryland.
When a crime wave struck Maryland after World War I, the need for statewide enforcement
of criminal law became critical. The Governor, the Police Commissioner of Baltimore City, and the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles
came up with a plan for a State Police Force under the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. Former servicemen were recruited and
the first training camp was conducted early in 1921. By 1922, the force of motorcycle deputies had statewide jurisdiction
over criminal cases through deputization by the county sheriffs. The force was supported by a plainclothes investigative department
and was known as the State Police Force.
In 1935, the Maryland State Police was established as a separate unit of State
government. The new agency was 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.
The Maryland State Police were made part of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services in 1970.
In 1994, the Department of Maryland State Police was formed as a principal executive department. It was renamed the
Department of State Police in 1995.
The Maryland State Police is a paramilitary organization with a rank structure
modeled after the United States military: The Superintendent of the Maryland State Police holds the rank of Colonel. Within
State government, the Superintendent is the Secretary of the Department of State Police and a member of the Governor's
Cabinet; three members of the Maryland State Police hold the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Each Lieutenant Colonel oversees
one of the three bureaus within the State Police and is responsible for all aspects of that bureau's operation; Majors
in the State Police are responsible for supervising a command within the State Police (such as the Logistics Command of the
Support Services Bureau or one of the three commands within the Field Operations Bureau); 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.