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Maryland State Police

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Richard Craig Anderson

Eric Briggs

Tyrone Powers

About the Maryland State Police

In 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.




Selected book from a Maryland State Police law enforcement official.

SIGNAL 13: Chronicles of a Calvert Trooper
S. Eric Briggs  More Info

Eyes to My Soul: The Rise or Decline of a Black FBI Agent
Tyrone Powers  More Info

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