1201 Reisterstown Road
Pikesville, MD 21208 - 3899

Appointed by the Governor with Senate advice and consent, the Secretary of State Police serves at the pleasure of the Governor. The Secretary may name a deputy secretary with the approval of the Governor (Code 1957, Art. 88B, secs. 14, 16). Formerly called Superintendent of State Police, the Secretary received the present title in 1995 (Chapter 3, Acts of 1995).

The Secretary of State Police chairs the Handgun Roster Board, the Police Training Commission, and the Vehicle Theft Prevention Council. The Secretary also serves on the Governor's Executive Council; the State Information Technology Board; the State Postmortem Examiners Commission; the State Advisory Board for Juvenile Justice; the Board of Trustees of the State Retirement and Pension System; and the Task Force to Study Anti-Asian Violence.


300 East Joppa Road, Suite 1002
Towson, MD 21286 - 3020

Duties of the first State Fire Marshal, whose office was created in 1894, were assumed ex officio by the Insurance Commissioner in 1916 (Chapter 248, Acts of 1894; Chapter 521, Acts of 1916). The Office of State Fire Marshal took on these responsibilities in 1964 (Chapter 46, Acts of 1964). The State Fire Marshal and the State Fire Prevention Commission became part of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services in 1970. Both were transferred to the Department of State Police on July 1, 1997 (Chapter 352, Acts of 1997).

The State Fire Marshal enforces all Maryland laws dealing with fire prevention, electrical safety, and the storage, sale, and use of explosives and combustibles. The State Fire Marshal also enforces all State laws on installation and maintenance of fire detection and control equipment, fire exits in public buildings, and suppression of arson.

The Secretary of State Police appoints the State Fire Marshal to a six-year term (Code 1957, Art. 38A).

The State Fire Prevention Commission was formed in 1964 (Chapter 46, Acts of 1964). Formerly within the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, the Commission was made part of the Department of State Police on July 1, 1997 (Chapter 352, Acts of 1997).

The Commission promulgates regulations for the safeguarding of life and property from fire and explosion. It also serves as a board of appeals for matters connected with the enforcement of the Fire Code and interpretation of conflicts with local codes.

The Commission has nine members appointed for five-year terms by the Secretary of State Police with the approval of the Governor (Code 1957, Art. 38A, secs. 1-6A).


The Criminal Intelligence Division began as the Intelligence Division in 1962. Under the Special Operations Bureau, it received its present name in 1990. The Division was placed under the Office of the Secretary in 1995.

The Division gathers information pertaining to organized crime and narcotics trafficking, and other strategic data. Within the Division is the State Clearinghouse for Missing Children.

The State Clearinghouse for Missing Children was established within the Investigation Division of the Special Operations Bureau in 1985 (Chapter 496, Acts of 1985). The Clearinghouse in 1989 was placed under the Intelligence Division, now the Criminal Intelligence Division.

The Clearinghouse gathers and distributes general information and annual statistics regarding missing children. It coordinates its work with law enforcement agencies and persons or groups concerned with children who have disappeared from or are thought to be in Maryland.


1201 Reisterstown Road
Pikesville, MD 21208 - 3899

Under the Office of Deputy Secretary are the Aviation Division; the Executive Protection Unit; and Security Services.

Throughout Maryland, twenty-four hours a day, the Aviation Division provides helicopter service to evacuate those seriously injured on highways and other persons requiring immediate transport for medical care. It also conducts search and rescue operations, and provides criminal investigation support, traffic control, and support in disasters and civil disturbances.

The Executive Protection Unit provides security for the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller of the Treasury, and State Treasurer.

Security Services provides security to members of the Executive Branch and leaders of the General Assembly as required.


1201 Reisterstown Road
Pikesville, MD 21208 - 3899

The Administrative Services Bureau formed in 1985 as the Logistical Services Bureau. It was renamed the Services Bureau in 1987 and received its current name in 1993.

The Bureau provides the materials and services needed for the Department and allied Maryland law enforcement agencies to perform their mandated functions.

Under the Bureau are eight divisions: Central Records; Communications Services; Facilities Management; Motor Vehicle; Personnel Management; Promotional Standards and Development; Quartermaster; and Training.


The Central Records Division originated in 1941 as the Traffic Collision Statistical Bureau. In 1953, the Bureau was renamed the Central Accident Records Division. It received its present name in 1990.

The Division collects and analyzes statistics and data from reports of traffic accidents investigated by Maryland law enforcement agencies. The Division provides aggregate accident data to the State Highway Administration and police agencies and maintains records of all motor vehicle law violations through citation control. Also, individuals may request to see their own records. Through Maryland Uniform Crime Reporting, the Division collects crime data from all Maryland police departments and produces quarterly and annual crime reports for law enforcement agencies and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


The Communications Services Division started in 1935 as the Communications Bureau. By 1979, many of its functions had been assigned to the Electronic Services Division. The Bureau was renamed the Communications Services Division in 1992 when the Electronic Services Division was consolidated with the Telecommunications Division.

The Division maintains telephone, radio and other communication equipment for the Department and allied local, State and federal agencies. The Division also manages the Maryland Interagency Law Enforcement System and the State component of the National Crime Information Center and the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications Systems. The Maryland Interagency Law Enforcement System delivers data to a national information network for law enforcement and criminal justice personnel throughout the country. The National Law Enforcement Telecommunications Systems is a national switching system that for the purpose of law enforcement gives states access to other states' data on motor vehicles. Canada also participates.

Under the Division are three units: Headquarters Central Communications; Maryland Interagency Law Enforcement System/National Crime Information Center/National Law Enforcement Telecommunications Systems; and Telephone Services.


The Facilities Management Division began as the Capital Improvements Division and received its present name in 1992. The Division submits requests for capital fund projects as directed by the Secretary of State Police. The Division cooperates with the Department of General Services regarding buildings and projects of agency interest, and coordinates maintenance and repair of facilities of the Department of State Police.


The Motor Vehicle Division repairs, maintains, and disposes of the motor vehicles of the Department. The Division also prepares and maintains equipment specifications and standards of performance for the motor vehicle fleet.


The Personnel Management Division hires and recruits personnel and maintains personnel records. The Division schedules agency disciplinary and grievance hearings; represents the Department in personnel matters; and oversees the health of Department employees.


The Quartermaster Division began as the Supply Division and received its present name in 1994. The Division procures materials, supplies, equipment, and services needed to operate the Department. Within the Division, the Department Property Unit controls the storage and disposition of property held by the Department.


The Training Division administers Department training programs, including curricula development and entry-level, in-service and specialized training. Entry-level training for trooper candidates is conducted at Department headquarters where a resident-training program is held over a twenty-four week period. Upon graduation, a trooper probationer is teamed with an experienced trooper for six more months of orientation and training.

Under the Training Division, the Community Policing Academy was inaugurated in November 1995. The first class of graduates began to instruct government officials and police officers in the principles and practices of community policing in 1996. Most training sessions in community policing are offered at either State Police Headquarters or Camp Fretterd; other sessions are given at sites around the State.

Community policing enlists citizens and government agencies to help police enforce laws and create safe neighborhoods. Together, citizens, government officials, and police determine a neighborhood's problems and work on solutions. This cooperation may be formal or informal and may be initiated by any concerned person or group, public official or private citizen. Besides responding to violence and other crime, police cooperate with State and local government agencies and citizens to prevent crime. To discourage crime in a particular area, for example, dark streets could be lit, abandoned buildings restored, and recreation programs started to keep young people off street corners and out of trouble.

The Academy is a collaborative effort. It involves the Department of State Police, the Police Training Commission, the Office of the Governor, the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention, the U.S. Attorney's Office, and the police departments of Baltimore City and Baltimore and Prince George's counties.


1201 Reisterstown Road
Pikesville, MD 21208 - 3899

The Bureau of Drug and Criminal Enforcement originated from the Drug Enforcement Bureau and the Special Operations Bureau. In 1995, those bureaus merged to form the Bureau of Drug Enforcement and Special Operations which became the Bureau of Drug and Criminal Enforcement later that year.

The Bureau provides investigations and certain specialized law enforcement statewide for the Department and Maryland allied police agencies.

Under the Bureau are Special Operations and Support Services, and two regional commands.


The Northern and Eastern Region Command coordinates investigations in Baltimore, Cecil and Harford counties, and the Eastern Shore. It works with local law enforcement agencies and the Field Operations Bureau on community policing to pinpoint and alleviate local crime.


The Southern, Central and Western Region Command coordinates investigations in the southern counties of Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's; the central counties of Anne Arundel, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George's; and the western counties of Allegany, Garrett and Washington. It works with local law enforcement agencies and the Field Operations Bureau on community policing to pinpoint and alleviate local crime.


Created in 1995, Special Operations and Support Services assists Bureau operations statewide with special technical support. It supervises special investigative groups that work on drug diversion and interdiction, technical surveillance, firearms, auto theft, insurance fraud, and environmental crimes.

The Crime Laboratory Division collects, preserves, and analyzes physical evidence in criminal cases for all Maryland law enforcement agencies. It analyzes controlled dangerous substances, blood alcohol, arson propellants, questioned documents, and other physical evidence. In each region, the Division maintains mobile units to collect evidence.

The Licensing Division administers laws and conducts investigations concerning the sale, transfer, and registration of handguns, shotguns, rifles, machine guns, and electronic listening devices. It licenses private detectives, security guards, and canine unit dogs used by law enforcement agencies. The Division also regulates firearms dealers; investigates applicants for special police commissions; and issues permits for outdoor music festivals.

Special Investigative Services began as the Special Investigations Support Section and received its present name in 1996. Under Special Investigative Services are six units: Attorney General's Environmental Crimes; Auto Theft; Computer Crimes; Firearms Investigation (Operation Cease Fire); Insurance Fraud; and Special Investigations and Support.

Technical Investigative Services began as the Support Services Section to aid the work of the Bureau of Drug and Criminal Enforcement. The Section was reorganized under its present name in 1996.

Technical Investigative Services includes the Violent Fugitive Task Force; Marijuana Eradication; Drug Diversion, Drug Interdiction; Warrants; Asset Forfeiture; and polygraph coordination. Technical Investigative Services also supervises Department personnel assigned to federally funded High-Intensity Drug-Trafficking Area (HIDTA) programs.


1201 Reisterstown Road
Pikesville, MD 21208 - 3899

The Field Operations Bureau was organized by 1985. The Bureau is responsible for traffic program planning and administers twenty-three field installations - State Police Barracks - in Maryland.

Under the Bureau are the Crash Team; Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE); Fatal Accident Reporting System; Resident Trooper Program; State Aid for Police Protection Program; and the State Highway Administration Liaison. The Bureau also encompasses three main units: Motor Carrier and Automotive Safety Operations; Motorcycle Unit; and the Special Operations Division.

The Resident Trooper Program began as the State Police Local Subdivisions Section and received its present name in 1990. To local governments in Maryland, the Program provides police services on contract. By these agreements, the Department of State Police assumes responsibility for all or a portion of a local police force for a county or municipality (Code 1957, Art. 88B, sec. 63). In addition, the Secretary of State Police administers the State Aid for Police Protection Fund (Code 1957, Art. 15A, secs. 35-39).

Motor Carrier and Automotive Safety Operations was created in 1997 from a merger of the Automotive Safety Enforcement Division and the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division. Under the Special Operations Bureau, the Automotive Safety Enforcement Division formed in 1977 to license motor vehicle inspection stations (Chapter 14, Acts of 1977). The Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division also was first organized under the Special Operations Bureau. Both Divisions transferred to the Field Operations Bureau in 1994.

The work of Motor Carrier and Automotive Safety Operations involves initial certification, routine inspections, investigation of complaints, and revocations. The Division also processes all safety equipment repair orders issued by police agencies to ensure compliance or vehicle registration suspension (Code Transportation Article, sec. 23-102).

The Division enforces the Motor Vehicle Code as it relates to size, weight, and load of commercial vehicles (Code Transportation Article, secs. 24-101, 24-112). The Division also enforces laws governing motor fuel tax and fraud resulting from the sale of motor fuels and lubricants (Code 1957, Art. 56, secs. 135-157; Art. 27, secs. 231-233). Within the Division is the Motor Carrier Safety Program and, since 1995, the Gasoline Tax Unit.

Formerly the Emergency Operations Section, the Special Operations Division received its current name in 1997. It includes the Special Tactical Assault Team Element and the Hostage Recovery Team. Skilled in special tactics, these teams respond to barricade and hostage situations, sniper incidents, rescue operations, and other extraordinary occurrences.

The Division also uses canine teams. A canine team consists of a dog trained to perform police support functions and the police offficer to whom the dog is assigned. Throughout the State, canine teams prevent and detect crime. All teams are trained in basic police procedures, and some in detecting explosive substances, narcotics, and firearms. Bloodhounds also are used to search for lost or fugitive persons.

In June 1993, the Governor created the Maryland State Police Strike Force (Executive Order 01.01.1993.17). Since 1994, the Force has been known as Operation People. This unit, formerly assigned to the Criminal Intelligence Division, was transferred to the Emergency Operations Section in 1996.

Assigned to high crime areas, Operation People may enforce the law in all areas of the State, including incorporated municipalities that have police forces.


The Department has twenty-three barracks around the State. Through these units, the Department works locally on traffic control; crime reporting, reduction, and prevention; and public safety.

Maryland Executive Departments

Maryland Manual On-Line

 Maryland Manual On-Line, 1998

July 10, 1998   
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