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 Child Fatality Review Team; the Cabinet Council on Criminal and Juvenile Justice; the State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy; the Family Violence Council; the State Information Technology Board; the State Advisory Board for Juvenile Justice; the Maryland Advisory Council on Mental Hygiene; the Interdepartmental Advisory Committee for Minority Affairs; the State Postmortem Examiners Commission; and the Board of Trustees of the State Retirement and Pension System.

The Office of Budget, Legislation, and Fiscal Administration oversees the Budget and Finance Division, the Handgun Roster Board, and three units: Capital Project; Government Affairs; and Management Analysis.


The Office of Policy, Strategy, and Information Management supports the Department with long-term planning and strategic problem solving. The Office also administers electronic data processing.


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

The office of State Fire Marshal was created in 1894 (Chapter 248, Acts of 1894). Duties of the office were assumed ex officio by the Insurance Commissioner in 1916 (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 transferred to the Department of State Police on July 1, 1997 (Chapter 352, Acts of 1997).

All Maryland laws dealing with fire prevention, electrical safety, and the storage, sale, and use of explosives and combustibles are enforced by the State Fire Marshal. In addition, 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).


1201 Reisterstown Road
Pikesville, MD 21208 - 3899

In 1985, the Administrative Services Bureau started as the Logistical Services Bureau. Renamed the Services Bureau in 1987, it adopted 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 three commands: Education and Career Development; Personnel; and Services.


Under the Education and Career Development Command are the Professional Development Unit, and the Training Division.

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 24-week period. Upon graduation, a trooper probationer is teamed with an experienced trooper for six more months of orientation and training.


The Personnel Command is responsible for the Administrative Hearing Office; the Human Resources Division; and the Promotional Standards and Development Unit.

The Human Resources Division began as the Personnel Management Division. It was renamed Human Resources Division in 1997. The 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 Services Command oversees five divisions: Central Records; Communications Services; Facilities Management; Motor Vehicle; and Quartermaster.

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

Statistics and data from reports of traffic accidents investigated by Maryland law enforcement agencies are collected and analyzed by the Division. The Division also provides aggregate accident data to the State Highway Administration and police agencies and maintains records of all motor vehicle law violations through citation control. 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 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.

Formed as the Capital Improvements Division, the Facilities Management Division adopted 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 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.


1201 Reisterstown Road
Pikesville, MD 21208 - 3899

The Field Operations Bureau 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 Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE); Fatal Accident Reporting System; Resident Trooper Program; State Aid for Police Protection Program; and State Highway Administration Affairs. The Bureau also encompasses two main units: Motor Carrier and Automotive Safety Operations, and the State Police Barracks.

The Resident Trooper Program was first 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 encompasses three divisions: Automotive Safety Enforcement; Commercial Vehicle Enforcement; and Special Operations.

In 1997, the Automotive Safety Enforcement Division organized 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 first organized under the Special Operations Bureau. Both Divisions transferred to the Field Operations Bureau in 1994 to form Motor Carrier and Automotive Safety Operations. In 1998, the unit reorganized as two divisions: Automotive Safety Enforcement, and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement.

The Automotive Safety Enforcement Division licenses motor vehicle inspection stations. This 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 Commercial Vehicle Enforcement 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.

The Special Operations Division originated as the Emergency Operations Section. It reorganized as the Special Operations Division in 1997, and moved under the Motor Carrier and Automotive Safety Operations Command in 1999. 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.

Canine teams also are used by the Division. 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.

The Traffic Operations Section formed in 1997 to coordinate and manage traffic-related activities of the Maryland State Police. It trains and certifies police officers to recognize drug- and alcohol-impaired drivers; sets up sobriety checkpoints; and targets underage drinking drivers. It also trains police officers in effective highway interdiction techniques for drugs, untaxed liquor, and handguns. In addition, the Section trains and certifies operators of chemical breath-testing instruments and maintains those instruments statewide.

The Fatal Accident Reporting System is overseen by the Section. The System maintains statistics on fatal accidents occurring on Maryland highways. The Section's Crash Team also investigates and reconstructs fatal and near-fatal crashes, as well as unusual incidences involving aircraft, trains, police collisions, and shootings involving police.


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.


1201 Reisterstown Road
Pikesville, MD 21208 - 3899

The Support Services Bureau 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. In September 1998, it was renamed the Support Services Bureau.

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

Under the Bureau are two commands: Criminal Enforcement, and Drug Enforcement. The Bureau also supervises the Aviation Division, the Crime Laboratory Division, the Executive Protection Unit, and Security Services.

The Aviation Division started in 1961. 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 Crime Laboratory was built in 1985 at Pikesville.

For all Maryland law enforcement agencies, the Crime Laboratory Division collects, preserves, and analyzes physical evidence in criminal cases. 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 Executive Protection Unit provides security for the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller of Maryland, and State Treasurer.

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


In 1995, the Criminal Enforcement Command was created as Special Operations and Support Services. In September 1998, it reorganized under its present name. The Command 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.

Four divisions come under the Command: Firearms Enforcement; Licensing; Special Investigative Services; and Technical Investigative Services.

The Firearms Enforcement Division began in 1999 within the Criminal Enforcement Command. The Division oversees the Office of Crime Gun Enforcement, and the Firearms Investigation Unit.

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 five units: Attorney General's Environmental Crimes; Auto Theft; Insurance Fraud; and Special Investigations and Support.

Technical Investigative Services formed as the Support Services Section to aid the work of the Bureau of Drug and Criminal Enforcement. The Section 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.


The Drug Enforcement Command was established in September 1998. Under the Command are the Criminal Intelligence Division; Drug Investigation Services; and regional drug task forces.

In 1962, the Criminal Intelligence Division began as the Intelligence Division. Under the Special Operations Bureau, it received its present name in 1990. The Division was placed under the Office of the Secretary in 1995, and moved to the Support Services Bureau in 1998.

The Division gathers information pertaining to organized crime and narcotics trafficking, and other strategic data.

On the Eastern Shore and in the northern counties of Baltimore, Cecil and Harford, the Northern and Eastern Region Division coordinates investigations. 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 Division 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.

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July 18, 2000   
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