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. The Superintendent is responsible for all facets of the Maryland State Police and he is the ultimate authority within the Agency. The Superintendent is appointed by the Governor and must be confirmed by the Maryland Senate.
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. Lieutenant Colonels are appointed by the Superintendent.
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 two commands within the Field Operations Bureau). Majors are appointed by the Superintendent.
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. To achieve the rank of Captain, one must complete the promotional process and score high enough to be selected for promotion.
Similar to Captains, Lieutenants have responsibilities that vary depending upon their particular assignment. A Lieutenant is the Commander of each barrack. Other Lieutenants may command a Unit (such as the Recruitment & Selection Unit). Those holding the rank of Lieutenant or above are considered "Commissioned Officers". To achieve the rank of Lieutenant, one must complete the promotional process and score high enough to be selected for promotion.
First Sergeants are assistant barrack commanders at each of the 23 barracks or may perform administrative functions in other areas of the Agency. Most notably, the designated "Academy First Sergeant" is responsible for the day-to-day supervision of all Trooper Candidates during their time in the State Police Academy. To achieve the rank of First Sergeant, one must complete the promotional process and score high enough to be selected for promotion.
Detective Sergeants are generally in charge of all criminal investigations at a barrack or they may be assigned to other investigative functions within the Agency. Detective Sergeants typically have a number of investigators for whom they are responsible. Although there is an insignia to designate a Detective Sergeant, it is most often a plain clothes assignment. To achieve the rank of Detective Sergeant, one must complete the promotional process and score high enough to be selected for promotion.
Most people encounter a Sergeant when they visit a barrack. Every Barrack has a duty officer, usually a Sergeant, who is responsible for overseeing the entire shift as they perform their duties. In addition to supervising the entire shift, they answer questions from citizens and assist the barrack administrators as necessary. To achieve the rank of Sergeant, one must complete the promotional process and score high enough to be selected for promotion.
Corporals are the first-line supervisors in the Maryland State Police. They are usually assigned as road supervisors within barracks. In the absence of a Sergeant, they will often act as the duty officer. Corporals at barracks remain active responding to calls for service and taking enforcement action as necessary. Corporal is the first rank that requires a testing process for promotion. To achieve the rank of Corporal, one must complete the promotional process and score high enough to be selected for promotion.
Those who hold the rank of Trooper First Class (TFC) have duties and responsibilities that are generally the same as a Trooper. Within the Maryland State Police, all Troopers who complete three years of satisfatory or exceptional service receive a promotion to the rank of TFC.
Troopers generally have the greatest amount of contact with the public of any rank. When a citizen calls for assistance, it is usually a Trooper who initially responds to assist them. Troopers are on the front lines handling accidents, burglaries, domestic disturbances and other calls for service. They also have the primary responsibility for enforcing traffic and criminal laws while on patrol. There is no insignia to signify a Trooper. Since they have no insignia sewn on their shirts, they are known as "Slick Sleeves" among their fellow Troopers.
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