(SYKESVILLE, MD) — Colonel Marcus L. Brown today presided over his first graduation as Superintendent of the Maryland State Police as he presented badges and diplomas to more than four dozen new state troopers. 

The 52 members of the 137th Trooper Candidate Class proudly marched across the stage at Century High School today to the cheers and congratulations of their families, friends, and new fellow troopers.  Their graduation marked the end of 26 weeks of rigorous academic and physical training in a residential police academy that demands their very best.  

Colonel Brown made it very clear to the new troopers what their duties involve.  “Your job is to impact the areas where crime is highest, where traffic issues are worst, and where help is needed most,” Colonel Brown said.  “At the end of your shift, I want you to ask yourself what you did that day to impact crime, increase traffic safety, protect the homeland, and support local law enforcement.  If you can answer that question in a positive way, then you have done your job and have carried on the proud tradition of the Maryland State Police.” 

The keynote speaker for the graduation was Special Agent In Charge Rick McFeely, of the Baltimore Office of the FBI.  SAC McFeely is a terrorism expert, in addition to his many other accomplishments during his FBI career.  He is an important partner in Maryland’s efforts to protect the state from terrorism and reduce violent crime. 

This is the ninth State Police Academy class to graduate during the O’Malley-Brown Administration.  A previous class of 40 news troopers graduated in March of this year.  Another recruit class will hopefully begin training in January 2012.  Anyone interested in applying to become a Maryland state trooper should visit the Maryland State Police website at and click on “careers.”

Seventeen of the new troopers came from states including Colorado, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Tennessee.  Several graduates are children of police officers, including Trooper Derek D. White, Jr., son of retired Maryland State Police Sergeant Major Derek D. White, Sr., who was a well-known Police Academy instructor during his tenure. 

Another graduating son of a trooper is Trooper Tanner Nickerson, from the Eastern Shore.  He is the son of Maryland State Police Corporal Phillip Nickerson, who is assigned to the Easton Barrack.  Cpl. Nickerson’s brother, Centreville Police Officer Michael Nickerson, was shot and killed in the line-of-duty ten years ago.  Cpl. Nickerson fulfilled his brother’s dream of becoming a state trooper.  Cpl. Nickerson’s son has now followed his father into the Maryland State Police. 

After a few days of well-deserved leave, the new troopers will report to one of 22 barracks across Maryland to begin eight weeks of field training with a veteran trooper.  Upon satisfactory completion of field training, the troopers will begin patrolling alone.