Former police instructor leads state Public Safety Training Center
July 24, 2015
TOWSON, MD — J. Michael Zeigler’s recent appointment as the new executive director of the Police and Correctional Training Commissions is somewhat of a homecoming.
Zeigler, who retired from the Maryland State Police as a major after 28 years, taught through the 1980s at the agency’s academy, which is now housed on the bucolic PCTC campus in Sykesville.
“I’ve done training all my life,” Zeigler said.
Zeigler brings with him a lifelong career in emergency services. He started as a U.S. Army medic and then became a Montgomery County firefighter before joining the Maryland State Police. An Emergency Medical Technician and paramedic, he worked as a responder on a Maryland State Police medevac for 16 years.
Prior to his new position, Zeigler managed the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue internal affairs unit after serving four years as assistant director at the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).
Zeigler is glad to return to his training background in taking over the state Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services’ Public Safety Education and Training Center, where an average of 300 candidates a day train in arenas ranging from emergency vehicle driving to firearms. More than 150 law enforcement agencies train at the center.
Zeigler holds a Master’s Degree in business administration and has instructed, facilitated and taught for several colleges and universities and the U.S. State Department. One of Zeigler’s priorities will be expanding e-learning for a new crop of candidates who have grown up with computers, he said. Giving people the most state of the art training will be the challenge, Zeigler said.
“I hope to push this place to be one of the elite training centers in the country,” Zeigler said.