December 8, 2011
This message begins with sincere appreciation for your enforcement efforts during the past months. Your traffic and criminal enforcement initiatives have been focused and productive. Media across Maryland reported repeatedly on your traffic enforcement efforts during the Thanksgiving holiday period. You issued more than 11,400 traffic citations and warnings and made 136 drunk driving arrests. You made an additional 242 criminal arrests during that same five day period.
Your traffic and criminal enforcement work has been highlighted during our MSP COMSTAT meetings. Each week, I hear of innovative initiatives and successful targeted criminal and traffic programs that are positively impacting traffic safety and fighting crime across Maryland.
Your work is also being highlighted during our STATESTAT meetings in Annapolis. I am proud to communicate all that you are doing to the Governor and members of his staff. They appreciate your work and are committed to working with us, even during these tough economic times.
Just this week, I had the honor of attending a presentation to Senior Trooper Eric Workman by the Capital Area Chapter of the Theodore Roosevelt Association in Washington, D.C. Senior Trooper Workman was presented the Theodore Roosevelt Police Award for his commitment to law enforcement. He was acknowledged for the courage he exhibited when he returned to duty not once, but twice, after he sustained life threatening injuries. Senior Trooper Workman is currently a member of the State Apprehension Team. He exemplifies the dedication to duty of our sworn and civilian members throughout the Maryland State Police.
The focus of this message is on cooperation. As we endure these challenging times, we must look for new and different ways to manage our resources while continuing to provide outstanding law enforcement services. The Maryland State Police is fulfilling an important leadership role in a number of ways as we work with and in support of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in our state.
The Maryland State Police is a leader in homeland security and the fight against crime. We are a committed partner in the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center which continues to be vital in our efforts to keep our state safe. I am pleased to announce that Mr. David Engle has been appointed as the new director of MCAC. He is recognized as a state and national expert in law enforcement and homeland security and has many contacts throughout the country. Director Engle will be working to not only improve MCAC’s homeland security initiatives, but will also be providing crime analysis and resources to Maryland State Police patrol and investigative troopers, as well as all law enforcement agencies.
Our Information Technology Division recently took the lead among Maryland police IT professionals by sponsoring the first statewide law enforcement technology conference at Towson University. This event was a great success that brought 300 law enforcement IT professionals together to discuss available and pending technologies that will help you do your job better.
One of the topics discussed was the E-TIX program, developed by our own Maryland State Police team of IT professionals. More than 75 Maryland police departments and 4,000 users are now a part of the E-TIX program. The system has so far processed more than two million traffic citations and warnings.
E-TIX is just one of the examples of technology that is increasing your safety and efficiency. I want to make sure our technology focus continues. At the tech conference, we initiated plans for a cooperative law enforcement technology team of IT professionals from local, state and federal agencies who will pool their talents and resources to generate new IT that will benefit us all and help us make Maryland safer. I remain committed to making sure you have the IT resources you need. In addition to the ongoing construction of our CAD/RMS system, other efforts are underway to improve those resources and our IT infrastructure.
Personnel in the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division have been busy this fall. In early November, they conducted “Operation Tailgate” in the parking lot of FedEx Field and along the eastern section of I-495. More than 400 citations and warnings were issued and almost 25 percent of the trucks and drivers inspected by our troopers and civilian inspectors were placed out of service because of serious equipment or safety violations. Seventy-one percent of the trucks weighed on portable scales were found to be overweight, including one more than 60,000 pounds over the legal limit. One driver was arrested on an outstanding warrant and another was arrested for the possession of marijuana.
Although “Operation Tailgate” is an enforcement initiative led by the Maryland State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, its success is a result of the collaborative efforts among several local, county and federal agencies. Assisting police agencies included the Prince George’s County Police, Montgomery County Police, Anne Arundel County Police, and the Calvert County Sheriff’s office.
CVED conducted a similar operation in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. More than 1,200 inspections were conducted, resulting in an out-of-service rate of 22 percent. Almost 1,400 citations and warnings were issued, with more than 200 citations for overweight violations.
In mid-October, the US Attorney for Maryland announced the indictments of 35 members and associates of the South Side Brims Bloods gang. Maryland State Police troopers were a part of this statewide covert investigation from its beginning in 2009. Working with our counterparts in municipal, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, Maryland state troopers assisted in disrupting violent criminal activity that was occurring from Oakland to Ocean City. Crimes committed by these suspects included murder, attempted murder, assault, home invasion, witness intimidation, drug and gun trafficking, and racketeering.
I commend our State Police investigators and supervisors who were a part of this case. This is exactly the type of investigation the Maryland State Police should specialize in. These criminals operated across our state. Our statewide authority and resources, as well as the tenacity and professionalism of our troopers, were all significant factors in the success of this investigation.
During the Thanksgiving holiday, troopers from the Forestville and College Park barracks teamed up with officers from the Prince George’s County Police Department for a cooperative sobriety checkpoint. Earlier this fall, troopers and county officers worked a focused traffic enforcement initiative. We are planning for a series of ongoing traffic and criminal initiatives in cooperation with county and municipal police in Prince George’s County. I support the efforts of all our commanders who are participating in Operation SOLO and similar programs in other counties that are combining law enforcement resources to make Maryland roads safer.
As we are in the midst of the holiday season, I thank each of you for your commitment to your duties, which you fulfill around-the-clock. I especially thank all of you, both sworn and civilian, who worked on Thanksgiving. The lieutenant colonels, majors, and other senior staff members who visited installations under their command have commented on the great work being done by our troopers and civilian employees.
Your work as a dedicated member of the Maryland State Police is building value every day with our elected officials, our fellow law enforcement officers, and, most importantly, our citizens. Thank you for reminding them why our Department is vital to the safety and security of Maryland.
Please remember to do everything you can to support and care for our retired members, as well as your fellow troopers, civilian employees, and their families. It is important for us to care about the welfare of each other and all of those in the Maryland State Police family.
Please be careful and keep up the great work.