The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police (NRP) is the law enforcement arm of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The NRP is charged with the protection of life and property within Maryland State Parks, waterways, and surrounding DNR jurisdiction. The NRP is also referred colloquially as the "DNR Police."
All officers of the NRP are professionally certified through the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commission and have statewide authority to enforce laws relating to, "conservation, boating, and criminal laws, as well as to provide primary law enforcement services for Maryland's state parks, state forests, and public lands owned and managed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources." The NRP is also charged with the responsibility of lead LE agency on Maryland waterways.
The NRP is Maryland's oldest state law enforcement agency. The NRP (as it is known today) was officially formed by an act of legislation from the Maryland General Assembly on July 1, 1970. The NRP began in 1868 with the formation of the State Oyster Police. Originally charged with protecting Maryland's oyster beds and enforcing state and federal laws, the Oyster Police merged with the creation of the Office of the State Game Warden in 1896.
The current superintendent (i.e.,Chief of Police) is Col. George F. Johnson, IV. The DNR is divided into four regions as follows:
- Western (includes: Garrett, Allegany, Washington, and Frederick counties)
- Central (includes: Montgomery, Howard, Carroll, Baltimore, Harford, Cecil counties and Baltimore City)
- Southern (includes: Anne Arundel, Prince George's, Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary's counties)
- Eastern (includes: Kent, Queen Annes, Caroline, Talbot, Corchester, Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties)
Within the regions, the NRP is divided into 8 areas (labeled 1-8 incidently).
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