The Maryland Transportation Authority Police trace their beginnings to the opening of the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel in 1957, when the Harbor Tunnel Special Police Force was established. In 1971 this force became the Maryland Toll Facilities Police and developed a State-authorized Police Academy; Commercial Vehicle Safety Division; police-apprenticeship program; and an Honor/Color Guard. In 1998 by act of the Maryland General Assembly the Maryland Port Administration Police Department was abolished and the members were merged into the Maryland Transportation Authority Police Department. The department assumed law enforcement and security responsibilities for the Port of Baltimore facilities including the Canton, Seagirt, Dundalk, Clinton Street, Fairfield and Locust Point Marine Terminals, as well as the World Trade Center in Baltimore City. Today the department has grown to encompass law enforcement responsibilities at Maryland's toll facilities, the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, and the Port of Baltimore.
The Maryland Transportation Authority Police, a nationally accredited force, is the seventh-largest law-enforcement agency in the State of Maryland with more than 500 sworn and civilian law-enforcement professionals. The Maryland Transportation Authority Police provide security and law-enforcement services at the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (US 40 across the Susquehanna River); the Governor Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge (US 301 across the Potomac River); the William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial (Bay) Bridge (US 50/301); the Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695); the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel (I-895); the Fort McHenry Tunnel (I-95); the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport; and the Port of Baltimore. The Maryland State Police, under contract with the Authority, provide law-enforcement services along the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway (I-95 from northern Baltimore City to the Delaware state line).
Members of the Transportation Authority Police department are professional law-enforcement officers who must meet established standards and successfully complete a rigorous training program as required by the Maryland Police Training Commission. Officer candidates receive this training at the Maryland Transportation Authority's Police Training Academy, a fully accredited police-training facility located at the Francis Scott Key Bridge (I-695).
The standard training course covers subjects such as criminal and motor-vehicle law, accident investigation, first aid, abnormal psychology, traffic control, criminal investigation, defensive tactics, weapons qualifications and court procedures. In addition, college credits are available at the Community College of Baltimore, Catonsville Campus.
Academy students are required to maintain a high academic standing during their seven-month classroom training. Upon graduation, officers will be assigned to Field Training Officers for an additional eight weeks of training. Thereafter, officers are eligible for assignment to any of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police detachments.
Candidates must be at least 21 years of age and in good physical condition, as determined by a medical examination. In addition, applicants must be U.S. citizens and have a background free of any criminal convictions. Applicants will take an entrance test and will undergo a physical examination, a polygraph test, a psychological evaluation and an interview. Graduation from a standard high school or possession of a State High School Equivalency Certificate is required. Candidates also must possess a valid Class "C" motor vehicle-operations license.
Some of the specialized units in the Maryland Transportation Authority Police Include:
- Homeland Enforcement And Traffic (HEAT) Team
- Motor Unit
- Marine Unit
- K-9 Unit
- Bicycle Patrol
- Commercial Vehicle Safety unit (CVSU)
- Honor Guard
- Drug Recognition Expert (DRE)
Maryland Transportation Authority Police Officers are issued a Glock 22 "Safe Action" pistol chambered in .40 Caliber, and a Remington 870 pump action 12 gauge shotgun, as well as an ASP Collapsable Baton, and OC Pepper spray.
- The Maryland Transportation Authority Website
- Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #34, Maryland Transportation Authority Police
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