Senior Officer Norris Shannon instructs the new recruits. (NRP Photo)
ANNAPOLIS (April 1, 2016)—Thirty-one men and women took the first step today to becoming Maryland Natural Resources Police officers as they entered the agency's 58th basic recruit class.
The class begins training on the same day 148 years ago that the police department was formed as the State Oyster Police.
"This is a historic day for us," Natural Resources Police Superintendent Col. Robert "Ken" Ziegler Jr. said. "Basic Recruit Class 58 is the largest in the agency's history and a sign that we will continue to prosper and grow as we approach our 150th anniversary."
The officer-candidates hail from across Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and Massachusetts. Class members come from 14 counties and Baltimore City; 3 are from southern Md. Five graduated from the Natural Resources Police cadet program and five others have military backgrounds.
The more than seven-month curriculum covers basic police policies and procedures, with additional emphasis on conservation law enforcement. Classroom instruction is held at the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Center in Sykesville. Recruits receive additional training in the field, on state waters, in courtrooms and in specialized settings.
The Natural Resources Police is the oldest statewide police department and one of the oldest conservation law enforcement agencies in the nation. It has the same authority as Maryland State Police.
In addition to enforcing state maritime and conservation laws, the unit conducts search and rescue operations and is charged with being the lead agency for maritime homeland security efforts. It also provides safety courses for boaters and hunters.
The 31 recruits are:
Daniel Boylan of Bittinger; Nathaniel Bradley of Seaford, Del.; Andrew Brayman of Joppa; Anton Brenner of Baltimore; Daniel Carlson of Bryans Road; Joseph Caw IV of Dickerson; Antonio Colvin of Brooklyn Park; Andrew Cummins of Ellicott City; Liam D'Aoust of Baltimore; McKenzie Divelbiss of Clear Spring; Benjamin Dorsey of Severna Park; Jeremy Elmore of Essex; Shane Falconer of Alexandria, Va.; Jacob Gerzak of Rising Sun; Michael Greenfield of Cockeysville.
Also, Matthew Groleau of Catonsville; Joseph Hambrick of Eden; Jason Haynes of Annapolis; Shaun Hopkins of Dundalk; Victor Hult of Kingston; Joshua Jones of Huntingtown; James Major of Germantown; Brianna McFarland of Church Hill; Thomas Miller of Westover; Nathaniel Minnick of Smithburg; Kyle Neitzel of California; Eric Pike of Oakland; Simon Roe of Galena; Hector Rojas of Hampton, Va.; Zachary Ruark of Eden; and Brian Walter III of Forest Hill.
The recruits will graduate on Nov. 12 and join a force with an authorized strength of 262 sworn officers. The probationary officers will be paired with department veteran for 12 weeks of field training in the agency's eight patrol areas.