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Natural Resources Police Recognizes Six New Graduates
First graduates to complete new cross training required for SFPS, NRP consolidation
ANNAPOLIS — The Natural Resources Police (NRP), the law enforcement arm of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), today recognized the first class of graduates since the announcement of the consolidation of the NRP and the State Forest and Park Service rangers.
The consolidation, scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, is aimed to increase state government efficiency and eliminate redundancies. The Governor’s Commission on Structure and Efficiency of State Government, chaired by former Governor Marvin Mandel, in its final report dated Dec. 8, 2003, recommended the consolidation. The report can be found online at http://www.dbm.state.md.us/efficiency/MCFinalReport.pdf
The combined organization will continue to ensure the public’s safety as well as enforce a broader variety of laws and regulations covering boating, wildlife, parks, fishing, both commercial and recreational and resource protection.
DNR Deputy Secretary Lynn Buhl attended the ceremony along with Assistant Secretary for Management Services Mark Belton and NRP Superintendent Col. Mark S. Chaney. NRP Lt. Robert Davis was the emcee for the afternoon and NRP Cpl Barry Ball gave the invocation and benediction.
“Graduation from any endeavor to gain knowledge, learn new skills or just make oneself better is a BIG DEAL,” Buhl said. “In this case, these six men comprise the first Maryland park rangers class to become NRP officers – they are the trailblazers as the department begins a new era of merged natural resource law enforcement.”
Aberdeen Police Chief Randy M. Rudy gave the graduation address. Chief Rudy is a 27-year veteran of the Maryland State Police. He retired as a captain and Criminal Enforcement Command Assistant Commander.
NRP Col. Chaney noted that change in any situation comes with difficulty: “When an organization is not growing by changing, it is metaphorically speaking, dying. But change does not come easily. We are, by nature, resistant to the idea of change. We are threatened by change. We fear it, and no matter how limited our circumstances, we prefer the comfort of the known, to the uncertainty of the unknown,” he said.
However, Col. Chaney continued: “This presents a great opportunity to improve our ability to preserve and protect our natural resources and to provide better service to the citizens of Maryland, as well as to those visiting our great state. In step, as a single and unified agency, focused on our mission and objectives, our potential is limitless, as it is limited only by the extent of our vision. The vision of Governor Ehrlich and the Mandel Commission has given us a golden opportunity to grow together, and to make the Maryland Natural Resources Police a model organization for other states to emulate.”
The following officers are the graduates of Class 491. Each officer’s hometown is listed in parentheses.
- Joseph D. Bivins (Ft. Washington)
- Michael P. Dyson (Hollywood)
- Timothy M. Kraemer (Great Mills)
- Kenneth A. Layman (Woodstock)
- Frank L. Ryan (Westminster)
- Edward W. Smith (Havre De Grace)
The consolidation calls for the expansion of the Natural Resources Police to include 108 Law Enforcement Officers from the State Forest and Park Service. Natural Resources Police currently has 177 law enforcement officers. The combined organization comprising of 285 officers will continue to ensure the public’s safety as well as enforce a broader variety of laws and regulations covering boating, inland game, parks, commercial seafood harvesting, sport fishing, pollution and resource protection.
The State Forest and Park Service will continue to manage the State’s parks, forests and other public lands but will no longer be directly responsible for all law enforcement activities in those areas. However, those park managers with a law enforcement officer status will be able to retain that status and the functions associated with that duty. In addition, they will continue to be known as “Rangers” and will retain any and all privileges that the law enforcement status grants them through state law.
The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) is an enforcement arm of the Department of Natural Resources. With an authorized strength of 214 officers and a dedicated staff of civilian and volunteer personnel, the Natural Resources Police provide a variety of services in addition to conservation and boating law enforcement duties throughout the State of Maryland. These services include search and rescue, emergency medical services, education, information and communications services on a round the clock basis. NRP is the only police force aside from the Maryland State Police that has statewide jurisdiction.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to Maryland citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 435,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, as well as Maryland's wildlife and fishery species for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, the department manages natural, historic and cultural resources that attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov