MDTA Police Recruit Class Completes Academy Training
Class Overcomes Training Challenges During COVID-19
Baltimore, Md. (April 23, 2020) – Seventeen new Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Police Officers reported for field training Wednesday, April 22, after completing a demanding academy training program that began in August 2019. In addition to the difficulty of standard training, the new officers and their instructors from the MDTA Police Training Unit overcame challenges prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic to safely complete their final weeks at the academy.
“I could not be prouder of these new officers and the members of our Training Unit,” MDTA Police Chief Colonel Kevin M. Anderson said. “Our team designed creative strategies to keep our officers safe and enable Class 53 to successfully complete their academy training.”
MDTA Police Academy instructors adapted training procedures to meet social distancing guidelines and limit personal contact, utilizing virtual learning to separate the class into small groups so they could simultaneously teach across multiple classrooms. Meetings that required the entire class were limited and, when needed, were held outside to ensure proper adherence to social distancing measures.
Additional precautions taken by the Training Unit included daily screening of recruits, increased cleanings of training areas and distribution of sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer. The final weeks of training for members of Class 53 were primarily classroom-based, having already completed courses that require close personal contact – such as defensive tactics – earlier in the curriculum. Despite the challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, every member of the class completed all 645 training objectives required of new officers by the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commission.
Recruit Class 53 consisted of 34 recruits from the MDTA Police, the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) Police, the Annapolis Police Department, the Greenbelt Police Department and the Hyattsville Police Department. Recruits were released to their respective agencies April 10 for additional agency-specific training. Due to the COVID-19 state of emergency, a formal graduation ceremony to honor the new officers will be planned at a later date.
“I am continuously impressed by the men and women of the MDTA Police and their law enforcement partners,” said MDTA Executive Director James F. Ports, Jr. “Because of their hard work, these 34 state and local front-line police officers are now able to serve their communities and neighbors at a time when we rely greatly on the efforts of our first responders.”
The new MDTA Police Officers will now be assigned to experienced Field Training Officers (FTOs) for additional training. The FTOs will build on academy training with practical application of what the new officers have learned.
MDTA Police Officers will then be assigned to detachments at MDTA toll facilities, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport and the Port of Baltimore. After successfully completing a two-year probation period, officers will be eligible to pursue specialized assignments, such as the Special Response Team, K-9 Unit, Motor Unit or Detective Unit.
Visit https://mdta.maryland.gov/Police/Police_Main.html to learn more about the MDTA Police.
The Maryland Transportation Authority Police, a nationally accredited force, is the seventh-largest law enforcement agency in the state with more than 600 sworn and civilian law enforcement professionals. MDTA Police Officers provide law enforcement at the MDTA’s highways, bridges and tunnels, at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, and at the Port of Baltimore.