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The first organizational meeting of the Maryland State Police Alumni Association was held on September 15, 1960 in the Penn Hotel in Towson, Maryland. Twelve former Maryland State Troopers gathered in the “Garrett” room in the Penn Hotel to decide if and how they should go about forming an alumni assn. of former members of the Maryland State Police.

The meeting had been called together by Jack Gosnell who had phoned everybody he could think of who had worked for the MSP, either as a member of the “Triangle Taxi” or later under the new shield currently on the front doors.

In the course of the evening, which naturally involved a few beers, they drew up the opening criteria for membership and voted on it. Shelton Bosley announced to all assembled: “Okay guys, that’s good logical rule for starters. But you just voted me out! I didn’t have 2 full years and wasn’t off probation.

Following some shuffling of the feet, and nervous clearing of the throats as they all looked uneasily at each other, there were several suggestions of how to amend things since they were just starting out which would allow Shelton to have full membership. But Shelton diplayed a full ration of strong character that evening and insisted “No, you have a good point of beginning there and you should stick to it”.
Shelton Bosley was immediately voted in as the first full Honorary Member of the Maryland State Police Alumni Association.

Forty years has passed since that evening and our membership has grown to nearly 1100 as of our 40th anniversary in 2000. Apparently, our founders had a good idea. It was not difficult to raise the first 100 members. They wrote letters to every person they could dig out of the barrack histories where each of them had served and, of course, everybody knew ol’ so-and-so and either dug him up personally or had a letter written to him. With that as a basis and the passage of time, you know the rest of the story. And by moving around the State for our different meetings we quickly picked up members from all corners of Maryland.

Memory is a fleeting thing. For years and years the author has steadfastly disputed whether or not Dale Weems was at that meeting. He vehemently insisted every time that he and the author got together that he had been there. The author, just as vehemently, insisted that he didn’t think so. Dale, wherever you are, he apologizes.

One further observation. This organization was started by twelve men who didn’t retire from the Maryland State Police. They all left voluntarily for their own personal reasons which were probably economic. But all remembered their time on the job. And the memories were strong enough to get them together to see if anybody else might be interested in sticking together. Look around the room at the next meeting and you decide.

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Notes: This article was written by Harvey Casbarian, one of the founding members.

In 1960, the Maryland State Police was a fairly young outfit, having been in existence less than 30 years. Therefore, there were few retirees to be found during the formative years and the MSPAA was composed almost exclusively of “former members” of the MSP. Today with many more retirees, the MSPAA’s roster is composed of many retirees.  

Last modified: 20210119-1527