March 16, 2021
Last summer, I had the privilege of meeting and honoring Ms. Miriam Fine, one of the first female Maryland State Police employees, on the occasion of her 100th birthday. Ms. Fine joined the Maryland State Police on December 1, 1941, six days before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. She was hired as a stenographer and worked for the Superintendent, Colonel Beverly Ober.
Ms. Fine told me there was one other female employee at Headquarters when she joined. She said she was proud to be a part of the Maryland State Police and enjoyed working with Colonel Ober so much she left the State Police to work for him when he joined another police department.
Ms. Fine was a trailblazer in the history of the Maryland State Police. She helped lead the way for the female civilian and sworn employees who have followed her. Those include our first six female troopers, Diane Kulp, Margaret Scott, Virginia Kincaid, Susan Topper, Jane Denby and Donna Whiting, who joined in 1974. The next year, Jacqueline Ringgold-Johnson and Maria Barnett became the first African American female troopers. In 1989, Ida Williams became the first female and first African American female director when she assumed command of the Central Records Division. Ms. Williams continues to serve in that position today, for which I and many others are grateful. Many other ‘firsts’ have occurred and many more are yet to come.
Maryland State Police female employees work as helicopter pilots, flight paramedics, scientists, crime scene technicians, administrative assistants, police communications operators, troopers, criminal investigators, instructors, supervisors and commanders. Far and wide, throughout our Department and across the state, female members of the Maryland Department of State Police are fulfilling countless roles that enable us to accomplish our public safety mission every day.
One female employee who has worked tirelessly this past year is Margaret Michel, our risk management officer. Ms. Michel has been vital to our Department’s COVID-19 response and prevention efforts. Working with our medical staff and Quartermaster Division, she has been integral to providing information, advice and assistance as we have worked to protect our employees while continuing to meet the demands of a full-service police department. I appreciate all she has done and continues to do as we move toward the end of this crisis.
Ms. Michel is one of many dedicated leaders who have contributed significantly to planning and executing our very successful vaccination effort. In fact, I have heard from countless people who are calling it the ‘Chick-fil-A’ of vaccination programs because of its efficiency and outstanding customer service.
From our newest civilian employee, to Lt. Colonel Dalaine Brady, Chief of the Support Services Bureau, the women of the Maryland Department of State Police are working together with the other members of their law enforcement family to provide outstanding public safety services to the people of our state. We are a better organization because of their initiative, ingenuity and commitment to excellence. I am proud to work together with each of you as we continue to uphold and improve upon the history of “Maryland’s finest.”
Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III
Maryland Department of State Police