Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III
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March 10, 2022

Most of us will have few opportunities to meet someone 100 years old, which is why I will always remember meeting Ms. Miriam Fine in August of 2020, when her family organized a surprise trip to Maryland State Police Headquarters. The connection was that Ms. Fine had joined the Maryland State Police on December 1, 1941 and was employed as a stenographer for Colonel Beverly Ober.

Ms. Fine was one of the first women hired by the Maryland State Police. She said there was one other woman working at Headquarters when she was hired. I thanked her, on behalf of the entire Maryland State Police family, for being a trailblazer in the history of our Department who led the way for those female civilian employees and troopers who have followed her.

Thirty-three years would pass before Diane Kulp, Margaret Scott, Virginia Kincaid, Susan Topper, Jane Denby and Donna Whiting became the first six female troopers hired in 1974. The next year, Jacqueline Ringgold-Johnson and Maria Barnett became the first African American female troopers. Those women endured numerous challenges as they made it clear women could do this job and would be outstanding state troopers.

In 1989, Ms. Ida Williams became the first woman and the first African American female director when she took command of the Central Records Division. Fortunately for us, Ms. Williams continues to serve in this position today. She has led the Division through significant changes during her long tenure there.

The theme of Women’s History Month 2022 is “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope.” That theme is quite appropriate for the women of the Maryland State Police. From a police communications operator directing help to someone in distress, to a flight paramedic providing lifesaving care in the air, to a scientist unlocking the secrets of evidence and a trooper providing emergency aid to a crash victim, women in our Department are on the frontlines providing the outstanding public safety services we are known for.

Women of the Maryland Department of State Police also fill vital support roles that enable us to accomplish our mission. Administrative specialists in our barracks, divisions, and units provide assistance every day that is often overlooked. The same is true for those women working in the Medical Division, Information Technology Division, Motor Vehicle Division, Human Resources Division, Forensic Sciences Division and on and on throughout our Department.

The bottom line is, our Department would not function without the dedicated women of the Maryland State Police, both civilian and sworn, fulfilling their duties in every aspect of our organization. I thank you for your commitment to our Department and to our public service mission.

Our need to recruit qualified women to both our sworn and civilian ranks continues. I ask each of you to be alert for opportunities to encourage women to consider a career with the Maryland State Police.

Our future is bright in part because of the interest, energy and enthusiasm of young women choosing to join the Maryland State Police. I was reminded of this recently while watching an interview with Ms. Whitley Mayo, from our Forensic Sciences Division. Ms. Mayo works as a firearms examiner in the Firearms and Toolmarks Unit. I was impressed by her obvious enthusiasm for her job and her realization that what she does matters and is important to our public safety mission.

We are a better organization because of the initiative, ingenuity and commitment to excellence of the women of the Maryland Department of State Police. I am proud to work together with each of you as we continue to uphold and improve upon the history of “Maryland’s finest.”

Stay safe.

Colonel Woodrow W. Jones III
Maryland Department of State Police

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