The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) recognized the 53rd graduating class of  Maryland Natural Resources Police Officers today at the Maryland Police & Correctional Training Center in Sykesville. DNR Assistant Secretary for Mission Support, Wilson H. Parran, and NRP Superintendent Colonel George F. Johnson, IV attended the ceremony with U.S.C.G. Captain of the Port of Baltimore Mark O’Malley.  Candus Thomson, reporter and former outdoor columnist for the Baltimore Sun, gave the keynote address.
“The Maryland Natural Resources Police is crucial to ensuring our citizens and our natural resources are safe,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Their contributions to our State – whether patrolling the Chesapeake Bay or protecting our wildlife and fisheries resources – are truly a blessing for all of those who enjoy Maryland’s natural areas.”
“I cannot offer praise enough for this graduating class and all of their hard work,” said Colonel Johnson. “On behalf of DNR and the NRP, congratulations on this great achievement and we look forward to working with you in protecting Maryland’s citizens and our natural resources.”
“In Maryland, more than a quarter of a million commercial and recreational fishermen, nearly 400,000 boaters and 122,000 hunters rely on the officers of the Natural Resources Police to enforce the law and keep them safe,” said Thomson. “In my more than 11 years as the Sun’s outdoors writer, I have been frozen to the bone, soaked to the skin and fried to a crisp while covering the work of NRP officers. But at the end of the day or the dawn of a new one, I got to go home, dry off, warm up or cool off and write my column. The officers soldiered on.”
Below is a list of graduates, their hometowns, and duty assignments;
Officer Christopher A. Cary, Southern, Md; assigned to Calvert County.
Officer David B. Garvey, Queenstown, Md: assigned to Anne Arundel County.
Officer Steven J. Hunter, Baltimore, Md; assigned to Anne Arundel County.
Officer Antonio M Junta, Odenton, Md; assigned to Anne Arundel County.
Officer Martin S. Kaetzel, Hagerstown, Md; assigned to Baltimore County.
Officer Annette K. Leonforte, Perryville, Md; assigned to Anne Arundel County.
Officer James B. Seward, Stevensville, Md; assigned to Anne Arundel County.
Officer Andrew J. Shaw, North East, Md; assigned to Kent County.
Individual awards given to class members included Excellence in Academic Achievement, Officer Steven Hunter; Excellence in Firearms Award, Officer Antonio Junta; Navigation and Seamanship Award, Officer Andrew Shaw; Excellence in Leadership, Officer Antonio Junta; and the Excellence in Physical Training, Officer David Garvey.
The Maryland Natural Resources Police is the oldest state law enforcement agency with its beginnings as the State Oyster Police in 1868. The NRP serves as a public safety agency with statewide authority to enforce conservation, boating, traffic and criminal laws, as well as to provide primary law enforcement services for Maryland’s ½ million acres of land owned and managed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The agency is also Maryland lead agency for homeland security on Maryland waters.