GLEN BURNIE, MD (April 29, 2022) – The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s (MDOT MVA) Highway Safety Office this week honored nearly 200 officers from 33 agencies across the state as Traffic Safety Specialists (TSS), recognizing their commitment and contributions to traffic safety in 2021. In total, 184 officers received a level I designation, 12 officers received a level II designation, and one officer received a level III designation.
The statewide TSS program recognizes officers who have attained distinct levels of experience, training and proficiency in highway safety and traffic enforcement methods and procedures. The program is a collaborative effort of MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office, the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association and the Maryland Sheriffs’ Association.
“We are thankful to all of our law enforcement partners who are critical in keeping Marylanders safe – on and off our roadways,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer, who also serves as Governor Larry Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “Through programs like TSS, we can ensure that we’re providing officers with additional training, as well as the latest in enforcement practices and technology. I am proud to honor these officers for their dedication and commitment to highway safety.”
To develop effective solutions that address local and statewide traffic safety, law enforcement agencies must have personnel that are highly skilled in traffic safety. The TSS program provides a framework that provides officers an opportunity to receive credit and recognition for their skills and contributions.
Established in 2008, TSS is open to police officers, deputy sheriffs and state troopers from across Maryland and federal law enforcement agencies. The program offers TSS I, TSS II and TSS III designations, each requiring specific levels of experience, training, job performance and skills proficiency. Specialized requirements, such as Speed Detection Device certification, Standardized Field Sobriety Test certification and participation in High Visibility Enforcement campaigns, are examples of specifications needed to achieve one of the three TSS levels. To be eligible, officers must enroll in the program and submit required documentation for the level they are seeking. TSS III requires an extensive traffic safety project which must be reviewed and approved by the TSS Executive Committee, comprised of current and retired law enforcement officers.
Baltimore County Police Officer Lori Hippensteel was honored as the sole TSS level III designee in 2021 –only the second TSS level III designee since the inception of the program. Officer Hippensteel successfully presented her project about reducing serious injury and fatalities among pedestrians to the TSS Executive Committee.
“The TSS Level III designation is a significant accomplishment and demonstrates Officer Lori Hippensteel’s sincere commitment to traffic safety,” said Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt. “I am incredibly proud of the work Officer Hippensteel and her colleagues are doing throughout the State of Maryland to keep motorists and pedestrians safe.”
Since 2008, 65 law enforcement agencies have had at least one TSS designee on staff. In 2020, Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Police Chief Col. Kevin M. Anderson encouraged his officers to pursue TSS designations. As a result, 33 officers received level I designation in 2020, and 110 officers in 2021.
“I am extremely proud of our personnel as they continue to embrace the Traffic Safety Specialist Program and do our part to move Maryland toward zero deaths,” said Col. Anderson “The TSS Program has provided the framework to ensure our officers receive the most current training and utilize best practices while implementing high-visibility enforcement strategies to promote highway traffic safety.”
Nearly 1,000 officers throughout Maryland have earned TSS Designation since its inception. Agencies with TSS officers designated in 2021 include:
Department TSS Designation I TSS Designation II TSS Designation III Anne Arundel County Police Department 1 Baltimore City Police Department 1 1 Baltimore County Police Department 17 1 Carroll County Sheriff’s Office 4 Cheverly Police Department 1 Cumberland Police Department 1 Federal – Aberdeen Proving Ground 1 Federal – Fort Detrick Police Department 3 Federal – Fort Meade Police Department 4 Frederick Police Department 1 Greenbelt Police Department 1 Hampstead Police Department 2 1 Harford County Sheriff’s Office 2 Maryland Capital Police Department 1 Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Police 110 Montgomery County Police Department 3 3 Maryland State Police / Other 2 Maryland State Police – Bel Air Barrack 1 Maryland State Police – College Park Barrack 1 Maryland State Police – Frederick Barrack 2 Maryland State Police – Northeast Barrack 2 Maryland State Police – Prince Frederick Barrack 7 Maryland State Police – Rockville Barrack 1 Maryland State Police – Salisbury Barrack 1 Maryland State Police – Waterloo Barrack 1 1 Perryville Police Department 5 1 Princess Anne Police Department 2 Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office 2 Seat Pleasant Police Department 1 Somerset County Sheriff’s Office 3 Talbot County Sheriff’s Office 3 University of Maryland College Park 1 Washington County Sheriff’s Office 1 Total 184 12 1
Learn more about the MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office at ZeroDeathsMD.gov or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @ZeroDeathsMD.