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:

DepartmentTSS Designation ITSS Designation IITSS Designation III
Anne Arundel County Police Department1  
Baltimore City Police Department11 
Baltimore County Police Department17 1
Carroll County Sheriff’s Office4  
Cheverly Police Department1  
Cumberland Police Department1  
Federal – Aberdeen Proving Ground1  
Federal – Fort Detrick Police Department3  
Federal – Fort Meade Police Department4  
Frederick Police Department 1 
Greenbelt Police Department 1 
Hampstead Police Department21 
Harford County Sheriff’s Office 2 
Maryland Capital Police Department1  
Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Police110  
Montgomery County Police Department33 
Maryland State Police / Other2  
Maryland State Police – Bel Air Barrack1  
Maryland State Police – College Park Barrack1  
Maryland State Police – Frederick Barrack2  
Maryland State Police – Northeast Barrack2  
Maryland State Police – Prince Frederick Barrack7  
Maryland State Police – Rockville Barrack1  
Maryland State Police – Salisbury Barrack 1 
Maryland State Police – Waterloo Barrack11 
Perryville Police Department51 
Princess Anne Police Department2  
Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office2  
Seat Pleasant Police Department1  
Somerset County Sheriff’s Office3  
Talbot County Sheriff’s Office3  
University of Maryland College Park1  
Washington County Sheriff’s Office1  

Learn more about the MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office at or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @ZeroDeathsMD.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...

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