The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office has recognized 81 officers from 24 different agencies across the state as Traffic Safety Specialists. These officers were honored for their commitment and contributions to traffic safety in 2022. Among the 81 officers, 72 received a Level I Traffic Safety Specialist designation, eight received a Level II designation, and one received a Level III designation.

The Traffic Safety Specialist program is a collaborative effort between the MVA’s Highway Safety Office, the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association, and the Maryland Sheriffs’ Association. It recognizes officers who have achieved various levels of experience, training, and proficiency in highway safety and traffic enforcement methods and procedures.

According to Motor Vehicle Administrator Chrissy Nizer, the officers’ skills and contributions are critical in eliminating deaths on Maryland roadways. Nizer, who also serves as Governor Wes Moore’s Highway Safety Representative, expressed pride in the officers who took the initiative to earn their Traffic Safety Specialist designation.

The Traffic Safety Specialist program was established in 2008 and is available to all police officers, deputy sheriffs, state troopers, and federal law enforcement officers in Maryland. It offers three levels of designation, 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 Traffic Safety Specialist levels. To be eligible, officers must enroll in the program and submit required documentation for the level they are working toward.

Level III requires an extensive traffic safety project, which must be reviewed and approved by the Executive Committee comprising current and retired law enforcement officers. Ocean City Police Officer Ryan Flanagan was the sole Traffic Safety Specialist Level III designee in 2022, and only the third such designee since 2008. Officer Flanagan presented his project on reducing serious injury and fatalities among traffic violations that occurred during recent Car Rally Events in Ocean City to the Traffic Safety Specialist Executive Committee successfully.

As a member of the Ocean City Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit, Cpl. Flanagan has demonstrated his commitment to highway safety and traffic enforcement to the residents and visitors of Ocean City. Chief Ross Buzzuro of the Ocean City Police Department said Cpl. Flanagan continued to demonstrate his dedication by being a certified standardized field sobriety testing instructor, intoximeter operator, and commercial motor vehicle inspector.

Since the program’s inception, nearly 1,000 officers throughout Maryland have earned Traffic Safety Specialist Designation. In 2022, agencies with Traffic Safety Specialist officers designated include the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, Maryland Natural Resources Police, Baltimore County Police Department, and the Prince George’s County Police Department.

Maryland’s Traffic Safety Specialist program offers a framework that provides officers with an opportunity to receive credit and recognition for their skills and contributions. Effective solutions that address local and statewide traffic safety can be developed when law enforcement agencies have personnel who are highly skilled in traffic safety.

In conclusion, the recognition of these officers shows the importance of having skilled personnel in addressing traffic safety, which can lead to reduced fatalities and injuries on Maryland’s roads. The Traffic Safety Specialist program is one of the ways the state acknowledges and rewards the dedication of its law enforcement personnel in keeping Maryland safe.

DepartmentTSS Designation ITSS Designation IITSS Designation III
Anne Arundel County Police Department2  
Baltimore County Police Department81 
Calvert County Sheriff’s Office2  
Carroll County Sheriff’s Office31 
Charles County Sheriff’s Office1  
Cheverly Police Department1  
Easton Police Department1  
Fort Detrick Police Department3  
Fort Meade Police Department4  
Frederick City Police Department1  
Gaithersburg Police Department1  
Greenbelt Police Department2  
Harford County Sheriff’s Department11 
Howard County Police Department2  
La Plata Police Department31 
Maryland State Police12  
Maryland Transportation Authority Police192 
North East Police Department1  
Ocean City Police Department  1
Perryville Police Department11 
Rockville City Police Department 1 
Saint Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office1  
Seat Pleasant Police Department2  
Washington County Sheriff’s Office1  

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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