From the Field: Colonel Adrian Baker, Former Maryland Natural Resources Police Superintendent
On a summer day in 1984, Adrian Baker entered the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) Academy excited to become a conservation police officer. He knew he had a passion for the outdoors and helping others. Now 38 years later, he has retired from NRP as its superintendent and is reflecting on the remarkable changes he has seen.
“When I started, the radio was unreliable, there were no cell phones, and we worked alone, often in the middle of nowhere,” Baker says. “On open 16-foot boats, we had only a compass. Now there are all kinds of technologies available to officers.”
By 2012, Baker had achieved the rank of captain and was serving as commander of NRP’s Central Region when he was offered an opportunity to become Chief of Police in Chestertown, Kent County. Baker then retired from NPR and spent seven years overseeing the town’s 15-officer department.
In 2019, he received a call from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources providing him an opportunity to return to NRP as the superintendent.
“I was ready to apply my education and experience to a larger scale,” Baker says. “I’m drawn to the environment, the water, the farms and fields, the maritime security, wildlife, interactions with all kinds of people, and all that is necessary to keep NRP going.”
Baker knew NRP was like no other police agency in Maryland, requiring skills and knowledge inherent to traditional policing coupled with hunting, fishing, boating, maritime law, and other specialized duties. He also found himself supervising a statewide agency of more than 275 officers.
He hit the ground running and began his first day arranging a retreat with senior staff to develop a strategic plan that would include input from all levels of the agency. NRP refocused on its core conservation mission while maintaining its niche in providing for the general safety of all Maryland citizens.
“I want to thank the fine and dedicated men and women of the Maryland Natural Resources Police, past and present,” Baker says. “Many people really don’t understand the authority and responsibility these officers have. I am honored to be a part of this great organization.”
Lauren Moses is Public Information Officer for the Maryland Natural Resources Police. Article appears in Vol. 26, No. 2 of the Maryland Natural Resource magazine.