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The Maryland Natural Resource Police (NRP) Reserve Officers (RO) Program is an auxiliary volunteer group that provides direct assistance to the Maryland NRP sworn law enforcement officer corps in the preservation and protection of Maryland's natural and cultural resources and in support of public safety, outreach, and education efforts. We support safety in Maryland state parks, forests, waterways, and public lands, and provide trained volunteers in support of boater safety, hunter safety education, and maritime and rural search and rescue operations throughout the State.






The sworn officer corps for NRP is currently comprised of less than 250 officers. These officers police over 12,000 square miles of land and over 3,200 miles of shoreline. Within the State, the NRP oversees safety, enforcement, and emergency response for approximately 180,000 registered boats. They also ensure compliance for nearly 190,000 resident and non-resident hunters and over 300,000 licensed tidal and non-tidal fishing license holders. Because of the limited manpower of the sworn NRP officers and their extensive area of operations, the auxiliary support of the NRP RO program is vital to help sustain the life-saving and conservation-based missions of the NRP.

The NRP RO Program consists of a group of civic-minded volunteers who believe in and are willing to support the mission of the NRP utilizing their professional skills, expertise, and interests. Reserve Officers are trained and provided the necessary equipment before being deployed to augment the NRP force and routinely support the officers in the performance of their official duties. While ROs are not sworn law enforcement officials and do not have arrest powers, they are considered first responders by the State of Maryland for public safety and they frequently engage the public in a variety of roles. Their primary duties are handling non-law enforcement assignments that would otherwise have been performed by commissioned police officers such as public relations and outreach programs; community awareness and education programs; traffic and crowd control; boating and hunting safety; vehicle and vessel operations and maintenance; and boat safety inspections. Further, ROs assist Maryland NRP in their role as the primary search and rescue agency on the waters and in the rural areas of the State of Maryland.

As an all-volunteer organization, ROs donate their personal time and money to support their training. In addition to the direct costs of gear, supplies, and classes, our members log thousands of miles on their personal vehicles in traveling to training, public outreach events, safety programs, and search and rescue deployments for lost or missing persons throughout the State of Maryland. The monetary and time commitments of team members are extensive. The NRP RO Association relies upon contributions from individuals, businesses, groups, organizations and foundations to provide for communications equipment, first aid supplies, safety and protective gear, training, and other critical equipment costs in support of the RO Program. Having the proper training and equipment is essential to the safety of our team and the successful fulfillment of our mission in support of the Maryland public.

Each reserve officer is responsible to a Reserve Officer Coordinator (ROC) who is an employee of the Natural Resources Police. The ROCs oversee the program for the Natural Resources Police. The Coordinators are the connection to the command staff and officers in the field.

Our association is an organization set to represent ALL Reserve Offices with the Command Staff of the Natural Resources Police. The Association is able to meet and negotiate with Reserve Officer Coordinators, Lieutenants, Captains, Majors, and the Colonel as a need arises to communicate and advise about the members concerns.

Interested in becoming a member of the reserve officer association? To be an association member, you must first be a reserve officer with the Natural Resources Police. To join the reserve officers, visit the Coordinator's page and contact a coordinator. If you are already a reserve office, you just need to complete an application form by clicking the beached boat or this link: New Member Signup.