Park Police

  • The Maryland National Capital Park Police and Badge

Apply to the Park Police!

Police mid-air on rover

A Note From The Chief

The Maryland-National Capital Park Police values the sanctity of life and will ensure our policies, hiring practices, training, community engagement efforts, accountability measures, and officer wellness programs remain consistent with a standard of excellence. The Park Police cannot reach its full potential without you. I truly believe our greatest strength is our diversity… diversity of thought, experiences, ethnicity, interests, beliefs, and dreams. We are truly stronger together.

Chief Darryl W. McSwain

Protecting your parks

The Park Police are dedicated to protecting the park system and residents of Montgomery County, Maryland. Read our trail safety tips and join our Park Watch Program

To contact Park Police, call 301-949-8010. In the event of an emergency, call 911.

The Maryland-National Capital Park Police was founded in 1954 by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC). It has grown into a diverse police department with 116 positions – 94 sworn and 22 civilian personnel. Park Police operate 24 hours per day, seven days per week throughout the park system of Montgomery County. Our jurisdiction covers 496 square miles or over 36,000 acres of land that accommodates over 14 million visitors each year. M-NCPPC property includes 418 parks, 235 miles of trails, 282 playgrounds, swimming pools, campgrounds, golf courses, horse stables, soccer stadiums, and stream valleys.

Our highly-visible patrol unit policies parkland 24 hours a day by car, foot, ATV, or bicycle. Our Special Operations Section Officers are cross-trained in horse-mounted, motorcycle, and marine patrols. The Community Services Section interacts with the community through such programs as Crime Prevention through Environmental Design, the Volunteer Program, etc. The Investigative Services Unit provides undercover, intelligence, and recruitment services.

Come ride-along with us and see what the Maryland-National Capital Park Police are all about.

Our Mission

The Maryland-National Capital Park Police, Montgomery County Division, is committed to working in partnership with the community to provide quality public safety services in a professional and timely manner. We value the attendance of all community members and visitors to the park system. We endeavor to facilitate a safe, peaceful, and joyous experience
for everyone.

Our History

The Maryland-National Capital Park Police, Montgomery County Division, is a Division within the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. The Commission was created in 1927 to protect open space and control development in the geographical areas of Maryland that are adjacent to the District of Columbia.

In 1954, the Commission recognized the need to provide public safety for the parks under its jurisdiction and therefore created the Park Police Division. It began with three officers who worked six days a week for an annual salary of $3,000. The officers shared one police car until it broke down and the Commission purchased two used cars to replace the initial vehicle.

Two divisions were created to serve two counties, one policing the Prince George’s County park system and the other the Montgomery County park system. Both Divisions are now the second-largest police agencies in their respective counties. Today, the Montgomery County Division consists of 94 authorized sworn personnel, 22 civilian employees, and approximately 37 volunteers.