Chestertown Police Chief Adrian Baker has been tapped by Gov. Larry Hogan to lead the Maryland Natural Resources Police, where he started his law enforcement career and most recently served as commander of the central region before coming to Chestertown in 2012.
This time Baker assumes the top spot as superintendent of the nearly 260 officer agency, effective Sept. 11.
Ward 2 Councilwoman Linda Kuiper said Baker’s departure was a “tremendous loss for Chestertown and a tremendous gain for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.”
“The Natural Resources Secretary couldn’t have chosen a more capable and respected individual,” she said. “He is very qualified for the position and I wish him the best.”
Kuiper said Baker was widely respected by everyone who worked under him at CPD — and that he was instrumental in a making a “seamless transition” to CPD’s new headquarters on High Street.
Mayor Chris Cerino echoed some of Kuiper’s sentiments.
“Chief Baker served admirably throughout his tenure,” Cerino said. “His professionalism, organizational skills, and ability to communicate with the public will be sorely missed. This is an excellent opportunity for him, and the town’s loss is a huge gain for the State of Maryland.”
Ward 4 Councilman Marty Stetson said Baker’s departure was a “disappointment” but he understands Baker’s desire to move on.
“I certainly don’t blame him,” Stetson said. “He’s done a good job for us, but that’s quite an achievement to be the head of the Natural Resources [Police]. I can understand why he wants that job.”
Stetson, who served as Chestertown’s Police Chief from 1984 to 1990, said Baker’s seven-year tenure exceeded the average. He said the norm for a police chief was three years.
Baker gets praise from Natural Resources Secretary
“Chief Baker has a proven track record – not just in Chestertown and Kent County, but also in his years leading our Natural Resources Police central region, in protecting both our environment and our citizens,” said Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio. “I know that he will be a tremendous asset to our team.”
Baker said his experience in Chestertown helped prepare him for the job ahead.
“I am very excited to return to the Maryland Natural Resources Police and continue the important work of preserving and protecting our state’s vital natural resources. In conjunction with Governor Hogan and Secretary Haddaway-Riccio, I will ensure that our unique police agency will prioritize conservation enforcement, outstanding public service, and public safety,” Baker said in a statement. “With the professional and leadership skills that I have developed over the last seven years as the chief of a municipal police department, combined with career experience through the ranks of NRP, I look forward to applying and providing clear direction to our management and field officers as we move the Natural Resources Police forward.”