Retired Maryland State Trooper Sergeant Bill Baker happily accepted a recent invitation from the Maryland State Police Alumni Association (MSPAA) to share his memories of what it was like being on the job from 1942 to 1963. He recalled living in the police barracks until he got married, patrolling on his own and being granted only five days off per month.
The 100-year-old Baker was joined by several retired troopers who served in the 1940s and onward to video their oral histories as part of the commemoration of the agency’s 100th anniversary. The video exhibit will debut later this year at the opening for the Maryland State Police Museum, located at the state police headquarters in Pikesville, Maryland, per
“We can have artifacts, but without that personal contact, that personal story, that artifact means nothing,” says Jeannie Mastronardi, retired first sergeant and MSPAA president.
“Many of these folks won’t be here in 10 or 20 years, and if we can’t record them now and get their perspective, it’s forever lost,” she says.
“That’s what we’re trying to save. Once they’re gone, their stories are gone,” adds retired Captain David Yohman.
In addition to the video archives, the museum will showcase exhibits spanning the agency’s history, as well as an educational element defining the purpose of state troopers and how officers are selected and trained.