Johnson cited for leadership among new NRP officers

LAUREL — Tyson Johnson of Rock Hall is a newly sworn Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police officer as a member of the 64th Basic Recruit Class.

Maryland DNR Secretary Josh Kurtz addressed the 14 new officers at their graduation ceremony at Patuxent Research Refuge in Laurel on Nov. 30, when Johnson received awards for leadership and physical fitness.

“Congratulations to the hard-working men and women who have diligently trained to reach this point,” Kurtz said in a news release. “As Natural Resources Police officers, they are now officially part of the team that ensures the wildlife, fish, and the public lands we enjoy are conserved and protected for generations to come.”

Johnson and the other recruits completed 36 weeks of training and coursework at the Maryland Police and Corrections facility in Sykesville.

In preparation for their mission, they learned Maryland conservation law, criminal procedure, vehicle and traffic laws, firearms, wildlife identification, emergency vehicle operations, search and rescue, land navigation and boating navigation — as well as meeting rigorous physical conditioning requirements.

The new officers will be assigned to patrol districts across the state and complete their formal police training in the field under the supervision of experienced officers.

Johnson has been assigned to Area 3, Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties.

In addition to Johnson, the new officers, listed alphabetically, are: Landon Joel Broadwater of Ellerslie, Allegany County; Michael Gilbert Brown of Springdale, Prince George’s County; Dylan Michael Coster of Perry Hall, Baltimore County; Christopher Clark Crable of Cumberland, Allegany County; Katariina Aino Delph of Waldorf, Charles County; Jake Ryan Hipps of Stevensville, Queen Anne’s County; Ryan Lee Kalbaugh of Cumberland, Allegany County; Jaret Alan Lazich of Big Pool, Washington County; Ashley Samuel Murphy of Reisterstown, Baltimore County; Tyler Matthew Neitzel of California, St. Mary’s County; Anastasia Marie Rhodes of Grasonville, Queen Anne’s County; Dylan Lee Tawes of Salisbury, Wicomico County; and Shannon Michele Wagner of Crisfield, Somerset County

Tracing its roots to 1868, the NRP is the oldest statewide police force in Maryland and one of the oldest state conservation law agencies in the United States.

Johnson, now 24, is a graduate of Kent County High School (Class of 2018) and St. Mary’s College of Maryland (Class of 2022).

He lettered in football and baseball at KCHS, and was an All-North Bayside Conference performer and three-time team MVP in baseball.

He also played baseball for four years at St. Mary’s.

He was a consistent honor roll student throughout his high school and college career.

Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies at St. Mary’s.

He was a member of Chi Alpha Sigma, also known as the National College Athlete Honor Society; selection for membership is by an athletic department designee in consultation with the individual’s head coach and is based on outstanding scholarship  (3.4 or higher cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale), earned athletic letter winner, and excellent character and citizenship.

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