Maryland State Police and locations

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ka3jjz

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In taking a look at the Baltimore county listing for Md. State Police, I noticed that there was only a single reference (which was badly outdated, and I've submitted a ticket to get it fixed). But even correcting that isn't completely accurate, as other barracks cover this area too.

It got me to thinking that it might be useful, particularly to newcomers, to know which barracks covered which counties in Maryland.

As it turns out, the Md. State Police website already has this mapped out..

Maryland State Police > Organization > Field Operations Bureau > Barracks

and we have all the MSP barrack frequencies mapped here...

State Police Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference

And I even noticed that the MSP site has dropped the Annapolis barracks which was closed a couple of years back.

However I know that there are rules against taking information from other websites. Since this is likely the only official source of the locations, I'm wondering if a ticket mentioning this MSP site, cross referencing it with the freqs we already have, would be OK. The intent would be to distribute the frequencies for each barrack(s) within the counties that it covers. It would certainly be worthwhile information to have.

:confused:

TIA...Mike
 

loumaag

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Other than updating (via submission) the state page (your second link) it sounds like an explanation and link provided on the appropriate wiki page is in order. I think you remember how to do that, don't you? :D
 

ka3jjz

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Very funny, Lou....

Right now a newcomer would have a hard time even finding the state police listings - they aren't all that obvious unless you look in the department listings. It used to be under 'Dept of State Police' but now it's just 'State Police'. It's gotten a bit 'hidden'

IF you find your way to that page, the listing by county is on the bottom - but I'm willing to bet that folks are going to look more at each individual county page then a rather vague 'State Police' in the Department listing if that's what they're trying to find. I rather doubt those zones are used anymore - as I equally doubt that MSP even knows we have this listing and use it for their templates.

It would be much clearer, I think, if each barrack were distributed to the county that it covers, and leave the statewide stuff on the page as it is today. A link back to the statewide page on each county page would tie the two together easily. That can't be done at the wiki level since the extensions can't pull data by frequency, unfortunately.

But heck, what do I know?

Oh well...it was worth a shot Mike

[edit] I just put a ticket out to drop the Annapolis listing off the page - but this brings up another point - it's likely that these 'zones' are now at least 2 or 3 years old. How do we know they're still valid? How do we know that these zones are still being used in this manner? It seems reasonable to assume that these zones have changed in the interim - if there's one invalid listing, chances are there may be more. I gotta see if I can talk a bit more to that MSP guy I ran into at the gym....
 
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loumaag

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Very funny, Lou....
Well, at least you saw the humor.

Right now a newcomer would have a hard time even finding the state police listings - they aren't all that obvious unless you look in the department listings. It used to be under 'Dept of State Police' but now it's just 'State Police'. It's gotten a bit 'hidden'
Well, a newcomer from Maryland has the same task as a newcomer from any other state; all other states are done exactly the same way. State Police are located as a state agency. As for the name change, well looking at the Maryland State Police page, they seem to think they are a department, so as for the name change, I would look back to see who or why it was changed. Indeed the Wiki Page is still titled Department of State Police.

IF you find your way to that page, the listing by county is on the bottom - but I'm willing to bet that folks are going to look more at each individual county page then a rather vague 'State Police' in the Department listing if that's what they're trying to find. I rather doubt those zones are used anymore - as I equally doubt that MSP even knows we have this listing and use it for their templates.
Okay, assuming most scanner listeners at least know what part of the state police is covering their home area, then the SP page for each state should take that into consideration. For example, I grew up in Louisiana and knew that Troop B covered where I lived. I live in Texas and in SP Region 2. I am pretty sure that most folks can handle that. However, this is why we have regional DB Admins. I would in no way suggest how Maryland should be laid out, but I could certainly talk about TX or LA as well as several other states I have lived in.

It would be much clearer, I think, if each barrack were distributed to the county that it covers, and leave the statewide stuff on the page as it is today. A link back to the statewide page on each county page would tie the two together easily. That can't be done at the wiki level since the extensions can't pull data by frequency, unfortunately.
Whereas I think that you should discuss this with whoever the regional admin is, I would suggest that putting any sort of reference to the SP on a county page runs counter to the whole way the DB is laid our.

[edit] I just put a ticket out to drop the Annapolis listing off the page - but this brings up another point - it's likely that these 'zones' are now at least 2 or 3 years old. How do we know they're still valid? How do we know that these zones are still being used in this manner? It seems reasonable to assume that these zones have changed in the interim - if there's one invalid listing, chances are there may be more. I gotta see if I can talk a bit more to that MSP guy I ran into at the gym....
And this is exactly why this Texan is not going to alter the MD page(s) without specific "good" data. As I alluded to above, regional admins (or global admins with 1st hand experience) should be taking care of individual states' entries.
 

ka3jjz

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With all due deference to your Texas knowledge, the assumption that a newcomer would know what part of the SP would cover his/her area is just plain wrong. Here's an example - Barrack L (Forestville) and Q (College Park) both cover Prince George's County - but would they know the additional constraint that L covers South of Route 50, while Q covers North? Likely not, unless they carefully observe the units they see on the highway.

The same can be said of barrack M (JFK Highway, which covers the northern extreme of Baltimore county) and R (Golden Ring) which covers most of the rest of the county.

If these barracks were listed in their respective counties with the constraints listed, it would be MUCH clearer to a newcomer than having to hunt for it *nearly at the bottom* of a statewide page.

I'm not sure I'd agree with the statement about being 'counter' to the way the DB is laid out, either. In most SQL based systems, putting such a reference in a listing would construct a FK (foreign key) relationship, and that's a long-recognized and efficient way to link multiple tables together.

I'm awaiting some word from dtscho on this, but thought I'd add some clarity to my assertions

Mike
 
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GTR8000

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If these barracks were listed in their respective counties with the constraints listed, it would be MUCH clearer to a newcomer than having to hunt for it *nearly at the bottom* of a statewide page.
The DB Admin Handbook is very clear with respect to state agency frequencies being maintained on a statewide agency page only, not within the counties. Eric has reinforced this numerous times as well.

6.2.2. STATEWIDE OR MULTI-COUNTY FREQUENCIES

Frequencies used by any state agency should be listed on a state-level agency page. State agency frequencies (e.g., state police) should not be entered on a county page (even if the state police frequency is only applicable to one county).
Explanations on what counties certain SP Troops/Barracks cover is what the Wiki is for. Or, perhaps the SP page needs to be organized a little better into categories and subcategories, with subcategory notes indicating which Troops/barracks cover which counties.

Take a look at the NY State Police page for an example of this.

New York State Police
 

ka3jjz

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I was about to suggest the same thing - you must have been reading my mind

Thanks for the reference to the handbook - to me, I don't think that's right, but rules are rules.

How do I go about requesting a reorganization along these lines? I see that the NYSP page also has links to the trunk systems where the troop has talkgroups (Troops L and NYC) - and for Maryland, that data could be had from the State Police wiki.

It would certainly modernize the page, since many SP barracks are now simulcasting (at least) on their respective county's trunk

Mike
 
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GTR8000

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I certainly don't want to come across as pushing NYS as the "right way", but I do think that page has a fairly common sense organization to it. Statewide stuff in its own category, followed by the Troops/Barracks broken down into their own subcategories. Any Troops/Barracks that operate on a trunked system, the dbadmin can add an associated TRS via the subcategory edit. You simply choose from the list of systems in that state and add a note detailing what the usage is. Works out pretty nicely.
 

GTR8000

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Oh and, the nice thing about having each Troop/Barrack in its own subcategory is that it makes for much better usage of the geotagging feature. It's a lot more useful restricting the geotag radius to a handful of counties than the entire state.
 

loumaag

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Mike, you might take a look at the Texas DPS page as another example of an organization along the lines of regions (maybe analogous to zones ??) and dispatch points. In any case it would not take long to survey the states to see how they are laid out to see if the MD folks could take the best of all there is available to look at.
 

ka3jjz

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That's closer, but not quite. The reason I say that is that MSP doesn't have well defined coverage areas by region as Texas evidently does. Some regions overlap, and at least one barrack covers 3 counties. And a careful analysis of the MSP 'zones' will show that these tend to overlap several counties, so that won't work either.

Are there any examples in the db that shows coverage of a statewide entity by county? That model would probably be as close as we could get, given how MSP structures its coverage - not perfect due to the issue I just mentioned, but at least it's clearer as to how the coverages work

Mike
 

loumaag

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...
Are there any examples in the db that shows coverage of a statewide entity by county? That model would probably be as close as we could get, given how MSP structures its coverage - not perfect due to the issue I just mentioned, but at least it's clearer as to how the coverages work
Nevada SP is basically broken down by county, but they don't appear to have any overlap. The TX Region/Disp Center breakdown would appear to be pretty close to what you are describing in regard to Barrack/County relationship. In TX, despite how it looks very sharply cut by county lines in relation to patrol districts (not regions) the lines are not so clear.

For example, in Region 2, the line between Texas City dispatch coverage and Houston dispatch coverage overlap, as does Houston and Pierce. Where I live (Katy, west of Houston) I monitor both Houston and Pierce dispatch centers but not all the channels. If I were a newbie and looked at the information on the TX Page, I would pick the cities with the closest dispatch centers. Notice, nowhere in this did I allude to counties, because for the SP that is not that much of a concern; except what court to put on a ticket of course. :D
 

ka3jjz

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I think you got it Lou. It would appear that the Nevada model is pretty close to what we need for Maryland, particularly if the respective trunk system is linked like the NYSP page when needed. Now if someone would enter a Mantis ticket, we can consider this request in the queue

Gracias...Mike
 
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loumaag

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Not sure why Mantis would be involved. There is no "bug" involved that I am aware of; am I missing something? It would appear to be just a re-layout of the specific DB page. (Maybe consider the title change also.) But that is all DB Admin work.
 

ka3jjz

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I thought something like this has to be queued via Mantis before it gets done, since it is a technical redesign of a page. My mistake.

Mike
 

ka3jjz

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OK I'll bite - how do I request a design change on this page? The submission process is, usually, reserved for data corrections/additions, not for a design change (or so I thought)...Mike
 

GTR8000

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This is not a "design change", it's simply reorganizing the existing data making better use of categories and subcategories. The last dbadmin to work on the MSP was dtscho, I suggest contacting him directly and have him read through this thread. Otherwise, the submission process is exactly the same. Again, this is all done within the existing dbadmin controls, nothing special needs to be done.
 
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