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MDTA'S newest police chief is a trailblazer with a unique background

Posted at 7:56 AM, May 28, 2024

DUNDALK — The Maryland Transportation Authority Police agency has a new man in charge.

Chief Joseph F. Scott is trailblazer for the department.

He's the first Black chief in the department's history.

Chief Scott says this is something he doesn't take lightly.

"I stand on the shoulders of those who came before me. And I honor them in everything I do. I have some mentors from previous [jobs] who have helped me until this day. I have those I can reach out to and they will give me the right direction," said Chief Scott.

Chief Scott is a law enforcement veteran with 24 years of experience. He rose up the ranks to becoming the Lt. Colonel and then acting chief before assuming the role of chief. But before going into law enforcement, he did something totally different. He was a barber. He believes that experience improved his communication skills.

"In the barbershop you do a whole lot of talking to a whole lot of people. I don't know if you've ever been in a barbershop, but that's where a lot of things going on. I really cut my teeth talking to people."

Coming into the chief role, he has a few goals, but one of his main priorities is to increase recruitment.

His department is struggling with vacancies.

"When I came in as acting, I began these monthly meetings with recruitment, just to really try to be laser focused on what we can do to recruit qualified applicants," said Chief Scott.

Chief Scott says recruitment numbers have been felt over the past few weeks with the Francis Scott Key Bridge Collapse.

However, he's proud of the work his team has done.

"We had certain key personnel in command that were not here that were on various vacations and various places. So, we were a little short handed, but we were able to do it, get it done and get it done professionally," said Chief Scott.

And that pride doesn't end with the work day. Chief Scott is an assistant pastor at a church in Cockeysville.

He takes pride in the work he does at his church. He says whether he's preaching or leading a police agency; his job is to serve.

"I consider myself a servant leader. What I mean by that is I'm here to serve the people whoever that may be, serve the citizens of the state of Maryland, but also serve the officers of the MDTA police," said Chief Scott.