The Montgomery County division of the Maryland National Park & Planning Commission is facing the potential layoff of 22 positions from Park Police for the next fiscal year. If the Montgomery County Council budget cuts pass, the mounted unit could be reduced by almost 50%.

According to Lt. Anna von Schwerdtner, “we are facing the worst budget crisis in our history.  Many parks are in danger of being closed, many employees are facing layoffs, which drastically reduces services we are able to provide, and among other things, we at the Park Police are in danger of losing much (if not all) of our mounted unit.”

Why should the Maryland equestrian community care if the MBCP&P mounted division is reduced by 50%?  Consider what they do:

The MNCP&P Mounted Unit provides a myriad of critical law enforcement services, including (but not limited to):

–   patrolling hundreds of miles of trails in regional parks, including areas inaccessible by car or bicycle;

–   game law enforcement (including plain clothes operations);

–   crowd control and traffic operations at special events;

–   providing security on the National Mall for the presidential inaugurations;

–   training for neighboring mounted units, including Ocean City and Washington, D.C.

Concerned trail users should send in their opinions now, as the budget must be finalized by May 15th. Subcommittee meetings will be held April 26th and April 28th. The Montgomery County Council has established a phone line dedicated to those who wish to express their opinions and thoughts regarding the Fiscal Year 2011 Operating Budget: 240-777-7802.

Letters may be mailed to:
Montgomery County Council
Office of Legislative Information Services
Council Office Building
100 Maryland Avenue, 5th Floor
Rockville, Maryland 20850

For more information, or e-mail addresses, please visit:


County Council Members

phone numbers and email addresses:

Phil Andrews, 240/777-7906, councilmember.andrews@montgomerycountymd.gov

Roger Berliner, 240/777-7828,councilmember.berliner@montgomerycountymd.gov

Marc Elrich, 240/777-7966, councilmember.elrich@montgomerycountymd.gov

Valerie Ervin, 240/777-7960, councilmember.ervin@montgomerycountymd.gov

Nancy Floreen, 240/777-7959, councilmember.floreen@montgomerycountymd.gov

Mike Knapp, 240/777-7955, councilmember.knapp@montgomerycountymd.gov

George Leventhal, 240/777-7811, councilmember.leventhal@montgomerycountymd.gov

Nancy Navarro, 240/777-7968, councilmember.navarro@montgomerycountymc.gov

Duchy Trachtenberg, 240/777-7964, councilmember.trachtenberg@montgomerycountymd.gov