Mohan v. Norris

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Mohan v. Norris, No. 88, Sept. Term 2004. Opinion by Harrell, J. STATUTORY INTERPRETATION - LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER S BILL OF RIGHTS (LEOBR) - EXCLUSION FROM PROTECTION OF PROBA TIONARY PO LICE OFFICERS - ALTHOUGH PERMANENTLY CERTIFIED BY THE MARYLAND POLICE TRAIN ING CO MMIS SION, A POLICE OFFICER ON PROBATIONARY STATUS WITH HIS OR HER POLICE AGENCY EMPLOYER UPON INITIAL EMPLOYMENT BY TH AT DE PART MEN T IS DEN IED, AS A RESULT OF THAT PROBATIONARY STATUS, THE PROTECTIONS OF THE LEOBR A police officer, although permanently certified by the Maryland Police Training Commission, nonetheless is denied the protections of the La w Enforcem ent Officer s Bill of Rights while that officer is in a probationary status with his or her police agency employer as the result of the original h iring by that particu lar departm ent. Circuit Co urt for Prince George s County Case # CAE03-13795 IN THE COURT OF APPEALS OF MARYLAND No. 88 September Term, 2004 ANDREW A. MOHAN v. EDW ARD T. NO RRIS, et a l. Bell, C.J. Raker Wilner Cathell Harrell Battaglia Greene, JJ. Opinion by Harrell, J. Filed: April 4, 2005 We issued a writ of certiorari in this case to consider w hether a police officer, although uncond itionally certified by the Maryland Police Training Com mission ( MP TC ), nonetheless is denied the protections of the La w Enf orcemen t Officer s B ill of Rights ( LEOBR ) during that officer s initial probationary status as required by his or her employing police agency. For reasons to be explained, we conclu de that such an office r, while in a probatio nary status with his or her police agency employer upon his or her initial hiring by that employer, is denied, as a result of that probationary status, the protections of the LEOBR, irrespective of his or her certification status with the MPTC. I. In December 1997 , Andrew A. Mo han grad uated from the Prince G eorge s C ounty Police Municipal Academy and was hired as a police officer by the Town of Edmonston Police Department. Before assuming duties with that department, Mohan was issued a provisional certification card by the Maryland Police Training Commission.1 Mohan remained in this provisio nal status w hile an officer with the Tow n of Edm onston un til September 1998, when he departed to join the Town of Cheverly Police Department. The MPTC issued Mohan a permanent certification card at this juncture. On 7 January 200 2, M ohan was hired by the Maryland Department of State Police ( State Police ), and received a permanent certification card from the MPTC for this new employme nt. Two days later, he signed an Agreement with the State Police outlining the 1 The MP TC, initia lly esta blish ed by the L egislatur e in 1 966, serv es pr incip ally a statewide training ove rsight func tion for virtua lly all Maryland State and local law enforc emen t office rs. terms of his employment, which included a 24 month probationary period.2 The probationary period, according to the Agreement, would be in effect during Mohan s further training at the Maryland State Police Academy and would continue after his assumption of regular duties with the State Police. During this probationary period, Mohan was served on 29 July 2003 with two documents, each entitled Maryland State Police Probationary Trooper Record of Disciplinary Action, charging him with violating various rules, policies, and procedures of the State Police. The docume nts inform ed Mo han that, as a result of the alleged infractions, he would be suspen ded sum marily for a total of 11 days. Mohan requested that he be given a hearing on the charges pursuant to the rights outlined in the LEOBR, codified at the time at Md. Code (1 957, 199 6 Repl. V ol., 2001 Su pp.), Art. 27, § § 727 - 73 4D (reco dified, without substantive change, a t Md. Co de (2003 ), §§ 3-101 - 3-113 of the Public S afety Article). His employer responded that the LEOBR excluded from its coverage pro bationary employees; therefore, Mohan was not entitled to its protections because, at the time of the alleged infractions, he was still a probationary employee of the State Police. 2 As discussed infra, a statute establishes a two year probationary period f or police employees of the State Po lice. Md. C ode (195 7, 1998 R epl. Vol.), Art. 88B, § 18 (recodified, without substan tive cha nge, at Md. Code (2003 ), § 2-403 of the Pub lic Safety Article). Although the Agreement between Mohan and the State Police does not reference this statute, the probationary requirement in the Agreement reiterates the statutorily imposed probationary period. 2 On 13 August 2003, M ohan file d in the C ircuit Co urt for Pr ince Geo rge s Co unty a complaint for an ex parte injunction and issuance of a show cause order against Colonel Edward T. Norris, then-Secretary of the Maryland State Police, and the Department. A show cause order was issued and an expedited hearing held. Through the efforts of the trial judge, an Assistant Attorney General representing Secretary Norris and the Department was notified and appeared for the hearing, though no written answer was filed. There appearing to be no dispute as to facts material to the case, the hearing proceeded upon oral argument of counsel on the questio n of law presented. The trial judge ruled from the bench that Mohan was a probationary employee, as defined by the State Po lice Act, M d. Code (1 957, 199 8 Repl. Vol.), Art. 88B, § 18 (recodified, without substantive change, at Md. Code (2003), § 2-403 of the Public Safety Article), and was therefore not entitled to the protections of the LEOBR. A confirming written order denying the injunctive relief was entered u ltimately. The Court of Special A ppeals aff irmed the trial c ourt s judgm ent. Mohan v. Norris, 158 Md. App. 45, 854 A.2d 259 (2004). Mohan petitioned this Court for a writ of certiorari, which we granted, 383 Md. 569, 861 A.2d 60 (2004), to consider the following question: Did the Court of Special Appeals err in determining that a police officer, permanently certified by the Maryland Police Training Commission, may nonetheless be excluded from the protections of the Law Enforce ment Of ficer s Bill of Rights due to the officer s pro batio nary s tatus as im pose d by a hirin g agency? 3 II. Mohan s question is one of statutory interpretation and, as such, is purely a matter of law. Salamon v. Progressive Classic Ins. Co., 379 Md. 301, 307, 841 A .2d 858, 862 (200 4). Our standard of review, therefore, is de novo. Id.; see also Davis v. Slater, 383 Md. 599, 604, 861 A.2d 78, 80-81 (2004) (stating that [b]ecause our interpretation of . . . provisions of the Maryland Code . . . are appropriately classified as questions of law, we review the issues de novo to determin e if the trial cou rt was legally correct in its rulings on these matters ). III. Three statutory schemes are the foci of our analysis in this case. At the center of the controversy is the Law Enforce ment Of ficer s Bill of Rights ( LEOBR ), codified at the time of the proceedings below at Md. Code (1957, 1996 Repl. Vol., 2001 Supp.), Art. 27, §§ 727734D (recodified, without substantive change, at Md. Code (2003), §§ 3-101 - 3-113 of the Public Safety Article). 3 The LEOBR w as enacted in 1974 as the nation s first comprehensive statutory scheme intended to provide certain procedural protections to law enforcement office rs, as that term is defined in the statute, during any investigation, charging, and subsequent hearing tha t could lead to discip linary san ctions. Baltimore City Police Dep t v. Andrew, 318 Md . 3, 12, 566 A .2d 755, 75 9 (1989); see also Byron L . Warn ken, The Law 3 Unless otherwise indicated, all subsequent citations to the provisions of the LEOBR shall ref er to the P ublic S afety Ar ticle refe rence n umbe rs. 4 Enforcement Officers Privilege Against Compelled Self-Incrimination, 16 U. Balt. L. Rev. 452, 489-98 (1987) (outlining the history and provisions of the LEOBR and chronicling the failed attempts in the U.S. Congress, prior to the enactment of the LEOBR in Maryland, to enact a national bill of rights for law enforcement officers). These procedural protections include, among others, the right to be informed in writing of the nature of an investigation prior to any interroga tion, the right to reasonable limitations on the structure, time, and place of an interr ogation , the right to a complete written or transcribed record of any interrogation, the right to be notified of the name of any witness and all charges and specifications against the officer not less than ten days prior to any hearing, and the right to a copy of the investigatory file and any excu lpatory inf ormatio n. § 3-104. If an investiga tion results in the recommendation of some disciplinary or punitive action ag ainst a law enforcem ent officer, the LEOB R, with limited exceptions, entitles an officer to a hearing bef ore a hearing board composed of at lea st three o ther po lice off icers. § 3-107 . Procedures governing the hearing include the right to cross-examination and the power of the hearing board to compel the attendance of witn esses th rough subpo enas. Id. If, after a hearing and a finding of guilt, the hearing board de term ines that a disciplin ary or punitive sanction is appropriate, the boa rd makes recommendations to the chief of police of the appropriate police agency, who then must review the recommendations and issue a final order within 30 days. § 3- 108. A final order may be appealed to the loc al circuit court and, thereafter, to the Court of Special Appea ls. § 3-109. If a law enf orcemen t officer is denied any of the rights afforded by the 5 LEOBR, he or she may apply to a circuit court for an order directing the law enforcement agency to show cause why a right should not be granted.4 § 3-105. In 1977, the L egislature am ended the LEOB R in order to deal with the relationsh ip between it and other sta tutes provid ing alternative remedies f or police officers facing disciplinary sanctions. 19 77 Md . Laws, C hap. 366; Moats v. City of Hagerstown, 324 Md. 519, 526-27, 597 A.2d 972, 975-76 (1991). The new section provided: Except for the administrative hearing proces s provided for in [Article 41, § 4-201] concerning the certification enforcement power of the Police Training Commission,[5] the provisions of this subtitle shall supercede any State, county or municipal law, ordinance, or regulation that conflicts with the provisions of this subtitle, and any local legislation shall be preempted by the subject and material of this subtitle. 1977 Md. Laws, Chap. 366 (as amended by 1981 Md. Laws, Chap. 679) (recodified, without substantive change, at § 3-102). The Court in Moats relied on this language to conclude that the LEOBR was a law enforcem ent officer s exclusive remedy in matters of departmental discipline. 324 Md. at 530, 597 A.2d at 977. This exclusive remedy, however, may be invoked only by a law enforcement office r, who, at the time of the LEOBR s enactment, satisfies the definition of any person who, in his officia l capacity, is autho rized by law to make arrests and who is a member of any of a number of statutorily recognized police agencies, including the State Police. 1974 4 Moha n relied on th is provision in seeking relie f in the Circ uit Court. 5 Because Mohan s appeal does not concern the validity of his MTPC certification status, this exception is not relevant to the resolution o f this matter. 6 Md. Laws., Chap. 722 (codified, without substantive change, at § 3-101(e)). In 1975, the statute was amend ed to exclude exp ressly from the LEO BR s coverage an officer serving in a proba tionary sta tus. 6 1975 Md. Law s, Chap. 809. That definition was further amended in 1977 to provide that the term probationary status would include only an officer who is in that s tatus up on initia l entry into th e Dep artmen t. 7 1977 Md. Laws, Chap. 366. The Department of State Police was created by the Legislature in 1935 upon the enactment of the State Police Act ( SPA ) (the second statute important to our analysis), and became a principal department of the Maryland State Government by virtue of an amendment to the SPA in 1994. 1935 Md. Laws, Chap. 303; 1994 Md. Laws, Chap. 165. At the time of the proceedings below, the SPA was codified a t Md. Co de (1957 , 1998 Re pl. Vol.), Art. 6 The full text of the pertinent portion of the 1975 amendment provides that [l]aw enforcement officer does not include an officer serving in a probationary status except when allegations of brutality in the execution of his duties are made involving an officer who is in a probationary status. 1975 Md. Laws, Chap. 809. Although the exact nature of Mohan s alleged infractions is unclear from the record, he claimed at the Circuit Court hearing that the char ges a gain st him did n ot involv e alle gatio ns of brutality. 7 Upon the recodification of the LEOBR, without substantive change, in 2003 into the Public Safety Article of the Maryland C ode, the language o f the exclusionary definitions was reformatted and slightly modified to read as follows: (2) Law enforcem ent officer does not in clude: ¦ (iv) an office r who is in probationary status on initial entry into the law enforcement agency except if an allegation of brutality in the ex ecution of the o fficer s duties is made . § 3-10 1(e)(2) (iv). The Revisor s Note states that the reference to initial entry into the law enforcement agen cy is substituted f or the form er referenc e to initial entry into the Department because this provision is not limited to officers who are entering a particular police department, but covers officers entering any law enforcement agency listed in paragra ph (1)(ii) of th is subsec tion. 7 88B (recodified, without substantive change, at Md. Code (2003), §§ 2-101 - 2-703 of the Public Safety Article). 8 The SP A provid es that the State Police h as the gene ral duty to safeguard the lives and safety of all persons in the State, to protect property, and to assist in securing to all other persons the equal protection of the laws. § 2-301(a). The affairs and operations of the State Police are supervised and directed by a Secretary, who is appointed by, and reports to, the Governor. § 2-202. The Secretary also is granted authority to adopt rules necessary to . . . promote the effective and efficient performance of the duties of the [State Police] [and to] ensure the goo d gove rnmen t of the [ State P olice] an d its emp loyees. 9 § 2-205. 8 Unless otherwise indicated, all subsequent citations to the p rovisions of the SPA shall refer to the Pub lic Safe ty Article re ferenc e num bers. 9 This authority expressly includes, among others, the following powers: (1) to establish standards, qualifications, and prerequisites of character, training, education, and experience for employees of the [State Police], § 2-204 (b)(6); (2) to establish ranks and grades, and to designate the auth ority, resp onsi bility, and duties of [such ranks and grades], §§ 2204(b)(7)-(8); (3) to appoint, promote, reduce in rank or civilian classification, reassign, reclassify, retire, and discharge any employee of the [Sta te Police] in the m anner r equired by law, § 2-204(b)(9); (4) to regulate attendance, conduct, training, discipline, and procedure for employees of the [S tate Police], § 2-204(b)(10); and (5) to provide systems for pe riodic evalu ation and improvement of the performance and physical condition of emplo yees . . . . § 2-204(b)(11). 8 Since its initial adoption in 1935, the SPA has impo sed a prob ationary period on all State police employees,10 comme ncing w ith the date of their appointment to the State Police. Md. Code (1935 Supp .), Art. 88 B, § 10. Initially, the SPA provided for a probationary period of one year, during which the Superintendent (la ter Secretary) po ssessed au thority to discharge police e mployee s at his or her disc retion. Id. In 1945, the probationary period was extend ed to tw o years. 19 45 M d. Law s, Chap . 294. Mohan s argument relies heavily on the provisions of the Maryland Police Training Commission Act ( MP TCA ) (the third statutory scheme of significance to this case), codified at the time of his discipline at Md. Cod e (1957, 1997 R epl. Vol.), Art. 41, § 4-201 (recodified, without substantive change, at Md. Code (2003), §§ 3-201 - 3-218 of the Public Safety Article). 11 The MPTCA, originally enacted in 1966, establishes the Maryland Police Training Commission ( MPTC ) as an agency within the Maryland State Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. § 3-202. The MPTC has autho rity and powers over all aspects of police training, including establishing and certifying police training schools, 10 The SPA distinguishes between police employees and civilian employees. §§ 2-101(c), (i). The SPA defines police employees as those employees possessing the same powers, privileges, im munities, an d defens es as [those possessed by] sheriffs, co nstables, police officers, and other peace officers . . . at common law and may now o r in the future exercise within their respective jurisdictions. § 2-412(b). A civilian employee is defined as an employee of the [State Police] other than a po lice employee. § 2-101(c). 11 Unless otherwise indicated, all subsequent citations to the provisions of the MPTCA shall ref er to the P ublic S afety Ar ticle refe rence n umbe rs. 9 and prescribing the curriculu m, eligibility requirements, and standards of operations at such schoo ls. § 3-20 7. The MPT C also po ssesses statuto ry authority to certify as po lice officers th ose individuals who satisfactorily meet[] the standards of the [MPTC] or an equivalent training program in another S tate. § 3-209 . After an in dividual m eets the MPTC s minimum standards, as set forth in the M PTCA and regu lations prom ulgated pu rsuant to it, he or she becomes certified as a police officer and receives a permanent appointment from the MPTC. § 3-215(a)(2). Without a certific ation by the M PTC, a p erson is pro hibited, with limited exceptions, from being employed as a police off icer by the State, a county, or a munic ipali ty. § 3-216; see Stanford v. Maryland Police Training and Corr. Comm n, 346 Md. 374, 390, 697 A.2 d 424, 43 1-32 (199 7) (holding that termina tion of em ployment [w ith a police agen cy] invalidates an individual s certification as a police officer under the MPTC A). The MPTC, however, also possesses the authority to grant a qualified individual a probationary appointme nt as a police officer for a period not to exce ed one year to enable the individual seeking permanent appointment to take a training course required by [the M PTC A]. § 3 -215(c ). The meaning of probationary appointment for MPTC purposes is further defined in the regulation s adopted by the MP TC pur suant to the MPTCA. These regulations define probationary period as a period of a maximum of 365 days under [§ 3-215(c)], Annotated Code of Maryland: (i) During which a police officer with a provisional certification . . . may 10 perform [his or her] duties while o btaining the training spec ified in this ch apter; and (ii) Which ends the ea rlier of 365 d ays or upon c ompletion of mand ated training. COMAR 12.04.01.01(13)(a). The regulations add that the term probation ary period d oes not relate to or restrict a probationary period that may be imposed by the hiring agency. Id. 12.04.01.01(13)(b). The MPTCA also contains a preemption provision similar to that found in the LEOBR. Section 3-218 of the MTPCA states that [t]his subtitle supercedes any law, ordinance, or regulation o f the State, a c ounty, or a mu nicipal corp oration that co nflicts with this subtitle. IV. A. Mohan contends that the Court of Special Appeals erred in determining that, although he held a permanent appoin tment from the M PTC, he w as nonetheless in prob ationary status for purposes of the LEOBR because, at the time of charging and summary discipline in this case, he occup ied the s tatus of a proba tionary em ployee u nder th e SPA . He claim s that once an officer receives a permanent appointment from the MPTC, he or she no longer is in probationary status for purposes of the LEOBR. Support for his position is found, as the argumen t continues, in Moore v. Town o f Fairmo unt Heigh ts, 285 Md. 578, 403 A.2d 1252 (1979 ), in which this Court interpreted the term probationary as used in both the LEOBR and the M PTCA . Mohan argues that Moore settled, once and for all, that 11 probationary status, as used in the LEOBR, refers solely to the one year probationary period provided for in the M PTCA . We do not share his interpretation or agree with h is application of that case. 1. Moore concerned a police officer, Robert M. Moore, who first was hired by the Town of Fairmount Heights in May 1970. Although Mo ore was discharged by the Tow n in October 1974, he was reinstated in April 1976. In F ebruary 1978, Mo ore began a training course at the Prince George s County Police Academy, the completion of which was a prerequisite for certification by the MPTC. One month later, Moore was accused of cheating on an examination at the police academy and was informed that he would be dismissed from the academy as a result of the accusation. Moore withdrew from the a cademy. H is employment with the Town of Fairmount Heights was terminated. After being denied by the Town a hearing under the LEOBR, Moore brought an action in the Circuit Court for Prince George s County and requested a show cause hearing as to why the Town should not be required to provide him with such a hearing. The Circu it Court held that, because M oore had not completed the training course required for permanent certification, he was precluded from attaining a non-p robationary status under the MPTCA and thus was ineligible for the protecti ons of the LE OBR . In reviewing the Circuit Court s judgment, the Court of Appeals in Moore was called upon to interpret the meaning of the phrase probationary status in the LEOBR. Although 12 the LEO BR d id not d efine probat ionary sta tus, the Court found instructive the definition of probationary period found in the MPT CA, which provided for a prob ationary period of up to 365 days during w hich a perso n seeking a perman ent appoin tment wa s to comp lete a police training course . Id. at 582-83, 403 A.2d at 1254-55. Moore argued that he could not be in a probationary status because he was nev er informed, by either his employer or the MPTC, that he was in a probationary status and that furthermore he had been employed by the Town as a police officer for more than 365 d ays. The Co urt, howev er, conclud ed that, no matter how long the length of service with a particular agency, the language of the MPTCA led to one c onclusion : one can not attain permanent status (and thus, nonprobationary status) until he has finished the training course [mandated by the M PTC A]. 12 Id. (construing §§ 3-215 (b)-(c)) (emphasis in original). 2. Mohan argues that th e Court s re liance in Moore on the MPTCA definition precludes the application of any other definition of probationary status in his ca se. He po ints specifically to the following language in Moore: [T]he reasonable interpretation of the clause [in the L EOBR ], that probationary status includes only an officer in that status upon initial en try into the Depa rtment, is that it ap plies only to those w ho hav e once attained perma nent sta tus. 12 The MPTCA was amended in 1981 to reflect the holding in Moore. 1981 Md. Laws, Chap. 679. This amendment provides that [a] law enforcement agency may not employ an individual as a police officer for a period not exceeding 1 year unless the individual is certified by the [MPTC]. § 3-216. 13 285 Md. at 585, 403 A.2d at 1256. Because he obtained a permanent certification from the MPTC as a police officer in 1998, Mohan perceives that he is precluded from aga in being deemed in probationary status for purposes of the LEO BR. Mo han s interpretation of Moore, however, represents a strained reading . In Moore, the Court w as asked to determine how the probation ary period fo und in the MPTCA w as to be applied to the probationary status exclusion found in the LEOBR. Instead of linking the probationary provision in the LEOBR exclusively to the MPTCA, the language in Moore pointed to by Mohan merely represents th e Court s c onclusion that a police employee, in a probationary period under the MPTCA, remains thus upon his or her initial entry into a particular police department until that employee attains a permanent appointment from th e MP TCA . Moore does not hold, contrary to Mohan s arguments, that a permanently certified police officer is precluded from being placed in probationary status, within the m eaning an d purpose s of the LE OBR , through th e application of a probationary period impos ed by a hi ring ag ency. Moore sought sim ply to harmonize the two statutes, and thus a nalyzed only probation ary as used in the MP TCA . Nowh ere in Moore did we hold that the definition of probationary in the MPTCA was to be the exclusive definition or application of a probationary status for purposes of the LEOBR.13 13 Mohan s application of Moore to his situation with the State Police is also highly problema tic when o ne consid ers that Moore s 1979 interpretation of the MPTCA did not consider that since 1945 the State Police, by act of the General Assembly, imposed a two year (contin ued...) 14 3. The Court in Moore also unde rtook to dete rmine the m eaning of the term initial entry as used in the LEOBR, in light of the meaning of probationary appointment as used in the M PTC A. Id. at 585, 403 A.2d at 1256. Moore argued that because the definition of probationary status found in the LEOBR included only an officer who is in that status upon initial entry into the Department, he was not a probationary police officer because he initially entered the Town s police department in 1970. The Court rejected that argumen t, reasoning that, although Moo re s eight year s of pro bationa ry status w ere hig hly unusu al, the Court was bound by the language in the MPTCA that clearly indicated a person could become an uncon ditional police officer on ly by completing the required training course . Id. Despite Moore s lengthy emp loyment with the Town, the Court determined that his initial entry into the Town police department w as wh en he w as rehire d in 197 6. Id. The Court held that, at the time of his termination, Moore lacked the statutory qualifications for permanent status, and thus, thro ugh the m ere passag e of time, co uld not attain such status by something analogous to a prescriptive right. Id. The Court also rejected Moore s argument for the reaso n that the Le gislature cou ld not have intended to sanction a system in which a probationary police officer could, with the co operation o f his emplo yer, obtain permanent status by the simple expedient of leaving his employment and then being rehired . Id. 13 (...continued) probat ionary pe riod fo r new p olice em ployees. Supra at 9. 15 Mohan continues here by arguing that this aspect of Moore actually supports his position that once a person obtains a permanent certification as a police officer, he or she may no longer be considered an officer in a probationary status in his or her initial entry into the Department. Mohan finds comfort in the following language in Moore: In other words, [the clause limiting pro bationary status to those in that status upon initial entry into the Department ] would protect permanent officers who receive transfers or promotions, precluding giving them a probationa ry status in their new assignments. Id. Again, he misin terprets th e sense of the C ourt s w ords. Although the C ourt recognized that the plain langu age of the MPT CA an d the LEOB R did no t resolve all issue s relating to Moore s status, the Court sought to interpret both statutes so as to give both fu ll effec t. Id. Construing both statutes harmoniously, the Court found that, for purposes of the MPTCA, any police officer who does not achieve permanent status would remain in his or her initial entry into a department, and the refore in probationary status, until he or she achieves permanent status by meeting the relevant require ments o f the M PTC A. Id. The Court concluded that, in light of this, once an officer attains permanent status, he or she is precluded from bein g placed in probation ary status with regard to the MPTC upon a transfe r or prom otion w ithin the same p olice ag ency. Id. Mohan, however, construes this language a s sug gesting that th e in itial e ntry provision in the LEOB R contem plates that a po lice officer w ill be in probationary status 16 at only one time during his or her entire law enforcement career, no matter how many successive employers there may be that is, when that officer is hired by his or her first law enforcement agency. Although Moore certainly narrowed the defin ition of i nitia l entr y with respect to those officers already hired by a singular agen cy, nowhere did the Court indicate that a police officer holding a permanent certification by the MPTC may not be placed in a probationary status as a result of being newly hired by a different or subsequent police ag ency. 14 14 Mohan offers no case authority, other than Moore, in support of his argument that the MPTC A dictates the sole definition of probationary status to be used in understanding the similar phrase used in the LEOBR. Nor does Mohan offer any case law th at endorses his interpretation of Moore. We, however, found a few cases in which courts accepted that the LEOBR does not extend to police employees who are subject to a probationary period imposed by the hiring agency, independent of the probationary period imposed by the MPTCA. See, e.g., Behan v. Gagliano, 84 M d. App . 719, 72 1 n.3, 58 1 A.2d 854, 85 5 n.3 (1990) (finding that because [a]ppellee had been a Baltimore County police officer for just under two years, . . . [a]ppellee was on probationary status [under Baltimore County Code and regulations, and] therefore, he was not entitled to any of the administrative protections set forth in [the LEO BR] ). Furthermore, in Carroll v. T own of U niversity Park, No. 97-2529, 1998 WL 390617, at *1 (4th Cir. June 29, 1998), the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit considered the question of whe ther a town police dep artment co uld extend the probatio nary period of a police officer, as imposed by the town ordinances. In determining that the town did not violate the officer s right to procedural due process in extending her probationary period and, during that period, term inating her e mploymen t without a hearing, the court engaged in the following analysis regarding potential application of the LEOBR: Carroll had no property interest in her continued employment [as a police officer] with the Town. Her employment agreement specifically provided that she was probationary and could be terminated at any time . The L EOB R, which provides procedural protections for law enforcement officers related to termination and disciplinary measures, by its express terms does not apply (contin ued...) 17 We conclude, therefore, that, even though he was permanently certified by the MPTC, Mohan was in his initial entry into the employment of the State Police in January 2002. Although Moha n s perma nent status ce rtainly prevented him from being plac ed again in probationary status for purposes of the MPTCA, such certific ation status w as no barrie r to being placed in probationary status, for purposes of the LEOBR, by his new police employer. B. Adopting Mohan s interpretation and application of Moore as limiting probationary status in the LEOBR to the maximum o ne year proba tion define d in the M PTCA would render the probationary status language in the SPA ineffective and superceded. Such a result is at the heart of Mo han s claim, as his argum ent apparently rests, in part, on his contention that the use of the term probationary status in the SPA is in conflict with the use of the same term in the LEOBR. As this argument goes, any attempt to apply another definition of pro batio nary for purposes of the LEOBR than that appearing in the MPTCA would conflict with the MPTCA. Mohan relies on a section in the MPTCA stating that its provisions supercede[] any law, 14 (...continued) to probationary officers. C arroll began her employment with the Town on January 11, 1993, and her contract specifica lly provided that she would be on probationary status for one year. Accordingly, she was still on probationary status when the Town extended her initial probationary status by ninety days on January 3, 1994, and not within the protections of the LEOBR. 1998 WL 390617, at *2 (citations om itted). 18 ordinance, or regulation o f the State, a c ounty, or a mu nicipal corp oration that co nflicts with this subtitle. § 3-218. He contends that this language precludes the application of the two year probationary status imposed by the SPA. The preemptio n languag e of the M PTCA is not in play, how ever, for the simple reason that there is no conflict between the two statutes. Although the MPTCA and the SPA both contain references to probationary status, we do not agree that the probationary period found in the SPA con flicts in any way with the implemen tation of a MPT C-imposed probat ion. The probationary periods found in the MPTCA and the SPA are imposed for different reasons, and are applied to differing, non-conflicting situations. The MPTCA was enacted in 1966 in an effort by the legislature to improve the educational and clinical training of police officers, and concerns itself primarily with those police officers new to the profession. Stanford, 346 Md. at 381, 697 A.2d at 427. The MPTCA guarantees that all law enforcement officers who receive a permanent certification, no matter by which agency they are hired, receive a uniform minimum standard of certification and possess the skills and training necessary to execute common law enforcement function s pro perly. §§ 3-207, 3-209. Unlike the minimum two year probation imposed by the SPA, the probationary period imposed by the MPTCA is not necessarily fixed in duration, except at the maximum. The MPTCA probationary period ends the earlier of 365 days or upon completion of mandated training. § 3-215(c); COMAR 12.04.01.01(13)(a)(ii). This is a function of its distinct 19 purpose, which is to provide a period during which a person may execute law enforcement functions while he or she receives the mandated training necessary to receive a permanent certification from the MP TC. § 3-2 15(c); Stanford, 346 Md. at 385, 697 A.2d at 429. Th is provisional certification scheme allows po lice agencie s to utilize new hires without having their entry into the force delayed until the completion of their training mandated by the MPTCA. Due to this underlying purpose, this probationary period ends when a probationary officer fu lfills the mand atory training an d receives a permane nt appointment from the MPTCA.15 § 3-215; CO MAR 12.04.01.01(13)(a)(ii). The probationa ry period impo sed by the SP A, on the o ther hand, is imposed automatica lly by statute for two years, without regard to the prior experience, training, or background of the new hire. § 2-403 . This probationary period, during w hich a probationary officer may be discharged or otherwise disciplined at the discretion of the Secretary of the State Po lice, does not fulf ill solely a further training requirement, but rather gives effect to the authority and oversight that the SPA grants the Secretary over the State Police. §§ 2-204, 2-205. With these distinct purposes in mind , we find that the two statuto rily-imposed probationary periods d o not con flict with one another, eve n if th ey may be app lied 15 The training-oriented purpose of the MPTCA-imposed probationary period further is buttressed by the fact that if a probationary police officer does not complete the prescribed training course within 365 days of the beginning of his or her employment with a particular police agency, that officer is prohibited by the MPTCA from continuing his or her employment with that agency. § 3-216. 20 concurren tly to a parti cular po lice em ployee. Mohan s v iew that the probationary provision in the SPA overlapping or supplementing the MPT CA provision is preempted by the MPTCA and the LEOBR finds no support in the actual language of the statutes. We are unable to identify any language in either the LEOBR or the MPTCA that suggests that the MPTCA w as intended as the only definition of probation that is applicable to § 3-101(e) of the LEOBR. Furthermore, there is no language in the L EOBR reflecting Moha n s interpretation of Moore that simply because a police officer completes his or her minimum training required by the MPTCA that officer is precluded from b eing placed in a proba tionary status upon his or her initial e ntry into a subse quent polic e agency or d epartmen t. Had the Leg islatu re de sired to lim it the term in p roba tionary sta tus solely to the definition fo und in the M PTCA , it easily could have don e so. It, however, did not include such a limitatio n. In seeking a disposition o f the presen t case in his fa vor, Mo han essen tially asks us to add language to the LEOBR that is not there. The language of the LEOBR expressly exclud es from the app lication o f the sta tute thos e offic ers in p robatio nary statu s. We therefore a bide by this language and conc lude that a p olice office r placed in probationary status by his or her employer is also in probationary status as that phrase is used in the LE OBR . Thus, th e LEO BR s protecti ons are unava ilable. C. The available and re levant legislative history supports our view tha t the Legislature 21 contemplated the application of the SPA-imposed probationary status to the LEOBR.16 In 1968, the language of the SPA was amended, among other reasons, for the purpose of provid[ing] for the qualifications, manner of appointment, probationary status, compensation, promotion, suspension, demotion, and termination of employment of employees of the [State Police]. 1968 Md. Laws, Chap. 547. The relevant provision regarding probationary State Police employees was rewritten17 to state: 16 In his brief, Mohan argues that [h]ad the legislature disagreed with the Court s conclusion in Moore v. Town of Fairmount Heights that probationary in the LEOBR has the same meaning as does that term in the MPTCA, it had an opportunity to clarify the meaning of probationary in [an] amendment to the LEOBR provision. Petitioner s Brief at 18. The assumption underlying M ohan s arg ument is, of course, that h e correctly characterizes our holding in Moore. We believe the Legislature s inaction in this regard was because Moore, despite Mohan s claims, did not take a position either way on the applicability of the probationary language in the SPA to the LEOBR. Although the Legislature amended the MPTCA within two years in apparent response to the Moore holding, this amendm ent acted to clarify the perceived ambiguities and conflicts highlighted by the Court between the LEOBR and the MPTCA by providing that [a] person may not be employed as a police officer by any law enforcement unit for a period to exceed 12 months unless that person is certified [as a police officer] by the [MPTC]. 1981 Md. Laws, Chap. 679. This language directly addressed the analysis engaged in by the Court in Moore involving its interpretation of the term initial entry in the LEOBR. This amendment ensured that any police officer that did not comple te the training course mandated by the MPTCA within a year c ould not be employed as a police officer, eliminating the possibility of a reoccurre nce of the circumstan ces presen t in Moore. The Legislature, how ever, apparently saw no need to amend or clarify the probationary status language in the LEOBR (or the MP TCA ) to implicate officers that were covered by a particular agency s definition of probation because the holding in Moore simply did no t extend to o fficers, such as Mohan, who were placed in a probationary status by a new agency under provisions other than the MPTCA. 17 The prev ious langu age, origina lly enacted in 19 35, was a s follows: All of the police employees appointed to the Department [of State Police] shall be probationer, and on probation for a period (contin ued...) 22 All police employees, including p ersons app ointed to the [State Police] for training p rior to regular a ssignmen t as a police employee, shall remain in a probationary status for a period of two years from the date of appointment to the [S tate Poli ce]. . . . The Superintendent [later Secretary] may discharge an employee in probationary status for any cause which he, in his sole discretion , deems su fficient. Id. (codified, without substantive change, at the time of the proceedings below, at Md. Code (1957, 1998 R epl. Vo l.), Art. 88 B, § 18) (recodified, without substantive change, at § 2-403) (emphas is added). This language regarding the probation ary status of ne w appo intees to the State Police was in effect w hen the L egislature am ended the LEOB R in 197 5 to exclude from its coverage probationary officers. The provision that was added to the LEOBR contained the following language: Law enforcement officer does not include an officer serving in a probationary status except when allegations of brutality in the execution of his duties are made involving an officer who is in a probationary status. 1975 Md. Laws, Chap. 809 (codified, without substantive change, at the time of the lower proceedings at Md. Code (1957, 1996 Repl. Vol.), Art. 27, § 727(c)) (recodified, without substantive change, at § 3 -101(e)(2)(iv)) (emphasis ad ded). When the LEOBR was enacted initially, and indeed when it was ame nded in 19 75 to exclude police o fficers in a pro bationa ry status, the Legislature implicitly was aware that the SPA imposed a two year probationary status on new State Police troopers. We believe 17 (...continued) of one year f rom the da te of appo intment. Md. Code (1935 Supp.), Art. 88B, § 10, as enacted by 1935 Md. Laws, Chap. 303. 23 that it is no coincidence that the Legislature used the exact language found in the SPA , in a probationary status, to describe the class of police officers that it intended to exclude from the coverage of the LEOBR.18 This similarity leads us to but one conclusion that the LEOBR, as amended in 1975, excluded from its coverage not only those police officers who are placed in a probationary period by the MPTCA, but also those o fficers such that are in probationary status as imposed by the SPA. This conclusion becom es even clearer w hen one examines the regulations promulgated by the M PTC pursua nt to the M PTC A. § 3-208 . It is a well estab lished rule of statutory construction that, in determining the meaning of a statute, we give some deference to the interpretation of the agency, in this case the MPTC, charged with the administration of a stat ute. Stanford, 346 Md. at 389, 697 A.2d at 431. We find in the MPTC regulations, first adopted in 1997, language that supports the notion that the MPTCA merely provides a non-exc lusive defin ition of probation. 24:17 Md. Reg. 12 15 (1997). COMA R 12.04.01.01(13)(b) states: (b) Probation ary period do es not relate to or restrict a probationary period that may be imposed by the hirin g agency. This language is a clear statement by the MPTC that it does not construe the MPTCA probationary provisions to conflict with, or supercede, probationary provisions of greater dura tion, such as that in the S PA, imposed by a hiring agen cy. 18 We note also that, upon recodification of the SPA and LEOBR in 2003 into the Public Safety Article, the phrase, in a proba tionary status, w as chang ed in both s tatutes to in probationary status. § 2-403; § 3 -101(e)(2)(iv). 24 In the years since this regulation was adopted, there have bee n several am endmen ts to the MPTC A. None of these amendm ents, however, contrad ict the MPTC s regulatory interpretation of the MPT CA s non-exclusive prob ationary provision, an interpretation that is inconsisten t with the position advocated by Mohan. We note that [l]egislative acquiescence in the Comm ission s treatment [of the non exclusivity of the MPT CA s definition of probation] is yet further confirmation that the General Assembly intends the same result. Stanford, 346 M d. at 390 , 697 A .2d at 43 1. D. Mohan maintains, howev er, that applying th e SPA probationa ry status provisio n to the LEOBR will yield results inconsistent with the purpose of the LEOBR. Mohan fairly observes that the LEOBR is a remedial statute and, as such, should be liberally construed to effectuate the statute s remedial purpose. Petitioner s B rief at 10; Caffrey v. Dept. of Liquor Control, 370 Md. 272, 306, 805 A.2d 268, 288 (2002); see Mo ats, 324 Md. at 530, 597 A.2d at 977 (describing the LEOBR as a comprehensive remedial scheme ). Nonetheless, in Baltimore City Police Department v. Andrew, 318 M d. 3, 566 A.2d 755 (1989), we described the legislative purpose behind the LEOBR: In enacting the LEOBR, the legislature sought to guarantee specified procedural safeguards to certain law enforcement officers subject to investigations that might lead to disciplinary actions. Any law enforcement officer covered by the LEOBR is entitled to the protections it offers with respect to a departmental inquiry that could lead to disciplinary sanctions. Id. at 12, 566 A.2d at 7 59 (citations omitted) (emph asis added). 25 Although its status as a remedial statute compels us to construe liberally the LEOBR in a way designed to give full effect to its purpose, we are restricted by the boundaries established by the language of the statute itself. See Price v. State, 378 Md. 378, 387, 835 A.2d 1221, 1226 (2003) (stating that [a] court may neither add nor delete language so as to reflect an intent no t evidenced in the plain and unambiguous language of the statute; nor may it construe the statute w ith forced o r subtle interpre tations that limit o r extend its application ). The procedural protections granted by the LEOB R are conferred o n members of specified police agencies, but denied to those police officers in probationary status. § 3-101(e)(2)(iv). In construing a statute to give its full protections to the class or classes of persons it was intend ed to protec t, we necessarily inquire as to who the statute was designed to protect. We ne ed not con sider, how ever, the pro per way to co nstrue the L EOB R with respect to Mohan because, as our analysis here indicates, the LEOBR expressly excludes from its coverage law enforcement officers, such as Mohan, who have been placed in a probat ionary sta tus by a po lice age ncy upo n their in itial entry into that dep artmen t. Id. Mohan ripostes, however, that allowing individual agencies to impose their own probationary periods for purposes of the LEOBR would be inconsistent with the purpose of the LEOB R becau se it would lead to a lack of uniformity in the application of the LEOBR throughout the many law enforcement agencies in the State. Were that allowed, Mohan claims that it would be possible fo r a police officer, perm anently certified by the MP TC, to change police agencies so often that he or she would spend his or her entire, peripatetic law 26 enforcement career without ever being covered by the LE OBR . This interpretation, Mohan argues, is inconsistent with the Legislature s intent because it would lead to a chilling effect on the ability of law enforcement agencies to attract experienced police officers. Although one of th e underlying purposes of the L EOBR is to provide a uniform system of police discipline throughout the State, Moats, 324 Md. at 528, 597 A.2d at 976, we may not overloo k, in determining the scope of its coverage, all of the language of the statute. By excluding from c overage police off icers in probationa ry status, the LE OBR appears to reflect a legislative decision to provide each individual police agency with the authority to prescribe its own probationary period during which that particular police agency has the autonomy to impose d isciplinary sanctio ns, including dismissal, without implicating the protections of the L EOB R. See § 3-102(c) (stating that the LEOBR does not limit the authority of the chief to regulate the competent and efficient operation and management of a law enf orcemen t agency by any reas onable means including transfer and reassig nment if . . . that action is not punitive in nature [and where] the chief determine s that action to be in the best interests of the internal managem ent of the law enfo rcement agency ). M ohan s interpretation of Moore, that the LEOBR precludes MPTC-permanently certified police officers from being placed in a probationary status by any subsequent employer, however, interfer es with this auto nomy gr anted b y the statute to the pa rticular p olice ag encies. JUDGMENT OF THE COURT OF SPECIAL APPEALS AFFIRMED. COSTS TO BE PAID BY PETITIONER. 27 28