First MDOT MTA Chief to Rise from the Rank of Officer;
Robert Stanley Promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, Deputy Chief of Police

Baltimore, MD (February 9, 2022) – Jerome E. Howard Jr., a 25-year veteran of the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) Police, has been promoted from the rank of major to colonel and appointed Chief of Police of the 238-member department. Col. Howard, a U.S. Air Force veteran, is the first to rise from the rank of officer to lead the MDOT MTA Police. He has been serving as Acting Chief of Police since December 2021. He succeeds Col. John E. Gavrilis, who retired at the end of last year after leading the department as Chief of Police from 2004.

 “Rising through the ranks during his distinguished career in law enforcement, Chief Howard has demonstrated the work ethic, leadership skills and vision to lead the MDOT MTA Police into the future,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “It has been rewarding to witness the success of the department in reducing crime within Baltimore’s transit system. I’m confident Chief Howard will build upon these achievements.” 

 Prior to being named acting chief, Col. Howard served as the Operations Bureau Commander, responsible for managing all personnel and police operations, including criminal investigations and developing relationships between MDOT MTA Police and the public. Chief Howard is a graduate of Baltimore’s Forest Park Senior High and the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy.

 “Chief Howard has shown himself to be a strong leader of the officers under his command while championing numerous community outreach efforts at the MDOT MTA Police force,” said MDOT Secretary James F. Ports, Jr. “Chief Howard will draw on his deep knowledge of the Baltimore area and the state to make decisions that benefit the safety and security of all transit riders.”

In addition, Robert Stanley has been promoted from captain to lieutenant colonel, and named MDOT MTA Deputy Chief of Police. Lt. Col. Stanley has served as Acting Deputy Chief of Police since December 2021. He succeeds Lt. Col. Fred Damron as Deputy Chief of Police.

 Prior to this appointment, Deputy Chief Stanley, a 25-year veteran of MDOT MTA Police, had served as MDOT MTA Police Director of Intel for Homeland Security and chairman of the Transit and Transportation Subcommittee with the US Attorney’s Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council. He has been recognized within the department with letters, awards and commendations, including a Bronze Star for Bravery. He has served in management positions with MDOT MTA Police for two decades.

 “Experience, competence and care make all the difference when it comes to leadership,” said MDOT MTA Administrator Holly Arnold. “In Chief Howard and Deputy Chief Stanley, we have seasoned decision-makers with demonstrated good judgment who have shown they have what it takes to lead the MDOT MTA Police with integrity.”

For the past seven years, MDOT MTA Police have been recognized for having the fewest Part I crimes among the largest 12 transit agencies in the country, according to an independent study conducted by the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). Part I crimes refer to serious offenses that are likely to be reported to police, and include aggravated assault, arson, criminal homicide, rape and robbery.

MDOT MTA is one of the largest multi-modal transit systems in the United States. MDOT MTA operates LocalLink Bus service, Commuter Bus, Light RailLink, Metro SubwayLink, MARC Train service and a comprehensive Mobility paratransit system. MDOT MTA’s goal is to provide safe, efficient and reliable transit across Maryland with world-class customer service. As a participating agency in APTA’s Health and Safety Commitment Program, MDOT MTA is dedicated to keeping our employees and passengers safe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more, visit or check us out on Facebook at, and follow us on Twitter @mtamaryland

Media Contacts
Brittany Marshall
Office: 410-767-8367
Cell: 443-970-0424

Paul Shepard
Office: 410-767-3935
Cell: 443-622-4181