In a release, Wolf said Brown, with 25 years of law enforcement experience, has the "vision necessary to serve in the role of commissioner." He said Brown emphasized police recruiting in areas of Maryland with high minority populations and historically black colleges.
"As a result of his leadership, the Maryland State Police is one of the most diverse agencies in the region," he said. "Col. Brown has also improved collaboration between state and local law enforcement agencies, which has resulted in reduced statewide crime rates and a decrease in traffic fatalities."
Brown announced Wednesday his resignation from the Maryland force — effective on Monday, two days before Republican Gov.-elect Larry Hogan is sworn in.
"I am in awe of the successes you have achieved," Brown said in a letter to State Police troopers and civilian employees. "Nothing has been more impressive than the work you have done with our local and federal partners to make all Maryland communities safer."
During Brown's tenure, the force created a Special Operations Bureau and the Criminal Investigation Bureau was reorganized to focus on cross-border and inter-jurisdictional crime. The department also was the only state police force in the nation to receive the Tri-Arc award for accreditation in law enforcement, public safety communication and public safety training, according to the release.
O'Malley called Brown "a remarkable leader" and thanked him for his service in a statement Wednesday night.
"Under his leadership, we've invested in public safety, while working together to save lives and drive down crime to the lowest levels we've seen in 40 years," O'Malley said.
In the letter announcing his departure, Brown touted the agency's "unprecedented" achievements in crime reduction and highway safety.
"Homicides across the state are lower than they have been in three decades," he said. "More lives were saved on our highways during the period than ever before. If making communities safer and saving lives is our ultimate goal, which it is, your success is unprecedented.
"I am very proud to have led a force of dedicated troopers and civilian employees who commit themselves each day to doing all they can to fight crime, reduce traffic crashes and protect our citizens."