Gov. Larry Hogan picked a career trooper to lead the Maryland State Police, announcing William M. Pallozzi Tuesday as his pick for the agency's superintendent.

Pallozzi spent 25 years in the state police including a variety of leadership roles, and Hogan praised him for now serving in every single rank the agency offers. Pallozzi retired as a lieutenant colonel late last year, and his appointment requires approval of the Maryland Senate.


"I am confident that he will lead the men and women of this respected agency with the utmost integrity and will work tirelessly to protect and serve all the citizens of Maryland," Hogan said in a statement.

The job oversees the statewide agency that provides criminal and traffic enforcement, but it also places Pallozzi in charge of key policy decisions, including implementing Maryland's gun law.

The state's superintendent of police determines, for instance, what counts as a "good and substantial" reason to need a concealed carry permit in Maryland. While the courts and case law also play a role in interpreting the that clause, state law leaves it up to the superintendent of state police.

The issue came up in Hogan's campaign last year against Democratic Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown. Hogan reversed his position on whether he supported Maryland's strict new gun control laws, but he was consistently clear that he would not seek to reverse it. Brown, a Democrat, tried to portray Hogan, a Republican who was endorsed by the National Rifle Association, as someone likely to undo Maryland's gun laws.

Pallozzi himself has encountered controversy. He stepped into the public eye in fall 2013 to defend a Maryland State Police trooper after former attorney general Douglas F. Gansler called him a "henchman" for the O'Malley administration.

At the time, Gansler was responding to revelations his security detail complained the attorney general asked his drivers to speed and break traffic laws. Pallozzi was the driver's boss at the time of the complaint and defended the driver.

Pallozzi has overseen executive protection and served as chief of staff for a previous superintendent, as well as been chief of the Criminal Investigation Bureau.

The state police oversees all firearms licensing in Maryland, as well as investigates gangs and helps local law enforcement with complex cases. It runs a crime lab where 70 percent of its cases are done for local law enforcement, police spokesman Greg Shipley said.

Pallozzi is among the last of Hogan's more than 20 cabinet appointments to be named.