Maryland's new state police superintendent announced a sweeping reorganization of the department's top ranks today as well as plans to improve morale and the rate of minority promotions.

George B. Brosan, who was sworn in as head of the troubled agency a month ago promising to solve the department's management problems, said 21 high-ranking commanders will be reassigned beginning Jan. 1.

"The changes are necessary and reflect a diligent, thorough evaluation of this agency and its people, starting at the top," said Brosan, who called a news conference to announce the reorganization. "Now I have seen the patient, and the remedy I have prescribed here today should put the Maryland State Police back on the road to recovery."

Brosan, 51, succeeded Col. Wilbert T. Travers Jr., who resigned in October under criticism from state Attorney General Stephen H. Sachs for failing to clean up alleged score-tampering and other abuses in the department's promotion system.

Three other high-ranking police officials decided to resign last month rather than face administrative charges stemming from a state investigation of alleged favoritism in the promotion system.

Brosan said the 21 commanders who are being moved will retain their salaries and ranks, subject to review during the next three to six months.

Other changes Brosan announced include:

*Delaying for two weeks the start of January's recruitment class to gain time to screen more candidates and "strengthen our minority representation in that class."

*Appointing two troopers -- one black and one female -- to be personal observers in meetings with an outside contractor who is conducting a study on how to overhaul the department's promotional system.

*Selecting two minority officers for extended career development.

*Expanding the size and authority of the Internal Affairs Unit and its Staff Inspection Division, units that are charged with "maintaining integrity and quality of work." Each unit will report directly to the superintendent.

*Creating an employe assistance unit that will help officers with job-related psychological or emotional problems, such as stress or "post-shooting trauma," starting early next year.

*Setting up an internal rumor hot line in his office to "shorten the life span of rumors" that have plagued the department for the last year.