Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown. (Photo by Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post)

Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) has picked up the endorsement of a statewide organization of Maryland troopers in his bid to become the state’s next governor.

The Maryland State Police Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 69, which stayed on the sidelines during the last several races for governor, announced its support Friday for Brown and his running mate, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman (D).

“Anthony Brown and Ken Ulman have strong records of fighting for Maryland’s public safety officers, and we’re proud to back them as the best team to build a better Maryland,” said Drew Liberto, president of Lodge 69, which represents about 500 members. “Anthony’s forceful leadership has helped us reduce violent crime in Maryland to the lowest levels since 1975, and he’s led the way in passing real reforms that have reduced domestic violence assaults by 20 percent.”

In the June Democratic primary, Brown faces Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler and Del. Heather R. Mizeur (Montgomery).

Gansler was criticized by the leadership of the Maryland State Police in October after calling a veteran police commander a “henchman” for having documented allegations that Gansler ordered troopers assigned to him to regularly speed and run red lights even to routine appointments.

Gansler denied the allegations, which were the subject of a Washington Post story, but acknowledged that he could sometimes come across as a “back-seat driver.”

“Maryland’s dedicated and selfless state troopers put their lives on the line every day to keep Maryland families safe, and I’m honored to have their support,” Brown said in a statement Friday.