Baltimore City Police History
Baltimore City Police History
The Official Motto of the Department
Established on November 9, 1880
"Semper Paratus, Semper Fideles, Ever on the Watch"
"EVER READY - EVER FAITHFUL"
"EVER ON THE WATCH"
A large and handsome shield on the front wall, (Central's new Gym) upon which is painted in great golden letters, "The Central Police Gymnasium, organized November 9, 1880", "Ever on the Watch" In the center of the shield is a large round wooden plaque upon which is a representation in wood carving of two gladiators engaged in mortal combat, and framing the plaque a representation, also carved in wood, of the regulation patrolman's belt, upon which are inscribed in a ribbon of scroll work are the Latin legends "Semper Paratus" and "Semper Fideles" "Ever Ready" - "Ever Faithful'' - The wood carvings are excellent examples of this branch of sculpture, in which modern American artists lead the world. The shield (with the Baltimore Police Motto) was presented to the "Central Police Athletic Association" for the Baltimore Police, by Mr. John Convery on November 10, 1886.
This Motto is an important part of our departmental history; it is part of everyone that ever wore the badge of a Baltimore Police Officer. Knowing this should make those that have enforced the laws on the streets of Baltimore, proud, and those currently doing the job feel equally proud. It should give those ready to apply even more reason to at least start off their careers in Baltimore Uniform. For years people have come to Baltimore, and felt proud to have served, families that have learned their great grandfather, grandfather, uncle or other family member was a Baltimore Officer always have a certain amount of pride, and walk with their head a little higher, and this is why, Semper Paratus – Semper Fideles – Ever on the Watch” is more than just words; Baltimore police lived this motto every time they walked their beat, handled their calls, or did their job.
From News Articles and Our Police 1888
The gymnasium at the Central District Station House was described at the time as having been the best equipped of the four gymnasiums established. It occupied the entire upper floor of the building located on North Street, near Lexington Street, and was composed of two sections of approximate equal size, each measuring forty feet wide by nearly forty-five feet in length. When private exhibitions are given one of these sections was used as the auditorium, and the other in which all of the stationary paraphernalia of the gymnasium was built, was used as the stage. Audiences of as many as 200 persons have frequently witnessed exhibitions in the hall. The front section of the gymnasium proper is lighted at night by three full sized “Brush Company” electric lights. As the visitor enters the Hall from the stairs the most prominent object that met his/her eye was that large, handsome shield on the front wall, upon which was painted in those brilliant gold letters, "The Central Police Gymnasium; Organized November 9, 1880, with Motto, “Ever on the Watch" written in English under the Latin legends previously described "Semper Paratus" and "Semper Fideles" This was meant for the police, and the public to know this motto, for one to know what their police meant... and for the other to have something to live up to, something to aspire to, to honor it, and to be proud of it. Which is something most Baltimore Police have lived up to, and been proud of (even without knowing the motto) Baltimore Police have all had big shoes to fill, and most of us have lived up to the Oath we took, as if it were the words of this Motto... We were always ready, always faithful, and always on the watch... "Semper Paratus - Semper Fideles - Semper Alapa Buris Pervigil" - "Ever Ready - Ever Faithful - Ever on the Watch"
A phrase couldn't be written to better describe the Baltimore Police Department, and it's men and women in Latin the entire phrase would read "Semper Paratus - Semper Fideles - Semper Alapa Buris Pervigil" “Semper Fideles” does it sound familiar, it should, it is used by the US Marines, "Semper Fi". The next question I received when telling others of this exciting find, “Who used it first?”, They used it at about the same time, Baltimore Police opened the gym/hall in 1880 - the sign was hung in 1886... so the motto was adopted sometime between 1880 and 1886... The U.S. Marines adopted it 1883, so we used it either 3 years before, or 3 years after... the Marines, and the truth of the matter is; It doesn't matter who used it first… all that matters is both the US Marines, and the Baltimore Police have lived it, and lived up to it since before either adopted the motto! This Motto, is about, men and women, backing up men and women, to better protect the men and women of our country and our communities.
Semper Fideles has served as a slogan for many families, and entities, in many countries, dated no earlier than the 16th century. No said as often as "I Love You", but like "I Love You" it is a group of words that mean more than most could understand, and some that say it, won't say it without deep thought, and an ever deeper meaning...
The United States Marine Corps adopted the motto Semper Fideles in 1883, on the initiative of Colonel Charles McCawley, the 8th Commandant of the Marine Corps. There were three mottos prior to "Semper Fideles" including "Fortitudine" (meaning "with courage") antedating the War of 1812, "Per Mare, Per Terram" (By sea, By land; presumably inherited from the British Royal Marines, who used said motto previously), and, up until 1843, there was also the motto "To the Shores of Tripoli". "Semper Fideles" signifies the dedication and loyalty that individual Marines have for "Corps and Country", even after leaving service. Marines frequently shorten the motto to "Semper Fi"
Semper Fideles can be traced back as far as the 17th centery. The first unit that used the motto was the Irish Brigade (France), raised in 1691 under the terms of the Treaty of Limerick, which ended the war between King James II and King William III in Ireland. As the Irish army in exile, they served as part of the French army with the motto “Semper et ubique Fideles” (Always and Everywhere Faithful) in reference to their fidelity to the Catholic faith, King James II and their allies the Kings of France. Comprising five regiments, Walsh’s regiment is noted for aiding the American cause in the American Revolution, when they were assigned as Marines to John Paul Jones’s Bonhomme Richard.
Baltimore Police Historical Timeline
1729 - The preservation of the peace, protection of property and the arrest of offenders has been the goal of Baltimore residents since August 8, 1729, when the Legislature created Baltimore Town, 100 years before the "London Metropolitan Police Department" was founded by Sir Robert Peel (1829) Note: Sir Robert Peel "Bobby" Peel is widley beleived to be where the nick name of the police helmet "Bobby Cap" came from, upon founding the London Metropolitan Police Department, officers were quickly called Bobby Cops, or Bobbies, likewise their hats, "Bobby Caps"
1775 - Would be the start of what would come to be 9 years of haphazard policing in "Baltimore Town" were mistakes were made, but those mistakes were learned from, and in 1784 "Baltimore Town", AKA "Mob Town" decided to form a paid "watch", in which the Watchmen could be fired, or otherwise penalized, for neglect of duty. These first attempts to form the nightwatch, had male inhabitant capable of duty sign an agreement, in which they swore to conform to police regulations adopted by the citizens and sanctioned by the Board of Commissioners, to attend when summoned to serve as night watchmen. This committee had some of the functions of the 1888 Board of Police Commissioners. (The town was divided into Districts and in each of these was stationed a company commanded by a Captain of the Nightwatch.)
1775/76 - The first Captains of the watch, or police, in Baltimore, under this primitive arrangement, were Captain James Calhoun, of the First or Central District; Captain George Woolsey, Second District; Captain Benjamin Griffith, Third District; Captain Barnard Eichelberger, Fourth District; Captain George Lindenberger, Fifth District; and Captain William Goodwin, of the Sixth District. At Fell's Point, Captain Isaac Yanbidder, with two assistants, or Lieutenants. Each Captain had under his command a squad of sixteen men, every inhabitant being enrolled, and taking his turn. The streets were patrolled by these watchmen from 10 pm. until daybreak.
1784 - The first attempt to organize a paid force to guard Baltimore occurred in 1784. Constables were appointed and given police powers to keep the peace. Baltimore's Police Department had been developing their police force since the formation of our "Night Watch" in 1784. In the beginning they were "Necessary to prevent fires, burglaries, and other outrages and disorders." This from (Chapter 69, Acts of 1784). This was 45 years before Sir Robert Peel's London Metropolitan Police was founded in 1829.
1784 - The department began protecting the city with just four districts, The Central (known as the Middle District at the time), followed by the Eastern, Western, and the Southern Districts.
1784 - Baltimore would obtain Street Lights by order of the Police Department - These lights were oil lamps and they were lit by order of the police, they were blown out by order of the police, and they were maintained by order of the police. It was not so obvious to the public as it were to the panel of commissioners, and to the council of city hall, but the lighted streets in Baltimore were a deterrent that prevented, and decreased crime, in and around "Mob Town". While at first many of the ideas, and or theories of the Panel of Commissioners, and or Our Marshals were often shot down, or put off until they either died in committee, or were funded privately. Still, many of these ideas went on to become the norm in law enforcement throughout the country, and around the world. Furthermore these concepts would eventually be paid for, and widely approved of and authorized by by state legislatures.
1797 - On April 3, 1797, the City Council passed the first ordinance affecting the police. It directed that three persons were to be appointed Commissioners of the watch. They could employ for one year as many Captains and watchmen as had been employed in the night watch the year past for the same renumeration. The Commissioners prescribed regulations and hours of duty for the police.
1798 - Baltimore made the first of certain steps toward creating the chief of police, or marshal as he was later called. A high constable was appointed, and it was his duty to tour the city frequently, buried a maze, the badge of authority, and to report on lawbreakers. By the turn of the century Baltimore had again became an unmanageable, riotous city. It was now a bustling community of 31,514 in population and one historian remarks naively, "The city was a rendezvous of a number of evil characters."
1808 - We lost our Brother Night Watchman George Workner
1826 - On March 9, 1826, the Mayor was given control of the police. The power given the Mayor was unlimited. The ordinance provided that the Mayor should appoint annually two Captains, two Lieutenants for the Eastern District; two Captains, four Lieutenants for the Middle District; two Captains, two Lieutenants for the Western District. He could also appoint any number of watchmen.
1826 - Central/Middle District History - 03-09-1826 Holiday and Saratoga Streets, established 03-09-1826, building that housed it was built in 1802 and was in use until 1870. 202 N. Guilford Avenue, (North Street) built in 1870 used until 1908. Saratoga and St. Paul Streets, renovated school, March 4, 1908 until 1926. Fallsway and Fayette St. built in 1926 and used until 09-12-1977 when they moved to 501 E Fayette St. from 12 Sept 1977 until present.
1826 - Eastern District History - 03-09-1826 - 1621 Bank Street built around 1822, still stands. Used until the summer of 1959, when the station was moved to the old Northeastern station house at Ashland and Chew St. (Durham) in the Summer of 1959 where they stayed until 1960. In December 1960 they moved to their current location 1620 Edison Highway.
1826 - Western District History - Green St between Baltimore St, and Belvidere St. Used from 1826 until 1876 when they moved to their new location, Pine Street, (still stands to day and is used by the Maryland University Police) Baltimore Police used it from 1876 until 1958/9 when they built their new station house at 1034 N Mount St, which is the current site on the Western District.
1837 - 17 May 1837, the first issue of the Baltimore Sun is printed - The first article in the Baltimore Sun that references our police is titled Rioting and as we would exspect it is a negative report, that even when police explain the article was incorrect,the paper still runs the story. It was a responce to the police breifly being mentioned, however so brief, it was import the inital report is undated (some believe it may have been a morning issue of the same date with the responce coming in the evening edtion *1
1845 - Southern District History - Montgomery and Sharp Streets, from 1845 until 1896 when they moved to Ostend Street. Ostend Street and Patapsco Street, from 1896 until 1985/6, moved to Cherry Hill Road. 10 Cherry Hill Road, from 1985/6 to present.
1850/1861 - (Mayor member Ex-officio) Charles Howard, William H Gatchell, Charles d Hinks, and John W Davis
1850 - Charles Howard, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1850-1861
1851 - October 20, 1851, the first known metallic badge worn by Baltimore Police Officers also known as the 1st. Issue badge.
1853 - The State Legislature on March 16, 1853, passed a bill, "To provide for the better security for the citizens and property in the City of Baltimore." This statute provided that police officers should be armed and that a badge and commission be furnished each member.The former act of 1812 was repealed with the passage and enactment of this bill. No change occurred in the police organization until 1857.
1856 - We lost our Brother Night Watchman John O'Mayer
1857 - We lost our Brother Sergeant William Jourdan
1857 - In this year 1857 the department compelled Patrolmen to wear uniforms both on and off duty. They had several rules, 1) Winter uniforms were made up of a black cap bearing the policemen’s number, dark blue overcoat, and trousers with a patent leather belt, and the word "Police" prevalently stamped upon it's buckle. 2) Summer uniforms were the same minus the overcoat. Policemen were required to wear standing collars. 3) The badge of their authority was a star 3 inches; it was worn on the left breast of their coat. The star was often sewn on to avoid all chances of an officer being without his badge. In the old days our brothers would occasionally leave their badges home; so having them sewn on alleviated that situation. Taking away an excuse used by thugs that would use a badgeless officer as an excuse to assault him and then claim he didn't know his victim was an officer. 4) The final piece to the officers uniform was his "Billy Club", known in Baltimore as an "Espantoon" it was recognizable as it was often carried in the officer's hand, spun on a leather strap, or tucked under the officer's arm. While in the station or when both hands were needed otherwise, the Espantoon might be seen hanging from a ring on their belts. 5) They carried pistols back then, but normally only when their was a need for them.
1857 - The ordinance of January 1, 1857 provided for the reorganization and from it emerged a new Police Department. The old and existing -ordinances, customs, watch and police system, were abolished and repealed. The use of the watchboxes was discontinued. The new force consisted of l Marshal, 1 Deputy Marshal, 8 Captains, 8 Lieutenants, 24 Sergeants, 350 Police Officers, 8 Turnkeys, 5 Detectives. At this time, the Detective Bureau was established. The City was divided into four police districts. Central, Eastern, Western and Southern.
1858 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Benjamin Benton
1858 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Robert M. Rigdon
1859 - 27 June 1859 - Police and fire-alarm telegraph adopted June, 1858; first put into operation
1860 - 2 Feb 1860 - Baltimore Police force placed under State control
1860 - Other innovations included the inception of the Marine Unit in 1860
1860 - May 1, 1860, we switched our badges to the 2nd issue badge. It was a new “Metropolitan Police" force under a Board of Police Commissioner’s (BOC), state-appointed civilians, signaled the retirement of the "Corporation Police force" and the new badge was authorized.
1861 - June 22 1861 to March 29 1862 (Under control if the United States Military authorities) Police Commissioners Apointed by the Military authorities - Columbus O'Donnell, Archibald Sterling Jr., Thomas Kelso, John R Kelso, John W Randolph, Peter Sauerwein, John B Seidenstricker, Joseph Roberts, and Michael Warner
1861/62 - In March of 1862, the military authorities who had taken control of the Department on June 27, 1861, turned over the Police Department to the authority of the state.
1862 - On June 22, 1862, a newly formed Police force appeared in a completely new uniform with a new series of badges. Known as 3rd Issue it had the same center section of the first badge, and returning the designation of "City Police" surrounded by twenty small points encircled by a narrow rim. Note: The 20 pointer was replaced by an order from the Commissioner. He said "too many were in the hands of the citizens." (This was found in an article in the newspaper circa1890.)
1862 - March 29 1862 to Nov 15 1866 (Mayor member Ex-officio) Samuel Hindes, and Nicholas L Wood
1862 - Nicholas L.Wood, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1862-1864
1864 - Samuel Hindes, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1864-1866
1866 - Nov 15 1866 to March 1867 (Mayor member Ex-officio) William T Valiant, and James Young,
1866 - James Young, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1866-1867
1867 - The first State agency to exercise police powers was the Baltimore City Police Force. Established in 1867 under a Board of Police Commissioners, the Force was elected by the General Assembly (Chapter 367, Acts of 1867). Baltimore's police force, from 1867, was governed by a State board although jurisdiction was limited to the City.
1867 - March 1867 Lefevre Jarrett, James E Carr, and William H B Fusselbaugh
1867 - LeFevre Jarrett, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1867-1870
1870 - We lost our Brother Police Officer James Murphy
1870 - March 14 1870 John W Davis, James E Carr, and William H B Fusselbaugh
1870 - John W. Davis, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1870-1871
1871 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Joseph Clark
1871 - We lost our Brother Detective John H. Richards
1871 - March 15 1871 William H B Fusselbaugh, James E Carr, and Thomas W Morse
1871 - William H.B. Fusselbaugh, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1871-1881
1872 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John Christopher
1874 - Northwestern District History - 1874 - The Northwestern District was first opened at Pennsylvania Ave and Lambert Street where it remained until 1958/9 when they moved to their present district on Reisterstown Rd.
1874 - Northeasten District History - 1874 - The Northeastern Distirct was first opened at Ashland and Chew Streets (Durham) where it remained until 1958/9 when they moved to their present district at 1900 Argonne Drive.
1875 - March 15 1875 William H B Fusselbaugh, Harry Gilmor, and John Milroy
1877 - March 15 1877 William H B Fusselbaugh, Harry Gilmor, and James R Herbert
1878 - April 12 1878 William H B Fusselbaugh, James R Herbert, and John Milroy
1880 - The Motto for the department began in the Central District on 9 November, 1880, "Ever on the Watch" written in english, under the latin words "Semper Paratus" and "Semper Fideles" - "Semper" can either means, "Always" or "Ever" - so it could read either "Ever Ready / Ever Faithful / Ever on the Watch" or "Always Ready / Always Faithful / Ever on the Watch". Throughout history "Semper Paratus", and "Semper Fideles" have consistently been read as "Always". However in Baltimore it stood for "Ever" - Giving us "Semper Paratus - Semper Fideles - Semper Alapa Buris Pervigil" or "Ever Ready - Ever Faithful - Ever on the Watch"
1881 - March 15 1881 George Colton, James R Herbert, and John Milroy
1881 - George Colton, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1881-1887
1883 - Mourning for fallen officers, and the passing of officers, was ordered upon the death of Capt. Franklin Kenney of the Eastern District. The mourning time was established, and set for a period of 10 days for fallen officers and 5 days for passing officers.
1883 - March 15 1883 George Colton, James R Herbert, and John Milroy
1884 - Aug 5 1884 George Colton, John Milroy, and J D Ferguson
1884 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Charles W. Fisher
1884 - Southwestern District History - 1884 - The Southwestern Distirct was first opened at Calhoun and Pratt Streets (200 S Calhoun St) where it remained until 07-11-1958 when they moved to their presnt location at 424 Font Hill Ave.
1885 - Jacob Frey served as Marshal from Oct 15 1885 - Jul 12 1897
1885 - The first Patrol Wagon went into service on October 25, 1885 - and is beleived to make Baltimore the second to use patrol wagons in the country, behind Chicago. The story goes; One day Deputy-Marshal Jacob Frey was reading an illustrated magazine, while in the gymnasium of Central's Station when he saw facts on Patrol Wagons being used in Chicago. He brought the idea before the board of police commissioners; they were mildly interested. Frey didn't give up on ideas that he believed in so he called the board’s attention to the matter again some weeks later. They had forgotten about it, but promised to look into it. Wagon's and Police Telegraph Box Systems, were the future in Frey's eyes, so after the legislation failed to act, the board "Marshal Frey" took matters into its own hands. He sent one of the members of the "Board" and "Marshal Gray" to Chicago to see how the "New Fanged" patrols wagons worked. They "Were Charmed" an old records states. And while there they saw Chicago’s new police telegraph box system. (Known as the callbox) result was both facilities were in Baltimore by the fall of 1885. Occording to Gamewell's records, Chicago was the first to use the Police Telagraph System, and Baltimore was the second in this country to use this system.
1885 - Baltimore Police began using those Police Telegraph Boxes (Callboxes) the piolet program was begun in the Central District, but would quickly spread to use in all Distircts on all posts
1885 - A Harbor Patrol was established in 1885.
1886 - The Police Helmet, (Bobby Cap) worn in other cities, was made part of the uniform in Baltimore. (It was introduced by Commissioner Alford J. Carr. Taking the place of the derby formerly worn by Baltimore police. Commissioner Carr specified that the black helmet was to be worn in the winter, and the pearl gray helmet worn during summer months. The helmet at that time was significant of rank, only patrolman and sergeants wore it. The Marshal and his Deputy Mashal as well as all Captains and Lieutenants wear the regular cap of the period.)
1886 - Feb 25 1886 George Colton, John Q A Robson, and John Milroy
1886 - Jun 25 1886 George Colton, John Q A Robson, and Alfred J Carr
1887 - March 15 1887 Edson M Schryver, Alfred J Carr, and John Q A Robson
1887 - Edson M. Schryver, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1887-1897
1888 - The Mounted Patrol was established.
1888 - Jan 23 1888 Edson M Schryver, John Gill Jr, and John Q A Robson
1889 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John T. Lloyd
1890 - May 27, 1890, what came to be known as the 4th Issue badge was worn with a new uniform by all members of the force. This is a shield-shaped badge with the word "POLICE" across the top, Maryland seal in the center and a ribbon with the officers number across the bottom. Sergeant's and above had an eagle on top of their shield. Lieutenants and above wore a badge similar to the Sergeant but was gold in color. The eagle on the badges had a ribbon in its beak denoting the rank of the officer. These were worn from 1890 until 1976
1891 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Jacob Zapp
1894 - We lost our Brother Police Officer James T. Dunn
1894 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Michael Neary
1894 - Dec 1 1894 Edson M Schryver, John Gill Jr, and John C Legg
1895 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John J. Dailey
1896 - The Bertillon Bureau was established to take photographs and measurements of prisoners. Bertillon system n. A system formerly used for identifying persons by means of a detailed record of body measurements, physical description, and photographs. The Bertillon system was superseded by the more accurate procedure of fingerprinting.
1896 - March 27 1896 Daniel C Heddinger, John Gill Jr, and Edson M Schryver
1897 - March 15 1897 Daniel C Heddinger, William W Johnson, and Edson M Schryver
1897 - Thomas F Garnan, was Deputy Marshal / Acting Marshal from July 13 1897 - Oct 6 1897
1897 - Samual T Hamilton was Marshal from Oct 7 1897 - Oct 7 1901
1897 - On July 12, 1897, the active connection of Marshal Jacob Frey, with the Police Department ceased. On October 7, 1897, Capt. Samuel T. Hamilton was elected Marshal of Police to succeed Marshal Frey. Marshal Hamilton was a veteran officer of the Civil War and a man of indisputable courage and integrity. For many years following the great civil conflict he had served on the Western frontier and took part in the unremitting campaigns against the Sioux and other Indian tribes, who were constantly waging war upon the settlers and pioneers as they pushed their way toward the setting sun, building towns and railroads and trying to conquer the wilderness and its natural dwellers. In the Sioux campaign of 1876, when Gen. George A. Custer and his gallant command, outnumbered ten to one by the Indians in the valley of the Little Big Horn, were annihilated, Captain Hamilton and his troop rode day and night in a vain effort to re-enforce Custer and his sorely pressed men. It was on June 26, 1876, the Seventh United States Cavalry rode and fought to their deaths, and on June 27, the day following, the reinforcements arrived, exhausted from their terrific ride across the country. Captain Hamilton and his troop fought through the rest of the campaign, which resulted in Sitting Bull, the great Indian war chief, being driven across the Canadian frontier.
1897 - Daniel C. Heddinger, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1897-1900
1898 - Fall of 1998 ground was broke on Northern District. What was being built on a piece of land purchased by the City, at Cedar and 2nd was called Northern's annex. (a new District) to be ran by Capt. Thomas W Morris
1899 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Alonzo B. Bishop
1900 - Northern District History - 1900 The Northern District was first opened at Keswick and 34th Street on 1 Feb 1900 at 8am ran by Capt. Gittings, Lieutenants Henry and Dempsey; Round Sergeants will be, Warden for Day Duty, and Moxley for Night Duty. At the time they began with 50 officers. It remained tat the Keswick location until 2001 when it moved to it's current location at 2201 W Coldspring Lane.
1900 - The interesting thing about the Board of Police Commissioners and eventual single Commissioner is that the Commissioner(s) for the City of Baltimore were to be chosen and appointed by the Governor for the State of Maryland.
1900 - May 7 1900 George M Upsher, Edward H Fowler, and John T Morris
1900 - George M. Upsher, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1900-1904
1901 - Thomas F Farnan Deputy Marshal was Acting Marshal from Oct 8 1901 - Aug 7 1902
1902 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Charles J. Donohue
1902 - Thomas F Farnan, Apointed Marshal fron Oct 8 1902 - Aug 8 1914
1904 - March 23 1904 George M Upsher, John T Morris, and Thomas J Shryock
1904 - May 2 1904 George R Willis, James H Preston, and Thomas J Shryock
1904 - James H. Preston , was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1904-1908 (Gov. Warfield made him a member of the Board of Police Commissioners for Baltimore City, 1904-08) He went on to become Baltimore's Mayor in 1915
1904 - George R. Willis, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1904-1908
1908 - The Traffic Division was established.
1908 - May 4 1908 Sherlock Swann, John B A Wheltle, and Peter E Tome
1908 - Sherlock Swann, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1908-1910
1908 - Nov 7, 1908 After 22 years, The Baltimore Police Department stop using the Police Helmet, (Bobby Cap), and goes to a more modern round, or oval top, police hat. From the Baltimore Sun - The Baltimore Police Go from the Bobby Type Helmet to the More Modern cap. and Officer Donned New Uniforms, Veteran Captains Returned to Old Districts, Caps Supplant Helmets and Espantoons are in use once again.
1909 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Thomas H. Worthington
1910 - May 2 1910 John B A Wheltle, Peter E Tome, and C Baker Clotworthy
1910 - John B.A. Wheltle, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1910-1912
1912 - The first Women Officer was hired under the title of Policewomen was Mary S. Harvey, EOD of June 19, 1912 her hiring was followed by that of Margaret B. Eagleston July 22, 1912 (interesting side note on March 28, 1925 the Baltimore Sun reports - Two female members of department given first lesson in pistol shooting. They were Miss Margaret B. Eagleston and Mrs. Mary J. Bruff - A few days later Mrs. Mary Harvey, Miss Eva Aldridge and Ms. Mildred Campbell were also trained. So basically the first two woman officers hired by the BPD weren't trained in firearms until they had been on the force for 13 years!)
1912 - April 4 1912 John B A Wheltle, Peter E Tome, and Morris A Soper
1912 - May 6 1912 Morris A Soper, Daniel C Ammidon, and Alfred S Niles
1912 - Morris A. Soper, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1912-1913
1912/13 - The Baltimore police goes from Horse Draw "Patty" Wagons to morized wagons. Oddly enough our first motorized wagons were manufactored by the same builder.
1913 - The Police Academy was established.
1913 - Dec 31 1913 James McEvoy, Daniel C Ammidon, and Alfred S Niles
1913 - James McEvoy, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1913-1914
1914- The Motor Unit was organized on May 29, 1914 - It began with just five members, Officers, Schleigh, Bateman, Pepersack, Vocke and Louis.
1914 - Dec 28 1914 Daniel C Ammidon, Clarendon I T Gould, and Alfred S Niles
1914 - Robert D Carter Apointed Marshal Aug 14 1914 - until after 1917
1914 - Daniel C. Ammidon, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1914-1916
1915 - We lost our Brother Police Officer George C. Sauer
1916 - March 22 1916 Lawrason Riggs, Daniel C Ammidon, and Alfred S Niles
1916 - May 1 1916 Lawrason Riggs, Edward F Burke, and Daniel C Ammidon
1916 - Lawrason Riggs, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1916-1920
1917 - Circa 1917 (The title Chief was Marshal in Baltimore City)
1919 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John J. Lanahan
1920 - The board of Police Commissioners was abolished and General Charles D. Gaither was apointed as the first Police Commossioner of the Baltimore City Police Department.
1920 - In 1920 the Board of Police Commissioners was abolished and General Charles D. Gaither was appointed as our first Police Commissioner.Charles D. Gaither, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1920-1937
1922 - Baltimore began the use of their "Recall System" on 17 Sept 1922 - Police of the Central district began operating the new police recall system. Every uniformed man from the inspector to patrolman was enthusiastic over the results. The first week of the "Magic Blinkers" has created a demand from other districts that the system be installed immediately.
1924 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Frank L. Latham
1924 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Charles S. Frank
1925 - We lost our Brother Police Officer George D. Hart
1925 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Roy L. Mitchell
1926 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Webster E. Schumann
1926 - We lost our Brother Police Clerk Thomas J. Dillon
1927 - We lost our Brother Police Officer William F. Doehler
1928 - We lost our Brother Sergeant George M. J. May
1928 - We lost our Brother Sergeant Joseph F. Carroll
1931 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John P. Burns
1932 - We lost our Brother Police Officer William A. Bell
1932 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Thomas F. Steinacker
1933 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John R. J. Block
1933 - Radio Communication Est. The First radio communications system between Patrol Vehicles and a Central Dispatcher went into service on March 4, 1933.
1934 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John Blank
1934 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John A. Stapf
1934 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Henry W. Sudmeier
1935 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Max Hirsh
1935 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Arthur H. Malinofski
1936 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Leo Bacon
1936 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Carroll Hanley
1936 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John T. King, Jr.
1937 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Thomas J. Barlow
1937 - First African American Officer Violet Hill Whyte, became Baltimore Police Department's first African American officer she worked out of the Western District for her 30 year career with the department.
1937 - William Lawson, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1937-1938
1938 - We lost our Brother Chief Engineer Joseph Edward Keene
1938 - Robert F. Stanton, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1938-1943
1938 - Accident Investigation Unit Est. The Accident Investigation Unit was established on February 21, 1938.
1938 - The first African American male officers hired were Walter T. Eubanks Jr., Harry S. Scott, Milton Gardner, and J. Hiram Butler Jr. were hired in 1938, all of whom were assigned to plainclothes
1940 - We lost our Brother Police Officer William L. Ryan
1941 - Auxiliary Police Force Est. In December 1941, after Pearl Harbor our Police Commissioner (Robert F. Stanton) realized he would be losing a lot of his men to the war effort, so he quickly organized an "Auxiliary Police Force" a unit of Civilian Defence Organization, which now has a membership of approximately two thousand persons, whose services are on a strictly voluntary basis without remuneration of any character. These men are selected from owners of big business, and executives-men in all walks of life including labourers and the unemployed (if you meet the requirements it doesn't matter what you do for a living, your help is welcome). In 1941 they originally provided at their own expense, uniforms and patrol box keys etc. The department furnished badges, whistles and night sticks. They receive ten hours training in first-aid, two hours instructions in handling of bombs, and at least six hours instruction in police work, during which period they are assigned to work with the regular uniformed patrolmen. They were required to report to various districts and to perform two hours actual police duty assigned them by our District Captains. The purpose which the Auxiliary Police was serving and the manner in which its members have discharged its duties are worthy of the highest commendation, for it has been a most effective instrument in aiding in the preservation of law and order. Cooperation between this unit and the regular uniform force are. Basis for the progress made in combating crime. After the war there was a bit of distention among the Auxiliary Police Force and the regular force (HERE)
1943 - We lost our Brother Police Officer William J. Woodcock
1943 - We lost our Brother Police Officer William S. Knight
1943 - African American officers were finally allowed to wear police uniforms, and by 1950, there were fifty African American officers in the department.
1943 - Hamilton R. Atkinson, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1943-1949
1944 - 7 Oct 1944 The Baltimore police switches from the round, or oval top police caps that were worn for a little more than 30 years after the "Bobby Cap" type helmet, to the current "Octagonal" or "Eight point" hat we wear today.
1945 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John B. Bealefeld
1946 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Elmer A. Noon
1947 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Fred R. Unger
1948 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Joseph Daniel Benedict
1948 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Thomas J. Burns
1948 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John W. Arnold
1948 - Crime Lab Est. The Baltimore Police Department’s 1st Crime Lab
1949 - We lost our Brother Police Officer James L. Joyce
1949 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Thomas J. O'Neill
1949 - Beverly Ober, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1949-1955
1950 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Charles M. Hilbert
1951 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Roland W. Morgan
1951 - Central Records Est. and Central Records Division was created on August 7, 1951.
1952 - Armory Est. in 1952 the Gun-shop (now called the Armory) was established
1952 - In the department started using a Single Rocket Type Shoulder Patch, it was black with yellow trim, and yellow letters that read, "Baltimore City Police" and was worn on the left shoulder of the officers coat, or jacket.
1953 - We lost our Brother Police Officer James L. Scholl
1954 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Alfred P. Bobelis
1954 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Aubrey L. Lowman
1954 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Walter D. Davis
1954 - Mobile Crime Lab Est. May of 1954 The Mobile Crime Lab Unit was established.
1955 - We lost our Brother Sergeant James J. Purcell
1955 - Polygraph Unit Est. First in the State Commissioner Hepbron brings in a polygraph machine to help build a polygraph unit within the Rackets Division of the department. (In 1966 this unit would be transferred to the Crime Lab unit - Before the move to Crime Lab this little machine will cause headaches for the commissioner that brings it to Baltimore)
1955 - James M. Hepbron, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1955-1961
1956 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John R. Phelan
1956/57 - Baltimore’s K9 Unit was initiated - On Tuesday, December 11, 1956, an article was published in one of our local newspapers which was one of a series of articles written by one Martin Millspaugh pertaining to Scotland Yard. This article the last of a series, was devoted to the use of police dogs in London. As a result of the letters and inquiries received by Commissioner James M. Hepbron, an article appeared in the Morning Sun on December 17, 1956 which briefly stated that Commissioner Hepbron was interested and saw the possibilities of using dogs in the Baltimore City Police Department. On December 18, 1956, two dogs (Turk & Major Gruntz) that had had previous training were offered to the Baltimore City Police Department and, with two officers (Patrolman Thomas McGinn and Irvan Marders) also with previous dog experience, the program was put into effect on an “experimental basis”. By the middle of January 1957, fourteen dogs had been acquired as potential candidates and fourteen men were selected and assigned to the K~9 Corps. These men were chosen as a result of a questionnaire which was sent to all members of the department asking for volunteers. These men and dogs were trained daily until March 1, 1957. At that time, they were put on the street on Friday and Saturday nights, working the areas where crime was most prevalent. Shortly after this, actually on April 17, 1957~ Commissioner Hepbron, considering the experiment a success, went before the Mayor and City Council and appropriations were made through the Board of Estimates which resulted in the K-9 Corps becoming a permanent part of the Baltimore City Police. For more info on Baltimore’s K9 click HERE
1957 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John F. Andrews
1958 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Robert K. Nelson
1958/59 - Southeastern District History - 1958/59 - The Southeastern District is the youngest of all of our districts, it was first built in 1958/59 at it's present location of 5710 Eastern Ave
1959 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Richard H. Duvall, Jr.
1960 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Warren V. Eckert
1961 - In January of 1961, the Baltimore Police Department merged with The Park Police, to make one big police force that covered the city. This will happen numerous times throughout the department's history. Housing Police, and now talks of taking on Baltimore School Police.
1961 - Bernard Schmidt, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1961-1966
1961/66 - The police commissioner was in an elevator in the Headquarters building when an officer steps in, the officer turns his back on the Commissioner and faces the closing doors much the way anyone entering an elevator would. The Commissioner asked the officer if he knew who he was. The Officer apologized, saying he did not. The Commissioner introduced himself to the officer. Not long after this the tradition of a photo of the Police Commissioner hanging in the roll call room behind the Lieutenant's podium was begun. The Commissioner at the time was, Bernard Schmidt he served as Police Commissioner from 1961-1966 just before Donald Pomerleau - 1966-1981
1962 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Henry Smith, Jr.
1962 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Richard D. Seebo
1962 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Edward J. Kowalewski
1964 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Francis R. Stransky
1964 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Claude J. Profili
1964 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Walter Patrick Matthys
1964 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Teddy L. Bafford
1964 - We lost our Brother Sergeant Jack Lee Cooper
1965 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Charles R. Ernest
1965 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Robert Henry Kuhn
1966 - The department itself had not fully integrated until 1966. Prior to 1966, African American officers were limited to foot patrols as they were barred from the use of squad cars. These officers were quarantined in rank, barred from patrolling in white neighbourhoods, and would often only be given specialty assignments in positions in the Narcotics division or as undercover plainclothes officers.
1966 - Police Commissioner Donald D Pomerleau was apointed to the first of three six year terms as our Commissioner, that's 18 years of the same Police Commissioner
1966 - Along with Commissioner Pomerleau came the idea of "Police, Policing... Police", Internal Affairs, Internal Investigations, IID... IAD... call it what you like, but DP said, "Things will change, you may have been on the take yesterday, but you will not be on the take tomorrow, and if you are, you will be arrested just like any other criminal in Baltimore!." Some officers were smart and yeilded to his advice, others were not so smart and ended up someplace alright, "That place was; their place in a perp walk 1966 style".
1966 - The FOP Lodge #3 Baltimore City Police was founded by Sgt. Richard Simmons, Earl Kratch and several others. For more infomation click HERE
1966 - Was the first year that we had what is known today as "In-service training" — where time is taken off the street to learn about things like, new laws, rules and regulations, and other new techniques, equipment and opertations with-in the department.
1966 - Donald Pomerleau, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1966-1981
1967 - We lost our Brother Police Officer William J. Baumer
1967 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Frederick K. Kontner
1967 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John C. Williams
1968 - We lost our Brother Detective Richard F. Bosak
1967/68 - Was the last year for the Rocker style shoulder patch. (Baltimore wore a single shoulder patch on their left arm) Was the first year for the Blue Baltimore "City" Police style shoulder patch. (At this stage Baltimore was still wearing a single shoulder patch on their left arm.)
1968 - September 1968 the department of education and training center, itself relatively new, evolve into a modern version of the Baltimore police academy and became the first fully accredited academy of its type in the country. The American University in Washington recognized portions of the training program and offered up to 12 credits for completion of specified courses in a program that combined 14 weeks of classroom work, and 6 weeks of Field Training. Three of the credits could be earned at Morgan State University. The course for credit function was later transferred to the University of Baltimore, where it has remained. From time to time officers are sent to the FBI National Academy at Quantico Virginia for courses.
1970 - We lost our Brother Police Officer George F. Heim
1970 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Henry M. Mickey
1970 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Donald W. Sager
1970 - The Arson Unit was initiated in Febuary of 1970.
1970 - Fox Trot Est. The Department Aviation Unit "Fox Trot" was officially formed and began flights.
1971 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Carl Peterson, Jr.
1971 - We lost our Brother Lieutenant Martin Webb
1972 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Lorenzo Arnest Gray
1972 - The present Headquarters Building of the Police Department was opened.
1973 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Norman Frederick Buchman
1973 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Calvin M. Rodwell
1973 - The Civil Service Commission authorized the single classification "Police Officer" to replace the dual designation "Policeman/Patrolman" and "Policewoman/Police Woman". This reclassification was a continuation of the department's efforts in the area of equal employment opportunity. (Female "Police Officers" now had the same prerogatives and responsibilities as their male counterparts. Now only one competitive test for promotions is necessary. Thus, a single career ladder was established for all sworn members.)
1974 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Frank Warren Whitby, Jr.
1974 - We lost our Brother Detective Sergeant Frank William Grunder, Jr.
1974 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Milton I. Spell
1974 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Martin Joseph Greiner
1974 - Baltimore's first Gun BuyBack program (then called a Gun Bounty) was held 25 August 1974. The idea came to Police Commissioner Pomerleau as he stood graveside to Officer Milton Spells who was shot and killed in the line of duty on 15 August 1974. PC Pomerleau offered $30 for surrendered guns. The surprisingly huge response, more like a metallic flood, to the Commissioner's offer for guns was an indication of how many weapons were and still are at large in the community, each with its crime and possible death potential. Budget considerations rather quickly have required the Police Department to eliminate rifles and shotguns from its bounty program and to limit its offer to city residence. The program would last nearly a month - The city Gun Bounty program (as it was known) was being declared a success by police spokesmen, but criminologists challenge that appraisal because the program has not been in effect long enough to produce solid evidence, and they insisted that only strong federal gun control measures can significantly limit the availability of firearms. There have been a number of gun bounty, buyback programs since, some sponsored by the Baltimore Housing Authority, The Police Department, Area Churches, and the Occasionally Private Individual/Politician. A buyback in West Baltimore once recovered 750 guns in one day, and another in June of 2005 recovered hundreds more along with several high-powered assault weapons." If only the city would have been more proactive instead of reactive, we might not have had as many police funerals to attend.
1974 - Baltimore's Police Strike HERE
1975 - Under Commissioner Donald D. Pomerleau The Word "City" was dropped from our large blue shoulder patch. (There are several interesting versions as to why the word "CITY" was drop. All were based on the same three stories, all convincing, well for the most part convincing, see the Patch page under BPD History or click) HERE
1975 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Edward S. Sherman
1975 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Timothy B. Ridenour
1974/75 - Ammo change, after one of our brother Officers (Lorenzo Gray) was killed in the line of duty (1972) the department was forced to changed our ammo from the round nose to the semi-wad cutter. (This change came about because Officer Gray's shot merely spun the suspect around allowing him to discharge a round from his shotgun at Officer Gray. Officers wanted something they knew would save them if they needed it, and requested the hollow point, the department rejected that idea, stating they felt it was, dare I say "Overkill") the Wad cutter wasn't issued until late 1974, early 75.) We were recently told this change was a big part of negotiations that lead to the 1974 Police Strike. (BTW while the city and the Department was not happy with the strike, my family and present law enforcement is thankful. The changes made as a result of those strikes made things better for all of us today, our department fired some great men and women; men and women that made a sacrifice for us.
1974/75 - The Departmental Vehicle phased out the old Blue and White with the old Gold Badge on the door to an all white car with a Blue Shoulder Patch on the door and Red under Blue Stripes. See our Vehicles HERE
1974/75 - In 1974 QRT (Quick Response Team) began training; it was formed out of members of Tactical Section including several of the EVU members as they had been trained in use of high power rifles and already departmental Marksmen. (More can be under BPD Units>Tactical by clicking) HERE -In the beginning, The "New" Tactical Section, circa 1974/75, formed a "Special Weapons and Tactics" team in the BPD. The department however wouldn't let it be called SWAT. They felt SWAT was a negative of term. So they (the team came up with the name QRT (Quick Response Team) Lt Joe Key has been given credit for naming QRT, it is the exact team, but with a kinder gentler name. When they finally got the body bunkers, and Kevlar helmets, they also got black ballistic face shields. However, the department didn't want members of the team wearing the masks/face shields because "it made them look evil". So the masks stayed in the box. By 1999, the department finally gave in and let the team be called SWAT. Up until this point EVU were the primary snipers for the city. The original members of that first QRT team each had to buy their own equipment; they shopped Sunny's Surplus, and or H&H Outdoor Supply. So when they see the teams of today, and how well they're equipped; being as it should have been all along, I'm sure all they can do is shake their heads? But at the same time, I know how proud each of these men are to have paved the way. Not to mention the number of lives they saved, while putting their own lives on the line.
1976 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Jimmy Dale Halcomb
1976 - On April 5th 1976 the 5th. Issue badge came along and is the Badge currently worn by Baltimore Police Officers to this day. With exception to the 2nd Issue badge the word Baltimore did not appear on any other official Police badge. The 5th Issue badge is similar to the 4th Issue "Supervisor's" badge with a new center seal that is the same as worn on the large shoulder patch. (The badge change came in May of 1976, Jimmy Halcomb was killed on April 16th 1976 at Lombard and Carey St. - Jimmy was the last officer to have been killed in the line of duty while wearing the old Issue #4 badge.)
1978 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Edgar J. Rumpf
1978 - We lost our Brother Sergeant Robert John Barlow
1978 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Nelson F. Bell, Jr.
1978 - The Baltimore City Police Department remained under State governance until 1978, when the Mayor began to appoint the Police Commissioner, subject to confirmation by the City Council (Chapter 920, Acts of 1976). - From the MSP website Baltimore City Police Force.The first State agency to exercise police powers was the Baltimore City Police Force. Established in 1867 under a Board of Police Commissioners, the Force was elected by the General Assembly (Chapter 367, Acts of 1867). Baltimore had been developing a police force since the formation in 1784 of a night watch "very necessary to prevent fires, burglaries, and other outrages and disorders" (Chapter 69, Acts of 1784). Its police force, from 1867, was governed by a State board although jurisdiction was limited to the City. From 1900 to 1920, the Board of Police Commissioners was appointed by the Governor. After 1920, a single Police Commissioner of Baltimore City was chosen and also served on the Governor's Advisory Council. The Baltimore City Police Department remained under State governance until 1978, when the Mayor began to appoint the Police Commissioner, subject to confirmation by the City Council (Chapter 920, Acts of 1976).
In 1909, the Board of Police Commissioners of Baltimore City urged the creation of a State detective force since the Governor, the Fire Marshal, and State's Attorneys in the counties frequently sought help from Baltimore City's expert investigators. The first tentative step towards a statewide police force, however, was taken in 1914 as a corps of motorcycle officers under the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles began to enforce motor vehicle laws throughout Maryland (Chapter 564, Acts of 1914).
1979 - We lost our Brother Police Officer William D. Albers
1981 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Ronald L. Tracey
1981 - The original five digit sequence numbers were assigned alphabetically. The lower the number, the lower in the alphabet your last name. The numbers were often re-issued after an officer left the department. The "new" Short Number, sequence number system began late in 1981. The change came about from a district court requirement for a unique number to identify officers.
1981- Frank Battaglia, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1981-1984
1984 - We lost our Brother Detective Marcellus Ward
1984 - The Latent Print Unit began the use of Printrak. Printrak enabled the department to use computerized fingerprint searches to assist examiners with respondents for potential latent print identifications.
1984 - Bishop Robinson, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1984-1987
1985 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Richard J. Lear
1985 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Vincent J. Adolfo
1985 - Adopted a computerized booking procedures for prisoners, and 911 emergency systems
1986 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Richard Thomas Miller
1986 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Robert Alexander
1987 - Edward J. Tilghman, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1987-1989
1989 - We lost our Brother Police Officer William J. Martin
1989 - Edward V. Woods, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1989-1993
1990 - The Department begins phasing in the Glock model 17 - 9mm semi auto handgun, to replace the S&W model 19 / model 64 - .38 cal. pistol. This transition took approximately 3 years to complete. (The first academy class to use the Glock's were 90-2 and 90-3)
1991 - Gunshot Residue Analysis (GSR) using Scanning Electron Microscopy began in 1991.
1992 - The Baltimore Police Department re-initiated their Bicycle unit, a unit that was brought back after nearly 20 years as it was formerly used in 1972 and even as many as 70 or more years earlier.
1992 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Ira Neil Weiner
1993 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Herman A. Jones, Sr.
1993 - The Breathalyzer was replaced with a computerized version, a unit called "The Intoximeter".
1994 - The Polygraph Unit began using a computerized polygraph instrument for conducting polygraph examinations.
1994 - SCAN (Scientific Content ANaylysis) was brought to Central District's Major Crime Unit. SCAN was a Linguistic Polygraph technique that at the time was so new the department refused to pay for the course. Within a few years of Officer Driscoll showing it to different units throughout the department he was allowed to use it to analyze statements in just about every unit or division within the department; everything from Homicide, to Sex Offence, to Robbery, Missing persons and Theft units in the department. He started being limited to "Area 1", and before long doing all three Area’s, Statements for the State’s Attorney’s Office, and various outside agencies. Before leaving department in 2001, for a surgery due to a LOD injury Det. Driscoll was asked to teach his introductory course to Baltimore's Homicide Unit. BTW His course was authorized by Avinoam Sapir, from LSI. Avinoam Sapir developed and refined Statement Analysis, and because Det. Driscoll took it so serious and found several observations that had not yet been discovered, Avinoam called him a Guru on the subject. "Point of Perspective" - "Here" vs. "There" was just one of Kenny's many observations that were eventually included LSI's training after Kenny brought it to Mr. Sapirs attention. Kenny Still uses the technique and practices reading statements even though he has been retired for more than 10 years. One of the more known cases he was involved in was the Laci Peterson case, in which he contacted the Modesto, California Police and offered his assistance, providing an observation on Scott Peterson's words. These observations came within 5 days of Laci’s going missing. Based on something Scott said to the media about his wife's disappearance, Kenny knew she was dead, and not missing as Scott was reporting. To Det. Driscoll it was pretty easy if Scott Peterson knew she was dead, when everyone else only suspected her as missing, then he must have killed her. At the time The Modesto, California Police said it was too early, they didn’t want to accuse him of anything too early. But within the year they asked Ret. Det. Driscoll for a complete write up of his observations. Kenny was able to tell them what room she was killed in, and what time she was killed, all based on Scott Peterson’s words. With-in a year Laci’s Body was recovered, and Scott Peterson was arrested, tried and convicted for her murder. Other cases he assisted with included Haleigh Cummings, in which police were told to look more closely at the girlfriend, a few years later, it was determined the girl was taken from the girlfriend over money she may have owed them for drugs. The technique is very strong in the right hands, and has been used to solve many cases throughout this country and internationally. HERE
1994 - The Police Commissioner ended a long time tradition in Baltimore of Police carrying their Espantoon, by banning the nightstick in place of the Koga Stick. Espantoon’s History - From Webster’s Dictionary - The espantoon is a wooden police baton equipped with a long leather strap for twirling. It originated and is still strongly associated with the Baltimore Police Department in Baltimore, Maryland. The term is distinctly "Baltimorea/Baltimoreian" The word itself derives from that of a pole weapon, the espantoon, which was carried by infantrymen of the British Army during the Revolutionary period. Since, the espantoon has been considered a symbol of the "Policeman's Office and Dignity". Before the advent of wireless communications, the espantoon was reportedly used by Baltimore policemen to call for assistance where its officer would bang it on the curb or a drainpipe.
1994/95 - The City had Officers wearing, dark blue pants, white shirts, a black ties, with a dark blue blouse (jacket) and black shoes. They also had us carrying a briefcase. The idea was our Brass wanted us looking professional, more like businessmen. In 1994, the finally let us start wearing dark blue shirts that matched the pants.
1994 - Thomas C. Frazier, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1994-1999
1995 - Under Police Commissioner Thomas Frasier comes another of Baltimore's many shoulder patch changes, Up until 1995 our Officers either wore no patch, a single rocker patch, or one of the two "City" "No City" Patches on their left shoulder. Commissioner Frasier changed that when he ordered patches be worn on both shoulders. The story behind the change is almost as bazaar as as the stories for the dropping of the word "City" from the patch in 1977. You can find the story) HERE
1995/96 - There was another change to the uniform, Officers started wearing dark blue shirts to match their dark blue pants. This was a welcome addition to the midnight officers as it helped them sneaking around the streets and alleys. (It helped distinguish rank and didn't get as dirty as fast, your average municipal police officer will have someone resist arrest two to three times a week, this makes for a dirty uniform shirt- Another note about the Baltimore Police Officer Uniform, it was designed to look like a businessmen, a nice blouse, white shirt tie and pants, they even issued a brief case so we looked professional.)
1996 - The Mobile Unit began using CAD aided design programs to do computerized crime scene sketches.
1996 - The Identikit sketches were replaced with a computerized version called E-Fit. E-Fit was adopted by the department because it could be used on any computer by the investigating Detective, to more quickly obtain a sketch of the suspect.
1996 - The Baltimore Police Department became the first ever with a non-emergency 311 system.
1997 - We lost our Brother Lieutenant Owen Eugene Sweeney, Jr.
1998 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Harold Jerome Carey
1998 - We lost our Brother Flight Officer Barry Winston Wood
1997/98 - Headquarters had major improvements and modifications with the addition of the Annex Building.
2000 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Jamie Allen Roussey
2000 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Kevon Malik Gavin
2000 - We lost our Brother Sergeant John David Platt
2000 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Kevin Joseph McCarthy
2000 - It was mentioned earlier that in 1994 Police Commissioner Thomas Frasier Banned the Espantoon, in 2000 Police Commissioner Edward Norris learned of our tradition and brought the Espantoon back. There were a lot of thankful police, to have had been given back one of our favorite tools. Many don't understand, the Espantoon wasn't so much for hitting suspects and is was not to have to hit them, it was also used in many arm-bar type holds, and the spinning/twirling of the Nightstick mentioned earlier, that spinning, kept distance between an officer and those that might try to get into their person space. For anyone that didn't read the 1994 explanation of the Espantoon is a type of wooden police baton/nightstick that is distinct to the city of Baltimore and has been in use for generations. It is an ornate wood straight baton equipped with a swivelled leather strap with which it can be twirled as the Officer walked his beat. - Few Baltimore Police couldn't twirl their nightstick.
2000 - Ronald L.Daniel, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 2000 - 2000
2000 - Edward Norris, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 2000-2002
2001 - We lost our Brother Agent Michael Joseph Cowdery, Jr.
2002 - We lost our Sister Police Officer Crystal Deneen Sheffield
2002 - We lost our Brother Detective Thomas G. Newman
2002 - The Firearms Unit obtained a NIBIN system, which performs both fired cartridge cases and bullet comparisons as a part of a nationwide network. This is like NCIC and will let us know if a gun used in Baltimore to kill someone also matches a gun used in DC, LA or anywhere else in the US
2003 - The Annex building was re-named in dedication to Commissioner Bishop Robinson in 2003
2003 - Kevin Clark, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 2003-2004
2004 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Brian Donte Winder
2004 - Leonard Hamm, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 2004-2007
2006 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Anthony A. Byrd
2006 - QRT (Quick Response Team) is renamed SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) after 32 years the department finally changes the name of this highly trained, elite team. (Initially in 1974 while forming the team the department was against using the name SWAT because they felt the name was too harsh for the department image. Political correctness circa 1974.) For more information on QRT or SWAT click HERE - During this time the Baltimore Police Department has had 38 Commissioners, starting in 1850 with Charles Howard, until 2012 with Anthony W. Batts. More info on our Commissioners can be found by clicking HERE - The above was altered from reports written by BPD's Public Affairs Office - Monday, March 17, 2008; 7:00 pm
2006 - In 2006, President George W. Bush signed the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA) bill. This new law allowed retired police officers to carry a firearm anywhere in the United States. As a result, a number of police departments around the country set up training programs for retired officers to be able to carry firearms.
2007 - We lost our Brother Detective Troy Lamont Chesley, Sr.
2007 - Frederick Bealefeld III, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 2007-2012
2010 - We lost our Brother Police Officer James Earl Fowler, III
2010 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Thomas Russell "Tommy" Portz, Jr.
2011 - We lost our Brother Police Officer William Henry Torbit, Jr.
2012 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Forrest "Dino" Taylor
2012 - Anthony W. Batts was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 2012-Present
2013 - The Baltimore Police Department, goes from a six pack photo spread, in which the victim or witness of a crime is shown a photo spread containing six photos, one is the suspect, and five fill in's, of similar looking males or females. The new concept would be to show six pictures as they did in the past, five fill in's and the actual suspect in random order, but now one at a time. Prior to the 1980's when the six-pack photo spread was used, we used physical line-ups, in which we normally used the suspect and five fill in plain clothes officers, or civilians; so that the victim/witness' could make their pick. In the end does it really matter, if evidence points to the suspect, the victim/witness picks the suspect, be it through a physical line up, six-pack of photo’s, or individual photo’s, one guy in the line could be the guy. We never charge the guy they pick if the guy they pick is a fill-in and not our suspect. Still if it helps in anyway, to catch a crook and close a case. Then more power to them.
2013 - Baltimore Police begins it's LEOSA program based on the following - Baltimore City FOP Lodge 3, Trustee Ed Wagner took it upon himself to convince the Baltimore Police Department to change course. He worked on implementing the program with Sam Walters, a member of the Baltimore Retired Police Benevolent Association (BRPBA) Board of Directors at the time, for 7 years, through several Police Commissioners. Baltimore City FOP Lodge 3 also committed to funding the startup and equipment necessary to implement the LEOSA program. This is part of Baltiore Police History, great Job by members of both our FOP and our BRPBA
Additional Historical Information
Learn from two different sources about how our Police had to walk prisoner in after an arrests prior to wagons, or vehicles, and how when a prisoner was either too drunk to walk alongside the officer, or had some other form of unconsciousness the officers would sometimes commandeer a wheelbarrow.
This is an UNOFFICIAL site of the Baltimore Police Department which depicts the history of the department as was told by Retired Officer William M. Hackley; Officer Hackley passed away on March 15th 2012 as such Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll will take over sole responsible for the sites content. The thoughts and use of certain items, terms, sound, and implications are not necessarily those that may be the same as the Baltimore Police Department, as an official Governmental Agency.
The intent of this site is to Honor the Department, and the fine men and women who serve the citizens of Baltimore City.
This site is dedicated to our Fallen Heroes who in the course of the performance of their duties were called upon to make the Ultimate Sacrifice.
As you look through the many pages of this site you will see the Baltimore Police Department from its infancy showing the crude way of policing to the modern highly efficient department that it is today.
Please enjoy this site for what it is, a rendition of the proud history of one of this States finest Police Departments one which we were proud to have served, and many men and women still proudly serve the Baltimore Police Department.
Any request for official police information must be made directly to:
Baltimore Police Department.
"Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on."
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Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to honor the fine men and women who have served with honor and distinction at the Baltimore Police Department.
Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at
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