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"
1729 - 8 August, 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 widely believed 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" where 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 state legislatures.
1797 - 3 April, 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 remuneration. The Commissioners prescribed regulations and hours of duty for the police.
1798 - 19 March, 1798 - An officer known as “The City” or “High Constable”, was created by the ordinance on March 19, 1798. His duty was "to walk through the streets, lanes and alleys of the city daily, with mace in hand, taking such rounds, that within a reasonable time he shall visit all parts of the city, and give information to the Mayor or other Magistrate, of all nuisances within the city, and all obstructions and impediments in the streets, lanes, and alleys, and of all offences committed against the laws and ordinances." He was also required to report the names of the offenders against any ordinance and the names of the witnesses who could sustain the prosecutions against them, and regard the mayor as his chief. The yearly salary of the city constable was fixed at $350, and he was required to give a bond for the performance of his duty.
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."
1799 - 26 February, 1799 - Authorized the appointment of a city constable in each ward. This ward constable was thus a policeman, and the term of city constable was not properly his although his duties were defined by the ordinance to be the same as those of the city or high constable.
1800 - 30 April, 1800 - At this meeting a committee of three persons from each ward was appointed to plan a reorganization of the “Night-watch”. At a subsequent assembly on April 30, this committee advised that the patrol be increased. The recommendation was approved, and by the vigilance of the watchmen disorder was suppressed for a time.
1807 - 9 March, 1807 - A general ordinance was passed defining the duties of the city commissioners. They were given large powers. Among other things, with the Mayor they were authorized to employ as many captains, officers and watchmen as they might, from time to time, find necessary, but the expense should not exceed the annual appropriation for the service. The board was also required to make regulations and define the hours of duty of the watch; see that they attended to their duties with punctuality, receive their reports and cause them to be returned to the Mayor's office.
1808 - 15 March, 1808 - We lost our Brother Night Watchman George Workner
1826 - 9 March, 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 - 9 March, 1826 - The Mayor was given control of the police of the city by an ordinance which provided that there should be appointed, annually, two captains and two lieutenants of the watch for the Eastern District; two captains and four lieutenants of the watch for the Middle District and two captains and two lieutenants of the watch for the Western District. They were expected to perform such duties as the Mayor might, from time to time, direct. The latter was also given power to appoint as he chose any number of watchmen, and to dismiss them at his pleasure. He was al.so to prescribe their duties.
1826 - Central/Middle District History - 9 March, 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 500 E Baltimore St. from 12 Sept 1977 until present.
1826 - Eastern District History - 9 March, 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 today 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.
1835 - 9 March, 1835 - A "Supplement” to this ordinance, which was passed on this day, provided for the appointment of twelve lieutenants of the watch, constituted policemen " to preserve the peace, maintain the laws and advance the good government of the city." These lieutenants were required to reside in certain districts by the Mayor and have conspicuous signs on their houses bearing their names and office. In addition to their police duties, they were required to act as city bailiffs about the markets, their compensation was fixed at $20 a month for their night work as lieutenants of the watch and they received an additional sum of $220 a year for the services mentioned by the ordinance.
1835 - April, 1835 - The Middle District was located at Saratoga and Holliday streets; the Western District in Green street near Baltimore and in Belvidere street. The last named 'watch house had a belfry, and in April, 1835, an appropriation was made for a similar addition to the Green street watch house; and in this year Mayor Jesse Hunt took occasion to call the attention of the councils to the "Lamentably defective" police arrangements of the city.
1836 - March 1836 - The compensation of the watchmen was increased to $1 for each night they served.
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 expect it is a negative report, that even when police explain the article was incorrect, the paper still runs the story. It was a response to the police briefly being mentioned, however so brief, it was import the initial report is undated (some believe it may have been a morning issue of the same date with the response coming in the evening edition
1838 - 22 May, 1838 - The councils substantially re-enacted the ordinance of 1835, providing, however, that if any watchman while in the performance of his duty should be wounded or maimed he should receive half-pay during the continuance of his disability, or for a period not exceeding two months. They were also paid for attendance at court. This ordinance provided as well for the annual appointment of three justices of the peace to receive the reports of the night watch. One of these justices was required to reside in each district. The yearly salary of each was $100.
1843 - In 1843 two cells were put in the Western watch house while in the Eastern house there was hut one. In the same year the Baltimore Sun declared that the custom of the watch calling the time notified thieves of the locality of the patrol and gave the former an opportunity of safely conducting their operations. This custom was consequently abandoned.
1845 - 18 February, 1845 - The Southern District was established under an ordinance. Two captains and four lieutenants were appointed for it, and the boundaries of the other districts were rearranged.
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.
1848 - The Baltimore police, as constituted in 1848, consisted in the daytime of one high constable, one regular policeman for each ward, who was also lieutenant of the night-watch in his district, and the night watch men. Besides these there were two extra policemen for each ward, who were called into service as occasion required. This system of day police was changed from time to time to keep pace with the increase in the number of wards in the city, until the wards numbered twenty. There was, however, no material alteration in the system until 1857, when a complete reorganization took place under the authority of an act of the Legislature passed in 1853
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 - 20 October, 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 - 13 November, 1856 - We lost our Brother Night Watchman John O'Mayer
1856 - 11 December, 1856 - City Council votes on, and passes a bill to arm Baltimore Police Officers - 1857 was a date given by History Channel's "Tales of the Gun" - the "Police Guns" Episode, with an original air date, of 2 April, 2000, in which they reported, "Baltimore as having become the first Department in the nation to issue, and provide each police officer with a firearm." The documentary went on to state The Colt, 1849, Pocket Model, was the weapon of choice, and was 1st issued, and used by the BPD and it's Officers. Sometimes information contradicts information and as such, we located two Sun Paper articles; one dated, 11 December, 1856, entitled "Proceeding of City Council", in which arming the individual City Police Officer was voted in to law, then on 25 December, 1856 an article titled "The New Police Bill" the bill was released. While all of the actual revolvers may not have been provided in 1856, they were approved into law on that 11 December, 1856. ALSO NOTE: We're only providing the aforementioned information about, "Baltimore being first to arm their police" out of respect for the Discovery Channel, and their source(s), but I suggest, at least for now, that we take it with a grain of salt. Still, I will leave this until we find further info, or others that read this line from a Sun Paper article, Dated 11 December, 1856, in which a member of City Council at the time trying to pass his bill to arm Baltimore Police said, "In New York and Philadelphia where there is a penalty for carrying concealed weapons, the police are armed by the city authorities." This is being taken by us to mean, we may have been at least 3rd in the issuance of firearms, but by these reports, we were not first.
1857 - 1 January, 1857 – Came the next important change under the provisions of this act; the ordinance, introduced an entirely new order of things, and placed Baltimore's Department of Police on practically the same footing as those of the other large cities of this country. It declared that after; 1 March 1857, The existing watch and police systems should be ABOLISHED, and all ordinances for the establishment and regulation of the same be repealed. The new force consisted of one marshal, one deputy marshal, eight captains, eight lieutenants, twenty-four sergeants, three hundred and fifty police officers, five detective police officers and eight turnkeys. The men were required to do duty day and night, and were given all the powers then vested by law in the city bailiffs, police officers, constables and watchmen. The city was divided into four police districts, whose stations were at the watch-houses. The Marshal, with the concurrence of the Mayor, was given authority to establish the limits of the stations, divide them into beats, making allowance for a proper force to retain at the station houses. He had power also to alter at will the limits of the districts and beats. At this time, the Detective Bureau was established. The City was divided into four police districts. Middle/Central, Eastern, Western and Southern.
1857 - 15 August, 1857 – 200 Revolvers are purchased for issuance to Baltimore's Police Officers.
1857 - 17 Sept, 1857 – City Council approves spending $3845.95 on 200 Revolvers
1857 - 11 Oct, 1857 – Possibly the First Police Involved Shooting with issued firearms. The officers involved were, Deputy Marshall Manly, and Officers G.H.E., Bailey, Nicholson, Saville, Lee, George Bailey, Andrew, Presto, Chapman, and Englar. Shot was Deputy Marshall Manly, and Suspect Andrew Hesslinger was killed, and an African American named Ramsey. The shooting took place at a bar called Seager’s Lager Beer Brewery at 7 o’clock on that Sunday, the establishment situated upon the Frederick Road at its intersection with West Pratt Street.
1857 - 14 October, 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 its 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 officer’s 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 also carried pistols back then.
1857 - First Detective Squad - The first squad of detectives was appointed by the mayor, for by this time the city’s chief executive again controlled the force. There were five in the first squad and they wore civilian clothes. As was mentioned above Patrolman were compelled to wear uniforms both on, and off duty. In winter the uniform was a black cap with the policemen’s number on it, a dark blue overcoat and trousers with a patent leather belt and the word police printed on it.
1858 - 16 March, 1858 - The Legislature of the State took memorable action in passing a bill to "provide for the better security for life and property in the City of Baltimore." This enactment empowered the Mayor and the City Councils to increase, and in every way strengthen the police, whether officers, bailiffs, night-watchmen, or in any way connected with the organization of the force. When any of these guardians of the peace were injured either in person or apparel, while in the discharge of his duties, the act required that he be fairly indemnified. This statute also provided that the police force should be armed, that a commission and badge be furnished each member, and that it should be no defense for anyone who resisted or assaulted an officer to claim that his commission or badge was not exhibited. This statute repealed the act of 1312.
1858 - 22 September, 1858 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Benjamin Benton
1858 - 8 November, 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 - 1 May, 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 - 19 April, 1861 - was a fateful day for Baltimore police, who had to attack rioting citizens to protect Union Soldiers passing South through the city.
1861 - 22 June, 1861 to 29 March, 1862 - (Under control if the United States Military authorities) Police Commissioners Appointed 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 - In 1862 Baltimore's Police commissioner suggested they form a Park Police; the purpose of the Park Police was to police the new Druid Hill Park, which at that time was wholly beyond the city limits and thus beyond the authority or city Police, city's Park Commission was first granted the right to preserve peace in parklands by the City Charter of 1862 (this department disbanded in 1959 with members joining the Baltimore Police).
1862 - 22 June, 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 - 29 March, 1862 to 15 Nov 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 - 15 Nov, 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
1868 - 24 July, 1868 (Friday) - The Baltimore Flood overtook the city. In a crisis the bravery of Commissioner Carr in rescuing the victims of the catastrophe, became a matter of national fame. Harper's Weekly, at the time, in a long article on the floods, quoted the following editorial notice from the Baltimore Sunday Telegram, of July 26, 1868: "It is a true saying, that in times of great public calamities, some men rise to the position of a greatness, and such was the case with Police Commissioner James E. Carr.
1870 - 5 July, 1870 - We lost our Brother Police Officer James Murphy
1870 - 14 March, 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 - 12 January, 1871 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Charles J Walsh *
1871 - 22 May, 1871 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Joseph Clark
1871 - 14 September, 1871 - We lost our Brother Detective John H. Richards
1871 - 15 March, 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 - 18 August 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 District 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 - 15 March, 1875 - William H B Fusselbaugh, Harry Gilmor, and John Milroy
1876 - Baltimore switched from the Colt "Model 1849" Pocket Model to the Smith & Wesson "Baby Russian", nickel plated. These remained in service until approx. 1910 when various models were purchased for field trials. Flip flipping back and forth over the years from Colt to Smith and Wesson, Smith and Wesson to Colt and so on, up until 1990 when the Department began phasing in the Glock "Model 17" 9mm Semi-Automatic.
1877 - 15 March, 1877 - William H B Fusselbaugh, Harry Gilmor, and James R Herbert
1878 - 12 April, 1878 - William H B Fusselbaugh, James R Herbert, and John Milroy
1880 - 9 November, 1880 - The Motto for the department began in the Central District and was displayed on a plaque on the gymnasium wall, "Ever on the Watch" written in English, under the Latin words "Semper Paratus" and "Semper Fideles" - "Semper" can either mean, "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 using "Ever on the Watch" over "Always on the Watch" leads us to believe in this case "Semper" stood for "Ever" - Giving us "Semper Paratus - Semper Fideles - Semper Alapa Buris Pervigil" or "Ever Ready - Ever Faithful - Ever on the Watch"
1881 - 15 March, 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 - 15 March, 1883 - George Colton, James R Herbert, and John Milroy
1884 - 5 Aug, 1884 - George Colton, John Milroy, and J D Ferguson
1884 - 6 January, 1884 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Charles W. Fisher
1884 - Southwestern District History - 1884 - 17 July 1884 The Southwestern District was first opened at Calhoun and Pratt Streets (200 S Calhoun St) where it remained until 11 July 1958 when they moved to their present location at 424 Font Hill Ave.
1884 - "Central District" takes on this new title, from it's former "Middle District" as was reported in a 1905 sun paper report in which the author wrote of a library of police docket books "A single glance along the long row of frayed and weak back books is interesting, as it shows exactly when the old "Middle District" changed its name to the more dignified title of "Central District". The record for 1884 is the first book bearing the name "Central District"
1885 - 15 Oct 1885, Jacob Frey begins his term as as Marshal from Oct 15 1885 - Jul 12 1897
1885 - 26 October, 1885 - The first Patrol Wagon went into service on October 26, 1885 - and is believed 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. According to Gamewell's records, Chicago was the first to use the Police Telegraph System, and Baltimore was the second in this country to use this system.
1885 - 26 October, 1885 - On the same day the wagons went into effect Baltimore Police Department also began using the Police Telegraph Boxes (Callboxes) the pilot program was begun in the Central District, but would quickly spread to use in all Districts, and on all posts
1885 - The 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 Marshal as well as all Captains and Lieutenants wear the regular cap of the period.)
1886 - 25 Feb, 1886 - George Colton, John Q A Robson, and John Milroy
1886 - 25 Jun, 1886 - George Colton, John Q A Robson, and Alfred J Carr
1887 - 15 March, 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 - 23 Jan, 1888 - Edson M Schryver, John Gill Jr, and John Q A Robson
1889 - 4 July, 1889 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John T. Lloyd
1890 - 27 May, 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 - 15 July, 1891 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Jacob Zapp
1894 - 20 June, 1894 - We lost our Brother Police Officer James T. Dunn
1894 - 20 June, 1894 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Michael Neary
1894 - 1 Dec, 1894 - Edson M Schryver, John Gill Jr, and John C Legg
1895 - 17 October, 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 - 27 March, 1896 - Daniel C Heddinger, John Gill Jr, and Edson M Schryver
1897 - 15 March, 1897 - Daniel C Heddinger, William W Johnson, and Edson M Schryver
1897 - 13 July, 1897 - Thomas F Garnan, was Deputy Marshal / Acting Marshal from July 13 1897 - Oct 6 1897
1897 - 7 Oct, 1897 - Samuel T Hamilton was Marshal from Oct 7 1897 - Oct 7 1901
1897 - 12 July, 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 1898 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 - 29 August, 1899 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Alonzo B. Bishop
1900 - 1 Feb, 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 at the Keswick location until 2001 when it moved to its 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 - 7 May, 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 - 8 Oct 1901 - Thomas F Farnan Deputy Marshal was Acting Marshal from Oct 8 1901 - Aug 7 1902
1902 - 20 May, 1902 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John a McIntyre *
1902 - 30 July, 1902 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Charles J. Donohue
1902 - 21 August, 1902 - "1000 members of Police Department to re-take Oath" - The entire department was forced to re-take their oath of office, as prior to this day, they had been improperly and illegally sworn in, and this was the case for 35 years. (See - BPD News under the Insight Drop-down Tab)
1902 - 8 Oct, 1902 - Thomas F Farnan, Appointed Marshal from Oct 8 1902 - Aug 8 1914
1904 - 8 Feb 1904 - The Great Baltimore Fire raged in Baltimore, Maryland, United States, on Sunday, Feb 7 and Monday Feb 8, 1904. 1,231 firefighters were required to bring the blaze under control, both professional paid truck and engine companies from Baltimore City Fire Departments BCFD and volunteer fire companies from the surrounding counties, along with some out of state units that came in on local railways. The fire destroyed a major portion of central Baltimore City, to include over 1,500 buildings covering an area of some 140 acres. It spread from North Howard Street on the west, north to the retail shopping areas on Fayette Street and began moving eastward as it was pushed by prevailing winds. Baltimore Police not only helped to fight the fires, and evacuate buildings, but they also fault crime associated with this type chaos, in which looting almost always begins.
1904 - 23 March, 1904 - George M Upsher, John T Morris, and Thomas J Shryock
1904 - 2 May, 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
1905 - 26 January, 1905 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Mathew Boone *
1905 - 25 December, 1905 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Charles Spitznagle *
1907 - 1 August 1907 - The Department was to receive a Columbia Electric Automobile when complete the machine was put to use in the Central District as an Ambulance and Patrol (Paddy) Wagon. It was said to have been easy to run and easily made 16 miles an hour. Unlike the illustrated picture used to show Baltimore’s New Police vehicle, Baltimore’s Wagon would come with windows and curtains
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 Officers donned new uniforms, veteran Captains returned to old Districts, caps supplant helmets and Espantoons are in use once again.
1909 - 4 March, 1909 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Thomas H. Worthington *
1910 - 2 May, 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 - 25 November, 1912 - We lost our Brother Officer John McGrain *
1912 - 19 June, 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 - 4 April, 1912 John B A Wheltle, Peter E Tome, and Morris A Soper
1912 - 6 May, 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 motorized wagons. Oddly enough our first motorized wagons were manufactured by the same builder.
1913 - The Police Academy was established.
1913 - 31 Dec, 1913 James McEvoy, Daniel C Ammidon, and Alfred S Niles
1913 - 5 March, 1913 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Gottlleb Eisener *
1913 - James McEvoy, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1913-1914
1914 - 29 May, 1914 - The Motor Unit was organized on May 29, 1914 - It began with just five members, Officers, Schleigh, Bateman, Pepersack, Vocke and Louis.
1914 - 17 October, 1914 - The first female officer shot in the line of duty was Policewoman Elizabeth Faber. As she and her partner, Patrolman George W. Popp were attempting to arrest a pick pocket on the Edmondson Avenue Bridge they were both shot. (An interesting side note, the first woman police hired by the Baltimore Police department were hired two years earlier in June and July of 1912, and none of the women hired received firearms training until 1925)
1914 - 28 Dec, 1914 - Daniel C Ammidon, Clarendon I T Gould, and Alfred S Niles
1914 - 14 Aug 1914 - Robert D Carter Appointed Marshal Aug 14 1914 - until after 1917
1914 - Daniel C. Ammidon, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1914-1916 1914 - “Luxe” Baltimore’s first K9 - A little known fact, while not an official unit, Baltimore had two Police Dogs at their call when two Airedale Terriers from London came to enroll as members of the Police Force. Their owners learned two dogs were already here, privately owned, one belonging to Mr. Jere Wheelright, and the other to Dr. Henry Barton Jacobs. “Luxe”, Mr Wheelright's dog was a superb example of a highly trained equine aristocrat, big, powerful and intelligent to a degree that was truly remarkable. It would be 42 years before we would have an official K9 Unit, but off and on since 1914, we had, had Police Dogs used in both a private, and official capacity. But not until 1956 did we establish an official unit, with an official methodology that would go on to become world known as the best K9 unit.
1915 - 18 April, 1915 - We lost our Brother Police Officer George C. Sauer
1915 - 21 September, 1915 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Herbert Bitzel (*1)
1915 - 15 Feb, 1915 - Baltimore begins its first ever Bike Squads, from four booths throughout the city, they worked two shifts, 4x12 12x8, they rode in 2 hour rotations, splitting time with officers in the booth. Dispatch phoned the booth, and calls were sent forward from there to the units on their bikes. The concept was to provide better police service to the rural homes in the city
1916 - 22 March, 1916 Lawrason Riggs, Daniel C Ammidon, and Alfred S Niles
1916 - 1 May, 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 - 2 January, 1917 - We lost our Brother Patrolman Michael Burns (*2)
1917 - Circa 1917 (The title Chief was Marshal in Baltimore City)
1918 - 19 March, 1918 - We lost our Sister Police Matron Teresa Foll *
1919 - 3 July 3, 1919 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John J. Lanahan
1919 - 5 January 1919 - 33 Former Members of Baltimore County Police Department were accepted by the Baltimore City Police Department as the Annexation Act allowed 60 men to patrol the 50 square miles of the Annex, Area's such as "Canton" and "Highlandtown" formerly Baltimore County are now Baltimore City.
1920 - 2 October, 1920 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Michael J Egan (*3)
1920 - The board of Police Commissioners was abolished and General Charles D. Gaither was appointed as the first Police Commissioner 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 - 17 Sept, 1922 - Recall Lights are put to use for the first time in the country. 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 and other juristictions that the system be installed everywhere immediately.
1923 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John Edward Swift *
1924 - 2 March, 1924 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Frank L. Latham
1924 - 20 June, 1924 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Charles S. Frank *
1925 - 2 January, 1925 - We lost our Brother Police Officer George D. Hart
1925 - 17 May, 1925 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Patrick J Coniffee *
1925 - 1 November, 1925 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Roy L. Mitchell
1925 - 3 July, 1925 - We lost our Brother Patrolman John E. Harris *
1925 - 28 March 1925 - Two female members of department given first lesson in pistol shooting. Baltimore policewomen received their first lesson in the use of firearms. Lieut. James O. Downes, expert marksman and instructor of the Baltimore Police Department's Pistol Team, explained the use of pistols to the two policewomen. Mrs. Mary J. Bruff and Miss Margaret B. Eagleston were the students who appeared at the Central police station yesterday. (Note: The first women hired in Baltimore to police, were hired in June and July of 1912. Two years later 17 October 1914, we had our first woman Officer shot in the line of duty, Patrol Woman Elaibeth Faber was shot on the Edmonston Ave Bridge, alongside her partner Patrolman Popp who was also shot, and still it would take 11 years of women to be trained and armed)
1926 - June 29, 1926 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Webster E. Schumann
1926 - July 12, 1926 - We lost our Brother Police Clerk Thomas J. Dillon
1927 - 5 August, 1927 - We lost our Brother Police Officer William F. Doehler
1928 - 12 February, 1928 - We lost our Brother Sergeant George M. J. May
1928 - 19 November, 1928 - We lost our Brother Sergeant Joseph F. Carroll
1931 - 7 January, 1931 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John P. Burns
1932 - 2 January, 1932 - We lost our Brother Police Officer William A. Bell
1932 - 4 October, 1932 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Thomas F. Steinacker
1933 - 21 April, 1933 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John R. J. Block
1933 - 4 March 1933 - Radio Communication Est. The First radio communications system between Patrol Vehicles and a Central Dispatcher went into service on March 4, 1933. Note Commissioner Gaither first suggested this system the the Board of Estimates in September of 1931
1934 - 12 February, 1934 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John Blank
1934 - 2 November, 1934 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John A. Stapf
1934 - 20 December, 1934 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Henry W. Sudmeier
1935 - 14 February, 1935 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Max Hirsh
1935 - 31 October, 1935 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Arthur H. Malinofski
1936 - 9 October, 1936 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Leo Bacon
1936 - 29 October, 1936 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Carroll Hanley
1936 - 28 December, 1936 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John T. King, Jr.
1937 - 31 December, 1937 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Thomas J. Barlow
1937 - 17 November, 1937 - We lost our Brother Capt. Charles A. Kahler *
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
1937 - 30 May, 1937 - Patrolwomen, Bessie Cronin, Mae Little, Clara Lynch and Margaret Ryan all promoted to the rank of Sergeant, making them Baltimore Police Department’s first Women Sergeants.
1938 - 1 November, 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 - 21 Feb, 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 - 13 June, 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 distension among the Auxiliary Police Force and the regular force
1943 - 13 June, 1943 - We lost our Brother Police Officer William J. Woodcock
1943 - 7 November, 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 - 29 January, 1944 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Joseph Waldsachs (*4)
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 - 10 September, 1945 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John B. Bealefeld
1946 - 27 June, 1946 - We lost our Brother Patrolman James M Shamer *
1946 - 20 November, 1946 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Elmer A. Noon
1947 - 13 January, 1947 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Fred R. Unger
1947 - 13 October, 1947 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Charles Hart *
1947 - 25 January, 1947, The Baltimore Police Department promotes one of the Department's First African American Officers to the Department's first African American Police Sergeant. Patrolman James H. Butler Jr. now Sergeant Butler was formerly a College Football Player until hired by Commissioner William P Lawson, on 28 July 1938, as he was among the first three African American males hired by the Department.
1948 - 13 February, 1948 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Joseph Daniel Benedict
1948 - 1 October, 1948 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Thomas J. Burns
1948 - 30 December, 1948 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John W. Arnold
1948 - Crime Lab Est. The Baltimore Police Department’s 1st Crime Lab
1949 - 4 April, 1949 - We lost our Brother Police Officer James L. Joyce
1949 - 16 October, 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 - 4 August, 1950 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Charles M. Hilbert
1951 - 6 January, 1951 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Roland W. Morgan
1951 - 7 August, 1951 - Central Records Established and Central Records Division was created
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 - 1 August, 1953 - We lost our Brother Police Officer James L. Scholl
1954 - 14 February, 1954 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Alfred P. Bobelis
1954 - 19 April, 1954 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Aubrey L. Lowman
1954 - 1 July, 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 - 24 October, 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 - 29 September, 1956 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John R. Phelan
1956 - 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. (NOTE - 1914 - Baltimore was using private dogs, one such dog, the first ever recorded was "Luxe" privately owned but protecting Baltimore's citizens through canine power)
1956 - 30 December, 1956 - K9 makes their first arrests, James Diggs, B/M 23. Major and Turk apprehend a suspect for breaking into a motor vehicle, and stealing contents. James Diggs, thought briefly about fleeing but quickly changed his mind while in the 400 Blk. of W. Franklin St. as he saw the sharp teeth, and fast legs of Turk, and Major Von-Gruntz (aka Major) Diggs changed his mind, giving the dogs their first arrest. The handlers at the time were Officers, Irvin Marders, William Kerbe, and Robert Johnson. Diggs was sentenced to 30 days, in Central Court for theft from a parked Motor Vehicle.
1957 - 9 October, 1957 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John F. Andrews
1958 - 19 September, 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 its present location of 5710 Eastern Ave
1959 - 11 January, 1959 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Richard H. Duvall, Jr.
1959 - Baltimore's Park Police would disband, most members go to Baltimore Police Department where they retained their rank, their time, and their pension. Originally founded in 1862 to cover parks that fell outside Baltimore Police Jurisdiction.
1960 - 16 November, 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 - 7 April, 1962 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Henry Smith, Jr.
1962 - 26 May, 1962 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Richard D. Seebo
1962 - 26 May, 1962 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Edward J. Kowalewski
1964 - 10 January, 1964 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Francis R. Stransky
1964 - 6 February, 1964 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Claude J. Profili
1964 - 11 September, 1964 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Walter Patrick Matthys
1964 - 15 October, 1964 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Teddy L. Bafford
1964 - 25 December, 1964 - We lost our Brother Sergeant Jack Lee Cooper
1965 - 20 January, 1965 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Charles R. Ernest
1965 - 22 July, 1965 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Robert Henry Kuhn
1966 - 28 April, 1966 - The Name Plate was first worn by City Police - Effective 9 AM - 29 April 1966, Interim Police Commissioner George M. Gelston ordered all officers to begin wearing a name plate for identification. Gelston believes it will improve the image of the police department. Patrolman Edward Campbell would be the first City Officer to wear such name plate as he posed for the Baltimore Sun a day earlier on 28 April 1966
1966 - 24 Aug, 1946 - We lost our Brother Honorary Police Officer Simon Fried * 1*
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 appointed 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 yielded 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 - In May of 1966 Inspectional Services Division was initiated
1966 - The FOP Lodge #3 Baltimore City Police was founded by Sgt. Richard Simmons, Earl Kratch and several others.
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 operations with-in the department.
1966 - Donald Pomerleau, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1966-1981
1967 - In August of 1967 the Fleet Safety Program was initiated
1967 - The “Operations Unit” was formed, some called them “Flex Squads”. These special units one in each of the nine districts would go where the action is. “Operations Units” the special groups for each be commanded by Lieutenant, who will deploy the men as they are needed throughout the district.
1967 - February 1967, the Baltimore Police Department instituted a tuition reimbursement program for personnel pursuing college degrees
1967 - June 22, 1967, the Public Information Division was formed. The Division consisted of a Director, two full time police officers and two civilian stenographers. The duties of the Director and his staff consisted of preparing and disseminating all news information and releases to the news media and the public. Preparation of the Annual Report as required by law and the bi-weekly Newsletter are part of the responsibilities of this Division
1967 - July 1967, one of the four Community Relations Store Front Operations was implemented. The purpose of these centers is to reach the community on an intimate basis. This was the first such project in the Northeastern region of the United States.
1967 - 25 January, 1967 - We lost our Brother Police Officer William J. Baumer
1967 - 10 February, 1967 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Frederick K. Kontner
1967 - 21 August, 1967 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John C. Williams
1967 - Baltimore Police opens it's first "Safety City" to teach kids how to safely cross streets
1968 - 18 April, 1968 - We lost our Brother Detective Richard F. Bosak
1968 - - We lost our Brother Sergeant Frant Ankrom *
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 – As a National First – Baltimore Police Department begins In-service training - The education and training program expanded beyond the traditional entrance level training for recruits to a forty hour annual In-Service Training course attended by all personnel from the rank of Patrolman through Captain
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.
1968 - As a National First – Baltimore Police Department begins In-service training - The education and training program expanded beyond the traditional entrance level training for recruits to a forty hour annual In-Service Training course attended by all personnel from the rank of Patrolman through Captain
1968 - 16 May, 1968, the department installed a National Crime Information Center (NCIC) terminal permitting direct access to the storehouse of information on wanted persons, stolen vehicles, stolen weapons, and identifiable stolen property at the Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters in Washington, D. C. This system enables inquiries from officer• on patrol to be answered within seconds.
1968 - 23 September, 1968, The department officially took possession of its IBM System 360 computer
1968 - 4 November, 1968, Forty Hour In-Service Training course, designed to indoctrinate Baltimore Police Officers in the latest developments and technique• in professional law enforcement, was initiated at the department's Education and Training Division. The concept of In-Service Training demonstrated the department a development of an officer's capabilities to function amid the complexities of an ever changing society.
1969 - In May of 1969, we have our first father/daughter on police department. Officer James F. Stevens and Police woman Patricia A. Loveless
1969 - In October of 1969, we have our first female officer honored by the Criminal Justice Commission. Police Woman Mercedes Rankin
1969 - 10 Oct, 1969 - Lt. Dennis P. Mello is promoted, making him Baltimore Police Department's first African American Captain, a new rank, and new position, which he took at Baltimore's Western Police District.
1970 - 16 January, 1970 - We lost our Brother Police Officer George F. Heim
1970 - 24 March, 1970 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Henry M. Mickey
1970 - 24 April, 1970 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Donald W. Sager
1970 - The Arson Unit was initiated in February of 1970.
1970 - Fox Trot Est. The Department Aviation Unit "Fox Trot" was officially formed and began flights.
1971 - 12 June, 1971 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Carl Peterson, Jr.
1971 - 3 August, 1971 - We lost our Brother Lieutenant Martin Webb
1971 - 26 March, 1971 - Two Hughes 300-C helicopters were formally accepted and registered for the department. The two new helicopters raised to three the number of such craft available for tactical deployment in the department's continuing efforts to combat crime. Purchased under a Federal grant of $100, 000, the Hughes 300-C models represent a maximum combination of utility and modernization within the department's crime fighting efforts
1971 - In June of 1971 - We had our first K9 Dog killed in the Line of Duty. "Shane" RIP
1971 - 27 July, 1971 - the Community Relations and Youth Divisions were combined into a new division known as the Community Services Division. The creation of this division and the resulting centralizationof Administrative functions provides an effective channel of communication between the Police Officer and the community he serves. The major thrust of our expanded Community Services function is aimed at our young people. It is the Division's job to keep clear the channel of communication between officers and the community. The accomplishment of this mi88ion is aided by the division's two Summer Camp operations located at Camp Perkins and Camp Ritchie. Also, our Officer Friendly Program geared for its first full year of operation.
1971 - The department begins its Bomb Squad Unit under the supervision of Lt. Karner - before we began our own Bomb Squad, bomb-dismantling missions were handled by Army experts. A member of this unit invented a device used to more safely detonate bombs. It was made from a shotgun shell, a design of his own design, made right here in Baltimore, and would eventually go on to be used worldwide (Another Baltimore First).
1971 - 22 October, 1971 - The Charles D. Gaither (boat) is retired from the Police Department and starts a new career as a fire boat
1972 - 26 July, 1972 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Lorenzo Arnest Gray
1972 - 1 March, 1972 - The department initiated the experimental and innovative program of bicycle patrol. It was learned that the bicycle patrol possesses all of the advantages of foot patrol with an added advantage of mobility. Also, the use of the bicycle provided great potential for more citizen-police contact, a new dimension in establishing good community relations.
1972 - 1 April, 1972 - This may sound like a joke but it’s real, and it works – On April Fool’s day 1972 came, Operation Identification was formally initiated by the department. The Operation, encourages citizens to mark their property with an electro-engraver and record the make and serial numbers on a property sheet supplied by the department.
1972 - 11 August, 1972 - “Flex Squads”, the department began hiring sworn personnel to create 9 highly flexible Crime Control Teams. These federally funded five man teams operated within the "total police officer" concept, performing all the activities and functions found within a law enforcement agency. The project's goal was to establish stability within the community based upon freedom from criminal activity and closer rapport between police and the citizen.
1972 - 30 August, 1972 - To convert the department's mobile communications system to more versatile portable transceivers and to incorporate 450 MHZ channels. The portable transceivers greatly increase police service to the citizenry by reducing response time for emergency calla, by providing a uniform communications system for command personnel to direct personnel in emergency situations, and by promoting a more efficient and safer foot patrol coverage. The incorporation of 450MHZ channels created an even more efficient communications ay1tem by allowing more practical frequency allocations.
1972 - The present Headquarters Building of the Police Department was opened.
1972 - Baltimore Police Department's Honor Guard is formed
1972 - 8 March, 1972 - The Baltimore Police Bike Patrol is started for a second time
1972 - In November of 1972 - The Baltimore Police Museum is opened in the lobby of Headquarters
1973 - 6 April, 1973 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Norman Frederick Buchman
1973 - 22 September, 1973 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Calvin M. Rodwell
1973 - 11 June 1973 - The Civil Service Commission authorized the single classification of "Police Officer" to replace the dual designation "Policeman/Patrolman" and "Policewoman/Patrolwoman". 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.)
1973 - 12 July, 1973 - Unlimited Medical - It provided that all employees, both civilian and sworn, who entered on duty prior to 16 July 1973, were entitled to sick leave benefits in keeping with the existing Baltimore Police Department’s policy of unlimited sick leave. All civilian employees hired after this· date were entitled to one day of sick leave for each month of completed 1ervice. A maximum of 150 days could be accumulated. If the employee so desired, one of each four unused sick leave days (maximum 3 day1) accumulated during each year could be converted to cash.
1973 - 23 October 1973 - The Evidence Control Unit became the central evidence repository within the department. This unit has the sole responsibility for safeguarding, accounting for, and disposing of non-departmental property which has come into the department's custody.
1974 - 5 May, 1974 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Frank Warren Whitby, Jr.
1974 - 1 August, 1974 - We lost our Brother Detective Sergeant Frank William Grunder, Jr.
1974 - 5 August, 1974 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Milton I. Spell
1974 - 10 December, 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 11 July, 1974 began a formal strike, after a 7 July campaign of intentional misbehavior and silliness, the strike would last four days ending on 15 July when union officials negotiated an end to the strike when the city promised (and delivered) police officers a wage increase in 1975, but refused amnesty for the strikers.
1974 - May, 1974 – Field Training was initiated, considered an innovative change in the training format by the department. After 11 weeks of recruit training probationary officers were assigned to a Field Training Officer. The FTO's, specially selected experienced patrol officers, trained and evaluated the recruit officer. This new training format effectively blended field training with classroom instruction
1974 - In the latter part of 1974, a study of the various types of bullet resistant body armor began. The culmination of an exhaustive testing program and the Federal Grant process was the issuance in January, 1976 to all sworn personnel, of a vest made from Kevlar 29, a synthetic cloth-like fiber stronger and lighter than ballistic nylon and steel mesh. The vest will atop the penetration of the most common types of weapons and ammunition found on the street today.
1975 - January of 1975, our Quick Response Teams were formed. Quick Response Team members are specially trained to handle the most vexing and complex situations confronting law enforcement officers. Their primary objective is to conclude a situation without injury to anyone.
1975 - 1 August, 1975, the department began the implementation of its on-line booking system. Display units, located at the various districts, were linked to the department's computerized criminal history files and provided the booking districts prior criminal histories of recidivistic arrestees.
1975 - 19 September, 1975, the department in cooperation with the State's Attorney's Office and various taxicab companies became part of the "Civilian Radio Taxi Patrol" in an effort to increase police service to the citizens of Baltimore. If, while on duty, a cab driver, whose vehicle ii identified by a "Civilian Radio Taxi Patrol" shield on the right and left rear-quarter panels, obaerve1 anything demanding immediate police attention, he notifies his dispatcher, who in turn calls the Communication Division via a special Hotline. This program is another example of the department's efforts to involve the citizens of Baltimore in a united fight against crime.
1975 - 4 June, 1975 - In May of 1954 city Council proposed bullet proof vests for all of it’s police… Finally in 1975 city Police would get that protection as on 4 June, 1975 City government authorized a $288,379 expenditure for more than 3,000 Bullet-proof vests for Baltimore's police officers. Baltimore was 2nd in the nation to receive vests for all of it's officers, behind San Fransisco - Vests would actually be issued 1 January 1976
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.
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)
1975 - 13 September, 1975 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Edward S. Sherman
1975 - 27 October, 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 were 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.
1975 - 25 June, 1975 - Police Agent Lynn A. Allison becomes the department's first female Police Agent
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. 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.
1975 - September of 1975 The Gunpowder Range is opened to the Baltimore Police Department for training purposes
1976 - 29 March, 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.
1976 - 16 April, 1976 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Jimmy Dale Halcomb
1976 - In April of 1976 the Youth Division of Baltimore Police was implemented
1976 - August 1976 Mounted Section was given a mascot named Preakness by the President of the Maryland Jockeys Club Mr. Herman Cole Rookie was the mascot for the prior 10 years
1976 - 15 July, 1976 - Baltimore has some of its first recorded academy class lay off's - effected were classes 76-2 and 76-3 both of which were eventually rehired by the department on 14 January, 1977 and 31 January, 1977. Class 76-2 had 29 of the 34 come back and 76-3 had 27 of the original 31 trainees come back
1977 - 9 March, 1977 - the Auxiliary Police Unit was formed within the Community Services Division. After training and certification, members were assigned, without compensation, to support the force. . They are assigned to various events as an addition to the normal manpower deployment.
1977 - 9 September, 1977 - The new Central District/Youth Section/Women's Detention Center Complex was completed and open for business.
1977 - 12 September, 1977 - The current Central District located at 500 E Baltimore St opens. Moving from the Fallsway and Fayette St. building, built in 1926, to 500 E Fayette St. from 12 Sept 1977 until present.
1977 - 20 Dec 1977 - The Colonel, as Chief of Patrol, was already the highest ranking black officer in the history of the Baltimore Police Department. His new title will be Deputy Commissioner of the Services Division, one of three Deputy Commissioners. The Deputy Commissioner rank immediately under the Commissioner, the next step for this man is Commissioner an that would happen in 1984 making him not only the first Black Deputy Commissioner, but also the first Black Commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department.
1978 - 15 February, 1978 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Edgar J. Rumpf
1978 - 23 April, 1978 - We lost our Brother Sergeant Robert John Barlow
1978 - 27 October, 1978 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Nelson F. Bell, Jr.
1978 - 23 June, 1978 - Police Memorial was dedicated at the Shot tower on the corner of President and Fayette. It was rededicated with Statues, lighting and flags added in 1999
1978 - 24 October 1978 - Baltimore Police promoted the First Woman Police Major, Lt. Patricia Mullen, elevated two grades as she became Major Patricia Mullen. Promoted from Lieutenant of the Homicide Unit, Major Mullen was put in charge of Youth Section.
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 state-wide 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).
1978 - 23 June, 1978, The Shot Tower Park and Police Memorial were dedicated. In addition to the Memorial Trees surrounding the area, an appropriate plaque is prominently displayed on a granite stone with the inscription: "This living memorial is dedicated by the Department to all members, past and present, who have served with honor, dedication, and loyalty, many of whom have made the supreme sacrifice."
1978 - 2 October, 1978 - A long time goal of the Department's Education and Training Division was realized with the opening of a library specializing in law enforcement material. The facility provides entrance level sworn personnel in the E&T Center with a location to study, apply required research work and exposure to supplemental text material, and offers other personnel many unique features to meet a number of scholarship needs.
1979 - The Video Production Unit of the Education and Training Division began producing and distributing Video Taped Roll Call Training productions designed to carry specific training messages to the Department's Officers.
1979 - 19 August, 1979 - We lost our Brother Police Officer William D. Albers
1979 - 7 April, 1979 - Police Officer Michael P. Dunn was the first City officer to be saved by his Kevlar vest after being shot in the chest.
1981 - 20 July, 1981 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Ronald L. Tracey
1981 - 5 Aug, 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
1982 - 20 January, 1982 Baltimore Police begins a Taxi on Patrol program
1982 - 1982, Kathy Adams became the first femal member of QRT (Baltimre's SWAT Team)
1983 - 15 January 1983 - The First Woman Promoted to District Commander - Major Bessie R Norris, was promoted to Major and assumed her duties as Commander of the Southwestern District
1983 - June of 1983 the department initiates it's Hostage Negotiation Team (HNT)
1983 - 30 July, 1983 - The first female K9 officer is assigned. Officer Charlene M. Jenkins is handler to Max
1984 - 3 December, 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 - 8 October, 1985 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Richard J. Lear
1985 - 18 November, 1985 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Vincent J. Adolfo
1985 - Adopted a computerized booking procedures for prisoners, and 911 emergency systems
1986 - 21 July, 1986 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Richard Thomas Miller
1986 - 20 September, 1986 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Robert Alexander
1987 - Edward J. Tilghman, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1987-1989
1987 - 24 Oct, 1987 - Baltimore Public Housing Projects were patrolled by "Baltimore Housing Authority Police" a police agency that was State funded and took over private security in the projects of Baltimore city, it initially was patrolled by 15 officers and 6 supervisors. Part of REACT (Responsible Enforcement and Aggressive Community Training) officers, which was designed to eliminate drug trafficking at the 53 public housing projects. These officers trained with City Police, under Maryland training Commission guidelines.
1989 - 10 October, 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 - 21 September, 1992 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Ira Neil Weiner
1993 - 26 May, 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 - 16 November, 1994 - The department ended authorized use of the Slap Jack
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 analyse 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 Areas, 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. Sapir’s 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.
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 - Thomas C. Frazier, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1994-1999
1994 - June 8, 1994 - Juan Rodriguez and Linda Rodriquez became the first husband and wife to be promoted to the rank of Sergeant on the same day in the history of the Baltimore City Police Department.
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.
1995 - 28 November, 1995 CBIF Central Booking Intake Facility opens closing down cellblocks all over the city. Moving court from the districts to Eastside court was the first step in taking prisoners out of the districts.
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 the stories for the dropping of the word "City" from the patch in 1977. You can find the story)
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 - Less Lethal Bean Bag rounds were issued Remington 870 green handle shotguns were being used with a less lethal bean bag round
1997 - 7 May, 1997 - We lost our Brother Lieutenant Owen Eugene Sweeney, Jr.
1998 - 30 October, 1998 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Harold Jerome Carey
1998 - 4 November, 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 - 8 March, 2000 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Jamie Allen Roussey
2000 - 21 April, 2000 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Kevon Malik Gavin
2000 - 14 October, 2000 - We lost our Brother Sergeant John David Platt
2000 - 14 October, 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 - March 13, 2001 - We lost our Brother Agent Michael Joseph Cowdery, Jr.
2002 - 22 August, 2002 - We lost our Sister Police Officer Crystal Deneen Sheffield
2002 - 23 November, 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 - 3 July, 2004 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Brian Donte Winder
2004 - Leonard Hamm, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 2004-2007
2005 - In 2005, the Housing Authority Police of Baltimore were disbanded and operations taken over by the Baltimore Police Department. Housing Authority officers, had to apply for jobs if they desired them with the city police. They were formerly working for the state so losing their time and seniority was assured from their previous employment with the Housing Authority Police of Baltimore City.
2006 - 19 May, 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.) 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 - 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 - 9 January, 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 - 27 September, 2010 - We lost our Brother Police Officer James Earl Fowler, III
2010 - 20 October, 2010 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Thomas Russell "Tommy" Portz, Jr.
2011 - 9 January, 2011 - We lost our Brother Police Officer William Henry Torbit, Jr.
2011/2012 - X26 Taser - Baltimore Police are armed with Tasers - They issued the X26 Taser to some officers in 2011 and then all officers by 2012
2012 - 29 August, 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 - "Retroactive Citation of Valor" program is started and approved; Commissioner Batts listened to the concept submitted by Mrs. Patricia Driscoll, MD Adopt-a-Cop to allow disabled officers that were permanently disabled in the line of duty, to apply for the "Citation of Valor". This is done through Mrs. Driscoll’s Adopt a Cop program, and can be submitted to her either by the officer, another officer with information on the case, or the officer’s family. Mrs. Driscoll began working on this program back in 2004/05 and after many attempts, and a lot of hard work; she finally got her program through. To date three officers’ names have been submitted. Mrs. Driscoll is thankful to Commissioner Batts, Sgt Stephanie Lansey, and Officer Robert Brown. Anyone wishing to submit an officer for this award can write Mrs Driscoll here at the site
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 its 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 start-up and equipment necessary to implement the LEOSA program. This is part of Baltimore Police History, great Job by members of both our FOP and our BRPBA
2014 - The Baltimore Police Department says it will begin to post a log of its investigations into serious use of force by officers online, and for the first time will ask the city's civilian review board to look at shootings involving its officers, and deaths of people in custody.
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.
Baltimore, once known as the "Wickedest City in the Country", was plagued by Gangs, Riots, and Violent Crime like nothing we could have or would have imagined today. People don't realize, the amount of violence there once was in Baltimore - 1729 thru early 1900 we saw a different kind of violence. There is today’s bloodshed, but it is different today is a more selfish violence, how long has it been going on. Find out what these years mean to Baltimore 1729, 1775, 1843, 1857, 1861, 1868 - (Friday, July 24, 1868) 1870, 1877, 1883, 1890’s 1896, and 1904… All important dates, all worth reading, and learning about and all on this site with tons of information about the Baltimore Police Department. It should also be know this site is filled with hidden links, (Easter Eggs) throughout, we hope you will, enjoy finding them, and reading about our past.
Let's see if we can figure out why most counties throughout Maryland have Volunteer Fire Departments, why is there no Baltimore City Volunteer Fire department... was there ever such unit? And if so, where are they now? What is a Plug Ugly? What were Fire, and Police relations back in the early days? And more… We hope you will enjoy what we have added so far, and the things to come. So keep coming back, keep making donations, or buying things to help support us and keep us running. One last thing, as always if you have information... pictures or questions, send them our way.
From News Articles and Our Police 1888
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.
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. Now said as often as "I Love You", but like "I Love You" it is a group of words that means more than most can fully understand; and some that say it, won't say it without deep thought, and an ever deeper meaning... for to say, I love you and not really mean it, isn't honorable, nor is it honorable to say, "Ever Faithful" i.e. Semper Fi... without the intent or true understanding of what it means to be, "Forever and Always Faithful" it is an Honor... something to be proud of, to take pride in, and like many military, and or paramilitary organizations, Brotherhood is at the heart of everything... and without it, there can be nothing to be Faithful to.
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 century. 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.
As you can see we designed two Motto Logos, one large, as well as a smaller version. These smaller logos were made for use on our letterhead, patches etc. The Larger logo can be purchased in a full sized shoulder patch, while the smaller logo can be purchased as a baseball cap, or breast patch, for polo/golf shirts - Check our Patches on the Items 4 Sale page.
1* - 1946 - On 24 Aug 1946 Simon Fried, 38, a Tailor by trade from the 100 block Aisquith street, was shot and seriously wounded by an assailant that resisted arrest of, and then assaulted with the intent on murdering Patrolman Edwin J. Humphries, based on the following; As Officer Humphries attempted to arrest a young man that had been following two women threatening them with a brick, the suspect pulled a gun, and buffaloed the Officer across the top of his head knocking him to the ground, as Officer Humphries was falling to the ground he drew his own pistol but dropped same. Now unarmed and partially unconscious the officer was no threat, still the suspect began taking aim at the officer’s head. Seeing a young man ready to kill an officer, a tailor named Simon Fried, 38, an actual tailor by trade residing in the 100 block Aisquith street, ran toward the Officer, picked his gun up from the street, pointing it at the young, he yelled, "Drop That Gun!!!" The suspect then turned his attention on the Tailor, aimed his gun at the Tailor and fired three shots; the Tailor returned those rounds, but missed, still the suspect ran away, Patrolman Edwin J. Humphries life was saved, other than a minor head injury Patrolman Humphries would heal up fine, Mr. Fried on the other hand would never walk again. He took a round to his spinal cord and would be paralyzed and wheelchair bound for the rest of his life. While Mr. Fried never applied to become a police officer, was never sworn in, and never told the golden rule of backing up your partner, on that day in August of 1943 he was all police, and he knew what it meant to lay his own life on the line for another. He was made an Honorary Officer many of the Police Unions and, Police Originations of the time. He was awarded Bronze Stars, along with several other Commendations for his bravery. The assailant was later caught and sentenced to 22 years for assault with intent to murder.
Sadly on 14 February 1966, the Tailor Mr. Simon Fried died from complication that aroused from the injuries he received on that day.
The following officers died in the line of duty, and are not mentioned on the wall... these were discovered by Ret. Det Kenny Driscoll, and Active Police Officer Robert "Bobby" Brown the two are working to have this righted. (If you have information on any of these, or others not properly remembered, please contact, Det Driscoll, P/O Bobby Brown or myself here at the site.)
1. 1871, 12 January 1871 - Patrolman Charles J. Walsh - On this day in Police History 1871 - We lost our brother Patrolman Charles J. Walsh to accidental gunfire based on the following - Via the morning hour at approximately 1:30 O’clock, or just as the Coroner’s inquest was dated and time stamped, Policeman Charles J. Walsh was shot by his own hand and with his own pistol – The reports have these events taking place on yesterday’s date, (12 January 1871) at or within approximately five minutes of Police Division C’s shift change. This being easily detected as Shift B and Shift C had just swapped positions at the Western Stationhouse, and the report of a .38 Caliber handgun at that hour on the small, tight, almost alley sized streets of Baltimore in the late 1800’s were very distinguishable. The officers in charge of the station, heard the loud report(s) of that a small caliber pistol. The sound apparently coming from the Baltimore Street side of the station, more in the direction of Pearl Street. Sgt. Zimmerman and Policemen Burkins, Earhart, and McKee quickly ran to the area from which the sound emanated, where they found Policeman Charles .J Walsh lying face down in the street. Closer examination revealed he was bleeding from an apparent entry wound to his head. Officer Walsh having just arrived on his beat was said to have been found by his brother officers to be lying face down in a small puddle of his own blood, his pistol under his upper body, with one of the barrel’s discharged. His Espantoon and belt lying alongside of him; he was carried to the station-house, and Prof. Baxter quickly summons to same. Upon arrival to the station Prof Baxter discovered that the ball had penetrated the center of Officer Walsh’s forehead and passed through his skull and into his brain, causing the fatal wound. The unfortunate man lingered in an unconscious state until about quarter past 3 o’clock when he expired. Dr. Spicer, city coroner, yesterday morning summonsed the following jury of inquest, - Dr. E R Baer, (Foreman) John Williams, E. R. Riddell, John Turnbull Junior, A. C. Pracht, T. Kearn good, Charles Stewart, E. T. Schultz, William T Toles, Alex, Towson, E. S. Parish, and James Maddox, before whom the following testimony was elicited: Policeman William Burkins testified that he was passing along Baltimore Street, coming toward Green, at the time and went between pro-and Green he looked across the street and saw the deceased passing directly afterwards he heard the deceased stick drop was particularly attracted; witnesses attention to him, a moment afterwards witness saw the flash, and heard the report of the pistol: ran across the street towards him, but before he could reach him, the deceased spun around and fell: witness immediately rapped (his Espantoon) for assistance and Sgt. Zimmerman and other officers came up in a few moments on raising the deceased did they found that his pistol under him, and his belt and stick lying near him there was no person nearer him then that witness himself. Sgt. Zimmerman testified to having heard a single wrap of a stick, and a moment afterward seeing the flash, and heard a report of a pistol. He was at the time with his squad on Baltimore Street near Pine: went back and found that the deceased lying on the sidewalk: on raising him up found blood streaming from a wound in his forehead, and his revolver lying under him: witness, which policeman Burkins, Earhart, Smith and McKee.
Policeman Ross testified that he had been with policeman well storing the early part of the night: deceased had been that night initiated into a large, after which witness went with him to his boarding house and took a lunch with him: when about to start to the station house remarked to him that he (witness) thought he had forgotten his pistol, the deceased felt in his overcoat pocket and said that he had his, and that he had left it in the ante-room while being initiated for fear of an accident: deceased appeared to be in good spirits Policeman McKee testified that he parted with the deceased at the southeast corner Baltimore and Greene streets, after leaving the station house at one half o’clock in the morning as deceased left witness he said he would see him again: witness asked when: deceased in a joking manner said about the Fourth of July, a few minutes afterwards he heard the report of the pistol: went back and found the deceased lying on the pavement. The jury after hearing the evidence rendered a verdict that the deceased came to his death by accidental discharge of his own pistol. The deceased was 27 years of age and unmarried. The body was taken in charge of by a brother of the deceased, and removed to the residents of the former, number 4 Decker St., from which place to the funeral will be placed this afternoon, at 2 o’clock. It will be attended by a delegation of Police Department and by members of the order of Beptesephe, as a member of which he was initiated the night of the fatal occurrence as we take this time to remember him, and thank him for his service and sacrifice. We his brothers and sisters of the Baltimore Police Department will not let him be forgotten. God Bless and Rest in Peace.
2. 1902, 30 July 1902 - Patrolman McIntire, John A - Patrolman John a McIntyre of the Northwestern district 1724 North Calhoun St. died yesterday morning about 11 o'clock of nervous protestration. He had not been in good health for the past two years, but was stricken on July 4 last and thereafter had not been on duty. He was born in this city 53 years ago, and was the son of the late Michael McIntyre. He was formally them ployed in Druid Hill Park. He was appointed to the police force April 4, 1887. Lieut. Carter, who was acting Capt. of the district yesterday, stated that patrolman McIntyre was a very efficient officer and that he had made credible arrests. On December 12, 1892, a pocketbook was snatched from the hands of Mr. Julia Eichelberger at the corner of Lyndon and Lafayette Avenue. She reported the case at once to the police, and from the descriptions given, patrolman McIntyre arrested a few hours later Daniel Thomas, John Smith and James Kristen, all black males. Thomas was sentenced to the penitentiary for 18 months, Smith for three years and Kristen for eight years. Patrolman McIntyre was a member of St. Gregory's Catholic Church. He belonged to Eutaw conclave and the Heptasophs into the Catholic benevolent Legion. A widow, who was Miss Katherine Fillmore, and four sons – Frank, Leo, George and Charles McIntyre – survive him.
3. 1905, 26 January 1905 - Patrolman Boone, Mathew - Cold is Too Much for Officer – Patrolman Mathew Boone, though ill went on duty but succumbed. Patrolman Boone was found in the neighborhood of Lafayette Square about 5 o'clock yesterday morning number with the cold and sent to his home, at 1402 Argyle Ave. where he died a short time later. Death was due to heart disease, believed to have been super-induced by the intense cold. Patrolman Boone, who was considered one of the most efficient officers in the Department was a member of the C Division and reported for duty at 3:4 5 o'clock yesterday morning 26 January 1905. Before leaving the station house he complained to several of the officers of feeling bad. He left with the squad of Sgt. Foster and his "beat" was in the vicinity of Lafayette Square. This is considered one of the most exposed sections of the city. For nearly 2 hours the faithful policeman patrolled his posts, while the heavy when caught up the snow and drove the wind into his face. At about 5 o'clock he was met by Sgt. Foster, who was making his rounds and the superior officer immediately notice that down wore a distressed look. He inquired what was wrong and Bill and said he was feeling ill and was very much affected by the cold. Sgt. Foster thereupon sent him home with patrolman Thomas Clark as an escort. On reaching the house patrolman Boone began to warm himself beside the stove. While a hot cup of coffee was prepared by patrolman Clark. After drinking the coffee patrolman Boone remarked to his fellow officer that he, “felt as if he was going to die,” and Patrolman Clark immediately had medical assistance summoned. But Boone lapsed into unconsciousness and expired a few minutes later. The death of patrolman Boone was a great shock to all the officers of the Northwestern District, where he had been assigned since the organization of the district in 1874. He was very popular among the men, he was 62 years old and was appointed to the police force on October 14, 1870, and sent to Western District, 4 years later he was detailed to the Northwestern. He had an excellent record. He was a member of the Odd Fellows and the Heptasophs. Patrolman Boone is survived by his widow who was formerly Mrs. Mary Doud, of Richmond Virginia and their seven children – Mrs. Harry L Amoss, of Pittsburgh, Mrs. Frank M Backwith of New London Connecticut, Misses
4. 1905 - 25 Dec 1905 - Patrolman Charles Spitznagle, of the Northeastern District, was paralyzed yesterday afternoon while patrolling his post and died last night at St. Joseph's Hospital without regaining consciousness. He was walking along Central avenue, near Fairmount Avenue, when taken Ill and was hurriedly taken to the hospital In the Northeastern district patrol wagon. Patrolman Spitznagle was appointed to the force on January 1, 1893. He lived at 2312 East Fayette Street and leaves a Family.
5. 1909 - 4 March 1909 - Patrolman Thomas H. Worthington was killed by a "live" wire at Mount Royal Avenue and McMechen Street early this morning. He was carrying a "dead" wire to the sidewalk from the street when a second wire fell. He died instantly. Officer Worthington was about 50 years old, and had been on the force about 12 "years, most ·of the time serving in the Northwestern district: He lived with his wife and children on Braddish Avenue, near the Wabash railroad tracks.
6. 1912, 25 November 1912 - Patrolman McGrain, John - Injured Patrolman dead, John McGrain was badly hurt in peculiar accident. Badly injured in peculiar accident last February while riding in the Northwestern district auto patrol, patrolman John Crane, retired, 56 years old died yesterday morning at his home 1519 Myrtle Ave. while the attending physicians said that heart disease was the cause of death members of Maclean's family declare that he never recovered from injuries received in the auto accident. McGrain was widely known in the city while in the central district he met and knew personally many of the financial district. One day last February he was instructed to hold a windshield in the police patrol while it was being taken to northern police station for repairs. When the turn was made at North and Pennsylvania Avenue the crane was thrown forward, striking his four head against the windshield. His head was badly cut and he was taken to St. Luke's Hospital. Born in Baltimore Mr. McGrain was appointed a member of the Police Department in 1891. He is survived by his widow, miss and McGrain, his three sons, John W, Joseph W, and William F the crane and two brothers, Thomas L and James the crane.
7. 1913 - 5 March 1913 – Patrolman Gottlleb Eisener, 52 years old 1406 Carol St. a former Watchmen for Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was found unconscious in his room by Patrolman Lawrence of the Southwest district yesterday morning 5 March 1913 - Coroner Abrams of the Southwest district was notified and after making examination ordered the body taken to the more. An autopsy will be performed today by Dr. N. G. Keirle. - Dr. Abrams was unable to determine the exact cause of death. It was thought that death was caused by a cerebral hemorrhage. In view of the circumstances surrounding the assault, Dr. Abrams deemed in the autopsy necessary. - A week ago Eisner and Albert R Seelert 1110 Carol St. another watchmen for the railroad had a flight at the Columbia Avenue crossing of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Eisner’s head was badly cut and he was taken to Franklin square hospital where 15 stitches were taken in his scalp Eisner charge Seelert with assaulting him.
8. 1915, 21 September 1915 - Patrolman Bitzel, Herbert - Policeman killed by a fall Patrolman Bitzel tumbled from front platform of trolley car. Patrolman Herbert Bitzel, of the Northwestern district was killed by a fall from the front platform of and Edmondson Avenue car on Edmondson Avenue near Arlington Avenue early yesterday morning 20 September 1915. He was picked up unconscious by Frank Kapraun, the motorman, and several of his brother police officers and died in Western District ambulance while being taken to the Franklin Square hospital. Dr. George G Swann who examined him immediately upon his arrival to the hospital, city fracture at the base of the skull and caused his death. A short time after 4 o'clock yesterday morning Bitzel, with round Sgt. Davis, Sgt. Kaiss and several patrolman boarded the Edmondson Avenue car on their way home from duty. Bitzel, according to motorman Kapraun, announced that the step on the front platform, saying he was only going to write a short distance. A few minutes later Kapraun called back to the policeman in the car that Bitzel had fallen off. The car was brought to a stop and Bitzel was found lying face downward, bleeding from wounds on his face. Bitzel was 28 years old. He was appointed a probationary or in February, 1913 and a regular seven months ago. He patrolled the section near Lafayette market. Before entering the Police Department he was a fireman have been a member of both the number 19 Engine Company and number 10 truck company he is survived by a widow and five children (*1)
9. 1917, 2 January 1917 - Patrolman Burns, Michael J - patrolman Michael J Burns of the bicycle squad was killed almost instantly about 7 o'clock last night when he attempted to relate and electric lamp in front of 4012 Park Heights Ave. He was pronounced dead by Dr. James S Akehurst, who lives at 4012 Parklake Ave. and who reached the side of the patrolman's body a few minutes after he was electrocuted. Shortly after the current was turned on the lamp began to sputter and several the residents of the neighborhood complained of the flashing. Patrolman Burns came along on his bicycle on his way to the little station at Parklake Avenue and Reisterstown Road. His attention was called to the lamp by a passerby and he stated that he could make the light come on again to its normal power by tapping on the chain that leads from the paid about 6 feet up the pole to the lamp itself. (*2)
10. 1918, 19 March 1918 - Matron Foll, Teresa - police matron dies in chair – Miss Teresa Foll served two years at Southern station - officers and employees of the southern police station were shocked at last evening 18 March 1918, by the sudden death of Mr. Teresa Foll - 3124 O'Donnell Street, who had been substituted Matron there for more than two years. Patrolman Harvey Romner was passing her room on the second floor of the station house at about 5:30 o'clock and noticed her sitting limply in a chair. Thinking her either a sleep, or ill he stepped into the room and in a playful tone told her to wake up. Receiving no response, he touched her face and found her dead. Corner Reinhardt was summonsed and pronounced death due to heart disease. She is survived by her daughter Miss Regina Foll.
11. 1920 - 3 Oct 1920 - Patrolman Michael J Egan Southwest District, A murder/suicide occurred when Kenneth Tucker and his wife were alone and the police have been unable to learn just what proceeded the double shooting. Eunice Honeycutt, 14-year-old daughter of the woman by a former marriage, was in the house when her stepfather came to the door and sought admittance. Patrolman Egan had just returned to the station with a disorderly conduct arrest, when the desk sergeant sent him out to handle the Tucker incident. He and a reporter attempted to run to the location of the shooting, but Officer Egan became winded, and needed a lift, he flagged down a motorist and was given a ride to the scene, 1313 W Saratoga St. Officer Egan pushed open the door and went in. Later when the patrol wagon from the Western District arrived and went in they discovered Officer Egan's lifeless body lying across Tucker just inside the door. It was believed that the site of Tucker caused him to collapse, but we don't know, there could have been a struggle for the gun, or he may have collapsed from the run, or an earlier struggle with the disorderly from the arrest he just cleared. As we all know even without a struggle, a disorderly can get our heart rate up, and with an already weak heart, this could have led to the death of Patrolman Michael Egan of the Southwest District. This is obviously a Line of Duty Death. (*3)
12. 1923 - Patrolman John Edward Swift - Was involved in an altercation during his shift, injured so badly he had to be taken home (carried by his fellow officers) he never made back to work, he died from injuries to his spleen, some said it was a heart attack, in either case it came about as a result of the fight he had that night. All I have is it happened in 1923
13. 1925 - 2 Jan 1925 - Patrolman George D Hart Northern district died early this morning at Union memorial Hospital from injuries received November 16 1924 when his motor cycle and an Automobile collided at University Parkway and Charles St. Henry Rodgers Jr. driver of the car was arrested at the time and later released pending the outcome of Hart’s injuries. Hart received a fractured skull and internal injuries. Rodgers lives in the Carolina Apartments
14. 1925 - 17 May 1925 – Patrolman Patrick J Coniffee of the central district died Monday night at St. Joseph Hospital will be held tomorrow night by Dr. J.S.H. Potter, coroner for the Northeast district. The patrolman was struck Sunday night by a streetcar and received a fractured skull. – David E Miles 811 South Calhoun St. Motorman of the car was arrested and later released to appear at the investigation. Patrolman Patrick J Coniffee central district was injured serious the last night when he was struck by a streetcar at Fleet Street and Patterson Park Avenue. He was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital where it is thought he is suffering from a fractured skull and possible internal injuries. He is 44 years old and lives at 720 Mura St. - The policeman was crossing the street when he was struck by a car about 11 PM the motorman of the car was David Miles 311 South Calhoun St. and the conductor was Frank Walter 800 block of Scott Street. A mealy after the accident the car was stopped and the motorman and conductor picked up the injured man. He was taken to the hospital in the automobile of William Longe 600 block S. Bond St. - Coniffee has been on the Baltimore police force since June 1913 and prior to this time he was a special officer for the railroad company. - He was struck while working his beat. David Miles was the motorman of the car. - 3 November 1934 – Patrolman John Stapf, a patrolman was killed by a trolley car and two children were injured one fatal, but automobiles yesterday;
THE DEAD ARE:
Patrolman John Stapf, 63 of Northwest district who lived in the 5100 block of Elmer Avenue
Clifton Himmel, eight years old son of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Himmel of the 2600 block of Hamilton Avenue
INJURED CHILD IS;
Daniel Knott, 5, of the 1500 block of E. Pratt St. at Johns Hopkins hospital suffering from a possible fractured skull
Patrolman staff was killed almost instantly when struck by streetcar yesterday afternoon on North Avenue under the Western Maryland railway bridge. Witnesses said the officer ran in front of a standing eastbound car and into the path of a car going in the opposite direction. Radio cars were dispatched to the scene and took him to the West Baltimore General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead of a compound skull fracture.
JUST RELIEVED OF DUTY IN
Shortly before the accident patrolman staff John Smit and Edward Burns was standing at a police callbox at that point. They had just been relieved of duty. Smit and Burns boarded the eastbound car, which was in charge of by Harry Phobos motorman staff ran in front of his car. Phobos said, and was struck by the other trolley. The impact threw him against the standing car.
TECHNICAL CHARGE PLACED
15. 1925 - Patrolman John E. Harris - him patrolman John E Harris of drew a Hill Park police died yesterday in West Baltimore General Hospital from pneumonia which is said to have been caused by injuries received at last Monday when he was struck by an automobile operated by a student driver he was 73 years old. -At the hour of Mr. Harris’s death William Norris president of the Park board and conference with officers and members of the automobile trade Association refused to resend the boards order by which persons learning to drive automobiles would be prohibited from using roads in the public park the order was issued by Mr. Norris as a result of the accident in which officer Harris was hurt. The conference ended with the Association deciding to abide by the ruling of the board. Student driver held Harry Siegel 2366 McCulloch Street who under the tutelage of alley apple sign 6 North Bond St. was operating the machine which is said to have struck the patrolman, was released in the custody of his attorney at the Northwestern police station pending the action of Dr. J Terrell Hennessey corner Siegel was charged with causing officer Harris’s death. He had been released after the accident in the custody of his attorney. The police said Apple stain also may be arrested, but no immediate action against him has been taken.
16. 1937 - 16 November 1937 – Capt. Charles A. Kahler commander of the Western district died suddenly of a heart ailment in a red brick stationhouse on pine Street last night 16 November 1937 the Capt. was 61 years old and was working half an hour before the end of a task he always approached with zest the questioning of a suspect in an effort to gain a confession the Capt. complained of dizziness shortly before 8 o’clock the prisoner suspected of robbery was taken into the Capt.’s office and questioned by Capt. Kohler. A few minutes after 8 o’clock the Capt. came out into the main room of the station house complained of feeling dizzy and walked several times around the room. Then he went to the back of the station house, evidently for a drink of water, but slumped into a chair before he reached the water cooler. The doctor was called Lieut. Joseph Nelligan and Sgt. Charles ruffling were on duty in the station house at the time carried the Capt. who was semiconscious to a bench in the courtroom and a call was put into Dr. William Gilroy 622 West North Ave. the captains personal Dr. period Doctor Gilroy Dr. Gilroy was not reached immediately at the request of Capt. Kohler Dr. Helm a city quarter was summoned Dr. Howells with Capt. Kohler when he died at 8:30 o’clock. Dr. Gilroy said the captain suffered from a chronic heart condition, but did he had not complained of difficulty since three months ago. Capt. Kohler’s health had not been of the best in recent years. Talks enthusiastically the Capt. made his home at 906 Patterson Park Ave. Mr. Koehler said her husband had dinner at home last night, I talked over his impending questioning of the suspect. He told her she said he feared he would not be a will to break the man’s alibi. Besides his wife Capt. Kohler is survived by his sister two brothers John Kohler a patrolman Frederick Koehler of the Eastern district.
17. 29 Jan 1944 - Patrolman Joseph Waldsachs who had been a member of the Police Department for 25 years was killed late yesterday afternoon when he tripped in the balcony of a motion picture theater and fell down the stairs, breaking his neck. Police reported that Patrolman Waldsachs, who was assigned to the Northwestern district, was making a routine inspection of the theater, located in the. 1400 block West Lafayette Ave. He was leaving the projection booth after talking to the theater manager when he fell, they said. The policeman, who was 54 and lived at 2023 Wheeler Ave., was taken to the West Baltimore General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. (*4)
18. 27 June 1946 - Patrolman Shamer, James M - Patrolman James M Shamer suddenly became ill last night while on duty in the northern district radio car and died a short time later at Union Memorial Hospital. Northern district officers said patrolman chamber slumped in the seat of his car shortly after he complained of feeling badly. His companion in the car was patrolman William Ellinghaus. Patrolman Shamer is survived by a wife and one child he lived at 5508 Frederick Ave.
19. 13 Oct 1947 – Patrolman Charles Hart age 61 stood in the roll call room of the Northwest District the way he had for 24 years when all of a sudden he felt massive chest pains, he was rushed to Baltimore General Hospital where he was pronounced dead of a heart attack. Newspapers back then were so callous as to report the incident as “Patrolman Drops Dead Awaiting Roll Call” on top of this he was not giving the recognition of a fallen officer, his name is not on the wall.
20. 1968 - Sgt. Frank Ankrom during his seven years on the police force, Sgt. Ankrom had been stationed at the southeastern district and was later transferred to the burglary section of the criminal investigation division. He was promoted in July to Sgt. and transferred to the auto self-section, but he was injured a few days later when he was run over by a stolen car. He had been assigned to light duty ever since never fully recovered from injuries and on 12 November 1968 Sgt. Frank Ankrom succumbed to his injuries.
* Fallen Officers Marked with the Asterisk have been added to the Officer Down Memorial Page
The murder and death of our police is something far more than a personal tragedy of that officer’s bereaved family and their intimate friends. It is a tragedy that the entire community shares. This is because as our police, perform their fatal duty, they embody the law. And how those laws are the set of rules by which a civilized community lives-without which, by definition; it cannot deserve the description "civilized." The murder/death of a Police officer is a direct attack on the embodiment of our laws. Such an attack cannot go unpunished, or unrecognized, because it is a challenge to society. If we become numb, or unappreciative to that sacrifice, we become uncivilized.
The police, we can be sure, will do their utmost to capture the murderer(s). They have a right to expect aid from any member of the community who is in a position to give it. It is to encourage such aid by the community at large that rewards are often offered for the person, or persons who may be responsible for the apprehension of the murderer. Which in and of itself is kind of sad, for to know who is responsible for taking the life of a police officer, or anyone for the matter, but not to offer up that information without a reward shows how little society really cares, it goes to show the real reason some neighborhoods are better than others, it has nothing to do with income levels, what it really boils down to, is what kind of crime a neighborhood will tolerate. Better neighborhoods; realize stopping crime of their neighbors reduced the chances of crime to themselves. As Robert F. Kennedy said, "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."
Similar to the 1907 Columbia Electric Car first used by the Baltimore Police in the Central District as both an Ambo & Wagon (For more info see Timeline 1907)
Courtesy Bruce Green (*D B Trimble)
Receipt for the first firearms purchased for issuance to the officers of the Baltimore Police Department dated 15 August 1857 for the same amount found in the 17 September, 1857 Sun Paper article (For more Info See Timeline 1856/57)
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.
Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History