Baltimore Police Historical Society
Baltimore Police Historical Society
This oath officers in the Baltimore Police Department took, as a reminder of our duty to uphold the law and protect the public. It is a solemn promise to maintain high ethical standards and uphold the values of their community and agency "On my honor, I will never betray my badge, my integrity, my character, or the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always uphold the Constitution, my community, and the agency I serve."
It is difficult to comprehend and appreciate that Baltimore Police Officers have been patrolling Baltimore streets since 1784 and doing so with pride, loyalty, and dedication. It is one of the oldest police departments in the country. During these nearly 240 years of service, the department has experienced major changes that have been negative, positive, and tragic. Because of this, in 2014, the Baltimore Police Historical Society was founded. The men and women who comprise the society are volunteers who recognize the significance of our past, which is steeped in dignity, honor, pride, and tradition. More than 200 of Baltimore’s police officers have lost their lives while working or in the line of duty. Until the society began its research, most of them had been completely forgotten. It was in their memory, and the memory of every officer who has served this department, that the Baltimore Police Museum was rebuilt in 2016. The society continues to research the department's proud history and locate and display police memorabilia in the museum and on this site.
Retired Detective Kenny Driscoll recalls talking our history over with Bill Hackley back in 2008 and offering to help Bill with his website, a site dedicated to Baltimore Police history but geared more toward remembering our fallen and injured police. Ken made several suggestions, such as adding a page for Baltimore’s Women in Blue, Baltimore African American Police, and several others. Bill refused, saying we had worked too long to desegregate our department for us to separate everyone. Ken understood Bill's view but also felt it was part of our history and something that needed to be done. In other talks with Bill, it was decided that Ken could work on the site’s photos. Ken had been using Photoshop and was able to clean up many of the old photos as well as make banners. The site had 90 pages. In 2012, Bill called Ken; he used to make a post on Facebook on the days our police had passed, giving the name of the fallen officer, and asking that he be remembered. He asked Ken if he was ill and if he would take over making these posts. Within a week, Bill passed away. Ken received an email asking him to contact Bill’s wife as Bill was handing Ken the website. They drove to someplace near the Pennsylvania state line to pick up the passwords to the site. Ken tried paying the monthly hosting fees, but Bill’s wife refused. Then Ken started adding to the site, and before long he received a message from the hosting company that he had reached the limit and that it would cost an extra $40 a month to get more space. Ken offered to pay the difference, but again, Bill’s wife refused. Ken asked if she would mind him moving the site to a professional hosting company, and Ken would take over all payments. She agreed, and Ken got started. It took two months, but the site was done, going from 90 pages to more than 300 pages. The site has been rebuilt five times. One of the sites called for making duplicate pages or very similar pages and had nearly 1200 pages; most of them were due to the site’s calendar. In Ken's last build, he had everything the old site had, including a calendar, and the site was right under 600 pages. The calendar mentioned is important and often visited by city leaders as it has "This Day in Baltimore Police History on it, telling when officers had fallen in the line of duty, when various units began, and when certain tools and equipment was introduced, or ended use within the agency. The site is one of the most viewed police history sites in the country; it is used by city hall, departmental commissioners, education and training as well as other top brass, local media, authors, playwrights, movie and TV scriptwriters looking to gather historical data as technical support. With the historical society, the police newsletters took notice, and our agency’s historical interest picked up. The police academy started having trainees do reports on fallen officers, and they added a timeline to a wall in the police school so young officers could learn about the footsteps they would be following. The department is rich with talent, accomplishment, and pride, all of which are built on a tradition of excellent service to the community. Not everyone can work as a police officer. It is a special calling that requires unique attributes not found in the civilian sector. In particular, officers must have the courage to face injury and the possibility of death every day and constantly deal with society at its worst. Once accepted, an officer becomes part of something special. It is hard to explain, but those who have worn the badge of a Baltimore City Police Officer will tell you that it is a unique experience. The Baltimore Police Historical Society is dedicated to ensuring that the service of all the officers who have proudly served or are currently serving our city will always be remembered. Being a police officer is not an easy job, it requires a great deal of courage and strength to face the things they do, which can be emotionally draining. However, for those who are accepted into the force, it is a truly special experience. The camaraderie and sense of purpose that come with being part of our department are hard to explain, but they are something that all Baltimore City Police Officers understand. That's why the Baltimore Police Historical Society is so important—it ensures that the service of all officers, past, present, and future, will always be remembered. By preserving our stories and honoring our sacrifices, we can continue to appreciate the vital role Baltimore’s Police Officers play in the communities.
They are no longer a 501(c)(3) non-profit because they never wanted to bring in enough funds that they would have a surplus of funds. They never wanted to pay anyone to be part of their group. They want people who are interested enough in the department's history to want to contribute their help because they know what they have to offer is needed and would improve or add to our already known information. They do take donations, but not like most people would think. Donations are used to pay for, or partially pay for, domain names, web storage, and sun archives which is used for research, etc. Essentially, donations are just chipping in to help cover the bills. They receive so few donations that maintaining a 501(c)(3) was costing them more than they were bringing in, and while some people said they could have made what the society had a profitable business, they don't want to get into having a historical society that has the purpose of making money. As a result, in most cases, Ken pays for everything out of his pocket, amounting to around $1500 a year, just over $100 a month for the site's servers, and about $300 a year for domain names (they have a few), archive experiences, and a few other necessary needs to keep things up and running. So if you would like to contribute to one of the bills, use one of the donation buttons found on most of the pages.
Using The Site
Using the site, obviously, you could use the top drop down menu to find most of what you are looking for, but remember that we also have what are known as "hidden articles." These are pages that are linked to from other pages and not found in the drop down, photo banners, or side menus. You could also use the search engine; just type in what you are looking for, click on one of the links provided in the search results. Once you get to that page, we recommend hitting CTRL F and again typing a key word as to what it is you are looking for; it should highlight the word searched, but you could also use the down arrow in the search box to skip from word to word until you find what you are looking for. Ken built the site and uses the search engine anytime he is researching something on the site; first always using the search box just under the calendar on the top right side of the page, then CTRL F to find what he is looking for on a specific page.
Speaking of the calendar, any day of the year you can look at the calendar and if it has a color or black underline, click the date and you will see what happened on that day in history. The calendar is often used by mayors, commissioners, and deans of Baltimore's universities; it is a wealth of information. In addition to the calendar, the site also features a section dedicated to other historical information from Baltimore's past. The site is regularly updated and provides information on Baltimore's police, good or bad. Visitors are invited to join us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on our latest historical findings or memorabilia purchases.
If you have something to add to the site, it would be best to contact Ken at,
The Baltimore Police Museum was re-established in 2016 by retired Detective Kenny Driscoll and Officer Bobby Brown, who are also the department’s volunteer historians. The exhibits on display began in large part with Ken's personal collection and has since grown through the donations made by family members of former Baltimore officers. In most cases, items are given to Ken, or Ken will offer to buy them from family members, so the item's ownership is maintained by Ken. This is done so if the museum is ever shut down for any reason, the exhibits would be kept together so they could be shown at another location. This is done because in the 1990s we lost a 20 year old museum when the department decided to close it down and rededicate that space as office space, and storage. At the time, several exhibits were lost and have not been recovered. When exhibits have ownership, if anything were to happen to the museum, the department would give the owners time to remove their exhibits and they would be safely preserved. The museum is presently located in Police Headquarters Building, 601 E. Fayette St. Where the museum offers visitors a unique look back in time, into our department from its inception and on to present time through the use of police artifacts such as old uniforms, vehicles, handguns, shotgun, badges, espantoons, handcuffs, patches, a wagon, a large archive of photos, and other police related memorabilia.
The museum is maintained and operated by the Baltimore Police Historical Society a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the memory of our fallen, our injured and all those who have faithfully served the Baltimore City community over the years. Currently, funding to maintain the exhibit is acquired exclusively through "private donations," and donations are made to pay operating costs and expenses directly.
The Baltimore Police Museum is open for viewing to individuals or groups by appointment only and has become a valuable asset to help the Baltimore Police Department educate the citizens of Baltimore, potential recruits, trainees, and others about police work in our city. It can be arranged to have one of the department historians come to your tour and verbally guide visitors from 1784 to the present, emphasizing the proud history of the men and women of the Baltimore Police Department.
If you have copies of: your Baltimore Police Department Class Photo, Pictures of our Officers, Vehicles, Equipment, Newspaper Articles relating to our department and or officers, Old Departmental Newsletters, Lookouts, Wanted Posters, and or Brochures. Information on Deceased Officers and anything that may help Preserve the History and Proud Traditions of this agency. Please contact Retired Detective Kenny Driscoll.
How to Dispose of Old Police Items
Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department. Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at
Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll