Kathleen Irwin Conrad

Thursday, 23 April 2020 01:38 Written by

Kathleen Irwin Conrad
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14 March 2003

Anne Arundel
Police Say Assault Measure is Needed
14 March 2003
They Asked the Senate to Make Attack on Officer a Felony House Has Passed a Bill
Sun Staff Julie Bykowicz

A 54 second arrest attempt ended Kathleen Irwin’s 11 year career as a Baltimore police officer and left her bedridden and in a full body brace for months.

The drunken man who shoved her into a metal shelving unit ruptured a disc in her lower back, was charged with a misdemeanor and sentenced to 18 months of unsupervised probation.

This legislative session, police officers have stepped up their efforts for passage of a bill that would make assaulting an officer a felony. After four consecutive years of failure, the bill has made it further than ever this year.

“It is my belief that if I were able to charge this suspect as a felon, he would’ve gotten a more appropriate penalty,” Irwin told state senators this week at a hearing of the Senate judicial proceedings committee.

The house version of the bill passed 134 to 0 last week, and it Senate twin has 22 cosponsors of it makes it out of committee, the bill will need a simple majority of 24 votes in the Senate to head to the governor’s desk.

“This will give police officers one more weapon in their arsenal,” said O’Brien Atkinson, president of the Anne Arundel County fraternal order of police.

“A lot of seriousness goes along with being a convicted felon, and criminals know that.” Marilyn ranks fourth in the nation for assaults on law enforcement officers, with about 29 out of 100 officers assaulted in the line of duty each year

Of the 3947 officers assaulted in 2001, 572 were seriously injured, according to the latest uniform crime report available.

Officers say the current felony assault law, which requires intent, does not work for them because their injuries are more often the result of someone struggling to escape custody then from someone deliberately trying to hurt them.

Animal cruelty laws make it an automatic felony to assault the police dog, something law enforcement officers repeatedly pointed out at Tuesday’s hearing.

“Worthy of no less”

“Surely the men and women who protect you are worthy of no less consideration,” Anne Arundel County Sheriff George F. Johnson the fourth said during the hearing.

Anne Arundel County law enforcement agencies and unions who were closest to the state capital. Have campaigned hard for the bill, showing up in droves each time there is action on it.

Sen. Janet Greenup, and Anne Arundel County Republican, introduced a bill in January. She said a heavily amended version of her Bill addressed the concerns of some of her fellow legislators that every scuffle with police might qualify as a felony assault. The bill excludes “minor, temporary injuries.”

Greenup began pushing for the bill last year as a delicate when it failed to make it out of committee, she brought it to the floor as an amendment to a crime bill.

“People are finally waking up to the fact that we need these policeman, and we need to protect them in any way that we can,” Greenup said

Staunch Oposition

The bills staunchest opponent have been defense attorneys, who say putting law enforcement officers into a special category could drive a wedge between police officers in the community they serve.

Testifying against the bill Tuesday, Stanley D. Jenner, a public defender in Baltimore, said it is “against public policy, this appropriate disproportionate and unnecessary.” Prosecutors on the bill. Douglas F. Gansler, the Montgomery County State’s Attorney, spoke in favor of the bill. William M teeth, and Anne Arundel prosecutor who tracks legislation for the Maryland state attorneys Association criticized it. “The community better looking long and hard before it passes this bill,” he said among his objections, he said is a fear that bumping into a police officer could be categorized as a felony. Greenup said her Bill makes it clear that such minor incidents would not qualify.

Gift favored a measure introduced by Sen. John A Giannetti Junior, a Prince George County Democrat, that instead of creating a separate assault category for law enforcement officers would add five years to first – and second – degree assault sentence says when the person assaults and officer.

Steve said the Marilyn states attorneys Association endorses unities bill.

Most law enforcement professionals at the hearing did not endorse and is bill, saying their flight to make assaulting an officer a more serious crime is aimed more at preventing than at increasing sentences.

“When someone is disorderly, we want to be able to look at them and say, “you assault me and it’s a felony,” Atkinson said

20 February, 1993 12:03 PM police officer Kathy Irwin was chasing a shoplifter when the shoplifter turned and pushed her into some shelves which eventually turned fell on top of Officer Irwin causing a serious back injury which later needed surgery to area C for of her spinal cord forcing her retirement in 1995

deviders Line of duty injured

Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll

Gary Provenzano

Thursday, 23 April 2020 00:44 Written by

Gary Provenzano

Shortly before graduating from college in 1974, Officer Provenzano applied to BNDD (Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs) This was the predecessor of DEA. He knew a guy on the job that told him about the exam and how to apply. Gary took the exam and scored 86. Only 7% of the people that took the exam even got a passing score of 70. Gary and his friend were in. Gary kept waiting-and heard nothing. Finally he was  told by the bureau that they would only be hiring women and minorities in that group. They said the best thing to do was to try and get into a major city police dept. to add his resume. So, Gary wrote a "form letter" that said, "I'm moving to your city, what are the requirements to join the Police Dept." He then hand signed each letter and sent copies to virtually every major US city, NY, LA, Chicago, Baltimore, Atlanta, Dallas - everywhere.

Before long he had received a response from every one he had written. Some weren't hiring, some had residency requirements prior to hiring, etc. There were two choices Baltimore and LA. LA waved the entrance exam because he had a degree. When he called out there, the guy in personnel told him that an interview would pretty much be a formality, with his degree Gary knew he'd get the job. Baltimore told him to come down and that as an out of state applicant, they could process him in one day - written exam, psych exam, interview, the works. Gary would have to had been at Headquarters by 8 am and the process would take all day.

This was 1975. At that time round trip to LA was $300, Baltimore was only $75. Gary's girlfriend at the time (now his wife) decided to check out Baltimore first. The pair came to Baltimore for a week's vacation during that stay Gary had completed the hiring process in or day as promised.

Before he ever had a chance to go to LA, Gary was hired by Baltimore. Now is a good time to point out that Gary had no desire to be a uniform officer, it was merely a stepping stone. But like most, before he knew what hit him, he had fallen in love with the job and the City. We all know Baltimore ain't pretty. So when people used to ask him why, he used to say that Baltimore was sort of like a sexy, sleazy lady, he knew she wasn't good for him, but he just couldn't let her go. I think most city police have met this lady, fallen in love and couldn't leave her.
 

By the way, years later the DEA sent Gary a letter and offering him a job - He would have been an undercover agent in New York City. By then he had married that girlfriend that had traveled with him since the beginning, and stands by his side to this day. With a wife and son at the time he was forced to turn down The DEA's offer, and continue his job as a uniformed police officer.

 

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Retired Officer Gary Provenzano

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 Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222 - Rolland Fullen



Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll

Capt James Cadden

Monday, 13 April 2020 01:28 Written by

BPD Capt Cadden 60572

Capt James Cadden

The Following is sent to us courtesy of Dick Ellwood
It comes to us as an excerpt from one of his books -*1

James J. Cadden, was a Baltimore City Police Department homicide commander when he retired. He was also a highly decorated World War II veteran. He was born and raised in the 10th Ward. He attended St. John the Evangelist school on Valley and Eager Street and then attended city public schools. He left school in the ninth grade to go in the Army and later earned his GED in the service.

He enlisted in the Army in 1943 and after being trained as a paratrooper, he served with the 506th Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division.

Jim Cadden landed at Normandy, France on June 6, 1944 and later fought in the ill-fated Operation Market Garden, the air invasion of Arnhem in the Netherlands where Allied forces encountered stiff German resistance.

In mid-December 1944 Cadden fought at Bastogne, Belgium, during the Battle of the Bulge. He was decorated with the Silver Star for valor after he and another soldier breached enemy lines in an attempt to rescue a seriously wounded soldier crying for help.

They raced back carrying the man, who screamed in pain as enemy fire fell around them.

Jim Cadden was discharged from the Army in 1946 with the rank of technical sergeant. He received two Purple Hearts and three Bronze Stars. He joined the Baltimore City Police Department in 1949. He worked in patrol for a short period of time. As his career progressed, he became the only Baltimore City police officer to have worked in the homicide unit as a detective, sergeant, lieutenant and captain. He was the commanding officer of the homicide unit until he retired in 1977. In 1978, he took a job with the Maryland State Lottery.

Now, after reading about what a real American hero that Jim Cadden was, let me tell you a little more about him. I’m very familiar with Jim Cadden on a personal and professional basis. As a kid growing up in the 10th Ward, I remember seeing him in the neighborhood after he came back from the war. He was a very imposing figure, not a rowdy guy by any means. He was a real gentleman and had the respect of everyone in the 10th Ward. He never talked much about the war and most people in the 10th Ward were not aware about all that he did in the service.

On a personal note, I worked for Captain Cadden when I was assigned to the Central District. I can tell you that he was the most honest man I ever knew in the police department. I can remember when I was working in the vice unit in the Central District and Cadden was given two tickets to the 1971 world series. The tickets were mailed to his office. The tickets came from a very prominent realtor who had an office in the district. The tickets were box seats for the world series between the Baltimore Orioles and the Pittsburgh Pirates. You can imagine that anyone would kill for those tickets.

Captain Cadden called me and my sergeant into his office. He handed us the tickets and told us to take them back to the realtor. He told us to tell the guy that he appreciated the thought, but he cannot accept the tickets. We took the tickets back to the guy and he was astonished that the captain would not accept them. We were hoping that he would say…you guys keep the tickets, but that didn’t happen.

On another occasion the captain was approached by an owner of a strip joint on the block. The owner came into the station and asked for the captain. When he went in the captain’s office, he apparently offered the captain a bribe of some kind. The block was a location with numerous strip clubs and a lot of gambling. The captain literally threw the guy out of his office and made sure he exited the building.

Captain Cadden was a very friendly guy, but when it came to solving homicides, he was all business. From being a detective, sergeant, lieutenant and a captain in the homicide unit, you would not dare to try and pull the wool over his eyes. He made everyone in the unit better, knowing that he was the most qualified man to be in charge of the unit.

On a personal note, I got in a little trouble while working in the unit. I’m not going to go into detail about what happened, it is all laid out in my first book…Cop Stories-The Few, The Proud, The Ugly. You can get the book and read about what happened. I will say that it was serious and could have cost me my job.

Captain Cadden called me into his office and shut the door. I sat in a chair in front of his desk. I can tell you that I was very nervous…maybe even scared of what was going to happen. He took off his coat and commenced to walk around my chair. If I didn’t know better, I actually thought the guy was going to punch me. He started off by telling me that my dad would not be proud of me at this time. After about twenty minutes of berating me and telling me I could have been fired, he told me to get out of his office and get back to work. When I left his office, I had to find a secluded place and pull myself together. I was upset that I had put myself in this position. At the same time, I was extremely happy that Captain Cadden saw fit to give me a reprieve.  I went back to work and nothing else was ever said about the incident.

I can tell you that other than my dad, Jim Cadden had the most influence on me as a police officer. I know that he touched many others with his keen sense of how to proceed with a criminal investigation. He did it the right way…there were no shortcuts that could affect the outcome of the prosecution.

Over the years of Captain Cadden’s service to the citizens of Baltimore City, he was recognized not only by his department, but by many others that he provided assistance on their murder investigations.

Anyone that served under Captain Cadden will tell you he demanded excellence in murder investigations. The years that he supervised the Homicide Unit, the unit had clearance rates that were in the high 80’s to 90’ percent.

Hanging on the wall in the Homicide Unit are some words that Captain Cadden put there;

No greater honor can be bestowed upon a human being than to investigate the death of another human being…

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 *1Dick Ellwood 443 632-6557 ©  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Books by Dick Ellwood: Cop Stories-The Few, The Proud, The Ugly (Non-fiction) Charm City’s Blue Justice (Crime Novel) The Dark Side Of Blue (Crime Novel) The Secret Zoo (Children’s Book) Cop Stories II – Policing Baltimore- A Real Conversation (Non-fiction) Available on Amazon, I Universe.com, Booksamillion.com & bookstores

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Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department.

Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222

 Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll

Officer Norman Stamp

Normal Stamp belt buckle

Today in Baltimore Police History 26 April 2008 we lost our brother Police Officer Norman Stamp to an off-duty case of friendly-fire, based on the following:

Beer, a Fight, Fatal Gunfire

The Sun - Baltimore, Md.

Subjects: Murders & murder attempts; Law enforcement

Author: Linskey, Annie; Sentementes, Gus G

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Apr 25, 2008

Start Page: A.1

By Annie Linskey and Gus G. Sentementes Baltimore Sun reporters

On the night of his 44th anniversary as a Baltimore police officer, Norman Stamp drank beer at a strip club on Haven Street with members of the motorcycle club he helped found — a tight fraternity called the Chosen Sons.

Shortly after midnight, a dispute with another group led to harsh words and then punches. A brawl spilled out into the parking lot and drew three uniformed police officers. Stamp, brass knuckles on his fist, rushed out a side door. He apparently didn't hear or notice the uniformed Officer John Torres or his orders to stop.

Torres, a five-year veteran, felled Stamp with an electric jolt from a Taser, and the off-duty officer pulled out his service weapon.

Torres fired his gun twice, hitting Stamp at least once in the chest. The 65-year-old struggled to his feet and said: "I didn't know you were a cop," according to a person familiar with the investigation.

Stamp died at Maryland Shock Trauma Center about 1:30 a.m., leaving police stunned at how one of their colleagues — a person with more than four decades of police experience — challenged a fellow officer and ended up fatally wounded on a grimy lot.

"The Norm Stamp that I know would not have pulled a gun on police," said Paul Blair, the police union president. "Maybe it was tunnel vision and he didn't realize they were officers. It is an unbelievable way to end a career. It is a hell of a way to end a career."

Blair defended the officer who shot Stamp, saying: "Officer Torres did everything by the book. That officer was devastated."

Bleary-eyed police commanders stood at a morning news conference and concurred, saying it appeared that Torres followed department policy when he fired.

"Torres was issuing commands," said Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III. "He deployed his Taser. He followed his training; he did what he was taught to do in terms of dealing with these types of situations."

City police officers have shot 10 people this year, killing seven. Last year, they shot 33, killing 13.

About Stamp, the commissioner said: "He was a mentor to some and a friend to many."

Bealefeld said one man involved in the incident broke his leg while resisting police, and that person was arrested. Police had not released his name yesterday.

"This is an incredibly difficult time," Bealefeld said. "The men and women of your Police Department will remain focused, vigilant and undaunted."

Men from the Chosen Sons, the other brotherhood that defined Stamp's life, shed quiet tears. They put on a pot of coffee and sat around their clubhouse, smoking cigarettes and telling stories about the man who they said founded their organization with other police officers and firefighters in 1969.

"He's a survivor," said Paul "Nitro" Treash, the sergeant-of-arms of the club. "This [biker] lifestyle, it isn't for everybody. These guys will fight and die for each other."

As Treash talked about his friend, he was frequently interrupted by phone calls.

"Norm's dead," he told a caller. "I know, I know. They are going to try to cover this up," he said shaking his head.

Like the police, none of the bikers could believe Stamp would pull a weapon on an officer. "That is stuff that he has preached to us. When a cop gives an order you should comply. We're just beside ourselves right now."

They said that the night began with an initiation. Stamp, as a founding member of the club, played a key role. The members, as part of a hazing, told a new guy he had been rejected and ordered him to leave the clubhouse.

But Stamp, 65, ran out after him, saying: "Get back here and tell those guys to [expletive] off," then tossed him a wadded-up jacket with the club's colors — or patch — emblazoned on the back, said Michael Privett, who became the newest member of the club.

The men celebrated at the club for a while. Some went home. Others walked two blocks to Haven Place, a strip club that bills itself as "a gentleman's tavern" with "go-go girls."

That is where the fight broke out. Police, who interviewed many of the people in the bar, said the fracas started over women. Members of the motorcycle club interviewed byThe Sun did not mention the women.

Treash, who was not there but spoke to many of the club members yesterday, said Stamp had tried to stop the fight in the bar.

Outside, police Officers Raymond Buda, a 27-year veteran, and Jason J. Rivera, who has seven years on the force, tried to break up the fight. One person was brandishing a broken bottle, police said, and as the officers were trying to arrest people, Torres positioned himself by the bar's side door to keep others from joining the fight.

It was then that Stamp emerged from the club with brass knuckles, Bealefeld said.

Treash said he thought Stamp knew that police had been called and intended to mediate the situation. But he also noted that his friend always liked a good fight.

Torres commanded Stamp to stop and he did not, said the police commissioner. There was "no indication" that Stamp identified himself as an officer, Bealefeld said.

Charles Thrasher, owner of the Haven Place, said he has worked hard over the years to keep the club free of trouble.

He inherited the business from his father in 1980. Three years before, a 35-year-old Sparrows Point man was stabbed to death outside the bar with a broken bottle, in what police suspected was a robbery.

One of two suspects was a man on a motorcycle, according to an article inThe Evening Sun at the time. "I think I've settled it down quite a bit over the years," said Thrasher, who said he was a friend of Stamp's and knew him for 30 years.

Yesterday, a white rubber glove and an unused oxygen mask lay on the parking lot near pools of blood. A police field interview card also lay on the ground with a bloodstain.

The parking lot where Stamp was shot is isolated, surrounded by a BGE transmission station. Gang graffiti are sprayed on a back wall.

Several cars stopped by in the morning. People said they had heard about what happened and were curious to see the place where a city police officer killed his off-duty colleague.

A viewing will be held at Bruzdzinski Funeral Home, 1407 Old Eastern Ave., on Saturday and Sunday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. A memorial service will be held at the funeral home Monday at 11 a.m.

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Stamp Upheld Two Loyalties

Police Veteran was a Brother Officer, a Motorcycle Son

April 25, 2008

|By Gus G. Sentementes and Annie Linskey | Gus G. Sentementes and Annie Linskey,SUN REPORTERS

For decades, Norman M. Stamp belonged to two brotherhoods.

The 65-year-old was one of the city's longest-serving active-duty officers, who on Wednesday had celebrated his 44th year with the Baltimore Police Department .

He also belonged to the Chosen Sons - a gritty motorcycle club that Stamp helped found in the 1960s, with a tight-knit membership that didn't shy from a fight.

Stamp looked out for his fellow bikers, according to his friends in the club. To his colleagues on the force, Stamp was a loyal officer who would never knowingly harm a colleague.

He was killed early yesterday in a confrontation with fellow officers in Southeast Baltimore, one of whom fatally shot him as they tried to quell a brawl outside a strip club.

For decades, Stamp combined his passion for motorcycles with his job. He joined the department in 1964 and, five years later, was assigned to the motorcycle unit, where he served for 28 years, covering traffic duty and special events. In 1974, he broke his arm when he was struck by a patrol car while riding his departmental motorcycle.

"He did his job - he was no-nonsense," said Gary L. McLhinney, a former police union president. "If you were in a car and he was directing traffic, you went the way he told you to go. There's just a handful of guys like Norman left in this department."

In 1969, the year Stamp was detailed to the department's motorcycle unit, he helped form the Chosen Sons. It was a motorcycle club that started out consisting mostly of police and firefighters.

Paul "Nitro" Treash, the club's sergeant-at-arms, said Stamp liked to ride to Ocean City and smoke cigars with his biker friends. More than 40 years after its founding, the club and its traditions remained important to Stamp, Treash said.

"He was always the first to enter a fight and the last to leave," said Treash, who noted that he never saw Stamp draw his gun.

In 1997, Stamp was one of scores of officers caught up in a widespread staff shake-up in the Police Department. He eventually landed in the department's special operations section: cruising the harbor in a police boat for the marine unit.

Many who knew him said that Stamp initially resented being forced out onto the water after cruising the streets of Baltimore for decades on a motorcycle. But his friends said that he grew to like the assignment.

"To get a biker on a boat is like getting him to church," said the Haven Place strip club's owner, Charles Thrasher, who knew Stamp for 30 years. "I think he believed he wouldn't like it. He loved it."

Thrasher, who wasn't working when Stamp was shot, called his friend "one of those `unforgettable characters'" that one would encounter in Reader's Digest.

He said Stamp and the Chosen Sons would stop in his club every week after their meetings, have a few drinks and then leave - and Wednesday was no different.

"They've been coming here a while," said Thrasher. "They sort of think it's their bar."

Stamp, who was divorced and remarried, had a grown daughter and lived in Essex.

Daniel J. Fickus, a former police union president who works in the marine unit, said Stamp had "a couple of loves in his life, and this job is one of them. He will be sorely missed, that is a fact. His family has 3,000 members - we'll be there for him and his family. We will be."

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Officer Norman M. Stamp

Age: 65

Education: Graduated from Polytechnic Institute in 1961

Department history: Joined Baltimore Police Department April 23, 1964 - Worked as a patrol officer in the Central and Northeast districts, as a motorcycle officer in the traffic division for 28 years and most recently on a boat with the Harbor Patrol.

Citations: He was awarded a bronze star for arresting a man in an assault and robbery and a unit citation in 2000 for handling special events.

Family: He was married and had one child.
Source: Baltimore Police Department

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Patron Shares Story of Fight
Bearing Bruises, Man Says Slain Officer Did Not Intervene

April 26, 2008

| By Sun reporter

For Nick Roros, Wednesday night started when he went to Haven Place, had a couple of drinks and watched the dancers. It ended in the wee hours of the morning at the city's homicide unit.

Roros said that he became involved in a bar brawl Wednesday evening that ultimately led to the fatal shooting of off-duty Baltimore City Police Officer Norman Stamp by another member of the force.

Roros, 43, gave his account during an interview yesterday morning at his Highlandtown home, where he showed the bruises and scrapes he said he got from fighting with members of the Chosen Sons, a close-knit motorcycle club that frequented the strip club. Stamp was a founding member of that club.

Roros said he told his story to dispute news accounts suggesting that the off-duty officer tried to defuse the fight.

"They act like they are all innocent like they were trying to break up the fight," Roros said. "They didn't try to break up [expletive]."

During the interview, Roros asked, over and over, why nobody called police. He wanted to know why Stamp, a 44-year veteran of the force, didn't intervene on his behalf.

Members of the Chosen Sons say that Stamp tried to defuse the fight. Paul Treash, a sergeant-at-arms of the group, said that some of the bikers were fighting but maintains that Stamp was a peacemaker - he tried to calm people down.

However, police say that when Stamp emerged from the bar, he was wearing brass knuckles.

A group of uniformed police officers was attempting to break up a fight involving some members of the gang in front of the bar when Stamp came out the side door. An officer who was watching that exit hit him with a Taser, and Stamp fell down. When he rose and drew his weapon, police say, the uniformed officer pulled his gun and shot Stamp at least once in the chest.

Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III said at a news conference Thursday that the fight in the bar started over a woman. Police have said that it was someone outside the bar who called for help.

A Police Department source familiar with the investigation confirmed that Roros was at the bar, was beaten and was interviewed by homicide detectives. But the person could not confirm all of the details of Roros' account.

Roros said that he got to the strip club around 10:30 p.m. - his wife was working, so he decided to go out.

"The whole bar was full of bikers," he said. "They were dressed like bikers. They had the Chosen Sons patch and all that."

He struck up a conversation with a woman who came to the bar looking for a job. But, he said, one of the Chosen Sons wanted to talk to the same woman.

"I was talking to some girl ,and he was talking to the same girl," Roros said.

"He said, `That's my girl,'" Roros said.

In response, Roros said as a joke: "That is my wife."

Tensions rose.

Roros used his cell phone and called his brother-in-law asking him to come to the bar. Roros didn't say why he didn't just leave.

While he was on the phone, Roros said, one of the Chosen Sons punched him in the face.

"Once he hit me, I hit him," Roros said. "I got him on the ground." Roros said he had the upper hand, but then others joined in the fight.

Next thing he knew, he said, he was on the ground.

"I just felt everyone kicking me and just getting stomped," Roros said. He showed his one black eye yesterday. The other eye was filled with blood.

He said that he doesn't have health insurance but is worried about his chest, which he said hurts when he breathes in.

"I was getting kicked from everywhere once they had me on the ground," he said. "After that I curled up and they just kept kicking and kicking. They are acting like. ... "

He didn't finish his sentence.

"Why didn't he stop it?" Roros said.

Roros told The Sun yesterday that he was dragged down to the end of the bar and then thrown out the side door. Bikers, he said, kept beating him in the parking lot. But a police source said multiple fights eventually broke out and Roros was never outside the bar.

Either way, Roros said that after being beaten he went back into the bar and was inside, standing near the side door, when he heard the gunshots that killed Officer Stamp.

"By that time I was all dazed," Roros said. "I don't know when the cops came what happened."

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Loyalty Binds the Biker Club Behind Badge

Slain Officer's Chosen Sons Not Known to Run From Fight

April 28, 2008

|By Annie Linskey | Annie Linskey,Sun reporter

The one-story clubhouse in Southeast Baltimore has wood floors and framed photographs of members who have died. It feels like a chapter of an Elks Club, the American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars.

But the members are big beefy men who wear red crosses on their backs. Many are covered in tattoos, and some grow long pointed beards. They belong to the Chosen Sons - a motorcycle club started by city police officers in 1969 that bills itself as the largest in the state.

For decades, the Chosen Sons has been an insular group, wary of outsiders and little known except in the East Baltimore neighborhoods where they gather.

That changed early Thursday morning when one of its founding members, Norman Stamp, an off-duty police officer, burst out of a North Haven Street strip club, brass knuckles on his hand, heading toward a brawl that had spilled from the bar into the street. Before he got there, Stamp was stopped by a uniformed officer sent to quell the fight. In the confusion, Stamp drew his gun, and the other officer shot and killed him, according to police accounts. He had been on the force for 44 years.

The unusual fit between the public and private sides of Stamp's life will be on full display at his funeral today. Because his death is not considered to have come in the line of duty, he will not get full police services.

Even so, Mayor Sheila Dixon and Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III plan to attend. They will sit in a 100-seat Essex funeral home alongside members of the Chosen Sons and other motorcycle clubs from around the state.

"You will see guys from clubs that feud with each other," said Paul "Nitro" Treash, the sergeant-at-arms of the Chosen Sons. "Norm [Stamp] was the most likable guy."

Little is known about how Stamp balanced his job on the force - for the past decade, he served in the maritime unit, and for years before that, he was a motorcycle officer - with his off-duty activities. Some of his acquaintances from the world of the Chosen Sons say Stamp was always eager for a fight, but current members aren't saying much, other than to offer a relatively wholesome, if tattooed and leather-clad, vision of the club's activities.

Treash said members of the Chosen Sons organized rides to places like Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. Stamp, he said, participated in the club's last "poker run" - an outing on which members of the crew ride together to other clubhouses in the city or state. At each clubhouse they pick up a playing card - the person with the best poker hand by the end of the night is the winner.

But there was an air of paranoia at the clubhouse Thursday morning when news of Stamp's death spread.

Members wondered out loud about a Verizon truck that had been sitting outside the building for a few hours. When a man drove up in a car and sat outside, a junior member of the club was dispatched to determine whether the person in the car was the same person who caused a fight with the club members the evening before.

Treash would not answer most questions about the club for this article and would not make any of the members available to comment. Current members declined to talk about the group.

Treash did say that the club is the largest in the state, but he declined to give a number of total membership. A photograph of some members on the wall inside the club showed about 100 men gathered for an event. Treash would not say how many members are police officers.

Initially, the club was open only to public service employees, said William Council, a retired police officer who knew Stamp and was in the club in the late 1970s.

At that point there were 15 to 20 members, he said, including one member who repaired motorcycles for the Baltimore city garage.

"We'd take group rides," Council said. "We'd pick a place where we wanted to go and go bar hopping. It wasn't a threatening group or anything like that."

Council said that the name came from being chosen for the club. "You had to have somebody represent you to get in," he said. "They bring you in, they ask you some questions. Now I don't know how they do it."

According to the Chosen Sons Motorcycle Club Web site, prospective members still need to be tapped: "The C.S.M.C. does not solicit for members or accept any unknowns. All prospects must be sponsored by a member in good standing."

A fictional version of the club was featured in a January 1995 episode of Homicide: Life on the Streets. In the show, the club was called the Deacons, and some members who appeared in it put a Deacons insignia over the red crosses on backs of their jackets. The insignia from one of those jackets is hanging, framed, on the Chosen Sons clubhouse wall.

The group was started in 1969 and grew in the 1970s and 1980s, a macho time when motorcycle clubs like the Hells Angels and the Pagans would fight for territory and respect.

Unlike those clubs, the Chosen Sons is not viewed as a criminal organization, according to a city police source who is not authorized to speak to the news media.

In fact, in the very early days, the club had to combat the perception that they would always run from a fight because its members - all public service employees - could lose their jobs if they got in trouble, said Richard C. Fahlteich, a retired major from the city's homicide unit who knew Stamp and talked to him recently about the club.

That was a perception the club would not abide by.

"If someone was going to attempt to start a big fight, they were not going to run away from it," Fahlteich said. "That is where the tough guy thing came from. They did not go out looking for trouble, but they were not going to bow to trouble either. They were going to stand up for themselves."

The penchant for standing up for themselves was viewed differently in the neighborhood. Steve Fugate, the president of the city's fire officers' union, grew up in the same Highlandtown area where the club members would ride.

"It was a bunch of bad asses," Fugate said.

"From an outside perspective, they were the local version of the Hells Angels. That was anecdotal neighborhood gossip that was going around."

Fugate, 54, said that he would never pick a fight with them. "Because I'd get my ass kicked," he said. "Been there, done that. It's not fun."

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Cops and Bikers

Baltimore Police Officer Killed Outside a Bar Gets an Unusual Sendoff from His Buddies

April 29, 2008

|By Annie Linskey | Annie Linskey,Sun Reporter

Two rows of men, police officers and bikers, faced each other yesterday morning - lining the edges of Old Eastern Avenue as bagpipes played and city police carried the casket of Norman Stamp to a waiting hearse.

The police wore their dress uniforms to honor the death of the man who spent the past 44 years working for the city's Police Department.

The motorcycle riders wore the red cross of the Chosen Sons on their backs to signal their association with the motorcycle club that Stamp helped to found 39 years ago.

It was an unusual sendoff for a man who was one of the city's longest-serving police officers. Bikers from various clubs around the state outnumbered the uniformed police officers. Photographs on display showed Stamp doing daredevil stunts on police motorcycles, posing with various police weapons and drinking beer with a woman clad in a leather bikini.

The police commissioner and mayor listened as the audience cheered for a speaker who disputed the official account of how Stamp came to be shot by a fellow officer early Thursday.

Stamp was shot in the chest after police were called to quell a bar brawl at an East Baltimore strip club. Police say Stamp burst out of the bar, with brass knuckles on his fist, and failed to comply with verbal orders to stop from a uniformed officer.

The officer used a stun gun on Stamp, who then drew his gun, police said. The uniformed officer, John Torres, drew his own weapon and shot Stamp twice, hitting him at least once in the chest.

But Rick Mueller, a member of a pleasure club called Fat Boys, stood in front of Stamp's open casket and said: "Hopefully, with the help of the witnesses who were there that night, the truth will come out." Applause from the audience lasted 15 seconds. When it died down, he continued: "Procedure wasn't followed, but it was not Norm that failed."

Stamp's widow, Suzanne, sobbed as those words were spoken. Over the weekend she enlisted the help of two attorneys and a private investigator, Michael Van Nostrand Sr., to conduct an independent probe of the shooting.

Van Nostrand, reached by phone, had questions about that account: "Did he have the brass knuckles on as they say? How do you reach for a gun if you have knuckles on?"

Police recovered brass knuckles from the parking lot where the fight occurred.

Dozens of bouquets of flowers lined the inside of the funeral home. One was shaped like a motorcycle, another like a police shield and another like a heart. Stamp's black leather biker boots and his wooden nightstick stood next to his coffin. Two cigars, his motorcycle colors and his police motorcycle helmet rested near his body.

At the service, Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III praised Stamp's 44-year career with the city but appeared to choose his words carefully.

"All of us have a spiritual calling to service and responsibility to service," he said. "How that manifests itself, what that looks like ... takes on many dimensions. Norm's calling was police service.

"He dedicated himself to that for 44 years. In that time, I'm absolutely convinced, he helped many, many people," Bealefeld said.

Paul Blair, president of the city's police union, knew Stamp and called him a good officer. Though Blair usually wears business suits to police events to signal his role as the union chief, this time he put on his dress uniform. "I said, I had to wear my colors," Blair said, making a reference to the many bikers in the audience who use colors to refer to the patches they wear on their backs.

"We call it the thin blue line," Blair said, adding that Stamp's police family holds him just as dear as Stamp's biker family.

The audience laughed when Blair referred to Stamp's time at the city police marine unit as Stamp's "private navy."

The ceremony was led by Sgt. Don Helms, a police chaplain, and was organized loosely, with various speakers telling stories about Stamp's life.

Timothy J. Haefner, a police officer in the Southeastern District, had trouble getting though his speech without crying. "There were so many words that described Norm," he said. As his voice cracked, some of the women in the audience asked for tissues.

"Norm lived his life to the fullest," Haefner said. "My heart is truly broken."

The first biker to speak was Reds Sullivan, president of the Chosen Sons, who thanked Stamp for starting the club and called him a mediator. "Call Stamp and he'd fix it," Sullivan said. Then, becoming emotional, Sullivan said: "I'm going to get out of here before I begin to cry."

Mueller, who spoke last, recalled one of Stamp's favorite police stories. He said Stamp pulled over a man in East Baltimore and the man, not realizing to whom he was talking, tried to get out of the ticket by saying he was a close friend of Norm Stamp.

Because Stamp's death was not considered to have been in the line of duty, he did not receive the full police honors afforded many officers who are killed. Those funerals usually tie up city streets for hours as processions of police cars roll to Dulaney Memorial Gardens. Instead, mourners yesterday were invited to the Chosen Sons' headquarters - a clubhouse that is about two blocks north from the strip club where Stamp was shot.

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Civil Trial Begins in Wrongful Death Case of Officer Shot by Police

Stamp, a 44-year Veteran, was Shot Outside Strip Club in 2008

October 07, 2010

|By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

Police said that in April 2008, off-duty officer Norman Stamp burst out of a Southeast Baltimore strip club with brass knuckles on his hand, barreling toward a brawl involving members of his motorcycle club that had spilled into the street.

That's when, according to police, the 44-year-veteran got into a confrontation with a uniformed officer sent to quell the fight, pulled his service weapon and was fatally shot.

An attorney for Stamp's widow said Thursday — the first day of trial in a wrongful-death civil suit brought against Officer John Torres — that there's a different story that the Police Department wanted to suppress.

In opening statements, attorney Peter T. McDowell said Stamp was shot by Torres as he exited the Haven Place club to leave for the night, a hasty decision that McDowell said was made by an officer who had "wrongly prejudged" the situation.

He plans to call witnesses who were at the bar — tracked down by a private investigator hired by Stamp's wife of four years, Suzanne — and a forensic expert to counter the Police Department's findings.

"Police investigating [the shooting] just didn't want to uncover the truth," McDowell told jurors.

However, attorney Troy A. Priest said Torres was separating Stamp from another man when Stamp fell down some stairs. Stamp then came at Torres, shaking off a three-second Taser jolt and drawing his gun.

As Priest described the officer's account of the events, Torres put his head down and appeared emotional. Priest said Torres now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

"He was in fear for his life, and took actions necessary not only to save his life but the others there," Priest said.

Stamp had not been involved in the initial fight inside the bar, which prompted the club operators to turn on the lights and cut off the music. Nick Roros, who had been injured in the brawl, called his brother-in-law, a Fells Point bar owner, who in turn called the personal cell phone of Officer Raymond Buda, who was patrolling the area with Torres and another officer.

McDowell said that Stamp, unaware of a situation brewing outside, said good night to a bartender, then exchanged brief words with a dancer near the back door. A moment later, the dancer heard two gunshots, McDowell said, adding that she never heard any commotion or commands to drop a weapon.

Torres' attorney said that Roros had charged Stamp, and they had to be separated by Torres. Stamp was shot after stumbling down the steps and pulling his weapon on Torres, who shot downward from the top of the stairs. He said brass knuckles were recovered from the scene.

"The decision [to shoot] was reasonable, and consistent with his training and experience," Priest said.

But McDowell said a man who was in the parking lot and heard the gunshots wheeled around to see Stamp falling down the steps, where he remained until medics arrived.

McDowell said the trajectory of the bullets that struck Stamp suggest that he was shot by someone who was below him.

The lawsuit initially alleged that Torres was hired as part of a Baltimore Police Department policy to "hire untrained Puerto Rican applicants to assist with the Spanish-speaking community within Baltimore City." It said the applicants were hired with "blatant disregard for the safety of the public" and kept in order to maintain a quota of Spanish-speaking officers.

The department and the city were removed as defendants in the case, and no such claims were made in McDowell's opening statements.

The two witnesses called to testify Thursday appeared to be an effort to counter the image of Stamp as a brawling biker and strip club patron.

Zeinab Rabold, a former Baltimore police colonel who oversaw internal affairs until she was forced to retire in 2004, said she knew Stamp for years and described him as a "mellow" officer who was deft at defusing tense situations. He worked mainly in the traffic and marine units, and took pride in being a police officer, she said.

His motorcycle club, called the Chosen Sons, was formed by a group of five law enforcement officers in the 1960s, said friend and former prosecutor Robert Donadio, who was a member of the group for about 10 years.

The group, in those early days at least, was open exclusively to those in law enforcement, and they did charity events for children. Donadio, 78, said Stamp would dress up as Santa Claus.

"Officer Stamp was a peacemaker," Donadio testified.

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Baltimore Jury Finds in Favor of Officer in Shooting Death

Longtime Police Officer Shot by Fellow Officer in 2008

October 21, 2010

|By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

A Baltimore jury found Thursday that a city officer acted reasonably when he killed an off-duty member of the force while responding to a fight at a Southeast Baltimore strip club.

The widow of Officer Norman Stamp, a 44-year veteran who was fatally shot in April 2008, sued Officer John Torres, alleging that he "wrongly prejudged" the situation and that the Police Department didn't aggressively investigate the circumstances of the shooting.

The trial lasted about two weeks, during which jurors visited the Haven Place club where the shooting occurred. Jurors took only a few hours to decide in favor of Torres, the Daily Record reported on its website Thursday afternoon.

Police have said that Stamp, 65, who was hanging out with members of his motorcycle club, rushed out of the bar with brass knuckles. Torres struck him with a Taser, then fired two shots when Stamp reached for his service weapon, police said. As he lay dying, Stamp identified himself as an officer.

In opening statements, Peter McDowell, an attorney for Stamp's widow, Suzanne Stamp, said that the police account did not mesh with descriptions from witnesses and forensic experts gathered by a private investigator.

For example, McDowell claimed that Stamp was shot while standing at the top of stairs leading out of the club, though Torres said he was at the top of the stairs and had shot downward at Stamp. McDowell said that Torres impulsively shot Stamp as he left the strip club for the night unaware of the police action outside.

But Torres' attorney, Troy A. Priest, dismissed those claims and said the officer was in fear for his life and followed his training.

McDowell said Thursday that Suzanne Stamp was "obviously disappointed in the jury's verdict," but said she was content that the other accounts of the night were "now part of the public record."

Priest did not return a message seeking comment.

The lawsuit initially alleged that Torres was hired as part of a Baltimore Police Department policy to "hire untrained Puerto Rican applicants to assist with the Spanish-speaking community within Baltimore City." It said the applicants were hired with "blatant disregard for the safety of the public" and kept to maintain a quota of Spanish-speaking officers.

The department and city were later removed as defendants.

Testimony included how the shooting had affected both sides; friends of Stamp said his wife was devastated and still talks about Stamp as if he is alive. Torres' attorney said his client suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Quick Response Team

Saturday, 14 March 2020 13:39 Written by

Quick Response Team
We Were Cops Once . . . and Young

Brief History of the Baltimore Police Department Quick Response Teams
By Ret Lt. Joe Key

                                         

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The history of QRT is written large by many of its members then and now. Contributing to that history and to the writing of this history were: (In alphabetical order) Doug Bryson, Steve Coughlan, Paul Davis, David Datsko, Steve Kuhn, John Maguire, Mike Mulligan, Ed Schillo, Sam Tress, and Curtis Willis. These men took time out from very busy schedules to provide their recollection of milestones, salient events, dates, and photos of that history. Each contributed mightily when they were in the teams and did so as well to this writing. Also, others I couldn’t contact deserve recognition for their contribution to bringing the teams and their equipment into the 21th century. Eventually, through the determined efforts of men like John Christian, Jerry DeManss, Bob Edwards, Don Healy, Ray Jones, Bob Letmate, John Lewandowski, Jan Richmond and unsung others, the Baltimore Police Department’s SWAT teams were turned into an internationally recognized, professional unit worthy of any police department in the world.

My own efforts in starting QRT were minimal in comparison to some, if not all, of these men. I just happened to be in the right place and had, according to some supporters and opponents alike, the bullish temperament and unyielding nature that was required at the beginning to keep the sometimes square wheels from totally falling off the QRT machine long enough for the program to endure. The aforementioned men took that humble start and turned it into what it has become today. It was an honor to have worked with them and a privilege to write about what their efforts have achieved.

PROLOGUE

With apologies to Lt. General Harold Moore for co-opting, in part, the title of his book about the 7th Calvary’s insertion into the la Drang Valley in Vietnam in 1965, the nearing of the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the Baltimore Police Department’s Quick Response Teams has caused me to reflect back on that time and the good men who went above and beyond the call of duty to drag the department into a new and necessary element of policing in the 20th Century. I’m certainly not comparing the sacrifices of the troops of the 7th Calvary on the battlefield to the trials and tribulations of those first QRT officers. While those first officers did face dangerous situations with inferior equipment and minimal training, their main battle was one of survival in a department which was staffed by a command element, except for an important few, and rank and file officers who became apoplectic at even the whispered thought of SWAT being amongst them. Those men’s willingness to train in their off-duty time, spend their own money to buy equipment, and suffer the constant derisive comments by brother officers laid a foundation for the outstanding unit QRT/SWAT has become. The following quote from Theodore Roosevelt’s "The Man In The Arena" speech at the Sorbonne in Paris, France on April 23, 1910 applies to those men and to their critics as well:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

One factor that caused a measure of resentment/jealousy by command and the rank and file was the portrayal of SWAT cops in the 70's television program “SWAT.” Even the name connoted violence; i.e., to crush a fly with a single swat. The program exaggerated the image of the operators as being glory boys whose main job was to lift weights, run endless loops through obstacle courses, jump off of buildings or out of perfectly good helicopters, suck down copious amounts of CS gas without blinking, play with various guns, and generally look good for the cameras when they leaped out of the back of a large, black, armored, very menacing looking, truck with guns blazing. Admittedly, some of those activities–excluding jumping out of trucks with guns blazing, etc.–were a necessary part of the job and attracted candidates who were drawn to those types of endeavors. That image, however, served to heighten the intensity of the already very intense interdepartmental power struggles, political patronage, and turf protecting in the command ranks, which made launching the QRT program damn near impossible. Finally, limited funds and the necessity of committing manpower to street crime reduction operations determined the nature, quality, and quantity of equipment that could be purchased; the time and manpower that could be committed to the training program; and the deployment operational strategies of the teams on the street.

Although the “SWAT” television program is no longer on the air, the image it perpetrated still survives to a limited extent and still affects the public’s image of SWAT. As proof of this, consider that any nationally televised SWAT type incident will invariably result in outcries from various and sundry community “leaders” regarding the militarization of police departments. Interdepartmental power struggles, patronage assignments, and turf protecting, however, are very much reduced, albeit not absent, in today’s department. This positive change is due in part to the record of the QRT’s performance over the years; in part to the ascension to command ranks by officers who came on and worked with officers who were assigned to the teams; and in part to the increasingly violent situations occasioned by the prevalence of narcotics driven crimes, mass murders by active shooters, and the very real specter of terrorism. Limited funds and the requirement of committing manpower to street crime reduction operations will, by necessity, always affect SWAT training, operations, and the purchase of equipment.

IN THE BEGINNING

By emphasizing the resistance of many of the command staff to the idea of having SWAT in the department, the door is opened for the reader to wonder how I, a brand new sergeant, came to be exposed to the inner workings of the top levels of the department. In the police totem pole, I was down around the toe level. In the early summer of 1975, I was assigned by Colonel Bishop Robinson, Chief of Patrol, to write the General Order authorizing SWAT and the regulations pertaining to the resolution of sniper/barricade/hostage situations. That assignment morphed into writing the justification for SWAT, its operational procedures, training program, and selection protocols. I didn’t have any operational background that qualified me to undertake those tasks. I spent countless hours studying foreign and domestic terrorist incidents, military manuals, other agencies’ SOP’s, General Orders, and training programs to try to put it all together into a cohesive program. Doing that research and finalizing the program meant that I was frequently involved in strategy sessions in the Tac Commander’s office, Captain Joe Bolesta, a strong advocate for the teams. He was a man who was not always completely circumspect in describing the efforts to stymy the founding of the teams by a well entrenched opposition faction in the department’s command staff. Those meetings, and having numerous training sessions cancelled, sometimes after they had begun, because the Deputy Commissioner of Operations thought they were a waste of money, gave me a unique perspective of the breadth of the opposition to starting the program and the determination of its supporters to overcome that opposition.

At the very top of the totem pole of supporters was Commissioner Donald Pomerleau. Those that worked under him or knew him by reputation would assume that if he wanted it done, it would be done. When it came to implementing his policies, however, just below him was Deputy Commissioner of Operations, Frank Battaglia, a man with the reputation of being a tough, old line, street-smart cop. Battaglia was adamantly opposed to SWAT and, at the very least, was not overly disposed to support requests for money for training, equipment, etc. DC Battiglia was a very powerful political figure in the police department and the direct superior of Colonel Robinson. Battiglia’s political ties stemmed from the Italian community and particularly to the former Mayor of Baltimore, Tommy D’Alesandro, the father of current California Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. The “Sons of Italy” social club, of which Battiglia was the head, contained many members who were command officers in the Baltimore Police Department and many local politicians.

To illustrate the sometimes visceral nature of the opposition the majority of the “Sons” held for the SWAT concept, one of those command officers, a district commander who was a large man known for his pugilistic abilities and proclivities, called Captain Bolesta and told him that if Key kept criticizing how his troops performed in an armed man barricade in which a cop was shot by other cops, he was going to “punch his lights out.” While I took the threat seriously, I had no choice but to continue talking about the incident and the cluster-foul up it was. The incident involved a shooter armed with a Browning Automatic Rifle knock-off. It had occurred a couple of months prior to the Lombard and Carey debacle and was a major part of the rationale I was using to convince the upper echelon that a special unit was needed to handle those types of situations. The major’s threat indicated to me that I was pushing the right buttons, so I continued talking about the incident with renewed gusto. I also told Captain Bolesta that, in accordance with the law, if confronted by someone who I reasonably believed posed a threat of serious injury or death, I would use whatever weapons necessary to vigorously defend myself. Those weren’t the exact words I used, but close enough.

Colonel Robinson, who was also a very powerful political figure within the department, was a strong supporter of the SWAT concept and worked diligently to implement the program. The two factions were sometimes engaged in a struggle for control of the department and QRT was frequently caught in the middle. QRT would never have gotten off the ground when it did without the efforts of Captain Joe Bolesta and Colonel Bishop Robinson.

The Quick Response Team, now SWAT, began its storied journey in 1976. Prior to that, dynamic entries and other SWAT type procedures were undertaken by members of the Emergency Vehicle Unit, available officers assigned to the Tactical Section, and/or various district personnel, none of whom had any meaningful training in carrying out those kinds of functions. The primary method for going in and getting an armed bad guy was for whatever cops that were on the scene to shoot the house full of holes and then the EVU guys would knock the door down and drag said bad guy out. Sometimes they would be accompanied by members of the command staff, particularly if the news media were present. The concept of QRT, modeled after other cities’ SWAT, was conceived to institute control of those types of incidents with well trained and disciplined officers.

The acronym QRT didn’t come about until shortly before Lombard and Carey, which occurred April 16th, 1976. The name was chosen by Colonel Robinson after suggestions from TAC personnel were solicited. The name was chosen partially because of the aggressive SWAT image portrayed on the television program. The QRT opposition faction and some city government officials thought the name SWAT conjured up all kinds of potentially evil and horrendous acts by trigger happy warrior wannabes. On a more practical level, Colonel Robinson wanted to distinguish the BPD from LAPD, NY, etc.; thus, QRT. In 2007 the team members voted, as was their right, to finally be called SWAT.

There were no SWAT units, formal training by the Baltimore Police Department, or SWAT operations until 1976. Once I had been given the job of writing the G.O., etc., in early summer of 1975, my squad and I began physical fitness and some operational training on our own time. Lieutenant Daryl Duggins put together a rappelling program, which he gave to various members of his A Platoon, including my squad, A-3. That training was also conducted off-duty. Duggins was, and still is, a much revered leader; a back to basics, no nonsense former Marine who did not tolerate hijinks from the sometimes rowdy youths under his command. One of the first rappelling training sessions he arranged was an approximately seventy foot drop from the Cedar Avenue Bridge. Lieutenant Duggins had tried two methods of rappelling–the single rope favored by the Marine Corp and the double rope favored by sane people. Several of us tried the single rope first, including one or two former Marines. As we were blowing the fire out on our leather gloves we reached the unanimous decision that the double rope was best. Of course, this was all well before fast roping techniques were developed.

The first approved on-duty training occurred in July of 1975. Members of A and B platoons were sent down to Fort Meade to be trained by Army Marksmanship Training Unit 1 for a two week counter sniper course. It was the first training in which the M-16's were used. Although some of the days were twelve hour days, the troops were delighted to have any training and participated with gusto. The next scheduled on-duty training was in February of 1976. A-3 squad was sent to the one week FBI SWAT school. It was held at Gunpowder and had one day of entry problems down at the Army’s Ordnance Road facility. It involved several other police departments and was well presented by the local FBI SWAT team. The attached photo is A-3 squad during that training out at the Gunpowder Range. The two EVU men did not participate in the training. From left to right (standing) are: EVU Officer Roland Andrews, EVU Sgt. Dave Bryant, Officers Roger Rose, James Siebor, Gary Green, Mike Speedling, Kelly Allen, Lee Baker, Norm Bleakly, Andy Gersey. From left to right (kneeling) are: Sgt. Joe Key, Steve Grenfell, George Smith, Mike Hurm, Lenny Rummo, Ed Schillo, and Bob Letmate. Roger Rose broke his arm badly doing a forward roll with his rifle trying to take a cover position during the training and wasn’t able to continue in the teams.

I was scheduled to begin training an A Platoon squad in the first departmentally sanctioned SWAT training on Monday, April 19, 1976. The date is etched in my memory because the worst shootout in the Department’s history occurred on Good Friday, April 16, 1976. In that incident one officer, James Halcomb, was killed and five others were seriously injured. It would be repetitious to go into any detail about the incident in this writing. For further information click on link: 39 Minutes of Terror The most important result of the fiasco of the department’s response to the sniper, John Earl Williams, was that it very much softened, at least for a period, the opposition to SWAT and the necessity for having a SWAT unit. The incident also served to awaken in some members of Tactical the realization that being an operator in a SWAT team required a great deal of work and personal sacrifice. After the dust had somewhat settled, Commissioner Pomerleau made it very clear, very clear, that he wanted the program to proceed.

Another outcome of the incident that was relevant to the history of the QRT was that it was the first time any squad had ever functioned as a SWAT team. A-3 squad was working that night. The training they had done on their own time and the FBI training permitted them to carry out SWAT functions, although they had no standing as a Quick Response Team because the order had not been signed and, as a result, they had not received QRT certification. The SWAT functions carried out that night were: support and observers for the counter sniper, EVU Officer Bob Powell; a gas delivery team headed by Lieutenant Duggins; an evacuation team to retrieve Officer Halcomb (one squad member and a Western District officer, Frank Stallings, were able to retrieve him, while the others provided cover fire); and, once Officer Halcomb was out of the line of fire and Williams had been forced out of the house by a barrage of suppression/cover fire, the evacuation team members entered and cleared the house. The only names of A-3 squad personnel that were there that night that I’ve been able to determine to a certainty were: Gersey and Green, CS support; Rummo, Schillo, Seibor, Hurm, evacuation and entry teams.   Given the team members minimal training and lack of SWAT operational experience, they performed well in an extraordinarily difficult situation. Their performance demonstrated that SWAT training, even if rudimentary by today’s standards, and SWAT teams were a necessary element in handling this type of critical event.

The first Tactical officers to receive QRT certification did so in October 1977, the same time the General Order was finally signed and published. The attached photo shows the members of that group. The members shown in the photo are from left to right: Colonel Ron Mullen, Captain John Schmitt (Colonel Mullen and Captain Schmidt did not undergo the training), Steve Grenfell, Bob Letmate, Neal Hairston, Dave Hollingsworth, Burch Schwabline, Denis Dean, Jim Giza, Bob Franklin, John Maguire, Bob Foltz, Doug Bryson, Matt Immler, Mike Mulligan, Al Erhardt, Tony Garcia, Lt. Joe Key, Lt. John Wagner.

The selection process to become a functioning member of the teams included passing a minimal physical fitness test, a forty hour training course, an interview with current team members, and a psychological exam. The first operational members were picked from existing Tactical Section personnel. None could be eliminated because of failing any part of the selection criteria, including the psychological exam. This was not my decision, it came from on high against my strenuous objection. In those first days, a number of the men assigned to Tactical were there because some higher up put them there as a reward for extraordinary performance above and beyond the call of duty in the fine art of ass kissing and/or being related to said higher-up. They weren’t there to do the job, nor, in many cases, could they. Those men that were issued the first QRT Certificates and Pins qualified in all of the categories and marked the beginning of what could be considered, at the time, a reasonably trained and operational SWAT team. As the teams progressed, men came to Tactical because they wanted to be members of SWAT and wanted it badly enough to meet the standards. As the SWAT concept matured, the selection process became more selective and the team members more capable.

The physical fitness test was loosely modeled after the Marine Corps Squad Leader training program. The minimum number of pull-ups to qualify was five, which received twenty points. Each additional pull-up resulted in three points up to a maximum of fifteen pull-ups, which was awarded fifty points. The minimum number of push-ups and sit-ups (no time limit) was twenty and the maximum was fifty. Twenty of either exercise garnered twenty points with each additional repetition earning one point up to a total of fifty points for each exercise. The final physical requirement was to run one mile in eight minutes or less. The maximum score of fifty was given for running the mile in six minutes or less, with one point added for each four seconds under the eight minute minimum. To qualify for the training program a candidate had to achieve all of the minimums and have an overall score of one hundred points. As I said, in the beginning no member of Tactical was excluded from operating on a team because of failing any of the selection requirements. Some of the initial teams, prior to the certification in 1977, were staffed by personnel who could only hang on the pull-up bar and barely eke out as few as ten push-ups or sit-ups. They functioned but certainly not anywhere near the level of current operators nor the level that should have been mandated for their safety and the requirements of the missions they undertook.

My criticism is not of the courage and dedication of most of those officers. After all, they undertook the same kind of dangerous situations that later teams would face and they did it with woefully inadequate equipment and minimal training. Any criticism is directed solely toward those members of command that were protecting or attempting to increase their personal fiefdoms by insisting that everyone needed to have a “slice of the pie.” Lt. Duggins and I were told that specifically by a Tac captain, who replaced Captain Bolesta as the Commanding Officer of Tactical. Duggins’ response was classic Duggins: his jaw tightened, his eyes narrowed, his voice became gravelly, and through clinched teeth, he said, “I will run my f...ing platoon the way I see fit. The day I’m told to put some do-nothing, tub of s..t into an operation, somebody’s going to get his badge shoved up his ass.” That account is accurate in all aspects. My response to the comment and to the captain’s sputtering, whining reaction was to laugh, which did not endear me to the good captain. The captain’s reason for his slice of the pie philosophy was that, by letting everyone in Tactical function as an active QRT member regardless of competency, he lessened the chance of offending some departmental or political VIP who was responsible for assigning his/her protégée slug to QRT.

That captain was constantly in the business of advancing his fine self up the departmental ladder by any means necessary. He imagined that his journey up that ladder somehow included taking the programs or justifications I wrote and having his secretary retype them for his signature. I never protested because my concern was that the program advance and, if having the captain’s signature on those documents, assisted in that process, it was fine with me. In the end, none of that helped him advance, he retired as a captain. As for Duggins, he didn’t care about advancing his career. He was assigned to Tactical based only on his reputation and merit. Command officers took him on at their peril: he was a brilliant writer and fearless. Commissioner Pomerleau, himself a retired Marine Colonel with a well deserved reputation of being a hard charger, admired and respected Duggins. This was, in part, because of Duggins’ stellar reputation in the department and, in part, because of Duggins’ service in the Marines, including surviving the Chosin Reservoir Campaign.  

The slice of the pie the Tactical captain was talking about was a very risky, dangerous business in both street operations and training. The slices were being handed out, in some cases, to men who had no interest in being genuinely qualified and capable of undertaking the hard work necessary to become even minimally proficient in the job of a SWAT operator. One such individual, who personified the captain’s flawed slice of the pie theory, was the sergeant he picked to replace me as the supervisor of A-3 squad, when I was transferred to the EVU section to train and run QRT full time. He was selected to increase the arrest statistics of the squad. He later distinguished himself by jack-potting not only himself but several members of the squad. He accomplished this by implementing a contest wherein squad members who made the most arrests received time off. The contest was found to have racial overtones, in addition to the obvious violations of departmental regulations. The sergeant was eventually forced to resign because of allegations that he was selling arrest record information to a local company in violation of federal law. From the beginning, he had zero interest in becoming a member of SWAT and even less desire to pass the minimum physical fitness test. As would be expected, he miserably failed all of the physical fitness qualification tests.

One training incident that sergeant was involved in serves to make the point about the necessity to select the best of the best as team operators. I had the pleasure of “rescuing” his fine, fat self in a rappelling exercise out at the Gunpowder rappelling tower. To his credit, he forced himself off the simulated helicopter pad even though he was scared of heights. He was prompted to take the plunge by being told he had to do it or he would be sent back to Tac. I referred to him as being fat because that fact was part of the reason he became hung up five feet under the pad and forty-five feet from the ground. I was alerted to his situation by his squeals and hurled obscenities decrying his unpleasant, to him, circumstance; said circumstance was mildly amusing to the rest of us. He was, contrary to specific instructions, wearing a loose sweatshirt to cover his very prominent mid-section. The sweatshirt got caught in the carabiner and twisted around the line; thus, locking him on the line and leaving him dangling above the ground. I told him that it was time for lunch and that I would think about how to get him down over lunch, but he loudly and emotionally insisted that I get him down. His actions and volume while screaming invectives at me and others, some of whom were displaying a lack of sensitivity by openly laughing at his situation, convinced me he was, indeed, in mortal peril from the immediate potential of suffering a stroke. I then dropped down next to him with knife in hand. I told him that the only way I could figure to get him to the ground was to cut the line. Again, he very loudly and emotionally told me that he just didn’t think that was the best option. As I recall, in expressing his opinions about his predicament and my response to it, he actually used some obscene language directed toward me, which included statements regarding the legitimacy of my birth. Having a thick skin, I ignored his misdirected and undeserved insults and tied him off with another carabiner and line. He was then lifted up enough by several team members, who pulled mightily on the secondary line to achieve that result, to take the pressure off the original line. When they had pulled him high enough, I was able to cut the sweatshirt away from the line. He then completed his trip to the ground. Duggins and I used that sweatshirt in training future classes to make the point that wearing non approved clothing had potentially dangerous consequences.

On a serious note, while we had some fun at the chunky sergeant’s expense, it was just a training exercise. In a real situation his failure to abide by basic safety rules and his lack of the physical wherewithal to climb the rope back to the point he could have freed the jammed shirt would have endangered himself, his team, and the operation. This incident demonstrates the folly of the theory that everyone should have a slice of the pie, regardless of their inability to fulfill the absolutely necessary requirements to become a member of a SWAT team. Further, it determines to a certainty the potentially catastrophic consequences of that theory.

The first certified QRT member’s training course was based on a program that was a patchwork of a combination of one week courses I taught combined with the course taught by the FBI. The course included: team composition and functions; individual functions within a team; necessary equipment; basic room entry techniques; scenario practical problems; and first aid. Rappelling and weapons familiarization training and qualifications were taught separately in one and two day programs. The day began at 0700 hours with calisthenics. Classes began at 0800 and continued until 1600 with a half hour for lunch. At 1600 hours troops suited up and ran to the gas chamber, where they had to put on their M-17 masks after two mini CS grenades were ignited. They stayed in the chamber until it was certain that the masks had been put on correctly and that they worked properly. Each member was then required to take off the mask and clearly recite his name, entry on duty date, sequence number, and, depending on how anxious he was to exit the chamber, his social security number, birthday, number and names of children, etc. After the gas chamber, the squad would run the military’s obstacle course and then back to the classroom. Usually, clock-out time was around 1800 hours.

On one occasion when we were running the obstacle course, the skies opened up and it started pouring. Additionally, thunder and lightning settled right on top of us. As we started running back to the classroom, Bob Letmate remarked that the good news was that it couldn’t get any worse. He picked a terrible time to say it, because the words were no more out of his mouth than what had been merely pouring became buckets and two lightning strikes hit trees within fifty yards of us. They were so close that the hair on my arms and head stood up. The strikes had a very positive effect on those members who were normally somewhat reticent about running. It was a full out sprint back to the classroom and not accomplished in a military manner.

The interview process was not in place when the first Tactical officers were SWAT trained and became operational. As new officers were assigned to Tactical, the process was implemented and became more refined as time passed. The interview had the same questions asked of every candidate. The questions ranged from why the person wanted to become a member to technical questions involving knowledge of weapons, etc. The selection board was made up of certified QRT members and a certified QRT team leader. Supervisors were not required to be certified at that time; again, not my choice. To be selected to go to the training program, a candidate had to be approved by the majority of the board. The board was still not fully operational by the time I left Tac in October 1977.

The psychological evaluation was started shortly after Lombard and Carey in April 1976. Psychology Consultants Associated was chosen to develop an evaluation for prospective members of the teams. Dr. Gill Claperton, the head of the organization at the time, Dr. Ken Sachs, the current head, and Dr. Dan Stern rode with me for a few nights to get a feel for what cops did in the city. We didn’t encounter any QRT situations, but they did enhance their understanding of the world of BPD cops by being introduced to the night denizens and life in the areas of Pennsylvania Avenue in the Western, North Avenue and Harford Road then in the Northern, and Reisterstown Road in the Northwestern District. A good time was had by all and I escaped without being committed. The evaluation, in addition to the normal battery of tests to determine potential mental problems, was designed to identify officers who could sit, stand, or lie in a position for hours in weather varying from blistering hot to sub-freezing cold without losing concentration and, at the same time, being prepared to jump into the middle of a catastrophe in a split-second while exhibiting absolute control.

As far as equipping the teams, members from both A and B Platoons chipped in and bought the rappelling lines and gloves with which we trained. Later, when the teams became operational, they bought surplus canteens, a small pack, web gear, and the dark blue “bread truck driver” overalls that became the first uniforms of SWAT. They had to sew on the BPD shoulder patches and color them with permanent, black magic markers. The BPD did supply the team members with baseball hats with the BPD emblem on it, but, again, they had to color it black.

Regarding other equipment, the only protective vests available were WWI era Spooner Flack Jackets. They didn’t stop bullets, but, if someone heaved a low powered WWI type grenade that hit far enough away, the vests offered some level of protection, ditto for a sniper throwing rocks but hopefully not shooting them out of a slingshot. The firearms the teams were initially equipped with were .30 caliber Plainfield carbines which, according to a study done by Paul Davis, had a one in eight failure rate. My requests earlier and Davis’ request, accompanied by his study, to replace the carbines were rejected by Commissioner Pomerleau who reportedly said he had carried one in WWII and Korea and it had served him admirably. The Plainfields issued to QRT were cheap imitations of the Winchester carbines the military carried. In addition to the carbines, QRT cops carried their issued revolvers and at least one team member would have a Remington 870, 12 gage shotgun. M-16's could be checked out from the EVU on approval of the On Scene Commander and dependent on his/her assessment of the severity of the incident. The first actual deployment of the M-16's occurred on July 4, 1975. Sergeant Frank Russo and I were deployed as overwatch and security on the Domino Sugar towers across from Fort McHenry where President Gerald Ford was addressing the fifth annual “Our Country” celebration. I have no records as to when they began to be used in SWAT street situations. The 5.56mm Mini-14's were introduced in 1981 and replaced the carbines.

As written earlier, the first actual SWAT type operation wherein small units were deployed for specific missions occurred at Lombard and Carey and was carried out successfully by a team with minimal training and no SWAT operational experience. After finishing with my debriefing by Colonel Robinson and Captain Bolesta at approximately 2:00 a.m., I was ordered to be back in Tac Headquarters by 7:00 the next morning to put together two cars which would begin patrolling that day from 1800 to 0200 hours. The cars were designated as 1991A and 1991B. They were outfitted with a WW1 footlocker type box that contained one .30 caliber carbine with two loaded magazines and a carton of .30 caliber carbine ammunition, two Spooner Vests, a box of 12 gage .00 buck and a box of 12 gage rifled slugs, six CS mini-grenades, a first aid kit, and sundry other items that I can’t recall. There was also a box that contained a shotgun. The officers were to be deployed only to sniper/barricade situations. The duty was performed by A-3 squad members exclusively for a month or so, until other members of A and B Platoons completed training and were qualified, albeit not certified. The cars were phased out around 1986. A large van replaced them, but it had to be picked up at headquarters and brought to the scene of an incident. According to current SWAT operator and trainer, Steve Coughlan, the cars became operational again in 1995 after the North Hollywood, CA shootout at the bank. They were phased out again in 1997, at which time the teams went back to the large van/truck concept.

The next and much more successful SWAT operation occurred two weeks to the day after Lombard and Carey. A recently released inmate from an Illinois prison came home on Ann Street and found his partner in the arms of another man. He went berserk and started shooting up the neighborhood with a .22 rifle. Southeast District officers secured the outer perimeter and called QRT. The 1991 cars responded along with other members of A Platoon. Captain Bolesta was On Scene Commander and set up his command post at the corner of Fleet and Ann Streets. He deployed a counter sniper with a spotter, gas teams, and an entry team. CS gas was deployed from shotgun launchers and a 37mm gas launcher. The gas eventually drove the subject out of the house. When he came out, he had the rifle. He pointed it toward the counter sniper position and was shot by said officer with a .243 Winchester model 70 rifle. The officer that fired the shot a member of EVU CP11. An evacuation team went down and carried the individual from the scene. An entry team, made then made entry, and cleared the house.

This was a text book operation that deployed every Tactical asset in the way they were meant to be used. The G.O. was still more than a year away from being implemented, but Lombard and Carey had taught hard lessons to both command and district officers. Commissioner Pomerleau was quoted in the Sun as saying that the shooting was the way the BPD would handle such incidents, “. . . one shot, one kill.” The Fleet and Ann Street incident served to convince some of the doubters and nay sayers in the department, command and officers alike, that the SWAT concept could work and could save police officers’ lives. The journey forward would still be extremely difficult and fraught with roadblocks erected by members of command who saw SWAT as infringing on their territories and/or potentially reducing their time in the spotlight. Regardless, SWAT was on its way and the two incidents in the spring of 1976 provided a solid foundation as to why the concept was necessary and how well it could work when implemented correctly.

QRT/SWAT GROWS UP

In doing research for this writing, I spoke to Dr. Ken Sachs, President, Psychology Consultants Associated, who said that the evaluations PCA still does for potential SWAT candidates show that they exhibit the traits of elite professionals, that they want to be part of the best of the best, that they like the program’s tough, enhanced training, and are very physically fit. He went on to say he is very impressed by their quality and that he admires them. As written earlier, the intent of the evaluation, in addition to the normal battery of tests to determine potential mental problems, was to identify officers who could withstand extreme conditions for long periods of time without losing concentration and, at the same time, being prepared to jump into the middle of a catastrophe in a split-second while exhibiting absolute control.

Those are not routine qualifications nor are they the traits of ordinary men. As an example of an incident that showed the absolute necessity for those traits, the longest lasting barricade/shooting incident in the history of the Baltimore Police Department occurred on May 11 and 12 of 1987. Team members Bob Edwards, Ray Jones, Steve Kuhn, Bob Letmate, Lee Towers, and Sam Tress confronted an armed, coke snorting, bad guy named Jarrod Clayton, who had taken several hostages in an incident that came to be known simply as Chase Street. Clayton had been stopped by an Eastern District officer at around 4:00 p.m. on the 11th for a field interview. He had drugs and two guns on him. He ran from the officer, firing a shot as he escaped. He broke into 1703 Chase Street and took eleven people hostage. Sam Tress, who had been switched from running QRT to supervising the Hostage Negotiation Team, began negotiations shortly after the command post became operational. QRT entered the house at approximately 7:30 p.m. The operation ended in a gunfight and fire, which destroyed the house a little after 7:00 the next morning.

The high temperature on the 11th was 89and the building was a three story row house with no air conditioning. The team was fully suited up with heavy vests that contained front and back ceramic plates, M-17 gas masks, CS mini-grenades, and extra ammunition. Tress, Towers, and Edwards were armed with shotguns and Letmate had a Mini-14. Jones and Kuhn carried their issued .38 caliber revolvers and recently purchased ballistic shields. The team spent the next approximately twelve hours in the miserably hot house until the gunfight and a fire ended the operation.

Regarding the bunker, Sam Tress, when he was the QRT supervisor and trainer, had ordered two ballistic bunkers for the teams some months earlier. He received some push back from a City Hall bean counter, who told him that he, the bean counter, had found some bunkers that were cheaper. Sam asked him if they met the specifications he had submitted and, when the man said no, Sam told him pointedly to buy the ones he had ordered. The bunkers had arrived a month or so before Chase Street. One of the bunkers took two hits and another took one, saving team members’ lives. It was the first recorded incident in the U.S. where a bunker had taken fire in an actual operation.

The On Scene Commander, Major Barnes, gave the green-light for the sniper, Dave Gunter, to take a shot when he could. Gunter, who knew the man was reportedly armed and had fired a shot at a cop, had seen the man moving around in the house, but could not take the shot because he did not have the green-light at that time. After he received the go ahead from Barnes, Deputy Commissioner Ron Mullen, who called the command post from his home, restricted the order to fire only if the man appeared in a window with a gun in his hand. Gunter never had a clear shot after that. Had the green-light been issued earlier, Pomerleau’s previously stated “one shot, one kill” policy could have ended the affray fairly quickly. The team was ordered in at 7:00 p.m. Tress became part of the team in an attempt to conduct face to face negotiations after the team was fired upon early in the evening. His negotiations resulted in the hostages being released throughout the night and early morning until the last hostage was set free at approximately 4:00 a.m. The EVU began deploying gas after the last hostage was freed. A total of approximately twenty-five to thirty rounds of both ferret and 37mm CS gas munitions were lobbed into the house. The CS had no effect on Clayton, who had ingested approximately 80 caps of cocaine during the night and morning. The team assaulted the third floor, where Clayton was barricaded in the bathroom, at approximately 7:00 a.m. Clayton fired continuously through the walls at the team. At one point he appeared, said he had been shot, and fired directly at them. The team returned fire, hitting him several times. Kuhn threw one CS mini that hit the bathroom door frame, where Clayton was holed up. It bounced down the hallway into a pile of trash and clothing, which ignited the fire that eventually burned the house down. The fire forced the team to exfiltrate the house. They had to run past the bathroom where Clayton was and used the shields and suppression fire to execute their exfiltration safely. The gunfight lasted on and off for approximately fifteen minutes. Clayton fired approximately forty rounds throughout the event. Even though they had been fired upon earlier, the team had not returned fire until they engaged Clayton directly during the last effort to take him into custody. Clayton was struck numerous times, but, thanks to the ballistic shields, no operators were hit.

The burning of the house resulted in the department banning the use of incendiary chemical munitions. Also, the department refused to reimburse team members for the speed loaders they had used, because they were not departmentally issued. If Pomerleau’s “one shot, one kill” policy had been in effect from the beginning, Chase Street would have been over before the team was deployed. All of the team members were awarded Silver Stars for their courageous actions. The memo from Tac Commander, Major Regis Raffensberger, recommending them for the Medal of Honor is attached.  

Another example of team operators working for a long period of time in extreme conditions, which were the polar (pun intended) opposite of the those existing during Chase Street, occurred on February 16, 1994. Counter snipers Mike Mulligan, a QRT plank holder from 75, Bob Foltz, another plank holder from 77, and Jan Richmond lay prone in the snow in freezing temperatures in a hostage situation taking turns off and on their rifles from approximately 10:30 p.m. to approximately 3:30 a.m. At that time the bad guy held the baby he had been holding hostage in front of the apartment window and was attempting to put a pistol in her mouth. Mulligan fired a single shot from a position approximately seventy-five yards away and at a steep downward angle from the suspect. The man was hit in the center of his face, but, because his face was slightly turned, the bullet exited below his ear. After Mulligan fired the shot, the suspect got back on the phone with negotiator Sam Tress and said, “you m.....f...ers shot me.” He made the statement with half his jaw shot off. His voice reflected that, for him, unpleasant circumstance, because his words were, in Tress’s description of the call, quite “jumbled.” John Wagner, On Scene Commander, then ordered the QRT operators, previously deployed at the suspect’s door, to make an entry. The team breached the door and one of the entry team officers, Curtis Willis, fired two shots striking the subject twice. The subject had shot the baby, but she survived. Both Chase Street and this incident served to validate PCA’s evaluation criteria and proved the point that the requirements for being a member of the teams were not the routine qualifications nor traits of ordinary men.

I have recounted violent SWAT situations to emphasize points regarding the difficulty of overcoming departmental resistance to the SWAT concept, the consequences arising therefrom, the validity of testing procedures, the evolution of the teams, and the acceptance of the necessity for those teams. In reality the mandate for SWAT teams is that they exercise complete control over a situation in order to handle it with minimal violence. If, however, violence becomes necessary, the training of the operators and the quality of their equipment must be able to instantly bring overwhelming force to resolve the threat. Today’s Baltimore Police Department SWAT teams are more than capable of fulfilling that mandate and resolving any threat.

I spoke at length to Steve Coughlan, a member of QRT/SWAT since 1994 and a current trainer for the teams. He took a great deal of time from his busy life, including caring for his wife and brand new baby, to describe the current training, equipment, and operational strategies of today’s BPD SWAT teams. Steve Kuhn, although retired from the BPD, also provided much information. The teams are trained, equipped, and operate in a world about which us old-timers, in our wildest fantasies back in 1976, couldn’t have even dreamed.

The physical fitness test’s minimal requirements and passing the interview process are now strictly observed. No officer can attend the three week SWAT course without running a mile and one-half in twelve and one-half minutes or less, doing a minimum of five pull-ups, and fifty push-ups and sit-ups. The test is now being modified to include, in addition to the standard physical fitness measures, job related functions.

Once selected, the SWAT trainers will host a three week class that consists of five days of classroom work and ten days of various practicums, including scenario training with issued weapons using Simunitions. The majority of attendees are from the BPD, but other agencies and military personnel frequently attend. Once the attendees have passed the course, a few of the top candidates are selected to fill vacancies in the teams. Those men are then sent for a five day course to qualify them on the M-4 rifles that each team member is issued. Once they are serving in the teams, an operator can request to be trained as a sniper/observer. If selected, that member is then sent to a three week course hosted by either the Maryland State Police or Baltimore County Police. Occasionally, the BPD SWAT trainers will host the class. All sniper/observers are, therefore, also qualified as SWAT operators. To keep their skills honed to perfection, the sniper/observers practice twice monthly.

The equipment the teams now have is the best of the best. Each operator is assigned a 5.56 caliber M-4, which is a short barreled rifle that is effective both as an entry weapon and at moderately long distances. They also have their issued Glock .40 caliber pistols. They must qualify with every weapon they use at or above the ninety percentile level on advanced firearms qualifications courses specifically designed for special operations personnel. Sniper/observers must shoot a one hundred percent score on every qualification course.

In addition to firearms, the teams now have other state of the art equipment, including bullet resistant vests, which are considerably lighter than the old models, Kevlar helmets, and, recently, green uniforms that are designed specifically for SWAT operators. Members who are assigned on a rotating basis to respond to critical incidents from home are provided with take home cruisers. There are two equipment vans, which are being replaced by top of the line Mercedes Benz Sprinters. These are specifically designed for special operations use. These vans are kept in a secure location and are picked up when a SWAT type incident occurs and/or when they are conducting a raid. Finally, they have a Lenco Bearcat Armored Rescue Vehicle, which can be deployed very quickly when needed.

Operationally, the teams, for the most part, work only on SWAT related activities. They frequently conduct raids which involve the potential for extreme violence; i.e., raids where the presence of a firearm(s) that is(are) likely to be used is an element, and/or raids involving gangs. Of course, their duties also include response to all hostage, barricade, sniper, or active shooter situations. The teams are particularly proud of the fact that they haven’t had to fire a shot since 2008. Considering the potential for violence and number of incidents they handle, that is truly a record of which to be proud.

A quote that is attributed to George Orwell describes the mission and character of the SWAT teams: “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” Rough describes their dedication to the hard work necessary to achieve the status of a SWAT operator and ready, although not anxious, to do violence describes the grueling training they have undergone in becoming one. They are superbly trained and equipped, and are the epitome of professional SWAT operators. They are more than any of us, who were involved nearly forty years ago in trying to get the SWAT albatross off the ground, could have imagined.   The teams have grown up indeed.

EPILOGUE

The writing of this has been a labor of love. Although I have tried to give proper credit to all of those I could remember that contributed to making the teams what they are today, I’m certain that I have left some out. I apologize for that. That the Baltimore Police Department now has such men in its SWAT teams to protect the citizens of Baltimore, is a credit to the administrations and the SWAT members, told and untold, that made it so.

Today’s world presents challenges to police departments that were unheard of at the time of the teams’ beginning. Active shooters killing dozens in malls or schools will require the best of the best to stop them. On the horizon is the certainty that this country will suffer attacks from rabid, religion driven, zealots. The attacks will be horrendous and, unless stopped immediately, result in terrible losses. While the main effort of law enforcement has to be directed towards preventing such attacks, the men who respond to those that are not prevented will have to be very “rough” and “ready” indeed. The men they will face may have undergone rigorous military training and will possess a furor to carry out their missions that is beyond the capability of normal people to understand. SWAT trainers and supervisors will have to constantly confer with intelligence assets, departmental and otherwise, to foresee when and where the attacks might come. Those likely locations will have to be constantly monitored and plans developed to respond effectively in case of a critical event. This adds an intelligence element to the SWAT concept. It also follows the military model for creating contingency plans to respond to any threat to the security of this country.

In the world of today, there are many critics of the perceived militarization of police departments. It is unfortunate that some incidents have occurred where law enforcement special operations units and their equipment have been used inappropriately. Regardless, given the state of affairs as they exist today, police departments must have special operations units that train in conformity with military models and use equipment that the military uses. The qualifications and training of SWAT operators cannot be lessened and, in fact, may have to be intensified. The police department is the first line of defense against those that would kill the citizens the department is sworn to protect. There is no alternative to having SWAT teams that are capable to meet all threats, even if they work in the manner and look like they are a military unit in doing so. There is, also, no alternative but to have sufficient controls in place, which will clearly distinguish between what SWAT teams can do as law enforcement officers and how that differs from the role of the military. Finally, to ensure the citizens’ confidence, the department should reach out and educate them as to the rationale and operational protocols of the SWAT concept. In the tough times ahead, the department will need to have the complete support of the citizens to address the critical incidents of tomorrow. Given the outstanding performance and professional quality of the current SWAT teams, there is no doubt that the Baltimore Police Department will be able to meet and overcome all of tomorrow’s challenges. I pray it will be so.

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Chase St. Hostage Incident Commendation 9

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Capt. Jimmy Lyston

Saturday, 14 March 2020 10:26 Written by

Capt. Jimmy Lyston

Sergeant Lyston 1947

Excerpts from “The Lyston's – A Story of One Baltimore Family and Our National Pastime” by Jimmy Keenan     

Jimmy Lyston was born in the Waverly section of Baltimore, Maryland on January 18, 1903. He was the youngest of four children born to John M. Lyston [a former major league baseball player and U.S Customs Inspector] and Katherine Josephine Concannon Lyston. John M.’s two brothers. Bill and Morty, were also professional baseball players. Jimmy attended St. Ann’s Grammar school and later Loyola High School where he played on the football and baseball teams. He signed his first professional baseball contract with Jack Dunn’s International League Baltimore Orioles in early January of 1921 at the age of 17. Jimmy Lyston married the former Edith Wade on December 26, 1929 and the couple had two daughters, Peggy born in 1930 and Nancy born in 1942. 

Lyston played professional baseball until June of 1931. At that time, he resigned from the Hagerstown Hubs of the Middle Atlantic League to become a Baltimore City Police officer. In 1924, the Baltimore City Police Department, at the behest of Commissioner Charles D. Gaither, formed an All-Star baseball team that was made up of the best ball-playing policemen from each district. Nearly all the members of the ball club were former professional baseball players. Jimmy Lyston played on the Baltimore Police baseball team from July of 1931 until it was disbanded by Commissioner Robert F. Stanton in the spring of 1940. During that time, the Baltimore City Police baseball team played against the best semi-pro and amateur nines in the city, winning numerous championships. They also competed against police departments from other cities including J.Edgar Hoover’s F.B.I. baseball team in what was called the John Law Series. Baltimore came out on the winning end of the series on most occasions.

Noted Baltimore sports figure Charlie Eckman was the police team’s bat boy during the 1930’s. In his book, “It’s a Very Simple Game,” Eckman reminisced to his biographer Fred Neil about the talented Baltimore City Police baseball club. The following is the article from Mr. Eckman’s outstanding book: 
                        

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An Arresting Team on The Local Diamond

1937 G Baltimore Police Baseball team

One of the best amateur baseball teams in Baltimore during the thirties according to Eckman was the Baltimore City Police Department team. They would play other amateur teams during the week but on the weekends the players would scatter to play for top-notch semi pro teams to pick up $10 to $15 a game. That was a lot of money in those days. 

Eckman: “These guys were outstanding ballplayers and they gave any team they played fits. They had a tough group of pitchers like Hen Sherry, Buck Foreman, Bill Runge, Harry Biemiller and others. The catchers were Johnny Alberts, Joe Koenig and Pete Stack. Around the infield was Hoby Hammen on first … Jimmy Lyston on second…. Eddie Sawyer played shortstop … Tony Schoenoff on third. Their top backup infielder was“Inky” Graff. Patrolling the outfield were, (no pun intended), George Klemmick in centerfield, with Joe Zukas in left…Augie Schroll was in right, with Freddy Fitzberger off of the bench. The other guys were good but these are the guys that stand out in memory. Sergeant Polly Martin was the manager, but the guy who ran the team was Captain “Buck” Hartung.”

Jimmy Lyston began his career in law enforcement off of the diamond as a patrolman in the old Northeastern District on June 18,1931. He joined the Accident Investigation Division in November of 1939. His duties at this time involved investigating hit and run automobile accidents in Baltimore city. The majority of these accidents involved fatalities. On many occasions, he was able to locate the driver through good old-fashioned police work. 

The following are the accounts of three of these hit and run accidents in which he and his partner received a commendation for solving the case:

On November 12, 1941, two cars hit two pedestrians at the same time in the 2400 block of Madison Avenue. Police officers Jimmy Lyston and Wilmer Lerian had very little help from any of the eyewitnesses. However, a witness was able to recall that one of the cars had whitewall tires. Officer Lerian was the brother of major league catcher, Walter “Peck” Lerian. The only piece of evidence that the two policemen were able to find at the accident scene that day was a broken off headlight ornament. Unfortunately, one of the injured pedestrians would eventually die the next day. The two officers eventually located two suspicious vehicles about three blocks from the accident scene in a public garage. Both car owners denied any involvement in the crime. The headlight ornament that was missing from one of the cars sealed their fate. The owners of both vehicles were arrested.

The commendation read:  “In view of the inadequate description of the automobiles by the witnesses, the officers were compelled to overcome almost insurmountable obstacles; they nevertheless were successful in convicting both drivers.”   

On December 1, 1941, a pedestrian was killed in a hit and run accident at the corner of Philadelphia Road and Erdman Avenue in Baltimore. There were no witnesses and the only piece of evidence was part of a radiator grill that was left at the scene. Police officers, Jimmy Lyston and Thomas Keyes, located a commercial truck parked several blocks away with a piece of radiator missing. The ignition switch had been hot-wired to make the truck appear to have been stolen. While questioning the company’s employees, the police officers determined that there were discrepancies in one of their statements. The guilty man eventually confessed.

The commendation read: “In view of the fact that there were not any witnesses and while all indications pointed to the fact that the vehicle was stolen, nevertheless the officers initiative and meritorious investigation resulted in most satisfactory handling of the case.”   

On December 14, 1942, at 6:05 PM, an accident occurred at the intersection of Saratoga Street and Fremont Avenue in Baltimore city. The incident involved two pedestrians who were struck by a car and seriously injured. One of the victims was carried on the hood of the automobile for a distance of four and a half blocks before falling off the vehicle and left lying in the middle of the street. The operator of the vehicle failed to stop after the accident. The only information the police received concerning this hit and run car was that it bore Maryland tags, the first three numerals which may have been 177. Also found at the scene of the accident were fragments of headlight glass, presumably belonging to a 1931 Chevrolet. Patrolmen James L. Lyston and Patrolman Thomas J. Keyes checked the Automobile Commissioner’s Motor Vehicle list of over 177,000 vehicles. After exhaustive research, they found a 1931 Chevrolet sedan with MD. License plate 177-914. The driver of that vehicle had recently been arrested for an unrelated drunk driving charge and was being held at the Essex Police Station in Baltimore County. The car was parked on the Essex Police parking lot. The broken headlight glass at the accident scene matched the fragments of glass that were left on the vehicle. After a drive to the Essex Police Station and a check of the back lot, the Baltimore Police had their culprit. The guilty man was sitting in the Essex Jail. There was no way for the Essex Police to have known about the previous accident.

The commendation read, “For their careful investigation for this unusual accident and their diligence in locating the suspect in another jurisdiction and for their careful investigation of this and subsequent apprehension and conviction in the City.”

Jimmy Lyston received thirteen commendations during the course of his 33- year career in the Baltimore City Police Department.

My Grandfather also described to me what went on during the air raid drills that occurred in Baltimore during World War II. During these blackouts, Baltimoreans were required to stop everything and pull all the window shades down and turn off all lights. 

My Granddad told me about the first time that the Baltimore City Police Department tested a tear gas gun. He said the gun had such a tremendous kick that nearly everyone who took a shot with it was knocked to the ground by the recoil. 

Jimmy Lyston was a member of the Baltimore City Police Riot Squad. An outstanding shot with a pistol, he was also a member of the competitive shooting team. Promoted to Sergeant on January 30, 1947, he made Lieutenant on May 6, 1954, and by May of 1960, the former professional baseball player had attained the rank of Captain. This was before the military designations of Colonel and Major were introduced into the Baltimore City Police Department’s officer ranking system.

The Baltimore Evening Sun of May 5, 1960, stated, “Lt. James Lyston commended thirteen times for meritorious service in 29 years with the Baltimore Police department was today promoted to Captain.

Captain Lyston, a professional baseball player before joining the force in June of 1931, has been placed in charge of the Motor Vehicle Traffic Squad.”

Captain Lyston’s promotion was mentioned by noted Hagerstown sportswriter Frank Colley in his column the following day:

The Hagerstown Morning Herald of May 6, 1960, noted, “After 29 years of service with the Baltimore Police Department during which time he was commended thirteen times for meritorious service, Lt. James L. Lyston was promoted to the rank of Captain and has been placed in command of the motor vehicle traffic squad. 

To many readers of this column the name of Lyston doesn’t register but to those who followed the old Blue Ridge League back in the 1920’s it will click.

Jimmy Lyston as he was known to fans in this city and around the circuit especially in Waynesboro was one of the best infielders ever to grace a Blue Ridge League diamond.

Possessing a great pair of hands and while not a heavy hitter, he was a timely clouter and one that was hard of keep off of the bases.

Jimmy quit baseball in 1931 and joined the Baltimore Police force and has held down quite a number of official positions. Those remembering Jimmy wish him the best of luck in his new post and congratulations on his promotion.”   

Captain Jimmy Lyston was the commander of the motorized section of the Baltimore City Police Department’s Traffic Division from May of 1960 to October of 1964. His command was composed of all of the motorcycle and mounted policemen in Baltimore City. At that time, even some city taxicabs were under the Police Department’s jurisdiction.

In the fall of 1962, President John F. Kennedy visited Baltimore to speak at a Democratic rally that was being held at the Fifth Regiment Armory.

In the early evening hours of October 10, 1962, President Kennedy and his entourage departed from Washington, D.C. in a convoy of four Marine helicopters. The choppers landed at Patterson Park in east Baltimore a short time later. 

The presidents scheduled trip was highly anticipated by the local citizens and there were over 30,000 people at the park to get a look at the President. Senate hopeful, Daniel Brewster, along with Senators Garmatz and Fallon, flew inthe helicopter convoy with the President.

Many of Baltimore’s prominent Democrats were in the crowd including Governor Tawes, Mayor Grady and City Comptroller Louis Goldstein.  Captain Jimmy Lyston and most of Baltimore’s high- ranking police officers were positioned at the park to meet the President.

When the Presidential helicopter landed at the park, the Commander-in-Chief disembarked and ran briskly to his waiting vehicle with Secret Service agents close behind. My Granddad made mention of the fact the President never wore a hat, which most men did at that time. President Kennedy’s blue Continental convertible had been driven over from Washington, D.C. for the occasion. Tragically, this would be the same vehicle in which the President would be assassinated in just over a year later. 

President Kennedy’s Baltimore motorcade pulled out from Patterson Park and headed west on Eastern Avenue. All of the motorcycle policemen in President Kennedy’s motorcade that day in Baltimore were under the command of Captain Lyston. The procession then made a right turn at Washington Street, proceeded north a few blocks and made a left turn at North Avenue. It then moved west on North Avenue to another left at Howard Street. The motorcade then headed south on Howard Street and made a right into the Fifth Regiment Armory’s parking lot. There were crowds lined up with cheering people three rows deep all along the route of the motorcade.

The Baltimore Sun of October 11, 1962, stated that 1 out of 5 of the city’s 1,000,000 inhabitants had come out to see the President. It also stated that there were 1,400 local police officers on duty that night. There were 8,000 people packed in the Armory and another 12,000 people outside of the building. There were loud speakers hooked up to the exterior of the Armory so everyone outside could hear the speeches. Former Mayor Tommy D’Alesandro was the Master of Ceremonies for the event.

The Democrats were only able to purchase a limited amount of TV and radio time for the event. To be fair, each member of the Statewide Democratic ticket was given a chance to speak at the podium. The candidates spoke quickly and then sat down so the next person could have their turn. When it was President’s Kennedy’s time to speak, he stood up, smiled, and said, “I’ve never seen so many Democrats say so much in so little time.” 

In his speech that evening, the President complimented the work of the Eighty- Seventh Congress that was in session. The President stated that they had just enacted the Trade Expansion Act, and that they had given the go signal for efforts to assure that the United States would be first in the space race by 1970. He then spoke a few complimentary words about each candidate that was in attendance that evening before finally wrapping it up. The President’s speech lasted about six minutes. 

At the conclusion of the rally, Captain Lyston got a chance to speak with President Kennedy at the armory. The two shook hands, the President telling Captain Lyston how impressed he was with the fine job that the Baltimore City motorcycle policemen had done in leading the motorcade to the Armory.     

The leader of the free world and his entourage got back in their cars and the motorcade proceeded back to Patterson Park where they returned to Washington D.C. by helicopter. The President was in Baltimore for a total of one hour and twenty- two minutes. My Grandfather told me that meeting President Kennedy was one of the highlights of his police career. 

On a darker note, there was actually a threat made on the President’s life prior to his trip to Baltimore. The day before the President’s arrival, a local newspaper reported that it had received an anonymous phone call from someone threatening to assassinate the President while he was in Baltimore. 

The Baltimore Sun of October 11, 1962, wrote, “Following a threat to kill President Kennedy during his Baltimore visit, police yesterday arrested a 27 year old man near Patterson Park where the President’s helicopter landed. The unarmed suspect was picked up in the 400 block South Linwood Avenue about 3P.M. as police and Secret Service men converged in the park to prepare for the President’s arrival.

He was taken to the Southeastern police station and booked for investigation. Police continued to hold him last night without placing any charges.

The arrest followed a telephoned threat on the President’s life that was made to a newspaper earlier in the day.

A man with a husky voice said, “I’m going to shoot President Kennedy tonight in the parade.”

Police said the man in custody first claimed to be an undercover agent, and then said he was a newspaper reporter. They were unable to link him immediately with the threatening phone call.

More then 1,400 local policemen were on hand to protect Mr. Kennedy during his brief Baltimore stay.”  

Thanks to the great work and keen observation of the Baltimore City Police Department, President Kennedy remained safe during his visit in Baltimore.

Captain Lyston was a member of a Baltimore City Police Commission that was involved with determining the practicality of building Baltimore’s Harbor Tunnel Thruway. The Harbor Tunnel was eventually opened to the public in November of 1957.

In regard to driving safety, Captain Lyston was instrumental in having the painted white line on the right hand side of the road being made mandatory in the state of Maryland.                 

Captain Lyston and other high- ranking Baltimore Police officials rode in the lead cars in all of the Baltimore Parades during his time as commander of the Traffic Division.

Captain James L. Lyston retired from the Baltimore City Police Department in October of 1964 after thirty-three years and four months of dedicated service.     

    

SED Personalities 1965Jimmy Lyston promoted to captain May 5 1960Hh Captain Lyston at workg 1003 auto accident 1948G 1002 Police hiring letterGG26 Lyston and mayor MckeldinCox James Captain SED 1965C5 1937BaltCityPoliceBaseballTeam TicketB2 PoliceCar1937 G Baltimore Police Baseball team1935 News article Police Shoot Man in fight

 

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July 8, 1936: Baltimore police tame the U.S. Olympic baseball team

This article was written by Jimmy Keenan

Baseball was played at the Olympics for the first time as a demonstration sport at St. Louis in 1904; very little information on this game is available. Further Olympic baseball exhibitions took place in 1912 and 1924. Hoping to make baseball a sanctioned medal event, former major leaguer Les Mann petitioned the Olympic Committee to allow him to form a team to play Japan at the 1936 Summer Games in Berlin. In addition to his title of general manager of the Olympic ballclub, Mann was the executive vice president of the American Baseball Congress as well as the dean of Max Carey’s baseball school in Miami. In November of 1934 the Olympic Committee accepted Mann’s offer.

In the fall of 1935, Mann and future Hall of Famer Max Carey took a group of college players, sponsored by Wheaties, to Japan for what turned out to be a successful 20-game exhibition tour. The following summer Mann began the selection process for the US Olympic baseball team. After tryouts around the country, Mann took his Olympic hopefuls to Baltimore in early July for the squad’s final workouts. Each player who made the team was required to put up $500 to cover his expenses.

The head coach of Olympic baseball team was Harry Wolter, the Stanford University head coach. The other coaches and advisers were Dinty Dennis, Miami Herald sports editor; George Laing of the Penn Athletic Club in Philadelphia; Linn Wells, baseball coach at Bowdoin College in Waterville, Maine; and Judson Hyames, baseball coach at Western State Teachers College in Kalamazoo, Michigan. George “Tiny” Parker and veteran baseball scout John “Poke” Whalen were selected by Mann to accompany the team to Berlin as umpires.

The team practiced at Gibbons Field in the Irvington section of West Baltimore. These grounds, which are adjacent to Mount Saint Joseph High School, are now called Slentz Field. In order to give local players an opportunity to make the squad, nearly 60 of Baltimore’s best amateurs were asked to try out. Four teams were selected from this group, then matched up in a doubleheader at Bugle Field in East Baltimore. A dozen of the best players from those two games were placed on a team called the Pimlico All-Stars. On July 4 the Olympians played the All-Stars at the Pimlico Oval. Team USA won the contest 12-9, scoring five runs in the top of the ninth to secure the win. Baltimorean Bill Kidd, star backstop for the Chesapeake Baking Company, caught part of the game for the Olympians.

On July 7, the US Olympic baseball team went to Washington to play a fundraising game against the Quantico Marines at Griffith Stadium. Team USA came out on top 15-2 in front of several thousand patriotic supporters.

The next day the Olympians squared off against the Baltimore City Police Department baseball team at Bugle Field. The Police roster was made up almost entirely of former professional baseball players who left Organized Baseball to pursue a career in law enforcement. The manager of the police team, Polly Martin, chose Edward “Augie” Schroll as his starting pitcher. Schroll pitched for the Cambridge Canners in the Class D Eastern Shore League in 1922. The hard-throwing right-hander posted a 10-9 record with 146 strikeouts while leading the circuit in innings pitched (205). Team USA manager Harry Wolter countered with Eldred Brittsan from Wren, Iowa. Brittsan played two seasons in the minor leagues before joining the US Army in World War II. He was killed on January 28, 1945, while fighting with 80th Infantry Division in Luxembourg.

Mann’s charges took an early 1-0 lead when Grover Galvin drilled Schroll’s second pitch of the game over the right-center-field fence. Unfazed by the early long ball, Schroll retired the next three batters in order. The Police countered with four runs in the bottom of the first on two walks and four hits. Brittsan lasted two-thirds of the inning before being relieved by University of Nebraska pitcher Bill Sayles. A tall right-hander, Sayles later pitched for three major-league teams.

From that point on the Police never relinquished the lead, eventually coming out on top 9-5. Schroll worked seven innings for the police, giving up four runs while walking three and fanning five. Bill Runge pitched the eighth and ninth, allowing one run on two hits. Runge was a 14-game winner for the Youngstown Buckeyes in the Class B Central League in 1932. Hard-throwing Fred Heringer from the University of Nebraska pitched the last four innings of the game for Team USA, holding the Police to one final run. Of Heringer, the Baltimore Sun wrote, “He is a right-hander with plenty of smoke and looked like the best hurler Mann has on his staff.”1

The Police held the Olympians to just six hits. Second baseman Les McNeese went 1-for-3 with a double. McNeese, who replaced Galvin at second base early in the game, was a standout player from the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, area. Shortstop Dow Wilson, from Dover City, Iowa, connected for a pair of singles. Iowa native Galvin, Hubert Shaw of Bowdoin College, Paul Amen from the University of Nebraska, and Don Hibbard from Western State Teachers College all had one hit.

Police third baseman Jimmy Lyston and center fielder George Klemmick each contributed two hits for the victors. Lyston broke into professional baseball in 1921 with Jack Dunn’s Baltimore Orioles in the Double-A International League. Lyston was playing for Joe Cambria’s Hagerstown Hubs in the Class C Mid-Atlantic League in June of 1931 when he resigned to join the Baltimore police force.

Klemmick was a pitcher and batterymate of catcher Jimmie Foxx on the 1924 Easton Farmers in the Class D Eastern Shore League. Both were signed by the Philadelphia Athletics at the end of the season. On April 25, 1924, Klemmick had struck out 21 Severn batters while pitching for Polytechnic High School in Baltimore.

Schroll, who played the infield when he wasn’t on the mound, helped his cause with two safeties in three trips to the plate.

Henry Sherry, another member of the police squad, was a former pitcher-infielder-outfielder in the Class D Blue Ridge League. He and Runge pitched as the police team captured two pennants in 1936. The first was in the local Inter-club League, where the Blue-coats finished with a record of 14-3. The second championship was earned in what was called the John Law Series, games played between police-department baseball teams from Baltimore, Washington, Alexandria, Virginia, Norfolk, Virginia, and the FBI. All the teams had players with professional baseball experience so this was always a hard-fought series.

Surprisingly, no Baltimoreans were chosen to play on the Olympic baseball team. Edwin Mumma from Sharpsburg, Maryland, worked out with Team USA during the practice sessions, but he didn’t make the trip to Berlin, presumably due to an injured ankle. The Baltimore Sun noted that the Olympic squad included five members of George Laing’s Penn Athletic Club. Baseball-Reference.com shows that four of the 21 members of the Olympic baseball squad were from Wolter’s Stanford team.

On July 15 the US Olympic delegation left New York for Germany aboard the steamer Manhattan. The Japanese were scheduled to play an exhibition game against Mann’s club in Berlin but they somewhat belatedly decided to withdraw from the competition. Japan did, however, send a group of athletes to Germany to compete in other Olympic sports. The reason for canceling the baseball game lies somewhere in the chilly relationship between Washington and Tokyo at this time. This rift was due to a variety of issues including recent upheaval in the Japanese government caused by an attempted coup, as well as the country’s harsh military policies in East Asia.

On the evening of August 12, the US team played an intrasquad demonstration game on an all-grass field inside a running track at the dimly lit Olympic Stadium in Berlin. The two teams, named the World Champions and the U.S Olympics, played seven innings with the Champions coming out on top, 6-5, on a walk-off homer by Les McNeese. The crowd was estimated to be anywhere from 90,000 to 125,000.

America’s national pastime made such a favorable impression on the Olympic directors that the sport was scheduled for inclusion at the 1940 Games in Tokyo. The Games were canceled because of World War II.

Baseball was played in single-game demonstrations again at the 1952, 1956, and 1964 Olympics. Still not a sanctioned medal event, the first Olympic baseball tournament was held in 1984, followed by a similar competition in 1988. Finally in 1992, baseball became an official Olympic medal sport. The sport’s tenure on the world stage would turn out to be short-lived. In 2005 the International Olympic Committee eliminated baseball and softball after the 2008 games in Beijing. As of 2016, the Olympic ban on both sports was still in effect.

Author’s note - Baltimore Police third baseman Jimmy Lyston was the author’s grandfather.

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POLICE INFORMATION

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.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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NOTICE

How to Dispose of Old Police Items

If you come into possession of Police items from an Estate or Death of a Police Officer Family Member and do not know how to properly dispose of these items please contact: Retired Detective Ken Driscoll - Please dispose of POLICE Items: Badges, Guns, Uniforms, Documents, PROPERLY so they won’t be used IMPROPERLY. 

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  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222

 Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll

Officer Gary Dresser

Thursday, 30 January 2020 09:18 Written by

Officer Gary Dresser

1Courtesy of Gary's Daughter Kirsten Dresser
2Courtesy of Gary's Daughter Kirsten Dresser
3Courtesy of Gary's Daughter Kirsten Dresser
4Courtesy of Gary's Daughter Kirsten Dresser
6Courtesy of Gary's Daughter Kirsten Dresser
5Courtesy of Gary's Daughter Kirsten Dresser
10Courtesy of Gary's Daughter Kirsten Dresser
12Courtesy of Gary's Daughter Kirsten Dresser
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Courtesy of Gary's Daughter Kirsten Dresser

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Four Officers Wounded In Gun Fight October 31, 1974   Officer Alric Moore The streets of West Baltimore were almost deserted as Officer Alric K. Moore, of the Western District began trying-up doors on his post in the early morning hours of Thursday, October 31, 1974. While approaching a bar in the 1600 block of West Baltimore Street he noticed that the side door was ajar. Closer examination revealed fresh pry marks and he immediately called for back-up units. When other officers arrived they discovered that the juke box and other items had been removed. Further investigation revealed a trail of scuff marks, left by the heavy record player, leading down the alley to the rear porch of a house on Fayette Street. Officer Gary Dresser With the front of the building covered Officer Gary W. Dresser and Officer Moore approached the closed door that partly blocked by the stolen juke box. As they got onto the porch of the darkened house rapid-fire gun shots rang out from inside striking Officer Moore in the right shoulder and wounding Officer Dresser in the hand as he dove for cover. As Officer Dresser helped the wounded Officer out of the line of fire Officer Glenn D. Hauze was hit in the right shoulder by a second burst of gunfire as he rushed to their aid. "Medal of Honor Recipient" Officer Glenn Hauze Back-up units responded quickly and tightly sealed off the area. The gunman1 Alric moore moved from one window to another firing short bursts from his semi-automatic 45 caliber rifle, as the officers returned fire and Officers Hauze and Moore were rushed to the hospital. One of the bursts struck Officer Joseph E. Hlafka wounding him in the jaw, back shoulder and both arms as he took up a position in a near-by yard. Officer Hlafka was removed and rushed to an area hospital as the officers returned fire and attempted to talk the suspect out of the house. The suspect moved to the front and officers continued to ask him to surrender and throw his weapon out. Soon the semi-automatic was dropped from a second floor window. It rested on the front steps as officers cautiously approached the front door. As they edged towards the entrance the suspect yelled, "put your guns away and I'll give up." Officer Charles Thrush holstered his service revolver and advised the suspect that he was going to handcuff him. As Officer Thrush walked towards him, the gunman grabbed the semi-automatic rifle lying next to the steps. Sergeant Anthony Sarro, of the Southwestern District, warned Officer Thrush, who dove for cover, and as the suspect began to raise the weapon Sergeant Sarro fired one round from his shotgun.   Officer Joseph Hlafka The suspect then dropped his weapon and retreated back into the house. After the other occupants of the dwelling came out, the officers entered the premises. The suspect was found dead in the hallway on the third floor. A search of the house revealed a recently stolen 357 magnum revolver. The weapon had been taken in an assault and robbery the day before in the 2000 block of W. Pratt Street. Officers Dresser and Hauze were treated at area hospitals and released. Officer Moore and HIafka were admitted to Bon Secours Hospital.

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Officer Joseph E. Hlafka "Nightstick Joe" 

  

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Donations

Donations help with web hosting, stamps and materials and the cost of keeping the website online. Thank you so much for helping BCPH. 

Paypal History Donations

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POLICE INFORMATION

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.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

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NOTICE

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222

 

Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll 

A Thin Blue Line Leo Kahl

Thursday, 30 January 2020 06:03 Written by

Baltimore Police Department
A Thin Blue Line
Leo Kahl

A Tribute to the Men and Women of the Baltimore Police Department
with the Baltimore Police Department in Baltimore, Maryland.
Courtesy Artist - Leo Kahl
Click on any of the Following Pictures on this Page to See Leo Kahl's Video
All images on this website are subject to copyright

THE THIN BLUE LINE LEO

Rioters lit a police car on fire at Penn and North Avenue. Another cut the fire hose as firefighters battled the blaze. Watching the city in flames during the riots of April 2015, was “heartbreaking” for the many who see the city as part of our town even if you live in one of the surrounding counties, chances are you view Baltimore as your hometown. It is sometimes hard to see the number of people that support our police. Those that realize, one bad teacher doesn't make all teachers bad, one bad priest is not cause to end religion, and trash all religion. There are those that think because you put on a uniform, and pin on the badge, you are no longer human, no longer think for yourself, and that all police are like minded. It is, however, good to know, there are those that understand, police are humans, they are individuals with individual thoughts, and individual actions; they go to work every day, just like an auto mechanic, a doctor, a sanitation worker, a priest, teacher or attorney.  They may wear a uniform that looks like the officer next to them, down the street from them or across town from them, but just as family members living in the same house have different opinions and different thought processes, so do our police.

Leo Kahl, a local artist, seeing the riots felt compelled to capture the events in watercolor, he donated that work of art to the Retired Detective Kenny Driscoll, so that it could be used to help preserve this it of history, and help tell a story of this painful part of our city and our police department's history. I view this as an outstanding painting that does not take a side, as a retired detective, I don't take sides, I see this as a loss for everyone. The mayor who either by choice or poor wording invited a riot that we seemed to have avoided a day earlier. She brought on rioting the next day due to a speech that night in which the mayor said, 

I made it very clear that I worked with the police and instructed them to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech,” Rawlings-Blake said. “It’s a very delicate balancing act. Because while we try to make sure that they were protected from the cars and other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well. And we worked very hard to keep that balance and to put ourselves in the best position to de-escalate.” 

She would later say what she meant by saying, "Gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well" was that "While giving protesters an ability to exercise their right to free speech, she inadvertently," "gave those who wished to destroy, the space to do that as well." Not that she was intentionally giving the green light to destroy just a poorly phrased sentence that was misunderstood. This was said the night before the big riot, and it seemed as if some felt they had permission the night before so they would go out and take a second bite at that apple. In my opinion; as a professional public speaker she should be more careful with her words. Regardless of her intent, the media took it and ran with it, looping the part of the speech that made it seem as if she was giving permission to riot. As if the media wanted two things, one to make sure that part of the speech was not missed, and two to see to it the public took her up on her offer.  As if directing a movie, or picking a fight, the media was looking for a disturbance, and wouldn't stop until they picked a riot. They tried again the day the remaining charges were dropped on three of the Baltimore 6. A reporter stood on the steps of the courthouse and said, "I am not sure what is going on at Pennsylvania Ave and North, but I would imagine there will be large crowds and more protesting!" They switched the Pennsy and North where crowds were minimal, and when approached, many said things like it was expected after the first three verdicts, et, but it was not heated, just a little down. A few more comments from the courthouse about the crowds will most likely build as she is sure the community would not be happy with the verdicts and choice of dropping charges. It seemed as if either she was trying to instigate bigger crowds and more violence, or embarrassed that she was wrong, and working to correct her vision by building larger crowds. I should point out this happened in 2015/2016 long before today's claims of "Fake News." I don't know much about Fake News, but I do think the media should report what happens, not what "will" happen, what they think is happening or what should happen, They should never tell us why something happened unless they have facts as to why it happened. But to say, something happened, or what someone was thinking, or probably thinking only serves to discredit them as a news source. This leads to a distrust in the media, and in Baltimore 2015 may have taken part in the April Riots. 

All that aside, I am thankful for the work of Leo Kahl to help us preserve this part of our history, he took an ugly part of our history and made it beautiful. We will be displaying it alongside, a riot helmet, shield, and baton used to defend our police from angry mods. I should also point out we had citizens placing themselves between the police and rioters in a locked arms chain as a show of support for their police and their community. 

As the President of the Baltimore Police Historical Society, I am naming this outstanding artist as one of our Honorary Police Historians while I thank him personally for his beautiful piece of art that I can't say enough how thankful we are and how well it will serve as a way of preserving this part of our history.

Dedication Patch Leo Kahl 72

 

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Leo Kahl
Artist

Leo Kahl was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland.  Has always had a natural ability to draw and visualize objects in 3-dimensional space, his talent evolved throughout his childhood. A Jon Gnagy,  “Learn to Draw”  instructional kit ( Once a Christmas gift from his parents ) would provide the initial basis for his understanding the values and the effects of light on objects. Solid instruction from high school art teachers furthered his artistic education, enabling an entry-level drafting position with a civil engineering firm in Baltimore. Formal art education was later obtained at the Maryland Institute, College of Art or MICA as it is known as today. It was there that he came to appreciate and admire many of history’s more prominent artists. Over the next 30 plus years, Leo would marry his natural creative ability to “envision” solutions within the disciplines of engineering, product development, and marketing science. A passion for art and painting continues to drive him to create all manner of imagery ranging from serene rural subjects and dimly lit interiors to intimate portraits of family and friends. His paintings hang in the corporate offices of many top-tier companies including, Westinghouse, GMC, Akzo Nobel, Bally’s, Serenco, Marconi and the homes of many prominent Maryland families. We are proud to say, this work of art now graces the walls of our Baltimore City Police Museum, and is displayed on the pages of our Baltimore City Police History Site Leo Kahl currently lives in Maryland with his wife Robin of 36 years, his dog Wyeth and cats Alice, Nessie and Figaro. He is a brilliant artist that we are proud to call our friend. 

To learn more about Leo Kahl please visit his website http://www.leokahlwatercolors.com/index.html

 

 
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Donations

Donations help with web hosting, stamps and materials and the cost of keeping the website online. Thank you so much for helping BCPH. 

Paypal History Donations

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POLICE INFORMATION

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.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Devider color with motto

NOTICE

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222

 

Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll 

Tactical Section

Sunday, 26 January 2020 08:05 Written by

Baltimore City Police Tactical Unit

BPD BANNER Tactical

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Tactical Section Pratt Calhoun stsl

 COURTESY OFFICER RICHARD BUSH
TACTICAL SECTION HEADQUARTERS, PRATT & CALHOUN STS., 1967

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peper fogger

Officer L.J. Campbell demonstrates the "Pepper Fogger", a gasoline powered engine which can spray tear gas (CN/CS) or smoke or a combination to disperse large unruly crowds. Proved very effective by this agency in many situations.

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bpd emergency services 1964

In 1963 The Baltimore City Police Department created the Emergency Vehicle Unit (AKA:) CP-11 and CP-12. There were thirteen original officers. Lt Gil Karner, Sgt Cockrell, Officer Howard Lindsay; Officer Phil Walters; officer Al Borem; Officer Ellis Balwin; Officer Donald Fields; Officer Donald Posey; Officer Bob Fisher; Officer Luther Robinson; Officer Harwood Burret; Officer Bob Beseski; Officer Fred Lutheart. Flight Officer Lt. Harry W. White who was a Tuskegee Airman during the war, and Andrew McNamara.

Harry W. White III A Tuskegee Airman

Harry W. White III

Harry (1924-1990) was the grandson of Harry W. White, Sr. and Laura Hilliard White and the son of of Harry W. White, Jr. (1884-????) and Mary Wesley White (????-????). He was a single-engine pilot in the famed 99th Fighter Squadron during World War II. He, also, rose from Patrolman to Lieutenant in the Traffic Division of the Baltimore City Police Department.

P51 by Max Haynes

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Tuskegee Airmen Archive Photo

Red Tails continue to fly in the 99th Flying Training Squadron at Randolph Air Force Base in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen

Red Tails Continue to Fly in the 99th Flying Training Squadron
Flying out of Randolph Air Force Base in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen

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COURTESY MAJOR ROBERT DiSTEFANO

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EVU: The Unusual Is Normal

August 1971

Then there was the one about the man who reached into the side pocket to retrieve the proverbial eight ball and wound up behind it when his hand became stuck. A hilarious situation provided it's not your hand, but one which the men of the Department's Emergency Vehicle Unit have handled before. The happy ending involves a partially dismantled pool table, and at least one red-faced, swollen-wristed, temporarily retired pool shooter. The Tactical Section's Emergency Vehicle Unit daily handles requests for service that range from amusing to near tragic and beyond. Each of the Unit's fifteen men are well experienced in life and limb saving techniques, and through the years each has had ample opportunity to demonstrate his ability. The vehicles themselves are stocked with every conceivable tool. Ropes, tranquilizer guns for wounded or sick animals; ladders and lights, portable generators, railroad jacks, picks, shovels and gas masks are just a small sample of the equipment carried. But if the tools and their types are varied, it is because of the varied responsibilities of the men who must use them. On the average, the CP series units respond to twenty-five hundred calls for service a year; calls that can take them anywhere in the city, from Homeland to Fells Point; to render almost any type of public service. A city the size of Baltimore can annually supply more people caught in machinery or in bathtubs or on roofs or under automobiles or inside of them for any number of reasons than can quickly be brought to mind. Then there are the lock calls: people locked out-side of places or people locked inside, under or on top of places. Then, of course, there are precious pets perched atop leafy elms or maples. Or in storm drains. Briefly, the EVU personnel can encounter just about any kind of situation on a given call. So the men themselves must be the Unit's prime asset. They must, above all, be stronger and in better physical shape than the average policeman. But they must also possess a practical knowledge of a wide variety of tools and their uses. There is little time for hesitation, consideration or refresher when a life is in jeopardy Many times, in fact, there is time only to grab the necessary tool and take the necessary action immediately. The average age of the Unit's men is about thirty-five. Most have had a wide experience with mechanics in previous employments. Some even served as Medics in the Armed Forces before entering the Department. All have been trained and retrained in a number of courses that are pertinent to their demanding jobs. Personnel of the Unit have successfully passed courses offered by the U. S. Army's Edgewood Arsenal. All are familiar with the fundamentals of crowd control, and have been given -advanced firearms training at the Department's Education and Training Division. Several of the personnel have passed Civil Defense courses on Shelter Management and the handling of Radiological materials. Not only do Unit personnel attend courses; on occasion they instruct others. Periodically, men of the Unit train Officers from the Department's Districts and Tactical Section in the use and handling of crowd control equipment. In the past, such instruction was also given to personnel of the Baltimore City Jail. Like the rest of the Department, the Emergency Vehicle Unit functions as a public service. Unless on an emergency call, they have never failed to stop and assist stranded motorists and literally hundreds of commendatory letters from citizens have attested to that strong sense of public service. On numerous occasions the CP units have prevented vandalism or theft by responding to fires, break-ins and simple unlocked doors and boarding up the premises. Their wide range of activity has involved them in a number of strange situations. Responding to a burglary in progress call some years ago, the Officers were surprised to find the burglar caught in the intricate iron work of an ancient fireplace down which he had attempted to escape. Administering the more practical aspects of their chosen profession, the Officers neatly extricated the man, then arrested him. There are grimmer aspects. On occasion the CP's have been needed to extricate victims of accidents from the inside of twisted automobile wreckage: a job that requires great strength, infinite patience, and tenderness; attributes no number of tools can supply. During disturbances, men of the EVU are also held responsible for setting up and staffing Command Post and equipping them with working communications equipment. Often they must be the first unit on the scene to aid in the coordination and movement of other units. Besides their other activities, personnel of the unit also actively patrol Fort Smallwood and Lake Roland on a permanent basis. Characteristically, men of the EVU are the direct-approach type, who seldom have the time to study a situation in depth before taking action. Several years ago, two of them were taking part in an Army-sponsored course at the Edgewood Arsenal. As a kind of final examination the members were told to enter a house whose complete structure had been expertly booby-trapped with simulated mines. Rising to the challenge, EVU personnel penetrated the house's outer defenses in a matter of minutes without tripping a single device. Then came the part that separated talented amateurs from professionals: actual entry Realizing that the doorknob was mined the students bypassed it with refreshing simplicity by taking the door off its hinges, immediately gaining both entry to the house and a high passing grade in the course.

Lieutenant Dipino Off Newman sharpshooter

john hess 1968

Officer John Hess, Tactical Section 
Law Day 1968
Baltimore Police Riot Squad 1960
Baltimore Riot Squad readies riot equipment in connection with a sit down strike at the Maryland State Penitentiary. The riot was peaceful and the equipment was not needed.
EVU1
BPD NEWSLETTER
EVU Saves Kids and Dog From Thin Ice at Druid Lake
Photo courtesy Lieutenant Robert Wilson
EVU Saves Kids and Dog From Thin Ice at Druid Lake

Gil Karner with State Police Armored Vehicle
Photo courtesy Lieut. Robert Wilson
Lieutenant Gilbert Karner supervises the unloading of the armored car that the Maryland State Police loaned this department.

Miller tank 72
Baltimore Bomb Squad R Miller in State Police Vehicle

evu 1979

EVU  Emergency Vehicle Unit Demonstration

bomb squad

1970 international bomb unit

1970's International "Bomb" removal unit.
Courtesy Lt. Don Healy
1998chevbomb truck
1998 EVU Emergency Vehicle Unit
Bomb Removal Unit

2000emergency services

2000 International truck 
EVU became the
EMERGENCY SERVICES UNIT
tailored from the NYPD 
Photo courtesy Herb Moseley

baltimore pd left side1

BALTIMORE POLICE DEPARTMENT
Emergency Unit

The Baltimore Police Department, Special Services Division coordinated with Hackney to design a special support vehicle for special response incidents within the city. The vehicle supports all types of emergencies, responds with all SWAT incidents, barricade and hostage situations and assist the fire department with rescue operations. It is staffed by specially trained officers who use the vehicle for routine patrol while awaiting special services calls. “It never sits still,” stated Sgt. Bob Kraszmer, project director. The specially designed body is 15-ft long and mounted on an International 4400 extended cab chassis . The front environmentally controlled compartment features a small command center and interior secured weapons storage cabinet with roll-up doors. The exterior compartments are accessed via seven (7) roll-up doors. There are two (2) compartments on the roof for storage of roof ladders and equipment. Special compartments are provided over the rear axle for quick deployment of bunkers and shields, stokes basket stretcher and backboards. All other space is arranged with slide-out trays and shelving. Power is provided by a 25,000 watt Onan PTO generator. It powers flood lighting and cord reels. Receives are mounted under the front and rear bumper for attachment of a portable winch or rope tie-off rings.

balt mix

bomb defusing robot

Bomb Diffusing Robot

esu 7811 2

EMERGENCY SERVICES UNIT 7811

esu 7811

police rescue duck
Police rescue a duck
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POLICE INFORMATION

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. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

EVER EVER EVER Motto Divder

NOTICE

How to Dispose of Old Police Items

If you come into possession of Police items from an Estate or Death of a Police Officer Family Member and do not know how to properly dispose of these items please contact: Retired Detective Ken Driscoll - Please dispose of POLICE Items: Badges, Guns, Uniforms, Documents, PROPERLY so they won’t be used IMPROPERLY. 

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  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222

 

Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll  

Espantoon Collection

Friday, 17 January 2020 10:18 Written by

 Espantoon Collection

Espantoon Info/History

Webster's Third Edition: "An Espantoon In Baltimore, a policeman's stick" We would like to start out by saying we collect Nightsticks, Espantoons, Batons, Truncheons, Billy Clubs Etc. - If you have one for sale, or donation let us know as we are interested.  For what might be obvious reasons we particularly like Baltimore style sticks, aside from their being the sticks carried by our brothers they also show a progression not just in what we carried, or had made, but what the department had made for us. While we like Baltimore sticks, we collect them all, from any state in the U.S. to any country in the world.

Ed Bremmer nightsticks quote72sd DSC511972 DSC510272 DSC510972 DSC523472 DSC523672 DSC524372 DSC524572 irish DSC511972 Riot DSC5119 DSC5098 DSC5099 DSC5100 DSC5101 DSC5103 DSC5104 DSC5105 DSC5106 DSC5107 DSC5108 DSC5110 DSC5111 DSC5112 DSC5113 DSC5114 DSC5115 DSC5116 DSC5117 DSC5118 DSC5119 DSC5120 DSC5121 DSC5122 DSC5123 DSC5124 DSC5125 DSC5126 DSC5127 DSC5128 DSC5129 DSC5130 DSC5131 DSC5132 DSC5133 DSC5134 DSC5135 DSC5136 DSC5137 DSC5138 DSC5139 DSC5140 DSC5141 DSC5142 DSC5143 DSC5144 DSC5145 DSC5146 DSC5147 DSC5148 DSC5149 DSC5150 DSC5151 DSC5152 DSC5153 DSC5154 DSC5155 DSC5156 DSC5157 DSC5158 DSC5159 DSC5160 DSC5161 DSC5162 DSC5163 DSC5164 DSC5165 DSC5166 DSC5167 DSC5168 DSC5169 DSC5170 DSC5171 DSC5172 DSC5173 DSC5174 DSC5175 DSC5176 DSC5177 DSC5178 DSC5179 DSC5180 DSC5181 DSC5182 DSC5183 DSC5184 DSC5185 DSC5186 DSC5188 DSC5189 DSC5190 DSC5191 DSC5192 DSC5193 DSC5194 DSC5195 DSC5196 DSC5197 DSC5198 DSC5199 DSC5200 DSC5201 DSC5202 DSC5203 DSC5204 DSC5205 DSC5206 DSC5207 DSC5208 DSC5209 DSC5210 DSC5211 DSC5212 DSC5213 DSC5214 DSC5215 DSC5216 DSC5217 DSC5218 DSC5219 DSC5220 DSC5221 DSC5222 DSC5223 DSC5224 DSC5225 DSC5226 DSC5227 DSC5228 DSC5230 DSC5231 DSC5232 DSC5233 DSC5235 DSC5237 DSC5240 DSC5241 DSC5242 DSC5244 DSC6171987

 DSC6171987 DSC6171987

 

 

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That's it for Now But with the number of sticks being sent in as gifts and those I buy, this will be continued for sure. Thanks for looking

Handcuffs and Restraints

1 black devider 800 8 72

Donations

Donations help with web hosting, stamps and materials and the cost of keeping the website online. Thank you so much for helping BCPH. 

Paypal History Donations

1 black devider 800 8 72

POLICE INFORMATION

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.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Devider color with motto

NOTICE

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222

 

Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll