Gino Inocentes

Saturday, 14 March 2020 09:28

Gino Inocentes' Police Pictures

Gino Inocentes Baltimore's Police Photographer... Proving Police Involved Shootings aren’t always a Negative Thing... Gino is our Multi-Media Tech for Media Relations Section (aka Public Affairs Section)... What he does for the department is mostly training, and promo videos, along with photography & graphic designs. He used to do a lot of evidence videos while under the academy, where he held the title “Video Analyst/Non-linear Editor”. When they transferred him to Public Affairs Section in 2011, his main tasks were to create and produce all kinds of media for the departments, social media sites, and official websites... His official title is, "Criminal Justice Associate", and like most of our members in the BPD, he takes his job to heart, and provides what could be among the best social media sites, and official website info of any department in this country.

We are proud to have Gino doing what he does to aid in the education, and preservation of our department and departmental history. Below and on various pages within this site you'll find many of Gino's pics; and while Gino's a professional photographer, you don't have to be to have your pics added to this site. We are interested in our history; so, if you have pics of you, your partners, or family; feel free to send them to us for inclusion on the site. We enjoy Gino's work, but all pictures of Baltimore Police are equally important, and equally wanted, and welcome. Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out how to best have your pics added to the site.


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If you have Baltimore Police Pictures, feel free to send them our way, we are always looking for pics of our departmental history, and your BPD pics, stories and items are all part of that history... so scan them and send them in, or mail them to us, and let us scan them for you, once scanned, we'll save an extra copy to disc, and mail it back to you along with your originals... just include a note with return address if you want them back.. we have had people give us picks too, so let us know which you want and we pay for all discs and return shipping.

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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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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

The 1st Seal of Baltimore

Wednesday, 04 March 2020 06:38

The 1st Seal of Baltimore

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This seal is the Center Seal from a set of three Electrotypes
It was called The Sesqui-Centennial of Baltimore of 1880
and features what was known as the
Grand Old Seal of the City of Baltimore, designed in 1797

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The Maryland Seal and the Baltimore Arms

1 Nov 1880

For The Sun COSMOS 
The Sun (1837-1987); Nov 1, 1880; pg. 6

The Maryland Seal and the Baltimore Arms
In the Library of the City Hall you will find two electrotypes, one of which is called “The Seal of the State of Maryland” the other “The Coat of Arms of Lord Baltimore” and the maker of these electrotypes was mistaken in respect to both of them, for the one is not “The Seal of Maryland” nor is the other “Lord Baltimore Coat of Arms” the first is a copy of one side of the “Eventual Seal Of Maryland” not the seal of the state. And the other is a copy of the counter side of the same seal, with but little on it relating to Lord Baltimore’s Coat of Arms. (1) These misnamed electrotypes are placed at the right and left of another which represents that the Grand Old Seal of the City of Baltimore, made in 1797, and they should be taken away, for they stand out in the picture as falsehood in support of the truth. (2) History is too frequently falsified in marble and in bronze; monuments pierce the heavens transmitting falsehoods to posterity, and error is stereotyped in all the laboratories of the world. The Sesqui-Centennial of Baltimore was one of the grandest spectacles known in the history of North America, and it is to be regretted that so much blazonry of error was brought before the eyes of the people on that occasion. He who has seen the greater and lesser seals at arms of Lord Baltimore is not at a loss to know what is their Lordship’s coat of arms for on both these seals it is accurately blazoned. There you will see the Parly of six, Or and Sable, (3) the blend, counter-charge, and the two leopards, guardant, which are all the heraldic symbols of the coat of arms of the Lords Baltimore. The greater seal at arms is square; the lesser elliptic, and an impression in wax from the greater is to be seen at Annapolis, on the treaty made in 1760 in settlement of the boundary disputes between Penns and the Baltimore’s. There, and there only, can we hope to find a true impression from the blazonry of the coat of arms of the Baltimore. A certain motto, “Industry the Means – Plenty the Result,” painted on the arch at Baltimore and Howard Streets, is called Lord Baltimore’s motto, but, in fact, it is not at all probable that his lordship ever heard of such a motto. It was not a provincial motto, but one of the State originated in the Governor’s Council after the war of the revolution. It is to be hoped, therefore, that this motto will not be sent down to posterity to the credit of Lord Baltimore.
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Rare 1880 John Ryan Type Founders "First Seal of the City of Baltimore" 4.75" tall. Printers type Baltimore City Seal from an 1880 Sesqui-Centennial presentation set by John Ryan & Company Type Founders Baltimore Maryland. Very detailed with a female figure holding the scales of justice and a spear while the devil is at her feet.
2 Dec 1956
Mystery Seal
Click HERE to Hear Audio
Paul A Sherwood
The Sun (1837-1987); Dec 2, 1956; pg. M30
Mystery Seal 
So far as historians know, to the official seals have been used by the city of Baltimore in the course of his history.
The familiar battle monument seal was officially adopted in 1827 and has been used ever since. Before that, the seal depicting the figure of Liberty overcoming irony was in use. It was adopted by an ordinance of 20 March 1797, and there are several impressions of it on documents still in existence.
The ordinance of 1797 mentions still another, an earlier seal which had been in use by the town commissioners. This early seal was to be the basis for the design of the 1797 seal after certain “necessary alterations” were made on it.
What the early seal look like and what the alterations were, the ordinance does not say, nor are there any known impressions of it.
Pictured is a copper plate which recently came into the hands of Robert F. Skutch a Baltimore antiquary. Mr. Skutch does not know the plate’s history, but he believes it may be one of the early forms of the seal.
Since it bears the date “1797” it is hardly possible that this was the seal of the town commissioners referred to in the ordinance. But it differs somewhat from the 1797 – 1827 seal the most important difference being the number of stars. The official seal had thirteen stars spaced around the edge but this one only has three. There is also some difference between the two on the position of the cap upon the spear.
The piece of copper resembles a printing plate, but the characters are not reversed as they would have been if they were used in printing.
What, then, is it? Wilbur Hunter, Dir. of Pearl Museum, thinks it may have been made as some kind of decoration. It bears some similarity to the type of ornaments once used on fire trucks and firemen helmets. It has two small holes on the back that might have been used for fastening it to something. But why three stars instead of thirteen?
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The Seal of Baltimore is the official government emblem of the city of Baltimore, Maryland. The current seal was adopted for use in 1827. The seal is in the shape of an ellipse with the image of the Battle Monument featured in its center. Around the inner edge of the ellipse are the words CITY OF BALTIMORE, while under the image of the Battle Monument is the year 1797, the year in which the city was first incorporated. Color versions of the seal are in black and gold, representative of the colors of the coat of arms of the Calvert family, a member of whom, Caecilius “Cecil” Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, founded the colony of Maryland.
The Battle Monument, located in Battle Monument Square on North Calvert Street between East Fayette, and East Lexington Streets in Baltimore, Maryland, commemorates the Battle of Baltimore with the British fleet's bombardment of Fort McHenry, the Battle of North Point, southeast of the city in Baltimore County on the Patapsco Neck peninsula and the stand-off on the eastern siege fortifications along Loudenschlager's Hill (later Hampstead Hill, in what is now Patterson Park, east of town. It honors those who died during the month of September 1814 during the War of 1812. The monument lies in the middle of the street and is between the two Baltimore City Circuit Courthouses that are located on the opposite sides of Calvert Street. It was sponsored by the City and the "Committee of Vigilance and Safety" led by Mayor Edward Johnson and Military Commanders: Brig. Gen. John Stricker, Maj. Gen. Samuel Smith and Lt. Col. George Armistead (of Ft. McHenry).
The site of the former first Baltimore County and Town/City Courthouse was originally designated as the location for the newly planned Washington Monument designed by Robert Mills of which the cornerstone had just been laid on the 4th of July, 1815. But fears that the designed shaft of the column would be too tall for the smaller open space of the old Courthouse Square and might fall over onto nearby close-in townhouses so caused a change in location. The monument site for the nation's first president was moved further north of the city into "Howard's Woods" of the "Belvedere" estate of Col. John Eager Howard (1752-1827).
The monument, designed by Baltimore architect J. Maximilian M. Godefroy (sculptor to the Court of Spain) and built in 1815-25, is 39 feet tall and is unusual in having an Egyptian Revival cenotaph base which suggests a tomb. The eighteen layers of the marble base represent the eighteen states that made up the United States at the time of the war. A Griffin is at each corner of the base, like our police ever on the watch, and always ready to protect our city. The column, carved as a Roman fasces, is bound with cords listing the names of soldiers who died during the battle, while the names of officers who died are at the top.
The monument is topped by a Carrara marble statue by Antonio Capellano of a female figure representing the City of Baltimore that wears a crown of victory and holds a laurel wreath in one hand and a ship's rudder in the other. It was hoisted to the top of the column during the middle of the period of construction on the eighth-anniversary ceremonies, Defenders Day, September 12, 1822. Colloquially called Lady Baltimore, the statue was relocated to the Maryland Historical Society on October 5, 2013, in order to preserve it from further damage caused by time and nature. It was replaced by a concrete replica.
The monument is depicted on the seal of the City of Baltimore that was adopted in 1827 and the city's flag adopted in the early 20th century.
The monument is erroneously depicted as being in Washington, D.C. in the film Live Free or Die Hard starring Bruce Willis, which had numerous scenes actually filmed in downtown Baltimore.
The Battle Monument was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 4, 1973. It is contained within the Business and Government Historic District and is within the Baltimore National Heritage Area.
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The Great Seal of Baltimore City
Baltimore City was incorporated in 1797 (Chapter 68, Acts of 1796). As a governmental unit, the City separated from Baltimore County in 1851. The City's name was derived from the Proprietary's Irish Barony.
Baltimore's City's Seal was adopted in 1827. The seal is black and gold in color and contains the emblem of the Battle Monument in the center. Around the monument are inscribed the words, "City of Baltimore," and below the monument is the date, "1797."
The original town of Baltimore was established in 1729, with the Maryland Assembly's "Act for Erecting a Town on the north side of Patapsco, In Baltimore County, and for laying out into lots sixty acres of land..." This act recognized that Baltimore was a good place to load, unload, and sell various trade items. These lots were laid out in 1730, on sixty acres of land purchased from Charles and Daniel Carroll. By 1732, ten additional acres were added.
The flag of the city of Baltimore features the Battle Monument, a local monument erected 1815-1825 in the former courthouse square (at North Calvert Street, between East Fayette and Lexington Streets) to veterans of the War of 1812 during the British attack on September 12-14, 1814, on the city with the bombardment of Fort McHenry and the Battle of North Point along with the siege at the fortifications at Loudenschlager's Hill (now Hampstead Hill in Patterson Park in East Baltimore) which is also the central motif on the city's seal with the date of the city's incorporation of 1797 (port established 1706, town founded 1729, independent city separated from surrounding Baltimore County, 1851). The field is in the Calvert family colors and design, which also appear in the first and fourth quarters of the Maryland state flag.
The flag of the city of Baltimore features the "Battle Monument", which is also the central motif on the city's seal. The field is in the Calvert family colors and design, which also appear in the first and fourth quarters of the Maryland state flag.
The flag is blazoned as follows: Play of six Or and Sable, a bend counter-changed, on an inescutcheon Sable, within an hour of the first, a representation of Baltimore's Battle Monument Argent. Two other designs were submitted for consideration; both included the battle monument and the Calvert's arms.
Respondents to a 2004 survey sponsored by the North American Vexillological Association rated the Baltimore city flag 7.46 on a 10-point scale, making it the 18th best American city flag in the 150 flag survey of American cities.
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What if the Seal Didn't Change?

Might the 3rd Issue Badge have looked like This
1797 color

Or a More Modern Patch that Could have Resembled This
BCP HISTORY lady liberty patch 72

Prints and Photographs Division, Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument St.
Baltimore, MD 21201

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Might the 3rd Issue Badge have looked like This
1797 color
Or a More Modern Patch that Could have Resembled This
BCP HISTORY lady liberty patch 72
Prints and Photographs Division, Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
Finding aid created by Katherine Cowan with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, July 1999
The Baltimore Sesquicentennial was celebrated October 11-19, 1880, marking the 150th anniversary of the city's founding in 1730. With the leadership of Mayor Ferdinand C. Latrobe, the city paused to take stock of its growth with advancements in shipping and transportation, and its position relative to other cities in the region and nation, and to appreciate founders like Carroll, Howard, Patterson, Oliver, Stephenson, and Purviance, and recent luminaries like McDonogh, Peabody, and Hopkins.
The festivities included oration, tableaux, meetings, and music; five days of parades of groups including African American social organizations, Masons, school children, military organizations, fire and police departments, letter carriers, and telegraph messengers; concluding with an illumination of the city and pyrotechnic displays. Public schools were in recess for the entire week of October 11-15.
Note: Information on the Sesquicentennial was compiled from Pamphlets 4122 and 5186 in the Maryland Historical Society Library.
Collection Origin
Gift of the Hon. Henry Stockbridge, 1921.
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of 1 box with 11 folders containing ca. 40 photo-prints of the Sesquicentennial celebration made in 1880. Views are primarily Baltimore city streets, with monuments, hotels, stores, and business establishments decorated for the event. There are some group portraits and views of parades including floats. Many of the photographs are mounted onto board and are captioned and dated on the margin, identifying street locations and landmarks. Unmounted photographs are not captioned or dated.
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Anne Arundell, Lady Baltimore (1615-1649)
The Calvert women were often overshadowed by their sons or husbands, but a couple of individuals played important supporting roles in the formation and development of Maryland.
Anne Arundell was born in 1615 into an elite English family of noble lineage. Anne's father, Sir Thomas Arundell of Wardour Castle in Wiltshire, England had served under King James I and her great-grandmother had been related by marriage to King Henry VIII.
Anne was reputed to be very beautiful, with many potential husbands. But in 1628 when she was only 13, she married Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore and a close friend of the family. Like the Calverts, Anne's family was Catholic, and her father was arrested a number of times because he refused to give up his religion. Cecil's marriage to Anne was fortunate for the creation of Maryland.
Anne inherited lands and money from her father which she and Cecil used to fund the new colony. But there was more to Anne than just her money. She played an important role in raising her son Charles, the future Lord Baltimore, as well as Cecil's younger half-brother Philip, who served as Governor and Chancellor of Maryland.
During her 20-year marriage to Cecil, Anne bore nine children, but only three lived to become adults. She was very well-loved and upon her death at age 34, her husband Cecil composed a memorial verse for her tomb in England in which he described her as "the most beautiful and best wife." The memorial continued, "Here lieth Anne Arundell, Lady Baltimore. Farewell to you most lovely of earthly beauties."
Although neither she nor her husband ever visited the colony that they helped found, Anne was very interested in Maryland. She decorated the ceiling of their home in England with plaster reliefs of the Ark and the Dove, the ships that brought the first colonists to Maryland.
Indirectly, Anne played an important role in the early years of Maryland, and she seems to have been well-loved and respected. In 1649, the Maryland Assembly chose to honor Anne after her death by naming Anne Arundel County after her.
City Hall Hinge 4i
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(1) - The first part of this article is referring to something not pictured, which was more State Seal related than the City Seal above. But for completeness, we kept the entire letter to the editor dated 1 Nov 1880

This could help explain why many years later in a Sun Paper article they had this Grand Old seal of the City of Baltimore, separate from the set and done in a story as a mystery asking what the seal was

- "Or and Sable" refers to the correct colors on the seal, "Or" is the yellow/gold seen in the Calvert quarter of the Maryland flag. But, was often mistaken as an abbreviation for Orange, Sable is Black. Most say the reason Baltimore is often represented by the colors Orange and Black is due to an early printers error.
(4) - Clicking HERE will take you to the original 1952 article about this seal

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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

Retroactive Citation of Valor program

Monday, 02 March 2020 10:17

deviders Line of duty injured

Citation of Valor


Sworn members who have sustained gunshot wounds, stab wounds, or serious injury under aggravated and hostile circumstances which could result in death or permanent disability while acting in their official capacity are eligible for this award.  

Authority for the issuance of the Citation of Valor lies solely with the Police Commissioner.

It might be important to point out, that while these awards are being awarded “retroactively”, they are not “Retroactive Citation of Valor Awards”. The retroactive, only pertains to the method used to “apply” for them, and or to “issue” them; but that takes nothing away from the award, it is the “Citation of Valor” and your name is added to the current list of 157 others that have received this award, there will be no, Asterisk, no, side note, no nothing to indicate you received this in any way, other than anyone else on the list.


Retroactive Citation of Valor Program

In 2004 while watching the Military Channel Mrs. Patricia Driscoll the wife of Retired Detective Kenny Driscoll, saw a show about the Purple Heart and the number of injured that never received their awards. The show went on to explain a program that was set up to grant these men and women their awards, "Retroactively." It explained that there is a certain amount of closure involved when a soldier is injured during combat and gets a Purple Heart, which those that are skipped over for the awards miss.

When taken out of combat due to an injury, and sent home, it gives a sense of never having completed the mission and as such the much-needed closure is never received. For years, these men and women walked around feeling as if they never finished the job. Many blaming themselves for their brothers having been killed, injured or having gone MIA in their absence. This brings on PTSD and survivors guilt, mixed with a lack of closure that could have been avoided with something as simple as an award to acknowledge their injuries, service, and sacrifice. An award to let them know their part of the mission is complete, they have done as much as they could, and the military recognizes their service as complete.

Lack of such recognition has been said to have caused issues that have lead to alcoholism, homelessness, and other mental health issues in these soldiers. A program has since been started to retroactively issue awards to those that could prove they were injured during combat. Mrs. Driscoll felt strongly that if she could get her "Retroactive Citation of Valor Program established" it would be necessary to follow the prerequisites for getting the award. She felt the rules should be followed, and that only those that could come up with proper documentation, police, hospital, newspaper or eye-witness reports would be eligible. With that she has always said, she would do all she could to try to help find said information by way of newspaper reports, and by going through the department if possible, but short of that she could nothing else to help them secure the award if the information was not there. We believe to have the award issued to our retired the qualifications for the award would have to be strictly adhered to. Mrs. Driscoll asked her husband and a large group of his friends (disabled, retired and some still active) for their advice. Before long she had a group of advisors, and they all agreed anyone getting this award, or any award for that matter should raise an award to new levels, and never lower its meaning or value for those that have worked so hard to have received the award before them.

This award is "issued" retroactively, but it is not the Retroactive Citation of Valor. There is only one Citation of Valor; the rules set forth to obtain this award are strict. It is awarded SOLEY at the discretion of the Police Commissioner; it is awarded only to Sworn members who have sustained Gunshot Wounds, Stab Wounds, or have who have received Serious Injuries Under Aggravated and or Hostile Circumstances which could result in Death or Permanent Disability while acting in their official capacity.

While these awards are being awarded “retroactively,” they are not a “Retroactive Citation of Valor Award.” The retroactive only pertains to the method used to “apply” for them, and or to the "issuance” of the award. But that takes nothing away from the award, it is the “Citation of Valor,” and your name is added to the current list of 158 others that have received this award. There will be no, Asterisk, no, side note, no nothing to indicate you received this in any way, other than anyone else on the list.

Those that were injured and received the award are as Follows:

  1. Retired Det. Kenneth Driscoll - Approved, 5 April 2013 for injuries sustained 10 Aug 2001 - 110H01
  2. Retired Officer Gary Lapchak - Approved, 3 Feb 2014 for injuries sustained 28 Oct 1997 - 128J97
  3. Retired Officer Daryl Buhrman - Approved, 3 Feb 2014 for injuries sustained 8 Feb 1981 - 908B81

  4. Retired Officer Kenneth Driscoll - Approved, 21 June 2014 for injuries sustained in 1992 - 107E92
  5. Retired Sgt Robert Bigos - Approved, 21 June 2014 for injuries sustained 9 Sept 1995 - 109I95
  6. Retired Officer Lennell Robinson - Approved, 21 June 2014 for injuries sustained 17 April 1997 - 317D97
  7. Retired Officer Robert Cirello - Approved, 21 June 2014 for injuries sustained 7 Sept 2006 - 207I06
  8. Retired Sgt Edward Mattson - Approved, 5 April 2015 for injuries sustained 13 Oct 1970 - 313J70
  9. Retired Officer Kathy Irwin - Approved, 5 April 2015 for injuries sustained 20 Feb 1993 - 720B71
10. Retired Sgt Donald Voss   Approved, 17 April 2017 for injuries sustained 18 Jun 1972 - 918F72



#1 - 1. Retired Det. Kenneth Driscoll - Approved 5 April 2013 for injuries sustained 10 Aug 2001 - On 10 Aug 2001 while acting Sergeant and assisting in the arrest of a suspect wanted for multiple Armed Carjacking's, Det Driscoll became involved in a foot chase, during which he fell several times, the first fall was into a ravine near the Jones Falls, where he fell a total of 40+ feet, the first 20ft of that was airborne, as was measured from his last foot step in the dirt to where he landed and bounced then rolled/slid another 20+ feet before coming to rest. As he was lying there for a brief second, he looked up and saw the suspect about 8 to 10 feet away from him getting up, and continuing to flee. So Ken quickly jumped to his feet and gave chase following him down a path, where the two had landed. Ken said he felt as though he may have broken or seriously injured his hip, or hips as his run was sloppy. Still, he ran another 1/4 mile, falling two, or more times, first of which was a 25 to 30ft drop, and then there was another that was between 18 and 20 ft. He had a stick from a tree, stabbed into his stomach that he pulled out, and dropped on the path as he ran after the suspect. When all was said and done, Det Driscoll broke his back, herniated several discs in his back, and neck, he broke and or sprained both wrists, lost the use of his left leg, and can no longer walk. In 2001 he was determined to be Monoplegic, with docs saying he would eventually become full on Paraplegic. With injuries so serious the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program would investigate his case, and review his injuries before awarding Ken full PSOB Benefits, making him the first Baltimore City Police Officer to be awarded these benefits for a Disability, he was able to convert his house into the perfect place for him and his family to live in given his disabilities. He was also made a lifetime member of the Police Hall of Fame, where he has also issued a Purple Heart for this injury. The Commissioner agreed and on 5 April 2013 Approved the Citation of Valor for injuries sustained on 10 Aug 2001. 110H01


#2 - 2. Retired Officer Gary Lapchak - 1997 - On the date in question Officer Lapchak was responding to a Sig 13 when he slipped on Baltimore's infamous marble steps blowing out his knee. But having heard the call for assistance, and knowing an officer was just inside the house and in need of assistance, Officer Lapchak made his way into the house anyway, providing the much-needed assistance. He was already injured, he wanted to make sure someone else would not be! Gary is a big guy 6'3"- 6'4" so sometimes his presence is enough to calm a room, other times, with his size, comes strength, and he has been forced to use it, in either case, Gary's appearance and strength helped prevent further injuries to a brother officer in need. I wish we had more paperwork on this, But we don't all we have 1st hand knowledge as Ken and Gary have been friends since Gary joined the force and Ken was working when this occurred. Further, in 2008/09 Ken nominated Gary for the Purple Heart from the Police Officers Hall of Fame in Florida, it was an older case, and they were reluctant to hear it, but after reading the events, and hearing Ken's strong feelings on the case, they agreed to take it to the board for a vote; Ken said he believes strongly in the value of awards, and that if given where they were not earned it diminishes the value of that award, in the case of Gary Lapchak, if he were awarded this award, it would not dimish the award at all; in fact it would do quite the opposite, an injured officer continuing on, so that he might help a brother officer in his time of need is about as heroic as one can get. After careful consideration, Officer Lapchak was awarded the Police Officer Hall of Fame's Purple Heart, and a lifetime membership to the Hall of Fame, and we think it would also be fitting to receive the department's equivalent of that Purple Heart and award him the Citation of Valor. The Commissioner agreed and on 3 Feb 2014 Approved the Citation of Valor for injuries sustained on 28 Oct 1997.  128J97


#3 - 3. Retired Officer Daryl Buhrman - While there are numerous injuries that occurred between Feb 1981 and July of 1989. The first was the one that caused the bulk of Ret. Officer Buhrman injuries and re-injuries to be so severe that he has had a difficult time in walking, and working. Those events read like something from a TV movie, as Ret. Officer Buhrman was working the Southern District 963 post (a foot post) when he saw a fight in which the main aggressor was armed with a knife. This outside Baltimore's famous Hammer-Jack's nightclub, upon seeing the officer the armed suspect fled on foot across a parking lot over a fence through a field and onto an adjoining parking lot when it appeared as though the suspect had run far enough and could go no further, Ret. Officer Buhrman at this point had his man, or so he thought, as he went to arrest him things became ugly, violence had erupted into something he had never expected, and surely didn't see coming. To this day he doesn't know if it was set up in advance, or if it was just a case of wrong place, wrong time, but as he went to arrest the suspect, he was jumped by the suspects buddies, then the suspect also turned on him and Ret. Officer Buhrman was beaten, kicked punched and finally forced to the ground where they jumped on his left knee. Ret. Officer Buhrman never gave up, and eventually, would manage to get everyone on the ground with him, where he cuffed those he could and recovered the knife that was the cause of the chase. All of this reported under cc 9B41629 Feb 1981. It has been a long time since this injury took place, and the aggravated injuries that came as a result of re-injury - I hope you can see in this what we see and while it is sometimes hard to see, we have talked to Ret. Officer Buhrman and feel he deserves of this award, we hope you will agree. The Commissioner agreed and on 3 Feb 2014 Approved the Citation of Valor for injuries sustained on 8 Feb 1981. 908B81


#4 - 4. Retired Officer Kenneth Driscoll - In this case Officer Driscoll was injured in the line of duty in the Spring of 1992 as he was assigned to the Central District Patrol and working Sector 3, 1A37 car and came across an on-view Signal 13 in the 2200 Blk of McCulloh St. As he entered the house he was informed the suspect was high on drugs and violent, rounding a corner in a hallway he saw a suspect standing over an officer striking and him from behind; Ken has always had respect for the department and his brothers, as such without thinking he quickly ran up behind the suspect, where with the use of an Espantoon he was able to quickly take the fight out of the suspect, and cuff him before he  realized what had happened, and by then he didn't have enough left in him to issue a threat to the officers. As Officer Driscoll was assisting the suspect out to an awaiting wagon, the family whom this suspect had just been beating before the first officer's arrival, decided they wanted to get their licks in on him, so they attacked him, pushing him, and Officer Driscoll out the front door, and off the second floor porch area down to the street. Ken dislocated his shoulder, he went to the ER where doctors did all they could but because Ken did as all police do after falling to the ground, he stood up and shook it off, the doctor missed the fact that he had dislocated his shoulder and reset it, but reset it improperly. It would take nearly a year to find the injury, and by then a surgery was needed to fix a serious shoulder injury. His arm had never healed properly, and a portion of his clavicle had to be removed. This injury played a large role in a later injury that left him wheelchair bound, and at the time nearly ended his career. Recently Ken was upgraded from Monoplegic for a 2001 injury, to Paraplegic for the addition of this injury. They are two separate injuries. One took Ken's left leg, the other took his left arm, I think you would agree this injury, has left Ken not only unable to use his left leg, but when added to, and aggravating now unable to fully use his left arm/hand. Ken was written up for and received a Citation of Valor for the injuries that would eventually lead to his left leg becoming paralyzed, in writing that up this incident was partially described, and someone from the department that is involved in this program recommended writing up this portion of the injuries too, as they are separate, serious and at the time nearly ended ken's career. Ken was considered Monoplegic; like paraplegic means, two limbs, and quadriplegic means four, monoplegic means one limb… The effects of Ken's injuries have increased, and his condition has recently been advanced to paraplegic, a permanent disability, in which his left arm/hand and left leg are too weak to consider anything by paralyzed. The case was reviewed and the Commissioner agreed this was a separate incident; and an incident with injuries stemming from a line of duty incident that was so severe, he was issued a Citation of Valor. - The Commissioner agreed and on 21 June 2014 and Approved the Citation of Valor for injuries sustained in Spring of 1992  107E92


#5 - 5. Retired Sgt Robert Bigos - On 9 Sept 1995, at 1315 Sgt Robert Bigos was involved in a violent struggle with a suspect during which his knee was blown out requiring several surgeries which ultimately cost him his job forcing him into an early retirement. To this day he still suffers the side effects of being disabled due to injuries that have left him disabled as a result of this Line of Duty Injury. For this, we felt he was within the guidelines of the Citation of Valor, with that the Commissioner was contacted, the same was explained to him and he agreed that the Sergeants injuries were serious enough to warrant his receiving this award.  -  The Commissioner agreed and on 21 June 2014 Approved the Citation of Valor for injuries sustained on 9 Sept 1995  109I95


#6 - 6. Retired Officer Lennell Robinson - 1997 - Officer L Robinson was injured in the line of duty on 17 Apr, 1997, as he was assigned to the Eastern District street crimes unit and was struck by a drunk driver on said date at which time he received multiple compound fractures to his left leg and nerve damage his left hand resulting in numerous surgeries and rehabilitation. Due to his line of duty injury, he was forced to retire in 1999 from the department but was never awarded the Citation of Valor. We believe he should have been awarded this award and fully deserves it. I hope you will agree, and I thank you for taking the time to review this Award - Patricia Driscoll - The Commissioner agreed and on 21 June 2014 Approved the Citation of Valor for the injuries sustained on 17 April 1997  317D97


#7 - 7. Retired Officer Robert Cirello - On 7 Sept 2006, at 2154 Officer Cirello was patrolling Patterson Park, he observed two suspicious subjects, up exiting his car to investigate he was struck in the head with an unknown object, shortly after which he felt a burning in his chest, realizing he had been shot he returned fire on the two subjects. Other officers began arriving on scene and found Officer Cirello sitting next to his patrol car, he was bleeding from a head wound, Officer Cardwell, found him bleeding and heard him saying he was shot, The officer checked and found he was shot in the chest, but the bullet didn't penetrate the vest, with that all attention was focused on the head injury. As a result of his injuries, he was taken to Shock Trauma where he was treated and eventually released. Due to his injuries, he would retire from the department but was never awarded the Citation of Valor. We believe he should have been awarded this award and fully deserves it. I hope you will agree, and thank you for taking the time to review this Award - Patricia Driscoll - The Commissioner agreed and on 21 June 2014 Approved the Citation of Valor for the injuries sustained on 7 Sept 2006  207I06


#8 -8. Retired Officer Edward Mattson - On 13 Oct 1970 was a Tuesday, during a demonstration at Baltimore City Jail a riot broke out, where more than 20 people were arrested, many for what might seem to be a simple charge of Failing to Obey a Lawful Order, but others for things like Inciting a Riot, and still others of Assaulting police and worse one was charged with Attempted Murder. As Ret Sergeant Mattson was trying to maintain order and that riot broke he grabbed his Prisoner Mr. Lively, (Walter Lively, Junior, 28 of the 800 block of North Broadway, the former director of the Baltimore urban coalition and a self-described organizer for Milton Allen, the Democratic states attorney candidate.) during the struggle, Sgt Mattson's Espantoon was taken by someone in the crowd and Mr. Lively was assaulting Sgt Mattson with a homemade club fashioned from a 2x4) Having been struck in the head Sgt Mattson was saved by then Major Tony Glover who arrived after a 13 was called. Sgt Mattson had to undergo numerous surgeries, and to be quite honest has not been the same since. It has affected his thoughts and outlook on life. Still, Sgt Mattson is proud to have been a Baltimore Police Officer and Sergeant, and we are proud to have followed in his footsteps. These events took place 44 years ago, and we feel the time has come so it is with this information that we hope you will agree, Retired Officer Edward Mattson meets the requirements of and deserves the Citation of Valor. - The Commissioner agreed and on 5 April 2015 Approved the Citation of Valor for the injuries sustained on 13 Oct 1970  313J70


#9 -9. Retired Officer Kathy Irwin - On 20 Feb 1993 Officer Kathy Irwin was affecting an arrest on a Shoplifter when she was violently attacked and assaulted, so severe were her injuries that she was not only forced to retired 66/2/3 Line of Duty, but she also became a major part of the argument for state laws to be changed, making Assault on Police a felony. Often crimes like this that affect the lives of our officers become lost in the paperwork, we forget there is an officer, a person, a member of our Baltimore Police family, that has not only lost the ability to do the job they love, but that may also never work again, and often these officers, forced into retirement feel as though they have been thrown out, across the country disabled police almost all say the same thing, "It felt like I was put out with the garbage!" and yet anyone one of them would do whatever was asked of them to be part of that family they love so much…. Kathy was no different, she was injured, she was rejected, and when duty called for her to testify in Annapolis to have Assault On Police become the Felony that it is today, instead of the misdemeanor or common law crime it used to be. Kathy also often does things like run Bull and Oster Roasts to help officers in distress may have been taken out of the Police Department, but the police department has not been taken out of her. She still bleeds blue, this based on her injuries how they came about and the results, still to this day she suffers chronic pain but still to this day would do anything for her brothers and sisters active or retired she was there. She was serving her brothers and sisters. With this information, I hope you will agree Retired Officer Kathy Irwin meets the requirements of and deserves the Citation of Valor- The Commissioner agreed and on 5 April 2015 Approved the Citation of Valor for the injuries sustained on 20 Feb 1993  720B71



#10 -10. Retired Sergeant Donald Voss -18 June 1972 - Three Police Injured in Melee
The Sun (1837-1989); Jun 19, 1972; pg. C20 - Three police injured in melee Crowd of 300 in Cherry Hill Hurls Rocks
A police officer was knocked unconscious, and two others were injured yesterday (18 June 1972) in a stone-throwing melee that resulted in two arrests. The incident occurred at 7:20 P.M. when a crowd of about 300 persons gathered in the 2500 block Norfolk Street, Cherry Hill. As police officers attempted to capture a handcuffed escaped from the Maryland Training School for Boys. Fifty police officers were summoned to deal with the crowd, which dispersed about 8:30 Taunted Officer During the melee persons in the crowd taunted the officers and threw rocks at them. Most seriously injured was Sgt. Ronald Voss, of the Southern district, who was beaten and kicked unconscious as he attempted to aid another officer who had handcuffed two girls. The handcuffed girls fled during the struggle. Also injured were Patrolman Edward Eilerman and Patrolman Richard Curley. All three officers were taken to Mercy Hospital where Patrolmen Eilerman and Curley were reported, in satisfactory condition and Sergeant Voss in fair condition. Two juveniles were arrested. A police spokesman said the incident, the second major attack on police in as many weeks, was unprovoked and apparently spontaneous. End of Article

Sgt Voss would complain of pain, headaches and other difficulties brought on by this attack. His complaints would be heard for nearly two years, when on 7 July 1974, as he was pondering one of the most difficult decisions in his career, he would receive a notice from the medical section ordering him to report to Church Home Hospital for evaluations and testing. It seems someone up above made his mind up for him that he was not meant to go out on the Baltimore Police Strike. He said he was leaning heavily toward crossing the line and continuing to do his job, but before his mind could be completely made up, he received a letter from medical section ordering him to respond to the hospital where he would be admitted and kept for nearly two weeks for observations and testing. After testing, he would continue working, but due to complications from his injuries, he was advised again by a medical section that it was time for him to put in for his retirement. To this day Sgt Ronald Voss continues to have complications brought on by the injuries of that attack on 18 June 1972. We have the newspaper articles to support these claims, therefore based on the requirements of this award we recommend Retired Sergent Ronald Voss for the Citation of Valor, and we hope you will agree. The Commissioner agreed and on 17 April 2017 Approved the Citation of Valor for the injuries sustained on 18 June 1972  918F72


A list compiled by Officer Robert P. Brown, (Bobby Brown) Southern District, of recipients of this prestigious award. This award was started by Commissioner Donald Pomerleau in 1972 but he went back to 1966 to include those persons that could have received this award. BOLD indicates that they were shot or severely wounded but could not find anything about the Citation of Valor on them.
** Indicates that they were awarded the Medal of Honor as well.

Name of Recipients / Rank / Date of Injury

Edward D. Siebor - P/O - 1967
Richard Webb - P/O - 1967
Sterling H. Fletcher- Sgt - 1969
John E. Lewis - P/O - 1969
Wiley M. Owens - P/O - 1969
Charles L. Kirk - P/O  - 1970
Stanley Sierakowski - Sgt - 1970                        
Joseph Michael - P/O - 1970
James L. McFillin Jr. - P/O - 1970
Daniel J. Calhoun - Sgt - 1970
Edward Mattson - Sgt - 1970
William C. Mack - P/O - 1971
Frederick W. Dickens - P/O - 1971
Charles P. Smith - P/O  - 1971
Jan D. Walters - P/O - 1972
James H. Harris - P/O - 1972
Darrell D. Duggins - Lt - 1972
Joseph J. Kaczynski - P/O - 1972
George L. Deares - P/O - 1972
Francis Hoyt - P/O - 1972
Donald Voss - Sgt - 1972
Thomas Whalen - P/O - 1973
Donald F. Haupt - Lt - 1973
Charles A. Walker - Det - 1973
Raymond J. Clements - P/O - 1974
Gary Dresser  ** - P/O  - 1974
Glenn Hauze - P/O  - 1974
Joseph E. Hlafka - P/O - 1974
Alric K. Moore - P/O - 1974
Theodore E. Staab - P/O - 1975
Alvin E. Martin - P/O - 1976
John A. Swiec - P/O - 1976
Calvin Mencken - P/O - 1976
Charles Mitchell - P/O  - 1976
Neil C. Splain - P/O - 1976
Andrew F. Leso - P/O - 1977
Joseph E. Wolfe - P/O  - 1978
Clayton Wright - P/O - 1978
Lawrence B. Bennett - P/O - 1978
Wardell James - P/O - 1978
Michael Dunn - P/O - 1979
Charles T. Nelson - P/O - 1979
William D. Albers - P/O - 1979
David Garayoa - P/O - 1979
Michael J. Cassizzi - P/O - 1979
John H. Miller - P/A - 1979
William J. Surratt -  P/O - 1979
Thomas Lewis - P/O  - 1980
Charles H. Benjamin - P/O - 1980
Ralph E. Greaves - P/O - 1980
Durwood A. Hood Jr. - P/O - 1980
James V. Weglein - P/O  - 1980
Robert S. Schmelz III - P/O - 1981
Daryl Buhrman Ret Officer - 1981
Charles M. Frye - P/O - 1982
Raymond A. Howard - P/O - 1983
David L. Williams - P/O - 1983
William H. Bessling - P/O - 1983
Theodore Black - P/O - 1984
James Clark - P/Oe - P/O - 1984
Donna M. Cooper - P/O - 1984
John C. McNamara - P/O - 1984
John F. Baker - Sgt - 1984
Jesse J. McClain Jr. - P/O - 1984
Stephen D. Martin - P/O - 1985
David L. Williams - P/O - 1985
John F. Heiderman - P/O - 1985
Terrance P. McLarney - Sgt - 1985
Timothy F. Wade - P/O - 1986
Paul Renaud - P/A - 1986
David R. Dull - P/O - 1987
Paul C. Dunn - P/O  - 1987
Roy. N. Grant - P/O - 1987
Thomas E. Martini - P/O - 1987
Eugene J. Cassidy   ** - P/A - 1987
Jeffrey C. Wright    ** - Lt - 1988
Denise M. Monaghan - P/O - 1988
Guy E. Gerstel ** - P/O - 1988
Alfred Brown - P/A  - 1988
Vincent Moore - P/O - 1989
Herman Brooks ** - P/O - 1989
William J. Martin ** - P/O - 1989
Graham B. Sylvester - P/O - 1990
Carl E. Trogdon - P/O - 1990
Harry G. Harcum - P/O - 1990
Bryan T. Donahue - P/O - 1990
Lamont D. Bivens - P/O - 1990
Michael J. Johnson - P/O - 1990
Gerald M. Hensley - P/O - 1991
Michael H. Waudby - LT  - 1991
David C. Cheuvront II - P/O - 1992
Samuel Bosley - P/O - 1992
Jimmy Young - P/O - 1992
Ira N. Weiner ** - P/O - 1992
Frederick J. Dillon - P/O - 1992
Andrew Snakowsky -  P/A 1992
Kenneth Driscoll Ret Det. - 1992
Gregory A. Jenkins - P/O - 1993
Daniel Brown - P/O - 1993
Hezzie T Sessomes - Sgt - 1993
Herman Jones - P/O - 1993
Kathy Irwin Conrad - P/O 1993
Antonio L. Murray - P/O - 1994
Eric Dawson - P/O - 1994
Kevin Baskette - P/O - 1994
Charles A. Seward  Jr. - P/O - 1994                                                       
Donald Schultz - P/O  - 1995
Bob Bigos Ret Sgt - 1995
Charles D. Carroll - P/O - 1996
Christopher M. Street - Sgt. - 1996
Owen E. Sweeney Jr.   ** - LT - 1997
Gary Lapchak Ret Officer - 1997
Lennell Robinson Ret. Det. 1997
Michael Wingler - Sgt - 1998
Jerry K. Weaver - P/A  - 2000
Kevon Malik Gavin Sr. ** - P/O - 2000
David F. Azur - Det - 2000
Michael J. Cowdery ** - P/A - 2001
Ronald A. Beverly   ** - P/O - 2001
Anthony R. Molesky  ** - P/O - 2001
Willie W. Grandy - P/O - 2001
Kenneth Driscoll - Ret. Det. - 2001
Christopher B. Houser - P/O - 2002
James L. Howard - P/O - 2002
Robert J. Adams - Det - 2002
James S. Guzie - P/O  - 2002
Steven Henson - P/O  - 2002
Michael H. Smith - Det - 2002
Thomas Newman  ** - Det - 2002
Paul E. Thompson - P/O  - 2003
Christian Schaeffer - P/O  - 2003
John R. Dolly Jr. - P/O - 2004
Brian Winder ** - P/O - 2004
Andrew Lane - P/O - 2005
Joseph Banks - P/O  - 2005
Robert T. Hayes - P/O - 2005
Robert Cirello Ret. Officer - 2006
Troy L. Chesley ** - Det. - 2007
David Hare - P/O - 2007
Jemell Rayam - P/O - 2007
Loretta Francis - P/O - 2007
Karen Brzowsky - P/O - 2007
Steven Mahan - P/O - 2007
Krzystof Gelsa - P/O - 2007
Pedro Perez - P/O - 2008
Anthony Jobst - P/O - 2008
Hayden Gross - P/O - 2008
Mark Spila - P/O - 2008
Dante Arthur - P/O - 2009
Thomas R. Portz Jr. - P/O - 2010
Todd Strohman - P/O - 2010
Daniel Harper ** - P/O - 00-00-0000
Kurt Roepcke - Sgt - 00-00-0000
Matthew McClenahan - P/O - 00-00-0000
Michael Rice - P/O - 00-00-0000
Jordan Moore - P/O  - 00-00-0000
Keith Romans ** - P/O - 03-21-2010

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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


Sergeant Ed Mattson

Monday, 02 March 2020 00:37

Sergeant Ed Mattson

Ed Mattson saw Baltimore's 1968 riots in person, and he watched the recent Freddie Gray riots on TV. He's still struggling to understand both.

He's canoed the Amazon from Peru to Brazil, wrestled a 20-foot anaconda, sumited mountains, and jumped out of planes. But there's one thing retired Baltimore police sergeant Ed Mattson hasn't done.

"I can never truly say I had a black friend. Even today."

Mattson sits and speaks at the kitchen table of the suburban Baltimore home that he and his wife have filled with 19th century children's books and antique oil paintings. His blazer hangs over a chair, an award on its lapel for his service during Baltimore's 1968 riots. As the Freddie Gray case and its aftermath have captured worldwide attention over the past several weeks, and the U.S. Justice Department has launched an investigation into Mattson's former department—the one that gave him that award and several others—Mattson has had much on his mind.

Recently, while grocery shopping, Mattson overheard a woman discussing the Freddie Gray riots. "She said, 'You know, I was never racist or anti-black, but I am now,'" Mattson says. "And I thought: WowThis."

"I'll be truthful with you," he says, "I know guys that—is racist the right word? Or they just don't understand other people? I think the bulk of [officers] are honest, hardworking men that just go to work and do a job. I'm sure they don't go and say, 'Now today we're gonna go out and beat up a black guy.' I know this doesn't happen."

Thousands of protesters, in Baltimore and beyond, see the situation differently.

"I know guys that—is racist the right word? Or they just don't understand other people?"

Mattson grew up in East Baltimore, born into a family of Italian factory workers. In the late '40s and early '50s, Mattson remembers, "Baltimore was like Mayberry." Everyone he knew lived in row homes, and the community had a small town feel. Policemen would threaten to tell your father on you, and kids intent on mischief would follow the lamplighter on his rounds through the neighborhood, turning off the gaslights he'd lit one by one. Both Mattson's grandfather and great-grandfather had been bootleggers and owned speakeasies during Prohibition. He came of age in an all-white neighborhood, graduated from an all-white high school, and served in a nearly all-white Marine Corps.

"We thought life for everybody was good," Mattson says. "It was America, man. The war's over, prosperity's here! But then came Lyndon Baines Johnson with his Great Society, where he wanted to help the downtrodden. When you're young, you don't see downtrodden." But after his stint in the Marines, Mattson came home to Baltimore, and started working as police officer—a white beat cop in primarily black neighborhoods.

"And I realized there were downtrodden people, there were people who didn't rise up," he says. "And I just used to look at it and say, 'Why is it like that?'"

Walking his beat in the early 1960s, Mattson says he did not perceive racial tension. Mostly, his job meant taking care of "humbles" (minor crimes, like loitering), and caring for people as he found them. He did see more of "the seamier side of life" than he'd noticed in his own neighborhood (more drug use, more public drunkenness), and he wondered why the black middle class seemed so small, compared to the white communities he knew.

"You went out on house calls, and there'd be two or three babies who have no milk," he says. "And you'd take it out of your money, out of your pocket, and buy them milk and bread. All the cops I knew did that."

Baltimore, 1968.
Baltimore, 1968.
Getty Images

But by the late '60s, the country was rapidly changing, and Mattson underwent riot training.

After Martin Luther King Jr. was shot, Baltimore exploded. By the third night of rioting, Mattson says, the police were under attack with everything from bullets to Molotov cocktails. "The firemen would come, and they would shoot at the firemen," he says. "And I thought: I could understand shooting at the police. I could really fathom that. But I couldn't understand [attacking] the firemen or the ambulance service, cause they are there strictly to help.

"It was just constant, it never ended: morning, noon, and night," he says. "All the food stores were burnt out. All the liquor stores were burnt out, the clothing stores. There's whole blocks of it that are gone. It looks like Berlin after we bombed it in World War II."

Of Mattson's nearly two decades on the force, those days meant the most to him.

"I saw incredible acts of heroism by guys I worked with—pulling people out of burning buildings, saving lives," he says. "The Baltimore Police saved Baltimore in 1968, there's no doubt about it. The Guard didn't do very much, State Police didn't. The Army came in; they didn't do it. We did it."

After the riots, Mattson went back to his old beat. But his daily foot patrol led him through a different Baltimore.

"People started hatin' each other," he says. "It was like a cloud hung over the city. It just seemed like the friendliness was gone—the trust—on both sides. I couldn't understand how they could burn our city down. And I guess they couldn't understand how I couldn't understand how they could burn our city down."

Last month's violence hit a much narrower swath of Baltimore, and community organizing within those neighborhoods has drawn broad support. Cleanup efforts have spanned racial and economic divides, and social media has helped to democratize protest and storytelling. Last week, CVS corporate announced plans to rebuild its burnt-out and looted locations.

Police form a line near Baltimore's Mondawmin Mall on April 27, 2015.
Police form a line near Baltimore's Mondawmin Mall on April 27, 2015.
Brendan Smialowski/AFPGetty Images

Mattson says the recent riots are an example of what he thinks has gone wrong with policing since his time on the force. He and his wife watched as Mondawmin Mall was looted on live TV. "There were no police officers there," he says. "I said to my wife, 'Why aren't the cops responding to this?' And then we found out why: Cause they were told to stand down. In our day, that would've never happened."

But some things haven't changed. That video of Gray's arrest, where he's dragged to the wagon? "That's just normal," Mattson says. "Typical arrest. People fight you in battle, or resist you—you gotta strong-arm em." He also recognizes State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby's description of what investigators believe happened to Freddie Gray in the van as "bouncing."

"Should they have seat belted him in?" Mattson asks. "Probably. Should they have restrained him more? Probably. Should they have took him to the hospital? I'm sure they should have. But it didn't happen, and so you got this.

"And poor Freddie Gray's going to be made a martyr. But Freddie Gray's not exactly a martyr, you know? He's dead, is what he is. And you feel sorry for him. But also, I feel sorry for the other eight guys that got killed [in Baltimore] last week by gunfire, not by police officers."

Mattson spent his career on one side of the system. So he knows that system is flawed.

"Everybody's guilty 'til proven innocent, you know that; it ain't the reverse of that," Mattson says. "I tell my grandsons: 'Do not get involved in the criminal justice system. It's an oxymoron. There's no such thing as 'criminal justice.' Once you get your foot in, your whole body goes in. You're involved forever."

More than half a century after Mattson tried to keep the peace in his smoldering city, he has an idea as to why it burned, both in 1968, and again this spring. It comes down to one thing, really.

"They feel like they're left out of society. You want to make somebody mad? Ignore 'em. And that's what we've done."

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Sherlock Holmes' London

Friday, 21 February 2020 12:03

Sherlock Holmes' London

As the Detective Stalks Movie Theaters, our Reporter Tracks Down the Favorite Haunts of Arthur Conan Doyle and his Famous Detective

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Sherlock Holmes Baltimore MP3

One summer evening in 1889, a young medical school graduate named Arthur Conan Doyle arrived by train at London’s Victoria Station and took a hansom cab two and a half miles north to the famed Langham Hotel on Upper Regent Street. Then living in obscurity in the coastal town of Southsea, near Portsmouth, the 30-year-old ophthalmologist was looking to advance his writing career. The magazine Beeton’s Christmas Annual had recently published his novel, A Study in Scarlet, which introduced the private detective Sherlock Holmes. Now Joseph Marshall Stoddart, managing editor of Lippincott’s Monthly, a Philadelphia magazine, was in London to establish a British edition of his publication. At the suggestion of a friend, he had invited Conan Doyle to join him for dinner in the Langham’s opulent dining room.

From This Story

Amid the bustle of waiters, the chink of fine silver and the hum of dozens of conversations, Conan Doyle found Stoddart to be “an excellent fellow,” he would write years later. But he was captivated by one of the other invited guests, an Irish playwright and author named Oscar Wilde. “His conversation left an indelible impression upon my mind,” Conan Doyle remembered. “He had a curious precision of statement, a delicate flavor of humor, and a trick of small gestures to illustrate his meaning.” For both writers, the evening would prove a turning point. Wilde left with a commission to write his novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, which appeared in Lippincott’s June 1890 issue. And Conan Doyle agreed to produce a second novel starring his ace detective; The Sign of Four would cement his reputation. Indeed, critics have speculated that the encounter with Wilde, an exponent of a literary movement known as the Decadents, led Conan Doyle to deepen and darken Sherlock Holmes’ character: in The Sign of Four’s opening scene, Holmes is revealed to be addicted to a “seven-percent solution” of cocaine.

Today the Langham Hotel sits atop Regent Street like a grand yet faded dowager, conjuring up a mostly vanished Victorian landscape. The interior has been renovated repeatedly over the past century. But the Langham’s exterior—monolithic sandstone facade, with wrought-iron balconies, French windows and a columned portico—has hardly changed since the evening Conan Doyle visited 120 years ago. Roger Johnson, publicity director of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, a 1,000-strong band of Holmes devotees, points to the hotel’s mention in several Holmes tales, including The Sign of Four, and says it’s a kind of shrine for Sherlockians. “It’s one of those places where the worlds of Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes come together,” he adds. Others include the Lyceum Theater, where one of Conan Doyle’s plays was produced (and a location in The Sign of Four), as well as the venerable gentlemen’s clubs along the thoroughfare of the Strand, establishments that Conan Doyle frequented during forays into the city from his estate in Surrey. Conan Doyle also appropriated St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in central London as a setting; it was there that the legendary initial meeting between Holmes and Dr. Watson took place.

Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was born on May 22, 1859, in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of Charles Doyle, an alcoholic who would spend much of his later life in a mental institution, and Mary Foley Doyle, the attractive, lively daughter of an Irish doctor and a teacher; she loved literature and, according to biographer Andrew Lycett, beguiled her children with her storytelling. Marking the sesqui­centennial of Conan Doyle’s birth, Edinburgh held a marathon of talks, exhibitions, walking tours, plays, films and public performances. Harvard University sponsored a three-day lecture series examining Holmes’ and Conan Doyle’s legacy. This past spring, novelist Lyndsay Faye published a new thriller, Dust and Shadow, featuring Holmes squaring off against Jack the Ripper. And last month, of course, Holmes took center stage in director Guy Ritchie’s Hollywood movie Sherlock Holmes, starring Robert Downey Jr. as Holmes and Jude Law as Watson.

A persuasive case can be made that Holmes exerts just as much hold on the world’s imagination today as he did a century ago. The Holmesian canon—four novels and 56 stories—continues to sell briskly around the world. The coldly calculating genius in the deerstalker cap, wrestling with his inner demons as he solves crimes that befuddle Scotland Yard, stands as one of literature’s most vivid and most alluring creations.

Conan Doyle’s other alluring creation was London. Although the author lived only a few months in the capital before moving to the suburbs, he visited the city frequently throughout his life. Victorian London takes on almost the presence of a character in the novels and stories, as fully realized—in all its fogs, back alleys and shadowy quarters—as Holmes himself. “Holmes could never have lived anywhere else but London,” says Lycett, author of the recent biography The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes: The Life and Times of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. “London was the hub of the empire. In addition to the Houses of Parliament, it had the sailors’ hostels and the opium dens of the East End, the great railway stations. And it was the center of the literary world.”

Much of that world, of course, has been lost. The British Clean Air Act of 1956 would consign to history the coal-fueled fogs that shrouded many Holmes adventures and imbued them with menace. (“Mud-coloured clouds drooped sadly over the muddy streets,” Conan Doyle writes in The Sign of Four. “Down the Strand, the lamps were but misty splotches of diffused light which threw a feeble circular glimmer upon the slimy pavement.”) The blitz and postwar urban redevelopment swept away much of London’s labyrinthine and crime-ridden East End, where “The Man With the Twisted Lip” and other stories are set. Even so, it is still possible to retrace many of the footsteps that Conan Doyle might have taken in London, to follow him from the muddy banks of the Thames to the Old Bailey and obtain a sense of the Victorian world he transmuted into art.

He first encountered London at the age of 15, while on a three-week vacation from Stonyhurst, the Jesuit boarding school to which his Irish Catholic parents consigned him in northern England. “I believe I am 5 foot 9 high,” the young man told his aunt, so she could spot him at Euston station, “pretty stout, clad in dark garments, and above all, with a flaring red muffler round my neck.” Escorted around the city by his uncles, young Conan Doyle took in the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and the Crystal Palace, and viewed a performance of Hamlet, starring Henry Irving, at the Lyceum Theater in the West End. And he went to the Chamber of Horrors at Madame Tussaud’s wax museum, then located in the Baker Street Bazaar (and on Marylebone Road today). Conan Doyle viewed with fascination wax models of those who had died on the guillotine during the French Revolution as well as likenesses of British murderers and other arch-criminals. While there, the young man sketched the death scene of French radical Jean-Paul Marat, stabbed in his bath at the height of the Revolution. After visiting the museum, Conan Doyle wrote in a letter to his mother that he had been irresistibly drawn to “the images of the murderers.”

More than a decade later, having graduated from medical school in Edinburgh and settled in Southsea, the 27-year-old physician chose London for the backdrop of a novel about a “consulting detective” who solves crimes by applying keen observation and logic. Conan Doyle had been heavily influenced by Dr. Joseph Bell, whom he met at the Edinburgh Infirmary and whose diagnostic powers amazed his students and colleagues. Also, Conan Doyle had read the works of Edgar Allan Poe, including the 1841 “Murders in the Rue Morgue,” featuring inspector C. Auguste Dupin. Notes for an early draft of A Study in Scarlet—first called “A Tangled Skein”—describe a “Sherringford Holmes” who keeps a collection of rare violins and has access to a chemical laboratory; Holmes is aided by his friend Ormond Sacker, who has seen military service in Sudan. In the published version of A Study in Scarlet, Sacker becomes Dr. John H. Watson, who was shot in the shoulder by a “Jezail bullet” in Afghanistan and invalided in 1880 to London—“that great cesspool into which all the loungers and idlers of the Empire are irresistibly drained.” As the tale opens, Watson learns from an old friend at the Criterion Bar of “a fellow who is working at the chemical laboratory up at the hospital [St. Bartholomew’s],” who is looking to share lodgings. Watson finds Holmes poised over a test tube in the middle of an “infallible” experiment to detect human blood stains. Holmes makes the now-immortal observation: “You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.” (Holmes pieces together a series of clues—Watson’s deep tan; an injury to his left arm; a background in medicine; a haggard face—to deduce that Watson had served as an army doctor there.) The physician, intrigued, moves in with Holmes into the “cheerfully furnished” rooms at 221B Baker Street.

The address is another shrine for the detective’s devotees—although, as any expert will attest, 221 Baker Street existed only in Conan Doyle’s imagination. In the Victorian era, Baker Street went up to only number 85. It then became York Place and eventually Upper Baker Street. (Conan Doyle was hardly a stickler for accuracy in his Holmes stories; he garbled some street names and invented others and put a goose seller in Covent Garden, then a flower and produce market.) But some Sherlockians have made a sport out of searching for the “real” 221B, parsing clues in the texts with the diligence of Holmes himself. “The question is, Did Holmes and Watson live in Upper Baker or in Baker?” says Roger Johnson, who occasionally leads groups of fellow pilgrims on expeditions through the Marylebone neighborhood. “There are arguments in favor of both. There are even arguments in favor of York Place. But the most convincing is that it was the lower section of Baker Street.”

One drizzly afternoon I join Johnson and Ales Kolodrubec, president of the Czech Society of Sherlock Holmes, who is visiting from Prague, on a walk through Marylebone in search of the location Conan Doyle might have had in mind for Holmes’ abode. Armed with an analysis written by Bernard Davies, a Sherlockian who grew up in the area, and a detailed 1894 map of the neighborhood, we thread through cobblestone mews and alleys to a block-long passage, Kendall Place, lined by brick buildings. Once a hodgepodge of stables and servants’ quarters, the street is part of a neighborhood that is now mainly full of businesses. In the climax of the 1903 story “The Empty House,” Holmes and Watson sneak through the back entrance of a deserted dwelling, whose front windows face directly onto 221B Baker Street. The description of the Empty House matches that of the old town house we’re looking at. “The ‘real’ 221B,” Johnson says decisively, “must have stood across the road.” It’s a rather disappointing sight: today the spot is marked by a five-story glass-and-concrete office building with a smoothie-and-sandwich take-away shop on the ground floor.

In 1989, Upper Baker and York Place having been merged into Baker Street decades earlier, a London salesman and music promoter, John Aidiniantz, bought a tumbledown Georgian boardinghouse at 239 Baker Street and converted it into the Sherlock Holmes Museum.

A fake London bobby was patrolling in front when I arrived there one weekday afternoon. After paying my £6 entry fee (about $10), I climbed 17 stairs—the exact number mentioned in the Holmes story “A Scandal in Bohemia”—and entered a small, shabby parlor filled with Victorian and Edwardian furniture, along with props that seemed reasonably faithful to the description of the drawing room provided by Watson in “The Empty House”: “The chemical corner and the acid-stained deal-topped table....The diagrams, the violin case, and the pipe rack.” Watson’s stuffy bedroom was one flight up, crammed with medical paraphernalia and case notes; a small exhibition hall, featuring lurid dioramas from the stories and wax figurines of Sherlock Holmes and archenemy Professor Moriarty, filled the third floor. Downstairs in the gift shop, tourists were browsing through shelves of bric-a-brac: puzzles, key rings, busts of Holmes, DVDs, chess sets, deerstalker caps, meerschaum pipes, tobacco tins, porcelain statuettes and salt and pepper shakers. For a weekday afternoon, business seemed brisk.

But it has not been a universal hit. In 1990 and 1994, scholar Jean Upton published articles in the now-defunct magazine Baker Street Miscellanea criticizing “the shoddiness of the displays” at the museum, the rather perfunctory attention to Holmesian detail (no bearskin rug, no cigars in the coal scuttle) and the anachronistic furniture, which she compared to “the dregs of a London flea market.” Upton sniffed that Aidiniantz himself possessed only superficial knowledge of the canon, although, she wrote, he “gives the impression of considering himself the undisputed authority on the subject of Sherlock Holmes and his domicile.”

“I’m happy to call myself a rank amateur,” Aidiniantz replies.

For verisimilitude, most Sherlockians prefer the Sherlock Holmes Pub, on Northumberland Street, just below Trafalgar Square, which is packed with Holmesiana, including a facsimile head of the Hound of the Baskervilles and Watson’s “newly framed portrait of General Gordon,” the British commander killed in 1885 at the siege of Khartoum and mentioned in “The Cardboard Box” and “The Resident Patient.” The collection also includes Holmes’ handcuffs, and posters, photographs and memorabilia from movies and plays recreating the Holmes stories. Upstairs, behind a glass wall, is a far more faithful replica of the 221B sitting room.

In 1891, following the breakout success of The Sign of Four, Conan Doyle moved with his wife, Louise, from Southsea to Montague Place in Bloomsbury, around the corner from the British Museum. He opened an oph­thalmological practice at 2 Upper Wimpole Street in Marylebone, a mile away. (In his memoirs, Conan Doyle mistakenly referred to the address as 2 Devonshire Place. The undistinguished, red-brick town house still stands, marked by a plaque put up by the Westminster City Council and the Arthur Conan Doyle Society.) The young author secured one of London’s best-known literary agents, A.P. Watt, and made a deal with The Strand, a new monthly magazine, to write a series of short stories starring Holmes. Fortunately for his growing fan base, Conan Doyle’s medical practice proved an utter failure, affording him plenty of time to write. “Every morning I walked from the lodgings at Montague Place, reached my consulting-room at ten and sat there until three or four, with never a ring to disturb my serenity,” he would later remember. “Could better conditions for reflection and work be found?”

Between 1891 and 1893, at the height of his creative powers, Conan Doyle produced 24 stories for The Strand, which were later collected under the titles The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. As the stories caught on, The Strand’s readership doubled; on publication day, thousands of fans would form a crush around London bookstalls to snap up the detective’s latest adventure. A few months after arriving in London, the writer moved again, with his wife and his young daughter, Mary, to Tennison Road in the suburb of South Norwood. Several years later, with his fame and fortune growing, he continued his upward migration, this time to a country estate, Undershaw, in Surrey.

But Conan Doyle, a socially and politically active man, was drawn repeatedly back to the bustle and intercourse of London, and many of the characters and places he encountered found their way into the stories. The Langham, the largest and by many accounts best hotel in Victorian London, was one of Conan Doyle’s haunts. Noted for its salubrious location on Upper Regent Street (“much healthier than the peat bogs of Belgravia near the River Thames favored by other hoteliers,” as the Langham advertised when it opened in 1865) and sumptuous interiors, the hotel was a magnet for British and American literati, including the poets Robert Browning and Algernon Swinburne, the writer Mark Twain and the explorer Henry Morton Stanley before he set out to find Dr. Livingstone in Africa. It was at the Langham that Conan Doyle would place a fictional king of Bohemia, the 6-foot-6 Wilhelm Gottsreich Sigismond von Ormstein, as a guest. In “A Scandal in Bohemia,” published in 1891, the rakish, masked Bohemian monarch hires Holmes to recover an embarrassing photograph from a former lover. “You will find me at The Langham, under the name of Count Von Kramm,” the king informs the detective.

Another institution that figured both in Conan Doyle’s real and imagined life was the Lyceum Theatre in the West End, a short walk from Piccadilly Circus. Conan Doyle’s play Waterloo had its London opening there in 1894, starring Henry Irving, the Shakespearian thespian he had admired two decades earlier during his first London trip. In The Sign of Four, Holmes’ client, Mary Morstan, receives a letter directing her to meet a mysterious correspondent at the Lyceum’s “third pillar from the left,” now another destination for Sherlockians. Conan Doyle was an active member of both the Authors’ Club on Dover Street and the Athenaeum Club on Pall Mall, near Buckingham Palace. The latter served as the model for the Diogenes Club, where Watson and Holmes go to meet Holmes’ older brother, Mycroft, in “The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter.”

Although Holmes made his creator wealthy and famous, Conan Doyle quickly wearied of the character. “He really thought that his literary vocation was elsewhere,” says Lycett, the biographer. “He was going to be somebody a bit like Walter Scott, who would write these great historical novels.” According to David Stuart Davies, who has written five Holmes mystery novels and two one-man shows about Holmes, Conan Doyle “wanted to prove that he was more than just a mystery writer, a man who made puzzles for a cardboard character to solve. He was desperate to cut the shackles of Sherlock from him,” so much so that in 1893, Conan Doyle sent Holmes plummeting to his death over the Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland along with Professor Moriarty.

But less than a decade later—during which Conan Doyle wrote a series of swashbuckling pirate stories and a novel, among other works, which were received with indif­ference—popular demand, and the promise of generous remuneration, eventually persuaded him to resuscitate the detective, first in the masterful novel The Hound of the Baskervilles, which appeared in 1901, then in a spate of less well-regarded stories that he continued writing until he died of a heart attack in 1930 at age 71. In addition to the Holmes stories, Conan Doyle had written some 60 works of nonfiction and fiction, including plays, poetry and such science-fiction classics as The Lost World, and amassed a fortune of perhaps $9 million in today’s dollars. “Conan Doyle never realized what he’d created in Sherlock Holmes,” says Davies. “What would he say today if he could see what he spawned?”

Late one morning, I head for the neighborhood around St. Paul’s Cathedral and walk along the Thames, passing underneath the Millennium Bridge. In The Sign of Four, Holmes and Watson set off one evening on a “mad, flying manhunt” on the Thames in pursuit of a villain escaping in a launch. “One great yellow lantern in our bows threw a long, flickering funnel of light in front of us,” Conan Doyle wrote. The pursuit ends in “a wild and desolate place, where the moon glimmered upon a wide expanse of marshland, with pools of stagnant water and beds of decaying vegetation.” Today the muddy riverbank, with rotting wooden pilings protruding from the water, still bears faint echoes of that memorable chase.

I cross St. Paul’s churchyard, wind through alleys and meet Johnson in front of the stately Henry VIII gate at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital. Founded in 1123 by a courtier of Henry I, Barts is located in Smithfield, a section of the city that once held a medieval execution ground. There, heretics and traitors, including the Scottish patriot William Wallace (portrayed by Mel Gibson in the film Braveheart), were drawn and quartered. The square is surrounded by public houses—one half-timbered structure dates to Elizabethan times—that cater to workers in the Smithfield meat market, a sprawling Victorian edifice with a louvered roof where cattle were driven and slaughtered as late as the 1850s. In the hospital’s small museum, a plaque erected by the Baker Street Irregulars, an American Holmesian group, commemorates the first meeting of Holmes and Watson in the now-defunct chemistry lab.

We end up in Poppins Court, an alley off Fleet Street, which some Holmes followers insist is the Pope’s Court in the story “The Red-Headed League.” In that comic tale, Holmes’ client, the dim-witted pawnbroker Jabez Wilson, answers a newspaper ad offering £4 a week to a man “sound in body and mind” whose only other qualifications are that he must have red hair and be over 21. Wilson applies for the job, along with hundreds of other redheads, in an office building located in an alley off Fleet Street, Pope’s Court. “Fleet Street,” wrote Conan Doyle, “was choked with red-headed folk, and Pope’s Court looked like a coster’s [fruit seller’s] orange barrow.” The job, which requires copying out the Encyclopaedia Britannica for four hours a day, is a ruse to keep Wilson from his pawnshop for eight weeks—while thieves drill into the bank vault next door. Studying a 19th-century map of the district as the lunchtime crowd bustles past us, Johnson has his doubts. “I don’t think Conan Doyle knew about Poppins Court at all, but it’s very convenient,” he says.

Conan Doyle, adds Johnson, “simply invented some places, and what we’re doing is finding real places that could match the invented ones.” Holmes’ creator may have exercised artistic license with London’s streets and markets. But with vivid evocations of the Victorian city—one recalls the fog-shrouded scene Conan Doyle conjures in A Study in Scarlet: “a dun-coloured veil hung over the house tops, looking like the reflections of the mud-coloured streets beneath”—he captured its essence like few other writers before or since.


221 Baker street Apt B

The Baltimore Legend Of Sherlock Holmes
William M Dame

30 March 1947

The Baltimore legend of Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes, famous English detective, lived in Baltimore, in Frick’s Folly, Park Avenue and McMackin Street.

This theory – they prefer to call it a deduction – is advanced to buy the Six Napoleons, a group of Baltimoreans who are such ardent admirers of the Baker Street sleuth that they have formed an organization and meet once a month to discuss his adventures. The Six Napoleons explained – or deduced – Holmes’ Baltimore visit from the following facts. Holmes was a chemist and student of anatomy. His books reveal he was a connoisseur of oysters. The group of houses on the west side of Park Avenue, below McMechen Street, are replicas of the houses on Baker St., London. (Note there is a Baker Street within a mile if the Park Avenue, McMechen Street area, that may have drawn Holmes to the area.) Holmes, it was a perfectionist, they say, and where would he have gone, except Baltimore to get the best in medical science and the best in oysters? They clinch the argument with the statement that the city directory for 1876 list a Holmes at the Park Avenue address. Lloyd H. Denton, one of the Napoleons, explains how the Baker Street house happened to be built on Park Avenue: “Charles P. Frick, a merchant, visited his brother in London and was quite taken with the style of the houses on Baker Street. On his return to Baltimore, he built an almost identical row of houses, complete even with the blue fan lights.” James T. Hyslop, British advice of counsel in Baltimore, backed up Mr. Denton story of Frick’s folly, saying, “You have my word on it, those houses are good copies. I had to think twice to realize this is Baltimore, and not London.” Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character, created by Sir Arthur Cannon Doyle. However, the Six Napoleons, and studying Holmes, have associated him with so many varied subjects, that they have grown to know him as a real person. Last August, Alan Robertson organized a Sherlock Holmes society for Sherlock Holmes admirers. They had their first meeting early in September, when plans of an organization were made. Mr. Robertson, a lawyer, was elected Tantalus: Mr. Hyslop, Commissionaire, and Paul S. Clarkson, also a lawyer, was chosen Gasogene. The titles of the officers are taken from different events in the life of Sherlock Holmes. To understand them to require some knowledge of the “sacred writings of Cannon Doyle. The name of the group comes from the book. “The adventures of the six Napoleons.” The six Napoleons is a Psion society of the Baker Street irregulars, the national organization. Founded in 1934 one Christopher Morley and Vincent Starratt met on Holmes’s birthday, January 6, the idea spread and Psion societies, or chapters, or started in 15 cities. Every year, on January 6, members of the many chapters meet in New York for the annual convention. Promptly at 6 PM the delegates rise and drink a toast to “the woman.” Irene Adler, who once got the better of Sherlock Holmes. A subscription to “the Baker St., Journal, and a regular quarterly of Sherlockiana.” Published by the parent group, has been presented to the in knock Pratt library by the six Napoleons. The candidate for membership must be a true “Conanical” to pass the entrance examination “an exam that would make the average college graduate scurry for cover.” “We make the exam tough to discourage travelers,” says Mr. Robertson, “since our organization is composed of serious men pursuing a serious hobby.”

As an example of the questions used in the entrance exam the Tantalus offered the following:

1. What was the nature of the use of the hypodermic syringe mentioned in “the adventure of the missing three-quarter?”
2. What happened to the egg laid by the Christmas goose quote?
3. What was the title of the book in a knock J Trevor’s pocket when he was murdered?
4. What made the sheep lame?
5. What did the dog do in the night time?

The group is not seeking members. However, they will consider the candidacy of anyone who proves his true love for Sherlockiana, and can pass the exam. Explaining the real purpose of the group, “Napoleon” Robertson says, “we are men who find great enjoyment in the works of Sir Arthur Cannon Doyle. Our mutual interest has brought about a genuine feeling of comradeship. “It is significant,” he continues, “that only in a democracy can men gather and discuss the stories. In many countries, the Holmes tales are banned since they don’t conform with the policies of the government. In contrast to this, Sherlock Holmes is required reading for all applicants for membership on the Egyptian police.” The six Napoleons meet irregularly, about once a month. Mr. Robertson, the Tantalus, gives members time to prepare their arguments while he makes plans for any special events. “Then,” said Mr. Denton, “we meet at the call of the Tantalus.” The “bylaws” of the group state that each member pays for his own food and drink. There are no dues. At a typical meeting, the six Napoleons start their discussions at dinner. If one member has discovered something unusual, he presents his theory and tries to prove his point. Otherwise, the members chat back and forth around the table. At the annual dinner in New York, it is customary for members at the head of the table to be challenged from the floor. Any question is permissible if it relates to Sherlockiana. The national “bylaws” state that if the challenge party cannot answer the question, he must buy drinks for the house. The question might be: “what is the address of the redheaded league?” The casual reader could never answer; but the student of the Conanocals would answer, “7 Popes Court, Fleet St., London.” With the six Napoleons, the talk goes from one phase of Sherlockiana to another. No matter how hot the argument, there is an error of friendly seriousness at the meeting. Quite often, the discussion of the “sacred writings” lead to other fields, comparing Holmes is times with the present day. In discussing, “the hound of the Baskerville’s,” an argument started about the effectiveness of bloodhounds, as a result, members have been in correspondence with the FBI and police of Maryland and New York. Capt. Alexander Emerson, of the Baltimore Police Department, attended a recent meeting, and gave a talk on his experience with bloodhounds. He supported the theory that the hounds are effective only up to a certain point… They are not infallible. Then he digressed to talking about his experience with the vice squad. As a part of the January meeting, the members made a pilgrimage to the grave of Edgar Allan Poe, the father of the detective stories. They had to climb a fence to do it, but they gathered about the tomb and bowed their heads. In the future, any candidate must be willing to do the same. When “the red Mill” played at Ford’s theater, Jack waiting and Jack August and, who played Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in the show, or luncheon guests of the Napoleons. Mr. Whiting also dropped in on the January meeting. The members are usually busy with some phase of Sherlockiana. Matt are. Fairlie, CHEMIST from Annapolis, is engaged in research to prove whether or not Holmes chemistry work was accurate. Irvin Paxton has been trying to discover the true identity of the sculptor who made the famous bust of Napoleon. His investigation has taken him deep into history. Paul S Clarkson is making a study of the extent of Holmes is knowledge of Shakespeare; while Joseph F. Purdy has written a paper on “the hound of the Baskerville’s.” Mr. Robertson has prepared two legal briefs on compounding a felony and commuting a felony, based on his research into early endless statutes, and Blackstone’s commentaries, as applied to Sherlock Holmes. Mr. Hyslop, the commissionaire, has special standing in the group. His father was a member of the fifth Northumberland Fusiliers, the outfit to which Dr. John H. Watson was attached as a surgeon. Since the first meeting, the Napoleons have been trying to get a bust of Napoleon; the kind that once were available intense and stores for a dime. Friends of the members are eating in the search. Mr. Robertson is offering “honorary membership to the person who will present us with the bust we seek.” Mr. Denton says, “Holmes is a real character, a real man to all of us. He’s 93 now; we hope he lives to be 193.” According to British postal authorities, more mail is addressed to “Sherlock Holmes, 220 1B Baker St., London.” Than any other individual in the British Isles. Up to now, no mail has been sent to Holmes on Frick’s Folly.

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Capt. William J. Forrest

Friday, 21 February 2020 11:35

Capt. William J. Forrest

Sergeant William J Forrest   Sgt Wm. Forrest 1907 (The Father)

This was brought to me as if it was one person; turns out there are two entrance on duty dates, making this a father, son team.. Still the son, served nearly 50 years... 46 years and 8 months to be exact. To figure out when Inspector Forest began his career we'll work backwards from his "Final Roll Call" The Obituary listed in the Baltimore Sun, Mar of 1967- This may be the longest working police our department has ever had, (or so his nephew says) This could have been true at the time, as he did serve the near 46 years and retire at 70 years of age or greater. But better we have a son following in his dad's footsteps and doing what every father wants, he surpassed his father's great job on the force and went on to become one of the longest working police, making it from Patrol to Inspector, from a time when horses and wagons were used to a time when automobiles were used, and before he left the K9 unit was in affect.

There is an article where he was mentioned in 1897 when he was being considered for promotion to Sergeant, (At the time you had to have either 3 or 5 years in patrol to be considered for Sergeant, if we go with the lessor of the two and say 3 years, 1897 consideration would mean he may have been on since 1894. Bobby Brown looked into it for me and came up with a start date for the father of  1888, and was promoted in 1903 (1-12-1903) .

The father was mentioned in the Sun Paper in 1904, twice, both times he was Sergeant, the first was 30 May 1904 the second was 28 Oct 1904. He can be seen in the 1907 Blue Book "Baltimore Police History", he is pictured and was Sergeant.

In 1911 his son follows in his footsteps,  he was promoted to sergeant on 5-8-1918, and to Lieutenant on 6-1-1922. It is the son that appears in the paper in 1922 (article below) Sometime between the 1918 and 1922 date, Wm. J Forrest Jr was promoted to Round Sergeant. In 1946, the Sun Paper has the son William J Forrest Jr Listed as Captain, and in 1955 he is listed as Inspector. He retired in 1956, and passed away in 1967. During his time on the force Inspector William J Forrest Jr, was commended 4 times in 1922, 7 times in 1923, 4 times in 1924 and 1 time in 1925 for a total of 16 commendation of a 46 years career.

The Father and Son would show up in the news more than what you will find on this page, but these were some of the reports found, or sent to us... We'll try to separate the reports out so we'll know father from son. These articles, from 1922, 1930, 1946, 1955, 1956 and 1967 are all from the son's career. In the 1956 article, 21 Aug 56 to be exact - The report said the City was honoring Inspector Forrest at a luncheon. The Baltimore Sun began its report by first thanking the Inspector Forrest for his nearly 46 years faithful service” which would make the Inspector near 70 years of age at the time of his retirement.

Between Father and Son they saw major changes in law enforcement, a father coming on in 1888 when the Mounted unit was begun, and the Son retiring in 1956 when the K9 unit was founded. One saw the years of wagons and Bobby Caps, the saw motor vehicles, and what would become the best K9 unit in this country, perhaps the world. The things this family saw in law enforcement.

In 1967 The Sun Passed away, born in 1876, made him 91 at the time of his death. Survived by his wife, Nettie Lockwood Forrest; a daughter, Miss Frances Forrest two brothers, Julian I. Forrest who retired as a major in the Police Department, and Carroll Forrest; as well as a sister. Mrs. Helen Meyers, all of Baltimore. I am not sure how long he was on, but will include everything we have found and that was sent to me, so you can take a look for yourself.

The Following are reports of both the Father and the Son...

1967 – 5 Mar, 1967 A requiem high mass for William J. Forrest, a retired Baltimore city police inspector will be offend at 10 A.M; Tuesday at the Immaculate Conception Church, Baltimore and Ware avenues. Towson. Mr. Forrest. who lived at 333 Dixie Drive, Towson, died Friday night at Franklin Square Hospital after a stroke a month earlier. Mr. Forrest retired in 1956 as an inspector after 48 years in the Police Department. As inspector he commanded a number of police operations including be Southwestern, Southern Pres and Northwestern districts and the Pine Street station. Backed Foot Patrolman. A police administration or the old school Mr. Forrest argued that the foot patrolman was the nucleus of the police force. Unlike radio patrols, he said. Foot patrolmen have a personal knowledge or their beats. Inspector Forrest became a foot patrolman in 1911 and was promoted to sergeant, round sergeant, lieutenant and captain before being appointed an inspector in 1946. Formed the Sanitation Squad among his tasks as inspector was the organization of a sanitation squad to inspect rooming houses to see that they met standards of the city housing code. He received 9 commendations for arrests of murderers and burglars over his years with the Baltimore Police Department. His survivors include his wife, the former Nettie Lockwood; a daughter, Miss Frances Forrest two brothers, Julian I. Forrest who retired as a major in the Police Department and Carroll Forrest; and a sister. Mrs. Helen Meyers, all of Baltimore. (The Son)

1956 – The Baltimore Sun Paper wrote an article on the then retiring Inspector William J. Forrest Jr. in the article he is thanked for his nearly 46 years of “faithful” service. News reports from his time as a Police Sergeant, a Round Sergeant a Lieutenant, Captain, and finally Inspector, lets, keep track of those years… and well either have proof of a start date, or enough evidence to conclude his start date.  1st Sun paper’s report on the City’s honoring of Inspector Forrest at a luncheon, where on 21 August 1956 the Baltimore Sun begins its report by first thanking the Inspector Forrest for his nearly 46 years faithful service” they then introduce some of those in attendance, such as Mayor D’Alesandro, they also mention the police commissioner (James Hepbron) as being present, along with many other City and State officials, of varying ranks ranging from Patrolman, to Chief Inspector. The Ballroom of Emerson Hotel shortly past noon, on this day was filled to capacity. Inspector Forrest himself worked his way up through the ranks, and at age 70 (according to the paper) he is survived by no one who has been a Baltimore policeman longer.  Anselm Sodaro, State Attorney acted as Toastmaster at the head table, where the guest of Honor was flanked by his wife, and a daughter, Miss Frances Forrest. There was no "Principal speaker," but many a police official were expected to follow the Mayor in reminding the inspector that this was "his" day. A gift the nature of which was kept secret, was ready for the presentation. It was the result of contributions from every member of the police department. Jerome J. Sebastian. Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore will offer the prayer. In charge of the arrangements for the luncheon was is Police Inspector by the name of Bernard J. Schmidt. (Side Note: Bernard Schmidt, who went on to become Baltimore’s Police Commissioner from 1961 to 1966... Early in PC Schmidt’s tenure as Police Commissioner he was in an elevator in the old Headquarters building when a young patrolman entered same; after a few floors the PC turns to young officer and asked if he knew who he was? The young man apologized, but said he did not know. PC Schmidt said it is OK, and that he understood. It wasn’t long after that day, in that elevator, that pictures of the Commissioner were hung in roll call rooms of all 9 districts so everyone would know what the PC looked like, a tradition started).  Anyway back to 1956… The luncheon was held and went off without a hitch… except for the line about 46 years’ service... - So let’s begin (The Son)

1955 – In 1955 the Sun Paper made a report on a Use of Force report against 2 Patrolman (9 Aug 1955) Inspector Forrest at the time (Listed as Police Inspector William J Forrest) it was reported that Inspector Forrest was assigned to investigate the charges that the two officers of the Southwestern administered a savage beating to a man they had arrested the Friday before 5 Aug 1955. The suspect was charged with disorderly conduct. The investigation reports made out by the accused patrolmen. Benjamin Leddon and Charles Butka, have not yet been supplied, Inspector Ford said. When all the official reports are in, he said, they will be made available to Inspector Forrest for use in his investigation. The alleged victim of the beating, John Minnick, 27 of the 1000 block of West Lombard Street, was arrested after police were called to break up an incipient fight at a tavern in the 1100 block of West Pratt Street. 1 Unmarked When He Got In Witnesses said the fight never developed, but! Minnick was! Arrested on the street outside. At a hearing in Southwestern Police Court Saturday morning it was stated in testimony that Minnick was unmarked when he got into the police patrol car for the three block ride to the station, but that when he was seen later at the station he was almost unrecognizable. Police said he required hospital treatment the accused patrolmen said they were forced to battle with Minnick because he tried to grab Patrolman Leddon's gun. One of the policemen was injured in the struggle. The court was told Magistrate Howard L. Aaron fined Minnick $25 for disorderly Conduct, suspended the fine and jailed him for 30 days on charges of assaulting the two policemen. This report was made Aug 9, 1955 (The Son)

1946 – In 1946 the paper reports Capt. William J. Forrest has been promoted to Inspector and has two police Lieutenants have been promoted to Captain. (10 Jan 1946) It went on to say, Inspector Forest will be placed in the command of the Southern and Central Districts. Lt Alfred Cormack has been named to succeed Inspector Forrest as captain in the Northwestern District, and Lieut. Thomas S. Dunn, of the Northeastern District, will assume command of the Southwestern District to fill the vacancy created by the recent retirement of Capt. Lawrence King. With filling of the fifth inspector's position, created by the last Legislature, Commissioner Atkinson announced that the city's eight districts will now be divided between four ·or the inspectors. Inspector Joseph H. Itzel will Command the Eastern and Northeastern districts, Inspector John H. Mintiens will head the Northwestern and Northern districts and Inspector John R. Schueler will be placed in charge of the Western and Southwestern districts. M. Joseph Wallace is chief inspector. (The Son)

1930 In Early December 1930 He was listed as a Lieutenant in the arrests of two robbery suspects accused of robbing a luncheon owner of $11 dollars at gun point. It took the good Lieutenant’s men a total of 15 minutes to capture these two desperados. The victim in this case was a, John Furman proprietor who runs a lunch room in the 1100 Block of Haubert Street. The incident took place at around 10 o’clock am when two armed men came in, one pointed a gun at him and demanded his daily take. Furman, handed them all he had approximately $11 dollars (his startup money, as this is a luncheon and the Robbers came in well before lunch time, they only got startup money for the day). The men were captured and arrested by Southern District Patrolmen John Peters and Martin Contey. Once at the Station the men identified themselves as Earnest Frost, 24, and Delmar Bull 22, both were sailors (this was an issue with Baltimore as far back as its founding days as a Port City, whereas criminals would come in on ships, commit crimes then either get back on the boat to leave the city, or a criminal transient simply move about the city without a trace) In this case, the police found $11 on one, and a pistol on the other. – The second incident titled Robbed at Gun Point, tells of Max Feldman, the owner of a Deli in the 4700 Block of Gwynn Oaks Ave, reported to the police that two men robbed him of $20 at gun point the night before. Feildman said one of the men about 25 entered the shop and asked for a sandwich, a second man drew a pistol and told him to get into the rear room. The two then took the $20 from the cash drawer. William T Sherwood night manager of the Guilford garage, Calvert and 34th Street reported that a man tried to steal an automobile from his garage at around 10:30 last night, as Sherwood attempted to stop him, he drew a pistol. Sherwood wisely backed off and let him go (without the automobile) In his same report City Police were on the lookout for three escaped suspects out of the Frederick City Jail, the three had sawed their way out, they said, one of those arrested had a diamond filling in his tooth, that was somehow used to saw through the bars to freedom, (I guess you could say they chewed their way out) And now we hear more about our Famed Lieutenant Williams, as Mr. Friedman saves $300 by picking it from the floor of the Callow Ave Streetcar on which the robbery occurred. One of the thieves had dropped the loot on the floor while taking the entire amount from the grocer’s pocket. The Robbery was accomplished by jostling Mr. Freidman so that he did not feel a hand slip into the inside pocket of his suit coat. So violent was the jostling Mr. Friedman was about to tell the two men, one in front of him the other behind to leave him alone when he noticed the money on the floor of the car. He noticed too that his pocket was empty and his Bank book was gone. The Struggle followed the theft, Me Friedman grabbed for the nearest thief, the second thief joined in the fray and the three men left the streetcar at Liberty and Redwood Streets. They fell to the street and two $50 bills from the $300 Mr. Friedman had salvaged fluttered to the ground. Mr. Freidman stopped to pick up the money and the two thieves ran, one east on Redwood street and the other west on the same thoroughfare. Cased by Patrolman, A cab driver, Anthony Aquilla, 18 was sitting in his parked machine near the car stop when three men left the trolley. He called a patrolman Mr. Friedman and the Patrolman got into a cab and followed the pickpockets east on Redwood, losing him in a crowd at Charles Street. Then Mr. Friedman, who lives at 1233 South Cary Street, went to the Western District where he told his story to Capt. John S Cooney and Lieutenant William J Forrest. So from this we not only get a little history of the times, by we see in in 1930 Inspector Williams was a Lieutenant (The Son)

1922 – Monshine raid made late September 1922 Southern district police, headed by Lieutenant William J. Forrest and Sergeant Clarence C. Kendall, yesterday 20 September 1922 raided 415 South Hanover Street, where they charge, they discovered a 200-gallon still, a 100-horspower boiler, 18 50· gallon fermenters, 500 pounds of rye meal and eight gallons of moonshine liquor. They arrested Albert Leuba and Arthur Chicks, both of 125 West Barre street, who were turned over to Edward J Lindholm, deputy internal revenue collector, who seized the illicit outfit. Leuba and Chicks were arraigned before J Frank Supplee Jr, United States Commissioner, and held for a hearing September 29th  Sumuel .J. Hall and Chester E. Nolas, of Rising Sun Md., were released on bail for court after a hearing before the Commissioner on charges of manufacturing and possessing liquor. The charges developed from the discovery of a 200-gallon still at Rising Sun. Palmer C. Rakes, also arrested. was held on an additional charge of resisting and obstructing an officer. A continuance was ordered in the case against Norman A. Clark, whose address was given as 543 Wayne street, accused of being the principal in distilling operations at Earleigh Heights, Anne Arundel county, where a 1,000 gallon still was found. M Carenda and William Woods are implicated under the warrant of arrest. David King, negro, arrested at the time, turned Government witness. Joseph Feriara. Russell Torres and Herman Constantine, of Baltimore, and Delmar Sutphin and Edward Wilkins, of Hising Sun, charged with manufacturing and possessing liquor, were released on bail for court. (The Son)

1907 History of the Baltimore Police Department 1774-1907 Original book released in 1907, Lists William J Forrest on Page 56 with a photo, as a Sergeant, at the time in order to meet eligibility requirements as a Sergeant, one had to have at least 3 years in Patrol, and while we have him in a 1907 Book which would make him a member since at least 1904, we have other news articles putting him in the news in 1904, also listed as Sergeant, meaning we are looking at 1898/99 – But then, there is a final article in which they were considering him for promotion to the rank of Sergeant and that was 12 May 1897. So assuming it was his first chance for promotion, and he came on 3 years earlier 1894… and he retired in 1956 it would mean he did 62 years on force, now assuming he came on at 21 years of age, he would have been 83 at retirement not 80 as was believed. We already know the newspaper was incorrect as to the 1911 date they gave him as a start date, their own articles show he was on in 1897, 1904, 1907, 1922, 1930, 1946, 1955, and 1956. The main question now is, was the 3 year rule in affect, and is so did he start in 1894 or 95. (The father)

1904 – 28 Oct 1904 (the year of the Great Fire) the Baltimore Sun article Titled “Policemen Transferred” subtitled Sergeant Carberry Sent to Northwestern Distirct’ It began by saying, “The Following changes were made yesterday 27 October 1904, by the Board of Police Commissioners: Sergt. William J. Forrest Northwestern to Central... it names an additional 7 Sergeants or patrolmen that were moved around before continuing… The Changes were made “for the good of the Department” and ere brought about after the hearing of the case of Sergt. Carberry, who was before the board shortly before the changes were made? The three patrolman removed from the Central District were in Sergeant Carberry’s squad and testified against him at a hearing. It was decide at the hearing that there was much feeling among the men and that it would be best to scatter them apart. Patrolmen William L Thomas, who testified against the sergeant, was allowed to remain in his district. Probationary Patrolman George J. Will, of the Western district, was made a regular patrolman and Alexander H. Hobbs was made a probationer and assigned to the Central District by Orders of the board, Detective Todd Hall was given $25 donated by Mr. Allen Mclane in investigating the death of Mayor McLane. For services rendered by the detective in investigating the death of Mayor McLane. Detective Hall reported that the death of the Mayor was accidental. (The father)

1904 – 30 May 1904 Two raids were made In the Northwestern district Yesterday why officers in plain clothes under the direction of Capt. Schultz. Shortly after 1 o'clock in the morning Round Sergeant Thomas Hood, Sergeant William J. Forrest and Patrolmen James E. Abbott and Harry Webster entered the saloon of George L Jeannert, 589 Baker street, and surprised the 19 occupants all colored. All bands were sent to the station in the patrol wagon, it being necessary to make two trips. Justice Goldman committed Jeannert for court on the charge of selling liquor on Sunday. The saloon of Mrs Kate Keaveney, at 540 Dolphin street, was raided about noon by Patrolmen Robert T. Neal, Albert McLane and Peter Coughlin, of the Northern district. When the officers entered the place they found five negroes standing before the bar and there was a rush tor liberty. One dashed through the house and made his escape by leaping over the rear fence. The other four were taken to the station, with several glasses of beer. Mrs. Keaveney was released on bail tor court by Justice Goldman on the charge of selling liquor on Sunday. (The father)

1897 – 12 May 1897 - Patrolman Plum's Promotion. The list or patrolman’s names considered as eligible by Captain Baker and prepared the day previous was produced. It contained the names of Plum, Miller, Forrest, Bishop, and Green. Commissioner Johnson named Plum. (The father)

captain william forrest
Captain William J Forrest Son
later promoted to Inspector

inspector william forrest badge1
Original Inspector badge and case belonging to Inspector William J Forrest

inspector william forrest badge2The original badge issued to Inspector William J Forrest

While we can see this isn't the same holster, or for the same make model gun, we can see it is made by the same leather smith, we can see that portion where the two straps come together and look like a seven almost, and that it is unique to both holsters - We can also see from information in the photo that this was custom made for a Smith & Wesson "Baby Russian"  a .38 Cal. Revolver often carried by our Police back in the late 1800's early 1900's - we should also note, that during these time a lot of officers carried their pistols in their pocket, hence the need of a pocket holster. We have had several serious injuries, even some deaths caused by this seriously unsafe method of carrying a weapon.

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The following are Holsters one time owned by Inspector Forrest

The following two Holsters were purchased from a seller of antique firearms, leather and other police related Antiquities. This seller was selling these for Charles "Charlie" Klein, Charlie is 84 years old as of the time of this post (April 2014) he said he got these from his Uncle William Forest, a one time Inspector.   

 57iPocket Holster from the Late 1800's early 1900's
 57iiPocket Holster from the Late 1800's early 1900's
 59Pocket Holster from the Late 1800's early 1900's
 57iuyAudley Safety Holster Pat. 13 Oct. 1914
 57audyAudley Safety Holster Pat. 13 Oct. 1914

765Audley Saftey Holster Pat. 13 Oct. 1914
 57 17On the right we see the rear of the Audley Safety Holster Pat. 13 Oct. 1914
On the right we see the rear of the Audley Safety Holster Pat. 13 Oct. 1914

The Audley Safety Holster Company was established in the early 1900s, prior to 1905, by F. H. Audley who had previously been a Saddle, Harness and Boot maker. These were trades he had learned early in life as a young boy and developed over 30 in the Saddlery and Harness business.

Having started his own saddlery business in New York, at 2557 Third Avenue (Near 139th Street), in approximately 1876 and operating until 1885, F. H. Audley closed his business and went into business with Mr. P. H. Comerford remaining in Saddlery, Harness & Boot making. In 1891, Frank H. Audley went back into business himself and although making quality saddlery and boots, he struggled over the next 10 years until the turn of the century.

In the early 1900s, F. H. Audley moved his shop to 8 Centre Market Place, across from Police Headquarters and it was at this time he starting getting a lot of exposure to Police equipment. From this time, F. H. Audley filed many patents for various pieces of Police equipment which he developed and sold to many of the New York City Police Officers that utilized he services from his accessible location.

The most famous of these inventions was the Audley Safety Holster which F. H. Audley applied for patents in 1912 and they were approved October 13, 1914. The holster incorporates a spring loaded steel catch in the body of the holster which securely holds the pistol in place. It can only be released by using the index finger to depress the catch. It is virtually impossible for anyone other than the person wearing the holster to do this. No other retaining strap is required.

They were popular with many officers in WW1 and were also used by many American Police Departments. The Audley Company was taken over by the Folsom Arms Co., which in turn was absorbed by the Cortland Bootjack Co, and eventually became the JayPee holster company. This particular model was probably used by a motor cycle or horse mounted officer of the 1920-30 period.

Francis H. Audley Died in May of 1916 and by chance, I was able to find a copy of the Obituary from the New York Times May 11, 1916

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Baltimore Police News

Friday, 21 February 2020 11:22

Good Cop - Bad Cop  - We all know as n any profession we have some great police, some really really good police, some good police, average police hump cops, bad cops and dirty cops. what most might not understand is no one hates a dirty cop worse than Americas good police, and for those that think, all police are dirty if they don't drop a dime on dirty police, fail to understand two things, 1st they need to proactive what they preach in that by their not calling in tips on the dirty criminal activity in their own neighborhood are not much better than than the criminals running drugs, and shooting innocent kids. As for Police, If an officer's cover is blown, criminals in his area will move until he is off-duty, likewise, if I am known for diming out bad cops, word gets out and nothing will be done near me, but if I take my notes and either call in myself, or have my wife call in from a payphone, I can continue reporting things seen and take out more dirty cops than the first one seen. That said, in my 16 years, I had not seen any serious dirty police, the worse, i had seen was eating off an officers post, use of foul language (but there was a time when we were trained to use strong language, it seemed kindness was mistaken as weakness and use of strong language had commands followed more quickly which becomes a safety issue for everyone involved. When I was hired an old timer told me now that I was hired the only way I could lose my job would be to Lie, Steal, or take drugs. He said other than quitting, this is the hardest job in the world to be fired from, they give you instructions for everything you can and cannot do, follow the rules and you will be OK. I have seen guys fired over stealing $5.00 or failing to submit found money, throwing away evidence, officers finding or having drugs turned over to them, but worth no arrest officers have been known to destroy said evidence rather than write a simple found property report and submitting the evidence. The point is, for the most part more than 99% of Baltimore's police are good police. We hope these stories will help show that while we have had some bad cops, for the most part we have some of the nations best police. 

Commissioner Charles D. Gaither

Friday, 21 February 2020 09:06

Commissioner Charles D. Gaither
"The General"

It's no secret among those that know me; I am not a fan of General Gaither, the man, that said even a broken clock is right twice a day and Gaither did some good things. So while I will never be a fan of him the person, I have to credit the thing he did right, he invented systems to make police service faster before radios were in use. He worked on a better traffic light system, crosswalks, and many other services, and devices to make Baltimore safer and better. But his racist views on African Americans and their ability to police in Baltimore were inexcusable, and while I will not ignore the things he did right, they will not give him a pass on the significant errors on his part when it came to humanity, and caring about all men, all women and all children on an equal playing field.

I had a close friend that said he himself was brought up by a racist family, so he had racist views. While he once felt the way all racist do, those views changed when he was educated and learned everything he had ever been told was wrong. He said he could understand and see where Gaither was coming from; he basically, said as kids we might have been raised with racist views and could believe everything we are told, but the day you find out they were wrong, and that the only difference between a white man and black man is the color of their skin, but you continue to have incorrect views, prejudices etc., ignoring facts that are right in front of them; well that is a racist. My friend has passed away, but he told a story of desegregation within the department and how his sergeant told him to report his new partner for sleeping on duty and he would have him fired. For the first few days he was trying to catch his partner sleeping so he could carry out his sergeant's wishes, but by the end of the first week he realized something that he was ashamed at his age for not already knowing, and by the end of the second week the two partners had done what most police partners do; they became friends. Becoming friends, they did what friends do, they attended each other's kids graduations, and weddings, they camped and vacationed together; they were true friends, brothers that our police family becomes. After saving each other's lives and counting on each other to keep protecting each other. Gaither, would never learn this kind of friendship because he was too ignorant to want to learn, the only race any of us should care about is the human race and to hate a man, woman, or child simply because their skin doesn't match yours is not only racist, it is foolish. The color of our skin is no different than the color of our eyes, and we would never dislike someone for having blue eyes when we have brown eyes, that would be silly, and while racism is no laughing matter, it is a silly person that waists their lives hating someone they don't know anything about, other than their skin is a different color. Having done so his entire life, caused Gaither not only to lose the respect of historians that would someday study his work as a police officer, but it put a dent in that chapter of Baltimore Police History.

Something all commissioners need to take into consideration is that the job they take on when they take the oath as a police commissioner is more significant than they are and that knowledge has to become part of the choices they make.


Gen. Charles D. Gaither
Baltimore City Police
Commissioner (1920-1937)

1920 - On June 1st, 1920, a man by the name of Brigadier General Charles D. Gaither, previously commander of the First Brigade, Maryland National Guard began his duties as the Governor-appointed first Baltimore City Police Commissioner. Called "The General," he took Baltimore City traffic seriously and would personally drive through downtown city streets observing the manner in which traffic was handled, especially during rush hour.

1921 - By July 1921, under his direction, the Police Department placed fourteen six feet high "lighthouses" on concrete bases which were intended to warn motorists of dangerous curves and bends at night. The flashing lights in the lighthouses were fueled by acetylene tanks (see photo, below and left) - red flashing indicated places where people had been killed, yellow for dangerous curves or bends where caution must be exercised, and green was for danger at intersections where slow, careful driving should be exercised to the right.

The earlier days of traffic lights and warnings resulted in disgruntlement by drivers and even beasts. Prior to placing the traffic lights on streets with protective bases, they were continually run over by motorists refusing to stop. On October 16, 1923, the Baltimore Sun reported that a certain Jersey bull by the name of Reddy had created a riot in the middle of the congested intersection of Bryant and Pennsylvania Avenues while being led to slaughter. A heard of 40 bulls were being driven down the avenue where automobiles stopped in obedience to a blinking red light, but not Reddy who saw it as a challenge and proceeded to charge it. In the charge, a truck struck and broke its leg before he could reach his "enemy." Unfortunately, agents of the SPCA needed to kill the Reddy earlier than his originally intended fate.

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4 May 1921

Police Reorganization

Whether or not all citizens will be able to subscribe to the details of Commissioner Gaither has a plan for reorganizing the police department of Baltimore, there should be general satisfaction over the fact that he has seen fit so far in advance of the meeting of the legislature to prepare a program.  The trouble with so many a virus state and municipal as visuals is that they wait until the last minute, and then wonder why the public does not at once jumped to support their half-baked ideas.  It is comforting to know not only that Commissioner Gaither is alive to the present need for a reorganization of his department, but that in the drafting of his proposals he has looked ahead to the steady growth of the city.

That Baltimore is at present under-policed has frequently been contended by the commissioner and others.  That the present organization is a clumsy one and not calculated to produce efficient work is becoming increasingly manifest.  In some respects, at least, Mr. Gaither has adopted for his program ideas which have proven effective in other communities.  It is gratifying that he has thoroughly prepared himself to discuss the subject publicly.  If the people of Baltimore are not in substantial agreement as to what they want by the time the Legislature meets, the commissioner at least, will not be to blame.  He has started the discussion.

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museum 7

 Transfer of Badge to Mark the Retirement of General Charles Gaither

1 June 1937

William P. Lawson will take over the office of Commissioner of Police for the next six years at noon on Tuesday 1 June 1937.

General Charles D. Gaither at noon on that same Tuesday 1 June 1937 was to hand to Mr. William Lawson the gold-plated commissioner’s badge which he had received 17 years earlier from Mr. Lawrason Riggs when General Gaither himself became Baltimore Police Department’s first solo Police Commissioner.

By this act, Mr. Lawson, who took the oath of office a day after his appointment by Gov. Nice, automatically entered into his duties as the executive head of the Baltimore Police Department becoming the agencies’ 2nd solo commissioner a title he was expected to hold for at least the next six years.

Has Name Taken Off

Several days earlier General Gaither gave his badge to Mr. George J. Brennan, Executive Secretary of the Department, with instructions to, “Have my name taken off and Mr. Lawson’s put on.” No one could recall if Mr. Riggs’ name was removed 17 years earlier when General Gaither was to receive the badge by appointment of former Governor; Albert Ritchie. Mr. Riggs was the president of a three-member police commission known as the BOC (Board of Commissioners). The BOC was discontinued when Gov. Ritchie reorganized the State Government, including the Baltimore Police Department which at the time fell under State rule.

No Formal Ceremony

Other than the transfer of the badge, there will be no formal ceremony when Mr. Lawson takes over General Gaither’s duties. In certain Republican circles, however, it was whispered that Mr. Lawson might find himself the center of a large group of congratulating friends bearing floral tributes. Previous to his appointment by Governor Nice, Mr. Lawson was chairman of both the state and city Republican State Central committees. General Gaither was at his office in the Police Building yesterday morning but left early to enjoy the afternoon on his Howard County farm. There he recalled the change that had taken place in the department during his 17-year administration.

City’s Growth of The Force

“When I Came In,” he said, “942 men were authorized for the force, but we had only 725 or 730. The Department was short of men who had a base pay of $25 a week. This was right after the World War and men could get more money in other work. Many of the members of The Police Department gave up their jobs to enter more remunerative employment.

“When I came in the only things the department had was a Detective Bureau of 25 men, and 725 patrolmen, a Bertillon Bureau and a “Beauty Squad” of 68 policemen detailed to handle traffic at street corners. Some of these were on bicycles, and there were three motorcycle men.

“Out of this ‘Beauty Squad’ was developed to present Traffic Division, with 182 men and 47 motorcycle men. We now have 1357 patrolman with a base pay of $35 a week”

Gaither Reviews Work

Now hundreds of men every year take the examinations to get on the eligibility list for appointment to the Baltimore Police Department. Pressed to enumerate some of the features he introduced into the department; General Gaither modestly agreed to name a few.

They included the following;

The Accident Bureau.
The Bureau of Missing Persons.
The Blinker Light Recall System.
The Automatic Signals.
This Through Highway System.
The Interstation Teletype System.
The Bureau Ballistics, Including an Arsenal for Emergency Purposes.
The Detective Bureau of 85 Men.
The Traffic Division.
Standardization of Police Arms, now all men carry .32 caliber pistols.
Removal of the Police Department Headquarters from a cramped space in The Courthouse to its own building on Fallsway.
The Radio Patrol.
The beginning of a two-way Radio Communications System, now being installed. 

Uniforms improved

The fact that General Gaither failed to mention but which Mr. Brennan did not forget was that the General was also the department’s stylist. When he became Commissioner, patrolmen wore uncomfortable uniforms, with tall, stiff helmets. Like those worn in Lindon by Bobby cops. General Gaither designed the uniform most like to uniform worn today as what we call Class A’s. And, the general started a tradition still used to this day in which during hot summer months, police are permitted to doff their coats. Before this, police officers were to wear their coats all year round. Not only were they to wear the coat all year round, but they were also required to wear their uniform both on and off duty. One thing General Gaither did that may or may not have been seen as respectful to the men and women that had been a part of the Baltimore Police Department long before he had arrived. To those before him, and after him that had died and or would die, as well as those who had been seriously and permanently injured or someday would be for the City, the department, and for the uniform of a Baltimore Police Officer. He felt there were those that worked the streets of Baltimore and earned a right to wear the uniform of one of its Police Officers. As such General Gaither, never wore our uniform, he never felt as if he earned the right; so he always appeared no matter what the occasion, in mufti.

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 5 Sept 1922

The Sun (1837-1989); pg. 6

"Recall System" Will Be Completed

In Two Districts Early Next Week.


Gaither hopes to have All Baltimore Covered by Light

Signals next Year.

After delays and complications for more than six months the new police "recall system" will be completed early next week [11 Sept 1922] in the Central and Western districts, it was announced yesterday by Charles D. Gaither, Commissioner of Police. This system, conceived by the Commissioner, will be established throughout the city by next year, Mr. Gaither said, providing an appropriation permits it.

Having been tested through experiments with the call-box at Baltimore and Charles streets and in outlying sections of the Northern District, the system is regarded as feasible and satisfactory and is expected to aid in the quick capture of criminals. Through the "Recall" patrolmen all over the city can be summoned immediately and instructions were given to the entire force at one time.

How System Works

All police call boxes in the Central and Western districts are being equipped with a red light projecting over the top of the box. A cable connects with the series of boxes to the respective districts and with headquarters. When a patrolman is wanted his box is "flashed." And the light blinks until the telephone receiver is removed from the hook. If the entire force is wanted every box flashes simultaneously until answered. Under the present system, there are no means of obtaining communication with patrolmen on the street. The policemen call their respective districts every hour and between the hours of call unless someone is dispatched to call the officer wanted. There are no means of locating him. When the light flashes the officer will know that his district wants him and will answer.

City-Wide System is Good

“The plan is a good one. I think.” commented Mr. Gaither ... “and by next year we hope to have the system installed in all of the eight districts. If all of our appropriations are sufficient this will be done. We were delayed this year when we received the wrong equipment and had trouble in obtaining the correct cable. The siren system, as established in New York banks, was commended by the Commissioner. Banks in downtown New York have been equipped with huge horns that are blown in cases of robbery or hold-ups, and attention is immediately attracted to that point. The idea could be adopted here advantageously.”

Gaither suggested this program and it was not only successful here in Baltimore, but it was a system that would be adopted by departments up and down the East Coast.

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“The General” of Baltimore Police

Commissioner Gaither Learned his Lesson as a Guardsman

Half a dozen spellbinder’s harangue a listless crowd of perhaps fifty persons in the War Memorial Plaza around the square stands a hundred uniformed policeman. The Officers all twirling their clubs, looking bored. Nothing happens. So many policemen, apparently on hand to preserve order, seems a little silly. They outnumber the rest of the crowd and themselves two to one. No nervous Nelly was Commissioner Charles Gaither, who sent all those bluecoats to the Plaza. But he has seen Baltimore’s police force overpowered and whipped to a standstill. During some of his first days policing Baltimore, then as a National Guardsmen, he and his men were stoned by Baltimore’s infamous "Mobtown". He helped put down the rioting in the streets of Baltimore at the point of the bayonet. This happened 60 years earlier, but he could never forget. He doesn’t believe in taking chances now. Aside from the effects, it has had on him, now it is more than just him. He has the men wearing the uniform of our Baltimore Police to consider and so he made all decisions with them in mind. Or, as he expressed it: “I don’t believe in sending a boy to do a man’s job.” That is why our police will as often as possible outnumber the crowds they are to maintain, protect and control.  Charles D.Gaither was born November 20, 1860, at Oakland Manner, an 1800 acre farm on the Columbia Pike about 2 miles below Ellicott city. He was little more than a year old when the Civil War broke out. His father, George Riggs Gaither, recruited a company of Marylanders for service in the Confederate Army, and during his absence, his farm was sold by his father, who feared confiscation of all his rebel sons’ property by the Federal Government. A house at 510 Cathedral St. became the Captain’s home, from there Charles D. Gaither, the fourth of nine children, went to private schools ran with number 7 Fire Engine Company and establish a neighborhood in reputation as a first baseman. When the boy was 12 years old his father was elected Major of the Fifth Regiment, whose roster read like the societies visiting list. For in those days men paid an initiation fee of five dollars to join the Regiment, monthly dues of a dollar and $50 for a uniform. Each man also paid his own expenses at summer camp, a frolic usually held at Cape May, Longbranch or some other fashionable seaside resort.

From the day his father became an officer of the Fifth Regiment Charles Gaither began to hang around its drill hall, the present Richmond Market Armory, inpatient for his 18th birthday in order that he might enlist, in April 1877, the father, who had been promoted to Lieutenant Colonel resigned, but the son was still bent on being a soldier.

At 6:30 PM Friday, 20 July 1877, the military call, one – five – one, was rung on the City Hall and fire bells. Police closed all of the bar rooms in town. Gov. John Lee Carroll had ordered the Fifth and Sixth Regiments of the Maryland National Guard to Cumberland, where striking railroad engineers and firemen had halted train service.

In the crowd gathered at the Richmond Market Armory to watch the Fifth Regiment marked out for the former Lieut. – Col. and his son. The companies falling in were little more than skeletons. Earlier that summer dissension in the Regiment had led to the resignation of all its field officers, reducing the number of its enlisted men to just 175. Of these only, 135 had reported for duty. “Going along, Col.?” Someone asked in the elder Gaither. “Looks like we’re going to need all we can get.” Suddenly Charles D Gaither, a square-shouldered, 17-year-old boy who stood 6 feet tall and weighed clothes and all maybe 180 pounds, felt his father’s hand clap his shoulder, his father’s voice saying: “What’s the matter with his boy going?”

The younger Gaither stumbled upstairs into the armory, delighted. With his father’s consent, he was enrolled in senior Capt. William P. Zollinger’s Company H. Someone tossed the new recruit a pair of gray trousers. Someone else gave him a blue blouse. A third man slapped a forage cap on his head and a fourth put a musket in his hands.

In the absence of field officers, senior Capt. Zollinger commanded the entire Regiment. His company, age, led the column down Eutaw Street toward Camden station, where the guardsman were to in train for Cumberland. Because of his height, Private Charles D Gaither was number three man in the second rank of fours

The sounding of the military call that July afternoon, when the streets were filled with persons who were – bound from work (there were no 40 hour weeks in those days) jam that Eutaw Street with people curious to see what was going on.

At Pratt Street, the crowd cheered the soldiers. But the Camden Street they stoned them – a sudden change in mob temperament never forgotten by the tall, roll recruit in the second rank of that force.

Near the station, the crowd blocked the street. The command was: “Battalion holds! Fixed bayonets!”

The crowd broke. Into Camden station marched company H, halting just within the wide door while an officer hurried ahead to find their train.

From the rear of the column the word came up the line; “and They’re stoning them badly back there!” Camden Street was thick with flying brickbats.

The men in company H stood with their shoulders hunched, protecting their heads with the blanket roles on top they’re knapsacks. Through the station, door sailed a brick that bounced off private Gaither's blanket role, smacked the first sergeant squarely on the head and knocked him flat on his bum.

“Burn them!” Bellowed the mob in Camden Street. “Hang them! Shoot them! then Burn them”

The train that was to have taken the guardsman to Cumberland was partly wrecked by the mob, which later set fire to the station. Firemen who answered the alarm were stoned. Hose lines were cut. The police could make no headway against the mob. Alarmed by the riot, Gov. Carroll countermanded the order sending the guardsman to Cumberland, directed them held at Camden station and telegraphed President Hayes for Federal Troops “to protect the state against violence.”

Private Gaither got his first bayonet practice that night helping the Fifth Regiment clear the streets around the station, usually, a bayonet prick was enough to send a rider flying. Once the command was given, “Load, Ready, Aim”… But it was not necessary to fire. The mob did not wait. Private Gaither learned to look hard – Boiled, to appear comfortable when lying on the stone sidewalk with a knapsack for a pillow.

Business, as well as train service, was suspended next day. Banks, post office, Custom House were under special guard. A Revenue cutter covered bonded government warehouses at Locus Point with his guns. Light Street streamers anchored in the harbor to avoid damage. Railroad cars were burned. Again riders charged the guardsman. 77 members of the Fifth Regiment had been injured at the end of the second day of strike duty.

2000 United States Marines and soldiers of the regular Army arrived in Baltimore the next morning – Sunday. 2000 more were on their way.

By the following Saturday, for the first time in a week, trains began to move again. Company H of the Fifth Regiment was sent up along the main line of the Baltimore and Ohio, toward Frederick Junction, to guard railroad bridges.

Private gazers squad was dropped and Elysville, where the tracks crossed and re-crossed the Patapsco River over to bridges. The guardsman only rations were the hardtack they carried in their haversacks. They had no tents, the only shelter insight was a Flagman’s House.

“At least a place to sleep,” muttered the corporal. “How about it Gaither?”

The flagman pricked up his ears. “Gaither,” Gaither he repeated. “Howard County Gaither – Rebel Gaither – down there by Ellicott city? Not in my house!” That night private Gaither slept under the front porch.

The Police Commissioner is not sure that he really learned anything about policing during that first brief tour of duty. He was too young, too green. But he must have absorbed a certain familiarity with what mob violence means.

The sixth Marilyn Regiment to entrain with the fifth when the guardsman were first order out, never had reached Camden station as a unit. Clubbed, stoned, fired upon from all sides by the mob in Baltimore Street, the soldier had halted to wheel and fire back into the crowd several times. 10 persons were killed and 13 wounded before the Regiment was literally torn to pieces, its members were seized, stripped of their uniforms and thrown into the Jones Falls. The few who made the Camden station ran for it. Their prudent commander followed them in a carriage – after dark.

Looking back on this, the Commissioner sees the value of a demonstration of force.

The fifth Regiment had March to Camden station in regimental formation. The sixth had been dispatched from its armory, at front and Fayette Street, company by company. The companies were small. Had they stuck together, the Commissioner thinks, they might’ve spared themselves a lot of grief.

Once he came of age, young Gaither’s promotion in the fifth Regiment was rapid. By 1887 he had been elected Connell. Three years later he resigned to give all his attention to a bond brokerage business. But shortly before the United States declared what John hay called it “splendid little war” with Spain, the formal Connell was persuaded to rejoin the Regiment as Capt. of company F. He was still Capt. of company F in May 1898, when the Regiment went South in Cal high boots, flannel shirts and winter overcoat’s to fight mosquitoes, bed cooking and typhoid fever at Tampa. Here is men began to call him “big six.” Nobody knows just what inspired this nickname.

For 10 hot weeks the Regiment, now designated the fifth United States volunteers, set around Tampa was sweat in its years and sand in his mouth. “Big sixes” company was detached as division headquarters guard. Orders were issued to embark the whole Regiment for Cuba – orders were countermanded. Santiago. Typhoid swept the fifth. It was mustered out of the federal service and shipped home.

But the martial spirit was still upon the captain of company F. Through the United States Sen. Louis Emery McComas he applied for a commission in another volunteer Regiment. Sen. McComas carried his request to the White House and pressed upon Pres. McKinley that the applicant was the son of a former Confederate officer.

“A Confederate officer's son?” Mussed the President. “Would he accept a commission in a Negro Regiment?”

He would and did, going to Cuba as a Lieut. of the ninth United States volunteer infantry, a Negro outfit. He remained in the federal service until 1899, then returned to Baltimore to succeed his father, who had died that year, as commander of the fifth Regiment veterans court with the rank of Col.

After the Baltimore fire, Adjutant-General Clinton L Riggs made Col. Gaither inspector – general of the Maryland National Guard.

The acting Inspector General told Marilyn’s guardsman how to drill. As executive officer as Saunders rains later he also taught them how to shoot. He himself was Capt. of the American rifle team that won the 1912 international match at Buenos Aires.

Appointed Brig. Gen. in command of the Maryland National Guard in 1912, his first active duty as a general officer, like his first active duty as a private soldier, was riot duty. He had four companies of the Fifth Regiment to Chestertown to bring the Baltimore to Negroes in danger of being lynched.

There was no evidence. A clever show of force was all that was necessary, general Gaither said afterward. If you are ready for trouble and look as if you mean business, trouble is not likely to begin. That is one of his pet theories

A high rating awarded general Gaither in a tactical test against regular Army officers on the Mexican border in 1916 seemed to assure him of going overseas as a brigadier when he took the Maryland brigade to Camp McClellan at Anniston the following year. But early in December, he suffered the keenest disappointment of his life. An army surgeon listens to his heart, ordered him discharged for physical disability.

In vain to the general appeal for a revocation of his order. A hard rider, a strenuous tennis player, he had never been in better health. But the order for his discharge stood and at Christmas time he came back to Baltimore, his faithful sorrel, Picket, following in a boxcar.

From a reviewing stand at the day, the Maryland National Guard returned to Baltimore from France the general stall picket dancing to the music of the band – with a policeman in his saddle. Picket had already joined the police force. Before the war was over the general had sold him to the mounted service.

Such was the preparation of the man appointed in 1920 by Gov. Ritchie to be police Commissioner of Baltimore. He came to the job 60 years old, but a vigorous, a wrecked, military man with a soldiers jaw, a stick and a pipe and a soldier’s vocabulary.

The day after his appointment the general (he is always been “the general” to the police) announced that the day of “pull” was over as far as the Police Department administration was concerned. The cops squared their shoulders, saved a little closer, put a little more polish on their shoes and a sharp increase in their trouser and waited for the lightning to strike.

No shakeups, no dismissals followed. And when they got to know their new boss they got to like him. In believing any of them were perfect. He told them so. But he was ready to go to bat for them. Out of this devotion of the general for his force grew a police esprit de corps never before particularly evident here.

The general had no fool’s idea – his own phrase – about policing. For all the tradition of snap and cadence behind him, he was far from being a martinet. He didn’t believe that method or system can substitute for common sense. More police and speedy trial answered the crime problem for him.

He knew the town from end to end – and from a tired flatfoot’s point of view. For years he had been walking to keep down his weight. He knew how long it took to walk any beat in the city, the quickest and straightest route between two given points. He is still a great walker, frequently turning up on the remote post to ask astonished officers what is happening. Prohibition and traffic were the Scylla and Charybdis of the first years of his administration. Crime, with the exception of the Noris case, took a backseat. A ruling by the attorney – general relieving police from enforcing the Volstead law called for some rather delicate discrimination. And no traffic regulations that suit everybody having yet been perfected, the general got it going and stopping when he told motorist what they could and couldn’t do.

But he is never been swept off his feet by any crusading zeal. He figures that enforcing the law – was he knows to the letter – is a much more important police function.

If his men smother radical demonstrations before they have time to sprout, they are likewise in order to play fair. In labor disputes, he never forgets that strikers have their rights and demands that his men work and partially to preserve order. Family relief work by police during the first critical emergency of the depression, to say nothing of food and shelter provided until around 5 o’clock in the afternoon – except when the horses are at Pimlico. He likes to see them run, Homeless men at police stations, have made his department the first friend to every afternoon of the spring and fall meats, but rarely places a bet because he picks too many wrong ones. He telephoned headquarters every night at 11 o’clock to see what is up and tunes into police calls. Needy.

The General makes his job a full-time one, getting down to work at 9 o’clock every morning and staying there without any time wherever he goes, and occasional football or baseball game on a Saturday afternoon, Pimlico during the racing season the theater at night, the general always buys a ticket. Since he became police Commissioner he has never been known to accept a pass. And it is most uncommon for him to use a Police Department automobile. When he rides, he rides in his own car, buys his own gasoline. He would rather walk and ride any day.

Now 75 years old, his hair snow white, he is given up to set or two of 10 as he used to play every summer evening before dinner was one of his two daughters. But he can still walk the legs off of many of the younger man. Fine mornings, from early fall until late spring, see him strolling down to the police building from his apartment at Preston and St. Paul streets. When summer comes he and his wife move out to a farm on high rolling hills near Ellicott City.

Why should he be popular in the police department? If he has done nothing else, he has put all the cops on a three platoon system, which means less work, and raises their pay. But the administration is mutual. After 15 years as commissioner, the general says”:

“It takes nerve to go into the places that a policeman has to go. But my men go in. None of them has ever been yellow.”

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This is the one thing that has caused a loss of any possible respect I could have this commissioner. I would have liked some of the things he had done, helping to cover the paychecks of the entire police force once the for some reason the city's check would not or could not be cashed, this commissioner withdrew the funds, sent them to the district's captains and saw to it that is men were paid. He invented systems to make police service faster before radios were in use, worked on a better traffic light system, crosswalks, and many other services, and devices to make Baltimore safer, but his racist views on African Americans are inexcusable and while I will not credit away for the things he did right, they will not give him a pass on this major error on his part when it comes to humanity caring about all men, all women. I had a close friend that said he was brought up by a racist so he had racist views and while he once felt the way all racist do, those views changed when he was educated that everything he had ever been told was wrong. He said I can understand and see where he was coming from; he basically, said as a kid we might have been raised with racist views and could believe everything you family told you, but the day you find out they were wrong, and that the only difference between a white man and black man is the color of their skin, and you continue to have the wrong views, prejudices etc, ignoring facts that are right in front of you; well that is a racist. My friend has passed away now, but he told a story of desegregation and how his sergeant told him to report his new partner for sleeping on duty and he would have him fired. For the first few days he was trying to catch his partner sleeping so he could carry out his sergeant's wishes, but by the end of the first week he realized something that he was ashamed at his age for not already knowing, and by the end of the second week the two partners had done what most police partners do; they became friends. Become friends, they what friends do, they attended each other's kids graduations, and weddings, they camped and vacationed together; they were true friends, brothers that family police become after saving each other's lives and counting on each other to keep protecting each other's lives. Gaither, would never learn this kind of friendship because he was too ignorant to want to learn the only race is the human race and to hate a man woman or child simply because their skin doesn't match yours is not only racist, it is foolish. The color of our skin is no different than the color of our eyes and we would never dislike someone for having blue eyes. Having done so his entire life, caused Gaither not only to lose respect of historians that would someday study his work as a police officer, but it put  dent in that chapter of Baltimore Police History, something all commissioners need to take into consideration, the job they take when they take the oath as commissioner is bigger than they are and more important too. 

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3 July 1920

No Negro policeman, General Gaither’s dictum

Announces none will be appointed, even if they pass examination declares time is not ripe representative of color race informed of decision – can maintain order without them, Commissioner Rules.  

Police Commissioner Charles the Gaither has decided that Negroes although they take the examination, will not be appointed to the police force. 

General Gaither declared yesterday 2 July 1920, that “the psychological time had not come in Baltimore for the appointment of Negroes on the force.”  

The Negro population was informed of general Gaither’s stand through a Negro newspaper. Call Murphy. Colored editor of the paper.: General Gaither Tuesday and asked for the generals “position on the subject of appointing colored men to the force providing they were successful in passing the police examination and that their names were entered on to the eligible list.”

The general told Murphy the time had not come for such action and that he positively would not appoint a colored man as a member of the department. Murphy appointed out that New York City was a force of nearly 11,000 policemen at eight Negro policeman. General Gaither replied that if the same percentage were applied to the local department Baltimore would have no Negro policeman.

“There is no doubt,” said Gen. Gaither. “That colored policeman could be of value to the department under certain conditions, but Baltimore does not need Negro policeman at this time. Our officers and patrolman have for many years maintain law and order in Negro neighborhoods and we propose to do so in the future. As far as I am concerned the question of appointment of Negroes to the police force is settled.”

Colored men interested in having Negroes appointed to the force made an appeal to the former police board headed by Gen. Lawrason Riggs. At that time information was submitted showing that the following cities had Negro policeman: Pittsburgh 65 Trenton to Philadelphia 300 Cincinnati nine Chicago 95 New York eight Los Angeles 18 Cleveland 15 Detroit 14 Indianapolis 15 in Boston 25

Figures were also submitted showing the cities that did not employ colored policeman. The large southern studies not having Negro policeman New Orleans and Atlanta. Gen. Riggs told the Negro delegation then that he did not think the time had come for the appointment of Negroes to the force.

4 December 1937 - Mrs. Whyte, become the First Negro Member of Force, she was hired and assigned to the Northwestern District… she would continue to work for the Baltimore Police Department until her retirement 3 December of 1967… during her 30 years, she never missed a single day. In 1955 she was promoted to the rank of sergeant. She was in charge of the policewomen and transferred to the newly opened Western District. In October 1967 just two months before retirement she was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. Charles D. Gaither, was Police Commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department for 17 years, from 1920 to 1937. There are those that dislike the racial tension that was once a part of the Baltimore Police Department, and while some may say there are still racial problems, we all must admit, that in 1920, while qualified for the Job, Mrs. Whyte would not be hired because of policy and a Commissioner that publicly stated he would not hire a Black officer. Any issues of today, are matters of personal problems, maybe a sergeant, or squad member, but today we have the policy on our side, a side that is right in not holding someone back from doing their job, due to skin color. When Mrs. Whyte was finally hired, she showed everyone what education and persistence can do for a race.

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Run Away72

Restless Use and The Call Of The Road

17 August 1924

Bill and Jim were “hard guys” they read all the “Wild West” stories they did find, and they never missed a movie in which was pictured the wild West. They would discuss their desires to “go West and grow up with the country.” Mutually agreeing that such an existence would be “life.”

The respective families of Bill and Jim didn’t know they were “hard guys,” in fact, they thought them normal boys who didn’t wash their ears as often as they should and two were given to yelling when grown-up people talked and will be modulated tones. The families above agreed that boys of 14 and 15 years old were “trying.”

When Boys Disappear

Then one day Bill and Jim disappeared, and their families were astounded. Of course, they knew about the boys taste for the wild West fiction and movies, but they had never taken it seriously. However, the best thing to do seemed to be to send a request to the police headquarters in nearby cities, giving a description of Bill and Jim, and asking that they are sent if found back to their home in Western Maryland.

One of these notifications came to Baltimore police headquarters; it was sent to the Bureau of missing persons, of which Capt. Joseph McGovern is chief. The names and descriptions of the boys were put on the “lookout.” Which every member of the police department receives: and Sgt. Edward Doherty, who special work it is to look after runaways, added the task of discovering them to his list of responsibilities.

A few days later two small boys were located sleeping on benches in one of the squares in Baltimore. They acknowledged that they were the intrepid seekers for adventure. Bill and Jim, emphasized that they were very hungry, and exclaimed, “G but will be glad to get home!”

This story is typical of the many that come to the Bureau of missing persons and to the office of the traveler's aid society as well. Both organizations devote much of their time to the problem of the runaway boys and girls. According to officials of both, the problem of the runaway girl is more difficult than that presented by her brother.

“Sometimes I think that running away is a part of a boys education,” said Mrs. Mary C judge, executive secretary of the traveler's aid society. “Although we are supposed to look after the girl traveler especially, we also keep a watch for the boy who may be in need of assistance: and we are called upon quite often to help some runaway youngster who doesn’t find his freedom the fine thing he expected it to be.

“Of course, there are various reasons why both girls and boys leave their homes, but it is seldom that we find a boy who is sorry to be located and returned.

“With the girl, there is always more difficult, as the average runaway girl is usually a social problem, her case is likely to develop tragic elements, and she has left her home because she cannot bear to face disgrace.

“But, behind the boy's flight there may be any number of reasons: and in the majority of cases, his act is only indicative of a passing phase.

“One of our representatives noticed a boy and Union Station a short time ago, who, one question, acknowledged that he had run away from home.

“At first he gave a fictitious name, but later told us the truth and asked us not to notify his mother. He had been working, he explained and earned six dollars a day, although he was only 17 years old: but he had a quarrel with his mother and decided to leave.

A Case In Point

“He told us candidly that he was sorry, but said that he didn’t want his family notified as he intended to get work and earn his Fairholm.

“However, despite his request, the fact that he was a minor made it advisable that we Institute a discreet inquiry as to his family, which we did through our representatives in his home city.

“Through them, we ascertained the home conditions were splendid and that the boy's return was greatly desired.

“The story ended by the mother wiring the fair and the youngster gladly coming back. We had a report on the case the other day stating that the boy is again at work and everything is progressing well.

“The desire to see the world is reasonable for many boys leaving home. When a young fellow grows to be about 14 to 16 years old, he wants to broaden his horizon.

“But that is a desire that doesn’t die with age,” continued Miss judge. “For the oldest runaways we have had under our jurisdiction was 87 years old. He was an inmate of a country home in the western part of the state and decided that he wanted adventure. So he came to Baltimore with a roll of bills and two trunks: but he wasn’t very well able to take care of himself, so we had to send them back.

Thought to Try Bayview

“Another case that had an element of pathos was that of the runaway woman more than 70 years old. She had been in a charity institution in Washington but decided she didn’t like it there.

“I heard Bayview was a fine place,’ she told us, in the country where you get butter and eggs. So I thought that, if I had to be in a poor house I’d rather be in Bayview.”

“So you see,” continued miss judge, “the wanderlust doesn’t strike only the young people.”

Miss Judge instances several 13 or 14-year-old girls who have started out with the idea become a Mary Pickford’s, but who have been returned to their homes.

Stepparents As Causes

At the Bureau of the missing persons Sgt. Doherty added a few reflections on his experience.

“The reason the youngsters leave home?” He repeated an answer to the question. “Well, there are a number of reasons.

“When a boy is about 15 or 16 years old he may not have any better reason than that he just wants to get out and see the world – and occupation of which he is quite likely to tire in a very short while.

“However, sometimes a boy leaves home because of unhappy home conditions, and one of the causes that stands out is the stepmothers or stepfathers. You see, a mother or father may flush with the child all day, or the child may do the fussing, and no real harm may be done: but just as soon as the stepmother or stepfather do the fussing one may look for trouble.

“Of course, motion pictures showing the “Wild West,” not as it is but as boys like to think it is, have a great deal to do with the reckless spirit that takes hold of a lot of young fellas, but I think another important contribution to this spirit, especially in girls, is the literature that pictures a certain sort of life as if it were filled with luxury and entertainment.

“I don’t think that telling the story of a woman who has broken all social and morals, but who finds life gilded for her, is at all helpful. The silly young girl with think that if she runs away and goes in for that sort of life she, too, will achieve luxury and wealth.

“You’d believe this as sincerely as I do if you could hear them talking about certain famous – or somewhat infamous – characters. I’m sure that this sort of story has a lot to do with many of girls determination to get out and see the world – a determination that always ends in grief.

Finding Girls Difficult

“Girls are more difficult to locate than boys, because the average boy runs away ‘on his own,’ while the girl often has an older or more experienced mind to guide her. Usually, the reason for a girl’s disappearance is ‘an affair’ with some man.

“But the boys just run away for the excitement, or for the adventure and pretty nearly always they are delighted to be ‘picked up.’ The average youngster may bring a few dollars away from home without, but that gives out very soon, and then he is ‘up against it.’

“Just the other day I found a boy who would come to Baltimore and put up very grandly at one of the hotels until his money had exhausted; then he began to wander the streets, hungry.

Nearly All Boys Found

“We find almost 95% of the runaway voice; and unless they are afraid of punishment or perhaps proud, they’re pretty glad to go back to three tasty meals a day and comfortable home.

“This applies more particularly to the boys of good families of who may fall victim to “the call of the wild.” The boy who has been reared in a very poor home often is better able to take care of himself.”

In the files at the office of the Bureau of missing persons the records show that about 65 runaways were reported during one month. Two weeks later about one half of these had been located, and the cards telling the stories of these “dashes for freedom and adventure” conclude with the words “returned home.” This number includes local reports and those sent to the city from nearby towns.

Looking over these cards, it is possible to obtain an idea of those things which prove attractive to some growing boys.

One suggests that the runaway named may have entered the Navy or joined some show.

“She could be found around circuses,” is the statement on several of the cards, and on one it suggests that this particularly youth “may be found around shipping offices or radio stores,”

“Read wild West stories and talked about Army and Navy,” was interested in Marines or Navy,” “may enlist an army,” “was last seen in alto,” “was interested in movies,” our other inscriptions.

Other Data on Cards

The “movies,” however, are mentioned more often on cards recording the girl runaways.

On these cards are not only statements of the interest of the boy or girl who has disappeared but also usually a description of close worn when last seen and of any physical peculiarities as well.

The pathos of the unattainable may be read in the record of one girl, one whom it was stated that she might be found around motion picture studios and parlors, indicating that she had ambitions to become a movie “Queen.” But of whom it was also reported that she had a “splotched” complexion and was – sad to relate – “bow-legged!”

In the files may be found the names of boys and girls whose families occupy varied positions in the social scale. The name of the son of a prominent educator is filed next to a youngster whose training cannot have been conducted accordingly to very high standards. The fashionable girl who mysteriously disappears is in the same file with the girl who is, possibly, located on a “shore” and sent to a reformatory institution.

The traveler's aid society has its representatives at the railroad stations. There the stranded or perplexed man or woman, boy or girl, is approached and aid offered. The runaway is said to be recognized easily.

Recent Cases Tabulated

In its report for one month, there were 93 major cases recorded. Of these 25 were of persons less than 16 years old and 28 between the ages of 16 and 28.

The Bureau of missing persons recently compiled a report that will be read at the coming convention of policewomen to be held at Toronto, giving the number of female runaways and their ages reported to the Baltimore Bureau last year.

48 white and 25 Keller girls less than 14 years old were reported. Between 15 and 18 years, there were 117 white and 14 color girls; between 19 and 30 years the numbers were 68 white and 13 colored; and, after the age of 31, there were 29 white and 14 colored reported missing.

Of these numbers, 46 have not been located. The largest number of those whose disappearance remains a mystery is 17 between the ages of 19 and 30 years and 11 between the ages of 15 and 18 years.

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Three Platoon System Will Start January 1 

General Gaither Sets Date for Putting New Police Force Plan and Operation 

To Ask For Funds in the Fall

Commissioner will appeal to the Board of estimates for funds for necessary equipment, including at least 30 motorcycles.

Police Commissioner Charles D Gaither has begun definite steps toward the establishment of a three platoon system for Baltimore’s police force. In less than six months’ time, the eight-hour tour of duty for Baltimore policeman will be in force.

It was learned yesterday the general Gaither is having a redraft made of the fixed posts. Officers competent for the work have been assigned to resurvey the police posts for the purpose of extending the lines. Many posts will be made larger. This will give an equal distribution of police service and will provide the necessary men for the three-platoon system.

Six Month’s Time Needed.

General Gaither is convinced that within six months the police force will be divided into three ships. The general said that, with the necessary equipment at hand, he will be able to put the three platoon system into operation January 1, 1921. The foundation for the system lies in recognizing the various posts. Work is now underway rearranging the new posts for the central district.

“I am quite positive that a better morale will be obtained throughout the department by instituting the three-platoon system.” Said Gen. Gaither.

“The city will get a straight eight-hour tour of duty from each of the three platoons. Foot policeman are necessary for certain sections of the city, but a mobile department can, in my judgment, render the most efficient service. The thing cannot be done in a day. But I expect to put this three platoon system into actual operation by January 1.”

Will You 30 Motorcycles

To execute this plan at least 30 motorcycles equipped the sidecars will be necessary. During the fall general, Gaither will go forward to the board of estimates and ask for sufficient funds for the necessary equipment. Within a few months, the personnel of the department may be up to its full quota, as it is believed men will be attracted to the department because of the new system. 

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Gaither Plans Details for Eight – Hour Shifts 

Police Commissioner completing arrangements to put force on a three-platoon system. 

Hampered, He Declares 

Says Denial of Needed Motor Equipment Will Reduce Number of Reserve Patrolman 

While police Commissioner Charles D Gaither will be unable to put the three platoon system of policing the city into effect January 1, he is completing details for the effective working of the eight-hour shift, he announced yesterday. 100 additional patrolman will be available soon, but the Commissioner Gaither says he realizes that it will take several weeks before these men are fit for active service. Post in all districts, except the northern and southwestern, has been remapped. 

“I cannot fix any definite time when three platoon system will be put into effect,” said Commissioner Gaither. 

“I intend to have the system in working order as soon as possible without sacrificing the general efficiency of the department. I have been somewhat hampered by denial of needed motor equipment and this will cut down my reserves. I planned to have a force of reserves, but the cutting down of the motor equipment has necessarily caused a reduction in the number of reserves.”

To Work Eight Hour Shifts.

The operation of the three platoon system means that policeman work a straight eight-hour shift. Hours of duty will be from 8 AM to 4 PM; 4 PM to midnight; midnight to 8 AM… the men will be divided into three divisions – first, second and third. The greatest number men will be assigned to the division on duty between 4 PM and 8 AM the divisions, according to the Commissioner Gaither’s plans, will alternate so as to eliminate men from Karen to annual assignment tonight work. 

Commissioner Gaither has no authority to promote additional round Sgt.’s other than those provided by law. To provide round Sgt.’s for the new system he will be eligible to appoint 16 acting round Sgt.’s if he deems them necessary to the personnel of the division. 

It was learned yesterday that in some instances the number of posts will be reduced in certain districts so as to provide men for the three ships system. To equalize the reduction of foot patrolman Gen. Gaither will strengthen the districts through the addition of motor patrols.

Plainclothes Forced Tripled. 

For the past six weeks, the city has been under the heaviest police patrol in its history. The number of plainclothes policeman working from eight police stations has been tripled. The nucleus of this system was laid 13 months ago one Marshall Carter assigned 25 plainclothes men to the detective bureau. 

Scores of suspected Negroes, mostly residents of other states, have been arrested during the past week, and the number of holdups reported is lessening

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29 July 1920

The shakeup is Imminent in Police Department

District Captain slated for Transfers that may include Lieutenants and Sergeants 

Gaither is silent on names 

He says, however, that he has a plan to improve conditions retirement for detectives also said to be considered. 

That a shakeup is imminent in the Police Department, the district captains are scheduled for transfers would probably will include lieutenants and sergeants. Was the information that leaked out last night at police headquarters? It also was learned that retirements are scheduled for the Detective Bureau and that a program for improving police service all over the line is under consideration. 

Police Commissioner Charles D Gaither declined to discuss details of the impending transfers. Marshall Carter declared that he “was executing orders and was not in a position to discuss anything was general Gaither had underway.” Nearly everyone at police headquarters was equally uncommunicative about the reported shakeup, rumor of which was talked in corridors of the courthouse and on the street. 

League may leave central. 

It is known, however, the general Gaither now has under consideration the transfer of Capt. Albert L league central district. Capt. League has made several visits to headquarters during the last five days. It also was reported that Capt. George G Henry Northwest district is also on the slate for a change of command. Information concerning lower officers in the Department who may figure in the transfers could not be obtained, although a number of names were mentioned.

General Gaither declined to be quoted on the subject when names were mentioned. However, he did say this: “when I became head of the Police Department had one object in view and that was to give the citizens of the city the best police service possible. There is nothing authentic, at this time, in the matter of general transfers of men. I have a plan in mind for improving police conditions; if I believe captains may accomplish more efficient work to transfer, then, of course, the logical thing to do would be to make the change.”

During the two months that he has been police Commissioner, general Gaither has spent many days making investigations for himself. He has seen some things involving the Department of which he did not approve.  

Hurley and Henry mentioned

The name of Capt. Charles E Hurley was mentioned last night as a Pro-bowl successor to Capt. League. As commander the northern district captain Hurley, it is said, has attracted the attention of general Gaither by the manner in which he has handled important cases. Hurley, it is said, can be counted upon for law enforcement in the central district, which may involve the sporting element. Capt. Henry, of the Northwest district, also is being considered for the central district assignment. It is not unlikely that Capt. Henry actually will be chosen to succeed Capt. League.

The names of two headquarters detectives have been mentioned in official circles for retirement. Both men according to police records have lost considerable time on account of illness and each has been a member the department for more than 30 years  

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 16 October 1920

Tells How Prohibition Changes Police Work

General Gaither says The Passing of Salute has Caused Scattering of Criminals.

Explains Motorcycle Needed 

Declares patrolman on foot is handicapped and that better protection would be given by a motorized unit

Police Commissioner Charles Gaither’s statement before the Board of estimates Thursday that the disappearance of the corner saloon has “so spread the troubles of the department” that a more mobile police force is absolutely necessary presented a new angle to the effect of prohibition on police administration that arouses interest yesterday. 

Commissioner Gaither explained yesterday that he did not mean to imply that the elimination of the saloon has increased the work of the police, but merely that it has changed the nature of the work. 

“With the neighborhood saloon in operation,” said the Commissioner, “the Police Department felt that, sooner or later, that saloon was a spot where trouble of some sort would likely break out. It was also, very frequently, a meeting place for men the police like to keep informed about. Because of these things the foot policeman was a necessity. He had to be kept in the neighborhoods and around such places as the saloons.” 

“The elimination of the saloon, however, has changed all of this. Disreputable and suspicious characters will formally be gathered there are now scattered and a police must look far and wide for them. It is necessary, if these men are to be caught, they must be caught immediately after their crime has been committed. That brings the problem down to one of speed. The criminal of today doesn’t travel on foot or in streetcars. He uses an automobile. 

“There is no need to keep a foot policeman now in one popular neighborhood. The size of our force compared with the size of the city means that it takes a man on foot about an hour to get over an ordinary beat in a residential section. The man who was going to commit a crime. Say a petty robbery for instance. Watches that foot policeman, season past the spot where a crime is to be committed, and then feel certain the policeman will not be back to that spot for an hour. 

“With more motorcycles, however. We could do so much better. Taking for a post, as at present constituted, we could cover them all to men on foot and one on a motorcycle, and cover them better. The motorcycle man would be free to roam around the whole territory of the four post. The burger would never know when to expect him. He would pop up at any minute anywhere. 

Besides, he continues, “we could establish motorcycle stations throughout the city, with a man always on duty at them. If a resident anywhere heard a suspicious noise or saw anything that needed the attention of police he or she could use a telephone and a motorcycle man would be on the job almost anywhere inside of five minutes.”

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Here Wisdom of Baltimore Policemen Reads like some Bestsellers

15 August 1920

In 23 years 1078 Members of the Force received Commendations for Bravery and Self-Sacrifice and Devotion to Duty.  

In 23 years 1070 policemen have been commended for heroism and good policeman ship on the Baltimore police force. They have been required to appear before the board of police commissioners and more recently before General Charles D Gaither, the sole Commissioner, to be gravely patted on the back and told that they were a credit to the force. Terse, formal letters have been written to them, and their names and acts have been printed on the lookout sheet which every policeman studies every day for tips to new cases. 

Back to the formalities of these 1078 commendations are 1078 stories of intense human interest. Brought with all the thrills that must figure in detective novels, teaming with bravery, self-sacrifice, and mystery and screw deduction. In the thick file full of letters and reports that Sec. Josh Kenzie keeps locked up in police headquarters whole bestsellers are packed in single pages

All in a day’s work

Yet, for the policeman, it was all in a day’s work on the streets of Baltimore. 

For instance in the midst of a shelf of letters from persons who solve patrolman Sidney Mercer stop a runaway horse on Howard Street four years ago there is this report from Mercer Robert D Carter Marshall Sir about 5 PM March 7, 1916 while I was on duty at Howard and Fayette Street I saw a horse attached to a wagon run south on Howard Street when the team reached Fayette Street and grabbed the bridle rein and stopped same one south side of Fayette Street by throwing the works no one injured the shift of the wagon and harness was broken that is Mercer’s report just as he wrote it punctuation and all. He had to make the report, every policeman has to make one about every incident that he believes worth a report. He would rather not have made it. Any policeman would rather not. Reports require writing and composition, and policeman are not notable writers.

If Mercer had been a notable writer and as much given to self-glorification as to hear his him he might have told how the horse had started to bowl at Franklin Street, how it was coming at East at top speed when he stepped in front of it from his traffic post, how he leaped and grabbed the bridle with both hands and flung his legs around the horse legs throwing it like a wrestler.

Didn’t Tell of Own Rescue.

But Mercer was like patrolman Henry Mager sip, of the Eastern district, who wrote, describing how he had taken part in a fire rescue just before he had to be rescued himself:

I was at my posted Baltimore next streets when I heard two shots, and running to Exeter and Pratt streets I went upstairs and was handed Mrs. Henry marvelous. I took her outside and handed her to a boy and went back upstairs.

Seven patrolman and two sergeants were recommended for rescue work at this Pratt Street fire. They were all going home on Roland Park car at 415 in the morning and a patrolman saw smoke coming from the door and windows. More children and to all persons were asleep on the second floor.

Sgt. Henry lineman kicked in the side door. The police informed the line from the top of the stairs to the bottom because the stairway was about 18 inches wide and they had to pass the half suffocated victims over their heads from hand-to-hand. When Mager sup and patrolman trolls am Davis got back to the street they heard that somebody was trapped on the third floor and started back.

Davis came down to gain gasping, and when he looked for Mager sup that policeman was missing. Peering upward to the smoke is all Mager sip hanging over the second-floor window sill he ran over to a fire truck, got a ladder with the help of some other policeman, and mounting it alone, carried the unconscious Mager sup to safety.

Caught 19 All Jacks

Four policemen were commended in July this year for rounding up 19 automobile themes in 10 days. They had stolen 43 automobiles. The policemen were Sgt. Thomas Burns and John Lynn patrolman Oscar M Cannon and show for James Feeley.

Nothing appears in their reports to show how they worked, but an idea may be gained of the way policeman Auto jacks from the story of how patrolman Robert E Bradley and George W Leon caught to them.

Coming down Lexington Street one night Bradley Saul two men near a car at liberty and Lexington. His policeman instincts made them see the car and men in one glance and he became alert. He hid behind another car to watch them. In 20 minutes a third man joined them. They did nothing but talk. Then they parted, to going west on Lexington Street.

Bradley followed these two by a devious route to center and Howard streets, picking up Leon on the way. At center and Howard, the policeman quietly collared them. Not a thing had they done so far as the policeman knew. They acted purely on instinct. But then they got the men back to headquarters the prisoners confessed not only to the theft of two cards, both of which were recovered but admittedly assaulting a man at Furnace Creek, a man who was still in the hospital. The Anna Bradley, by the way, were new men to the force

Highwayman Suit in Cell

It was instinct plus alertness that led to sergeants and three patrolmen to the Served for Highwayman just two hours after they had robbed a man on the street of his watch and pocketbook. 

The robbery occurred at 1230 in the morning an alarm was sent around to all policeman. At 2:30 AM sergeants Cornelius carry and Charles Baker were strolling east on 25th St. near St. Paul, when they sought to soldiers crossing 25th at Calvert Street. Baker ran down St. Paul Street the 24th, aiming to box them in. Patrolman Walter Martin came up and carry sent in after Baker. 

Next minute a soldier and a sailor came along St. Paul toward 25th St. and carry. Have been joined by patrolman George Will, grab them. At Calvert and 25th St.’s, they met Baker and Martin with two soldiers. And the whole bunch March to the station. The victim of the robbery identified all four. 

Baltimore ends no more of the story of the burglars who robbed Stephen and/or wigs jewelry store in September 1916, then and these other cases. They were Jacob Kramer and Leon Miller notorious safe men with pictures and every bird Killian Bureau in the country. But they had become notorious by being masters of the crime, and their Baltimore job had been a fair exhibition of their skill. They had stolen $18,000 worth of jewelry and left not a clue. But the book of commendations holds two letters to detectives George Armstrong and Peter Bradley for Armstrong and Bradley got Kramer and Miller and put them away in the Maryland penitentiary for 10 years. 

Doggedness, wariness, and self-control had won laurels for Armstrong and Bradley in this case. After trailing Kramer and Miller through Philadelphia and Boston, they stood one day in a railroad station in New York close enough to the two safecrackers to startle them with a whisper. But they let them go. They wanted to get them with the goods – and dream of every detective – and they did, that very night 

Water holds no terror for them 

It’s instants after instance of the everyday policeman in Baltimore that has one commendation where to be multiplied the stories would fill several newspaper pages. So only a few cases can be selected randomly. But it might be well to mention that Baltimore policeman has taken to the water in the line of duty, as patrolman Edward Healy, of the Eastern district it one day when he heard the cry, “Man overboard!” 

Healy ran to Pratt Street and E. Falls Ave., and there was a man in the harbor, claiming to appoint of slippery rock while two men looked down at him helplessly. Patrolman Healy stalls a rowboat more about two blocks up ran their road down to the man, who was about to lose his grip, and got him into the boat. He lay on the floor, apparently half dead until the rowboat came but needs Pratt Street Bridge. When he jumped up and tried to leap overboard, he was drunk. 

Healy had on a long winter overcoat. If he had to jump after the man he would’ve drowned. But he grappled with him, threw him to the bottom of the boat and for the best of the trip to assure used him for a seat while he paddled with one oar. The other had floated away with this couple.

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Once Machine Guns and Rifles for Force 

15 October 1920 Gaither, outline department needs, ask for new weapons to well riots. 

Mobile force is his aim. 

He proposes a wider use of motor equipment. Adequate reserve strengths and three platoon system – may do without a boat. 

Rifles and machine guns for the use of the Baltimore police department were asked for yesterday by Commissioner Charles the Gaither, who was called before the Board of estimates to explain the financial needs of the department next year. He said his plan was to put the department in a better position to handle riots, and in urging the innovation, referred to the recent outbreaks among prisoners at the Maryland penitentiary. 

Commissioner Gaither said the Police Department of New York, Boston, Philadelphia and other large cities were equipped with rifles and machine guns. He asked for two machine guns for the local department and $7000 for the purchase of rifles. 

Mayor suggested an Alternative. 

It would make of the Police Department a sort of trained military force that would be of benefit to the city when needed, the Commissioner pointed out. Mayor Broening suggested that federal or state troops might be asked for one such occasion, but Commissioner Gaither said the police would be quicker. 

Outlining his plan for 1921, Commissioner Gaither said his aim was to raise the standard of the department and put it on a more efficient base by inaugurating the three platoon system, increase to 135 the number of men on motorcycles. Provide sergeants and others in outlying districts with automobiles, place inadequate reserve force in each police station and make the department a mobile force. 

Can dispense with a new boat. City solicitor merchant told Commissioner Gaither that the board of estimates was hard hit this year and that it would be necessary to make cuts in all department estimates to keep the new tax rate within reasonable bounds. The Commissioner promised his hearty cooperation in keeping down the expenses, and in this connection said his department would not be crippled if not given the new police boat next year for which $75,000 was asked. He also stated that he could, if necessary, get along without new patrol wagons that were asked for.

The board showed a disposition to eliminate from the police budget provision for the boat and patrol wagons, and one or two other small items, thereby cutting nearly 2 cents out of the tax rate. 

The general discussion developed the intention of the board to strip the department budget of all but actual necessities.

Would Buy Men’s Uniforms 

With the possible exception of the new boat. The patrol wagons and other improvements not considered absolutely necessary at this time. Commissioner Gaither will get what he asked for in his budget, which shows a total increase of $414,000 compares with the appropriation for 1920. 

Without including it in his budget the commission recommended an appropriation of $50,000 for the purchase next year of uniforms for new man coming into the department and for replacing and repairing uniforms of those already in service. 

Commissioner Gaither said a uniform including overcoat, cost the policeman $105, under the terms of the existing contract. Attention was drawn to the fact that the policeman of Baltimore received less pay than those of other cities, and that it would be no more than fair to give them their uniforms. The board of estimates to the matter under consideration. 100 more men needed, he says. 

Explaining the increase in his budget Commissioner Gaither said the $130,000 was for 100 additional policemen next year. He said they were absolutely necessary and pointed to the fact that Boston has 900 more policemen than Baltimore. The additional motorcycles the department wants will cost $111,508 speaking of this plan for placing more men on motorcycles, the Commissioner made a point of the fact that the disappearance of the corner saloon. Which required the presence of a policeman in the immediate neighborhood, has so spread the troubles of the department that policeman must now look after burglars and other miscreants in scattered sections. 

The present method of policing is based on footwork, the Commissioner asserted, and there is not a post a man can walk around in an hour. The Commissioner went on to say that without the three platoon system the city will be without the protection it needs. Post now covered by four men will be covered by one footman and two motorcycle men, Commissioner Gaither said. 

Would increase reserve. 

Urging the necessity for more motorcycle men, Commissioner Gaither said it would enable him to have a reserve force of eight men at each station at the present time, he stated, the reserve is on the street and must be picked up in emergencies. 

Under the new system each district will have a fixed post, which will enable persons needing a policeman to get him in five minutes, at most, Commissioner Gaither said. 

Increasing in salaries, including the pay of the 100 additional policeman totals $209,263.40  


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