Bronze Star

Awarded by the Police Commissioner to sworn members who distinguish themselves by displaying exceptionally meritorious service to the department and to the community. The sworn member must have displayed abilities and exercised judgment well above the expected standard and thereby contributed materially to the success of a major mission, investigation or endeavor. 

Police Collections

From our Private Collections


{tab A B C D E F}  

A B C D E F 



Officer Anonymous 

 1 black devider 800 8 72


A B C D E F 


Richard Berglund

 Richard Berglund

1 black devider 800 8 72

A B C D E F 


1 black devider 800 8 72

A B C D E F 


Retired Detective Kenny Driscoll

what what


what what Mounted

what what mounted sign with other BPD mem


Mounted sign

A little hard to see, but the "Mounted Police Sign" two pictures up, can be seen hanging above the truck in this pic

1 P Button

1 P Button 2


2 BCP button


2 BCP Button 2


3 MD Seal Button


3 MD Seal Button 2


4 Early BCPD Button


4 Early BCPD Button2


5 Modern BCPD Button


5 Modern BCPD Button2


1st aid kits


1927 polce games 2


1927 polce games


1940s aux policepic


15F16 001d 72


15F16 001e 72


15F16 001f 72


15F16 001i 72


15F16 001j 72


17E16 001q 72


17E16 001p 72


s l1600 15


s l1600 29


Lambert 72


Lambert McKellon wm


Lambert.police 72


s l1600 14



Here's the list of log books

1.    1869 Middle District Log
2.    1878 Marshal's Log
3.    1878 Northwestern District Log
4.    1880 Northeastern District Log
5.    1892 Marshal report Log Book
6.    1896 Central Log Book
7.    1902 Central District Log
8.    1907 Southern District Log
9.    1908 Northern District Log
10.  1908 Board of Police Commissioner Log Book
11.  1909 Northern District Log
12.  1911 Northern District Log
13.  1915 Northern District Log
14.  1917 Northern District Log
15.  1918 Board of Police Commissioner Log Book
16.  1924 Southwestern Log
17.  1924 Northern District Log
18.  1926 Southeastern Log
19.  1940 Southwestern District Log
20.  1946 Northern District Magistrate Docket
21.  1947 Northern District Arrest Docket
22.  1918 Board of Police Commissioner Log Book


1 black devider 800 8 72




1 black devider 800 8 72







{tab G H I J K L}  


1 black devider 800 8 72



1 black devider 800 8 72

G H I J K L 


Retired Officer John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman


Courtesy John Heiderman

Call Box 
Locations with call in times

JH C1 100JH C2 100JH C3 100JH C4 100JH C5 100JH C6 100JH C7 100JH C8 100 90CC

1 black devider 800 8 72



1 black devider 800 8 72



1 black devider 800 8 72



1 black devider 800 8 72

G H I J K L 







{tab M N O P Q R}  

M N O P Q R 

1 black devider 800 8 72

M N O P Q R 


1 black devider 800 8 72

Retired Sergeant Edward Mattson

Ed Mattson1

Courtesy Edward Mattson

Ed Mattson3

Courtesy Edward Mattson

Ed Mattson2Courtesy Edward Mattson

Ed Mattson4

Courtesy Edward Mattson

BPD Robert Crispens Jr610 cr723

Courtesy Edward Mattson

BPD Robert Crispens Jr610 cr721

Courtesy Edward Mattson

BPD Robert Crispens Jr610 cr722

Courtesy Edward Mattson

BPD Robert Crispens Jr610 cr724

Courtesy Edward Mattson

1 black devider 800 8 72

M N O P Q R 


1 black devider 800 8 72


M N O P Q R 


1 black devider 800 8 72

M N O P Q R 


1 black devider 800 8 72

Retired Officer Gary Provenzano

Gary p 1 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano 

Gary p 2 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano 

Gary p 4 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano 

Gary p 3 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG008 crop 2 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano 

BPD IMG009 crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano 

BPD IMG010 Crop 2 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano 

BPD IMG014 Crop 2 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano 

BPD IMG014 Crop 2 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG016 Crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano 

BPD IMG018 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano
P O Samueal Hindes

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano 
Officer Samuel Hindes

BPD IMG022 Crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG023 Crop 1 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG023 Crop 2 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG024 Crop 1 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG024 Crop 2 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG025 Crop 1 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG025 Crop 2 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG026 croped levels 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG027 Cropedout 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG028 Crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG029 Crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG030 Crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG031 Crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG032 Crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG033 Crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG035 Crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG036 Crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG037 Crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG038 Crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG039 Crop wd front 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG040 Crop wd 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG041 Crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG042 Crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG043 Crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG044 Crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG045 Crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG046 Crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG047 Crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG048 Crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG049 Crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG050 Crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG051rop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG052 Crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG053 crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG054 Crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG055 Crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG056 Crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG057 Crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG058 Crop 72 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG059 Crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG060 Crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG061 Crop 72 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG062 Crop spliced 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG065 Crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG066 Crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG067 Crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG068 Crop 1 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG068 Crop 2 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG069 Crop 2 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG069 Crop i1 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG070 Crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG071 Crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG072 Crop 1 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG073 Crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG075 Crop 1 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG076 Crop 1 72Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG077 Crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG078 Crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG079 Crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG080 Crop 2 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG081 Crop frey 2 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG082 Crop 1 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG082 Crop 2 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG083 Crop Schryver 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG084 crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG085 crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG086 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG087 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG088 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG089 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG090 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG091 crop 2 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG091 crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG093 crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG092 crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG094 crop 1 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG095 crop 1908 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG094 crop 1i 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG095 crop 1894 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG097 crop 654 front and back mug shot 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG097 crop 826 frnt and back 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG098 crop 1 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG098 crop 2 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG099 crop 1 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG099 crop 2 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG100 crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG101 crop 1 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG101 crop 2 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG102 crop 1 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG102 crop 2 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG103 Crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG104 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG105 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG106 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG107 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG108 crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG111 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG112 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG113 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG114 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG115 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG116 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG117 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG118 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG119 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG120 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG121 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG122 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG123 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG124 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG125 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG127 crop with 26 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG128 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG129 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG130 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG131 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG132 crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG133 crop 1904 Cutome house 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG134 sgtFlood crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG135 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG136 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG137 crop with 38 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG138 cropending 37 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG139 crop goes with ending 40 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG140 crop goes with ending 39 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG141 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG142 crop. 72jpg

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG143 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG144 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG145 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG146 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG147 crop 72 i

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG148 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG149 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG150 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG151 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG152 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG153 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG154 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG155 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG156 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG157 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG158 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG159 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG160 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG161 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG162 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG163 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG164 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG165 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG166 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG167 Crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG168 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG169 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG170 crop 1 front 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG171 crop 2 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG172 crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG173 crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG174 crop 1 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG174 crop 2 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG175 crop 2 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG175 crop 3 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG176 crop 4 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG177 crop 1 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG177 crop 2 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG177 crop 3 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG178 crop 72 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG179 crop. 72jpg

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG183 crop 1 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG183 crop 2 72jpg

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG183 crop 4 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG183 crop 3 72jpg

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG184 crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG185 crop 72

Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

BPD IMG186 crop 72

 Courtesy of Gary Provenzano

1 black devider 800 8 72



1 black devider 800 8 72









{tab S T U V W X Y Z} 





1 black devider 800 8 72


S T U V W X Y Z   




1 black devider 800 8 72


S T U V W X Y Z   




1 black devider 800 8 72


S T U V W X Y Z   




1 black devider 800 8 72


S T U V W X Y Z   




1 black devider 800 8 72


S T U V W X Y Z   




1 black devider 800 8 72


Retired Sergeant Bernie Wehage

1968 Bernie Wehage 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage

1966 Bernie Wehage 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage

1967 Bernie Wehage 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage

1969 Bernie Wehage 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage

1975 Bernie Wehage 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage

1967 Advice of rights side1 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage

1967 Advice of rights side2 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage

1967 BofI mu shot 904 Bernie 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage
Sgt Bernie Wehage Notice the B of I number 409; this seems to be his badge number

Bernie Wehage 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage
Sergeant Bernie Wehage

BPD Union application card 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage

BPD Union Decal 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage

BPD Union Application card with union decal 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage

2248 Al Moog BPD 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage
Ed Moog

BPD Officer Frendly sticker 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage

call box locations


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage

1952 BPD Issue 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage
BPD Issued Espantoon

Call Box number locations lookouts nd nwd 1968 72

   Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage

December 1968 - ND - NWD

Call Box number locations lookouts WD 1969 72

   Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage

February 1969 - WD

Call Box number locations lookouts SD 1969 72

  Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage

March 1969 - SD

Cd Call box Location 1969 front 72

 Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage
June 1969 - Front - CD

Cd Call box Location 1969 front 72 Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage
June 1969 - Front - SD-NE

Call Box number locations lookouts CD 1969 72

Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage
June 1969 - back - WD - NWD

Court Game 1973 74 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage

Charley Brown 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage

Dan Caulk 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage
Lt Dan Caulk

Dan Caulk John Crofhan aka Fish 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage
Dan Caulk and John Crogan aka FISH

Ed Boston 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage
Lt Ed Boston

Badge Gun Hat Device 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage

Hat Device 409 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage



Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage
Sgt Ned Schleig

James Crogan 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage
John Crogan aka FISH

Jess Baker 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage
Jess Baker

John Hall 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage
John Hall

John Schoff 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage
John Schoff

M Miller 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage
Melvin Miller


Odis Sis Trunk 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage
Odis Sistrunk


Ollie Creig 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage
Ollie Craig

Willie Roster 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage
Willie Roster

SW Officer 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage 



Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage
Ed Mizijewski




Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage
Santa Clause


BPD 9966 72


Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage
SE Truck 9966 Russell France




Courtesy Sergeant Bernie Wehage


1 black devider 800 8 72


Retired Officer Tom Wade




Courtesy of Tom Wade


1 black devider 800 8 72


Lieutenant Bob Wilson


IMG 6494


Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson


IMG 4392


Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson


mounted 3 72


Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson


mounted 72


Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson


mounted 272


Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson


IMG 5910


Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson


IMG 4252


Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson


   Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson



Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson




Courtesy Lieutenant Bob Wilson 


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                                                                                      POLICE INFORMATION


Copies of: Your Baltimore Police Department Class Photo, Pictures of our Officers, Vehicles, Equipment, Newspaper Articles relating to our department and/or officers, Old Departmental Newsletters, Lookouts, Wanted Posters, and/or Brochures. Information on deceased officers and anything that may help preserve the history and proud traditions of this agency. Please contact retired detective Kenny Driscoll.


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


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How to Dispose of Old Police Items


Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department.  Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222




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



FOP History

EVER EVER EVER Motto DivderHistory of FOP Lodge #3
fop frontwardfop star foraward


 These are Old Brass Printers Plates for FOP Letterheads and Envelopes

FOP Stamps Some background History on the FOP Logo

The five-cornered star reminds us of the allegiance we owe to our Flag it is a symbol of the authority with which we are entrusted. It is an honor the people we serve bestow upon us. They place their confidence and trust in us to do the right thing, and to be there when called upon; we are to serve them proudly.
Midway between the points, and center of the star is a blue field representative of the thin blue line protecting those we serve.
The points are of gold, to indicate the position of which we are now serving.
The background is white, the unstained color representing the purity with which we should serve.
We shall not let anything corrupt be injected into our order.
Therefore, our colors are blue, gold and white.
The open eye is the eye of vigilance, ever looking for danger and protecting all those under its care while they sleep, or while awake.
The clasped hands denote friendship. The hand of friendship is always extended to those in need of our comfort.
The circle surrounding the star midway indicates our never-ending efforts to promote the welfare and advancement of this order.
Within the half circle over the centerpiece is our motto, "Jus, Fidus, Libertatum" which translated means "Law is a Safeguard of Freedom."

Some have given "The Thin Blue Line" a negative meaning; They think it means police stick together (lie for each other, cover-up for each other and partake in corruption for each other; The truth is, The Thin Blue Line refers to the low number of police officers that form a line between the "Good Things in Society" so we can protect them from the "Bad Things in Society ".
In most departments the police are outnumbered by as many as 100 to 1 or more, that is to say for every officer on the beat, there could be as many as 100 people he is responsible for protecting, and 99% of our police will put their lives on the line to live up to their oath to protect that 100 or more people.

During the Decency Rally in 1969, Police were outnumbered by as many as 200 to 1 while packed into Memorial Stadium before fights and other assaults, took place through the stadium which nearly leads to riots. This isn't much different from the riots of 1861, and the riots of 1968 when police were outnumbered, but The Thin Blue Line of the Baltimore Police Department's FOP Lodge #3 will always stand tall, never back down, and will always manage to get the job done.


How it all Started
The Eulogy for Richard Allen "Dick" Simmons 
as read by Earl Kratch at his Memorial Service
Sunday on August 18th, 2013

RICHARD ALLEN SIMMONS – Some called him Richard or Rick or Dad, but on the job, we called him Dick. He was a true Baltimore City Police Officer. He handled himself well. In his younger years as a beat walking Patrolman, you could tell when he was working on what was happening in his post. When he worked, there was no loitering in front of his bars, drug store or any other businesses or corners. He kept them clear.

I came to know Dick back in the early 60’s when he was a footman in the Eastern District and I was a Headquarters Narc. We had conversations of our objections of the Baltimore City Police were represented by a labor union, instead, we wanted to be associated with a professional law enforcement organization, that being the Fraternal Order of Police. During this time period, there was a group of Baltimore City Police Wives who spoke out on issues within the police department. We had feared at that time of retaliation if we spoke out. Dick’s first wife Anne Simmons was a member of that group and they contacted the National Fraternal Order of Police President John Harrington who was also the President of the Philadelphia Pennsylvania City Lodge #5. He along with Pennsylvania National Trustee Steve Condos (A Pennsylvania State Trooper) came to Baltimore, met with us and this was the beginning of the Fraternal Order of Police, Baltimore City Lodge #3 being formed. Dick became our first President and I became the Treasurer.

Not having payroll deduction for collecting dues at that time, we would go to the districts and headquarters collecting dues on payday – not an easy task. John Harrington put us in touch with a Don Sloane who did the Philadelphia Lodge #5 fundraising – solicitation of funds for Associate Membership which put Associate Membership car medallions on the streets of Baltimore.

The Police Union at that time found a way to get us bad press and they contacted the Baltimore Sun Papers – the paper ran a story showing our FOP Associate Membership car medallion stating that this medallion would get the person out of speeding tickets and parking tickets in Baltimore City. Our attorney who was with us from day one, Sidney Schlachman contacted Dick and me, telling us that we had problems. That we where to meet him at City Hall for a meeting at 1 P.M. that day. That the possibility existed that we may be fired. We got our ass whipped and was instructed to cease and desist the program, which we did. We then went to a bi-yearly magazine publication with another promoter who did solicitation for adds to put out the magazine.

Back in 1967, John Harrington informed us about the Grand Lodge FOP National Conference that was to take place in August 1967 in Miami Beach, Florida. Dick and I, along with our families, and at our own expense, attended this conference. We where the only delegates registered at this conference from Maryland. At this conference, we found that if we formed a Maryland State Lodge with three Maryland Local Lodges, we could have a National Trustee on the Grand Lodge Board of Directors. We came back and with some research, found that there was two other Maryland Local Lodges – Hagerstown Lodge # 88 and Prince Georges County Lodge # 89. Back in the beginning, the Grand Lodge assigned the numbers. Nationwide in the order, the local lodges were formed. Thus, Hagerstown was the 88th  FOP Lodge that was formed and Prince George’s County #89 was formed next. 

On November 8th, 1967, Dick, I and our attorney Sidney Schlachman, traveled to the Hagerstown Lodge #88 Club House, meeting with them and Prince George’s County Lodge #89. At which time National President John Harrington formed the Fraternal Order of Police, Maryland State Lodge. Note; at this time we were unaware of the existence of the Cumberland Lodge #90. With this, Dick became the first Maryland National Trustee. I became the Treasurer.

This was the start of the growth of Fraternal Order of Police in Maryland. People like Dick Simmons, Bill Giffin and Ralph Ryland from Hagerstown, I and others later on like Les Bates from Anne Arundel County Police expanded Maryland FOP to what is today, with around 20,000 members in over 60 local lodges. All this came about because of people like Dick Simmons who had dreamt of an FOP.

Dick Simmons, Ralph Ryland, Les Bates, I and others have lived for the existence of the FOP. To the time of Dick’s death, he was in contact with me at least 2 to 3 times a week talking to me about FOP business. A little over a year ago, FOP, Maryland State President John “Rodney” Bartlett presented Dick Simmons the top award that a member could receive from the Fraternal Order of Police, Maryland State Lodge, that being the Lifetime Achievement Award. The emotions shown by Dick was that of one of the peaks of his FOP life. He was very humble to be recognized by his peers. This plaque is presently on display at this gathering.

Richard Allen Simmons was known to some as "Rick" and to others, as "Dick" still others called him "Dad" but to the BPD he was "Mr. FOP" from Maryland. May he Rest In Peace. Some stories about forming Lodge #3 and other Lodges in the area

support police BPDAn Adventurous Trip
by Earl Kratch  

To say the least, being involved in forming Fraternal Order of Police in Maryland has been an adventurous trip. First with the formation of Baltimore City Lodge #3 and then the Maryland State Lodge. But, we didn't stop there. "Dick", myself along with Ralph Ryland and then Les Bates and others that came along, reached out to other agencies in Maryland, forming them into local FOP Lodges. Most of them were the same old story, them being scared of the administration retaliating against them. Dick and I put many a mile on my car, forming lodge after lodge. Looking back over the years, I counted twenty-nine local Maryland Lodges that I was primarily involved with or assisted in forming. While working in the Narcotic Unit, working along with Baltimore County Police detectives, and just after we formed Baltimore City Police Lodge #3; I talked to some of the Detectives in the Baltimore County Police Department and they showed interest in forming a local FOP Lodge. I then went back to "Dick" who was now our Maryland State Lodge National Trustee - - - thus we formed FOP Baltimore County Police Lodge #4. And it kept on going as the FOP was becoming a wave across Maryland. On a funny note, I along with then Maryland FOP State President Les Bates, where going to meet with a group that wanted to form a local lodge. On the way, driving through Charles County, we came across a uniformed Charles County Deputy Sheriff, directing traffic in the pouring down rain getting soaked and wet as he had no rain gear. Les stopped his police car, opened his trunk and removed an Arundel County Police Department raincoat. He gave it to the deputy that was standing in the rain directing traffic asking him why his agency didn't supply him with a raincoat - - - thus we started another lodge, that being Fraternal Order of Police,  Charles County Lodge #24. I am so blessed with having had the opportunity to have come in contact with so many law enforcement personnel, that have become my fraternal brothers and sisters. These brothers and sisters have the same goals as I, that of giving their all, making Maryland law enforcement an honorable recognized profession with proper benefits. 

Thank You!  Fraternally / Sincerely, Earl...


Presidents of FOP's Lodge #3

Richard Simmons 1966-1973

Gus Drakos (deceased) 1974-1980
John Laufert (deceased) 1980-1986
Edwin Boston 1986-1990
Don Helms 1990-1992
Leander "Bunny" Nevin 1992-1994
Gary McLhinney 1994-2003
Daniel J. Fickus 2003-2004
Frederick V. Roussey 2004-2006
Paul M. Blair, Jr. 2006-2008
Bob Cherry 2008 - 2014
Gene S. Ryan 2014 - 2018
Mike Mancuso  2018 - Present



24 Feb 1967

Police Bill Introduced
It Urges Recognition of Fraternal Order Lodge

Annapolis, February 23, 1967 – A bill to direct Donald D. Pomerleau, Baltimore Police Commissioner, to recognize the Fraternal Order of Police as the “Official Representative” of members of the force was introduced in General Assembly Today. Already pending is a rival measure designed to force recognition of a non-striking AFL-CIO union local of Baltimore police patrolman and sergeants.

Sen. Paul A. Dorf (D., 5th Baltimore) introduced the, "Fraternal Order Bill" “by request, as marked. He said he put it in at the request of those trying to get recognition for a Baltimore Lodge of the Fraternal Order, a national organization that claims more than 60,000 members. Furthermore, he said he agreed to lend his name to the measure so that he and his fellow Baltimore legislators could get, “all the issues on the table” when the rival bill comes up for hearings. The AFL – CIO measure, now before the House Judiciary Committee, does not mention “Union” union name.

It specifies that if most of the Sergeants and Patrolman, in the department decide by secret vote to designate an “Organization” to represent them, the Police Commissioner must deal with that union on such questions as Hours, Working Conditions and Grievances. The Fraternal Order Bill reads, in part: “The Police Commissioner of Baltimore City police shell allow the members of the Baltimore City Police Department to form and join a local lodge other Fraternal Order of Police, said organization to be established and recognized for the following purposes: “To better the existing conditions of policemen; for advancing social and educational undertaking in the department deciding among policemen; to encourage an amicable and official relationship, protection and cooperation among police officers; to provide fellowship among police officers… “The said local lodge so organized shall act as the official representative of the members of the Baltimore City Police Department.”



The Baltimore Sun Fri Mar 17 1967 72CLICK PIC ABOVE or HERE

Donald D. Pomerleau  Airs His Stand
To Back Fraternal Order of Police as Agent

17 March 1967

Annapolis, March 16 – The Baltimore Police Commissioner Donald D. Pomerleau, announced today that he intends to recognize the fraternal order of police as the organization to represent policeman within Baltimore’s Police Department.

He announced this intent in Annapolis on a day when he, the delegates, senators, organize labor officials, the Fraternal Order of Police organizers, individual policeman, the police personnel service board and the United Baltimore City Police Wives, all claim to speak for the best interest of the department.

A board that is clearly the city’s biggest bandwagon of the year, they all favorite as much money for policeman salary and benefits as could be gotten.

On Other Issues

But on other issues, they demonstrated as much unity as a bag full of cats. For example, in an early morning meeting with the city delegation, Commissioner Pomerleau was a sword “the house” was “giving him everything you want,” meaning the money package he had asked for.

But in the afternoon, Commissioner Pomerleau had to appear before a committee to defend himself against a resolution calling on the governor to investigate his actions in a recent disciplinary case. That resolution was sponsored by delegate Charles Jake. Krysiak (D., 1st Baltimore).

The key issue of the day was the bill allowing policemen to form an employee organization within the department – the bill designed to allow a police union. Mr. Pomerleau delivered a figure of speech against the union and found himself befriended by his hardest organized critics – the United police wives Association. Mrs. Lillian Griffin, the president claimed the husband’s do not want to be represented by organized labor.

2000 Cards

She said this shortly after union officials displayed a boxful of cards, claiming it represented the endorsements of 2000 patrolman, presumably not all bachelors. Mrs. Griffin challenged the union statement of strength, claiming the collection of cards extended over a three-year period and included signatures of men who would be resigned from the department and others who have since become disenchanted with the idea of joining the union.

Then a delicate asked Mrs. Griffin how many members her organization represented. She declined to answer. The resolution on Commissioner Pomerleau, also being considered by the judiciary committee, is the latest in a series of efforts, mostly underground, to portray him as unsuited for the job.

Phillips Case

Incalls on Gov. Agnew to investigate the disciplinary action taken against for patrolman Leroy a. Phillips, and the commissioner's public remarks about the case as reported in the sun. Mr. Phillips was found not guilty by the departmental board to be innocent of all charges that he repeatedly said “Nager” at a woman he was arresting.

On the 17th of February, the Sun quoted the Commissioner as saying that he believed Mr. Phillips was guilty. Before the judiciary committee, Mr. Pomerleau said that the officer had been offered departmental punishment after an investigation convinced four supervisors, including two deputy commissioners, that he was guilty.

The Commissioner said that Mr. Phillips was reassigned following the case, a policy action taken whenever a policeman is the focal point of a public controversy. The Commissioner denied making the remark “in the context” in which they appeared in the February 17 story. An action on the resolution was deferred by the committee.




In the Line of Fire
A Veteran Cop faces his Toughest Opponent: City Hall

By Evan Serpick
Credit: David Colwell

The Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3 in Hampden is a part clubhouse, part HR office. In one room, officers go over paperwork regarding leave time and benefits. In the next, a neon police car hangs over a bar where off-duty cops swig beer and watch SportsCenter.

Upstairs, FOP president Bob Cherry toils in a busy but tidy office. A Norman Rockwell poster that shows a kind cop stooping down to help a little boy hangs behind his desk. On the floor are stacks of paperwork, some of them related to the union's long-standing struggle with City Hall over police pensions. Others, research about accidental police shootings. Cherry, who's been a cop for 18 years, always wanted to work in law enforcement.

"The model of public service was put in me as a kid," says Cherry, who grew up in a working-class town south of Boston and still has the Southie accent to prove it. "I believe that there are some folks who have that calling."

Unlike most cops, Cherry spent years working with inner-city kids before he joined the force. After graduating from Boston College, he worked as a case manager and team leader for Baltimore's Choice program, which provides outreach and support for troubled young people. For three years, he counseled and tracked kids in Cherry Hill and East Baltimore.

"It was frustrating," says Cherry, who has lived in Baltimore City since 1990. "All these kids, their neighborhoods were ravaged by poverty, no jobs, drugs everywhere—the one avenue where you would hope they would get some security would be school and, back then, they were pretty bad."

Still, Cherry fell in love with the city.

"It's like Boston: the blue-collar, tight-knit neighborhoods," he says. "I realized that this is a city that I want to work to improve."

In 1993, Cherry became a police officer, quickly rising through the ranks, working on the Violent Crimes Task Force, and ultimately, as a detective in the homicide division. In 2008, his colleagues in the FOP elected him their president, taking him off the streets.

It's been an eventful three years. The recession and cuts in the city budget have meant near-constant battles with City Hall over salary, benefits, and pensions. Three police officers were killed in the line of duty in the past year. And this year has brought a string of controversial incidents, including an accidental police-on-police shooting in January and the arrest of 19 officers in an alleged extortion scheme in February.

"I wish I was back on homicide," says Cherry—not at all kidding. "It's hard to keep everyone happy up here, whether you're dealing with City Hall, command staff, or even the men and women who you represent."

Relations with the City Council and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake headed south last year when the council drastically cut city contributions to police pensions, reduced benefits, and eliminated tuition reimbursement.

Cherry was particularly miffed that the mayor helped kill a bill allowing the city and the FOP to enter binding arbitration and shot down an FOP counter-proposal to the city's changes in the pension plan that, he says, would have matched City Hall's cuts.

"You show up at our officers' funerals and say 'good job.' You go on TV and talk about the reduction in crime and say 'good job.' But you won't sit down with us who, though we disagree, have come a lot further than unions across the country," he says. "It's unfortunate."

Ryan O'Doherty, a spokesperson for the mayor, says the pension legislation included many fiscally responsible compromises.

"The mayor was concerned about getting the pension system funded so it would be there when police officers and firefighters need it," says O'Doherty. "Bob Cherry was more concerned about keeping a system where government employees retire in their early 40s with a full pension after 20 years."

It got so bad that the FOP filed a federal lawsuit against the city and helped pay for billboards that read: "Welcome to Baltimore. Home to a Mayor & City Council who turned their backs on our police and firefighters."

"It's frustrating that I have a strained relationship with folks at City Hall," says Cherry, who hasn't talked to the mayor in six months. "I think we can bring a lot to the table."

Cherry is looking into a performance-based contract for cops, like the one the Baltimore Teachers Union recently signed.

"There's less money going around," says Cherry, who's a fan of ousted D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee, who also favored performance-based contracts. "We have to find ways to streamline our services without giving up on the goal of public safety."

Above all, says Cherry, his most important priority is making sure his fellow police officers get the respect they deserve.

"There are a lot of intelligent, hard-working men and women in the Baltimore Police Department that can make Baltimore a stronger place," he says. "I love representing them." 


Negotians3 15 84  Recovered 72Courtesy Tom Douglas
Contract Negotians3-15-84
Negotians3 15 84 A Recovered 72Courtesy Tom Douglas
Contract Negotians3-15-84


 To Read About the Baltimore Police Strike

Click HERE

Baltimore Police officers on strike 1974


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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, like us on Facebook or mail pics to us at 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222 

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



Gino Inocentes

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

Charles Gaither

Commissioner Charles D. Gaither
"The General"

It's no secret among those that know me that 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 as a 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, I 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.

A close friend of mine claimed that because he came from a racist family, he once had racist views. While he once felt the way all racists 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 that as kids, we might have been raised with racist views and could believe everything we were told, but the day we find out they were wrong and that the only difference between a white man and a black man is the color of their skin, but still they continue to carry those 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 (if he slept) and he (the sergeant) would have him fired. For the first few days, he was trying to catch his new 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 ate together, laughed together, and shared personal stories. Over the course of their careers, they attended each other's kids graduations and weddings; they camped and vacationed together; they were the true friends, brothers that our police family became. After saving each other's lives and counting on each other to have each other's backs, they had a bond.  Gaither would never learn this kind of friendship because he was too ignorant to want to. 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 or the color of our hair, 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 wastes 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 also put a dent in that chapter of Baltimore Police History.

Something all commissioners need to take into consideration is that the job they bear when they take the oath as Baltimore's 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 had placed fourteen six-foot-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 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 among 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 caused a riot in the middle of the congested intersection of Bryant and Pennsylvania Avenues while being led to slaughter. 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 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's 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 state and municipal visuals is that they wait until the last minute and then wonder why the public does not at once jump to support their half-baked ideas.  It is comforting to know not only that Commissioner Gaither was alive to the present need for a reorganization of his department but that in the drafting of his proposals he had looked ahead to the steady growth of the city.

The fact that Baltimore was at the time under-policed had frequently been contended by past commissioners and others.  The fact that the present organization of that time, was a clumsy and not calculated to produce efficient work was becoming increasingly evident. In some respects, at least, Mr. Gaither had adopted for his program ideas that had been proven effective in other communities.  It was gratifying that he had thoroughly prepared himself to discuss the subjects publicly.  If the people of Baltimore were not in substantial agreement as to what they wanted by the time the Legislature met, the commissioner, at least, would not have been to blame.  He had 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 the 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 agency's second 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 at the center of a large group of congratulating friends bearing floral tributes. Prior 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 changes 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 First World War, and men could get more money from 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 were 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 the present Traffic Division, with 182 men and 47 motorcycle men. We now have over 1300 patrolmen with a base pay of $35 a week. circa 1937.”

Gaither Reviews Work

Every year, hundreds of men 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 the one worn today, circa 2003, which we called Class A’s. And the general started a tradition still used to this day in which, during hot summer months, police were permitted to doff their coats. Before this, police officers were ordered to wear their coats all year. Not only were they to wear the coat all year round, but there was also a time when they were 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 the uniform of a Baltimore Police Officer. He felt there were those that worked the streets of Baltimore and earned the 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 a three piece suit.

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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, as 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 once.

How the 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 the series of boxes to the respective districts and 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.

A 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 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 spellbinders bombarded a listless crowd of perhaps fifty people in the War Memorial Plaza. Around the square stood a hundred uniformed policemen. The officers were all twirling their espantoons, 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 by 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 Guardsman, 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 nearly 60 years earlier, but he could never forget. He doesn’t believe in taking chances. 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 the number 7 Fire Engine Company, and established a 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 society's visiting list. 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, inpatiently waiting 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 on Friday, July 20, 1877, the military call, one, five, one, was rung on the City Hall and fire bells. The 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.

The crowd gathered at the Richmond Market Armory to watch the Fifth Regiment marked out for the former Lieutenant-Col. and his son. The companies falling apart 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 the elder Gaither. “It 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 guardsmen were to board the train for Cumberland. Because of his height, Private Charles D. Gaither was number three in the second rank of four.

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

On Pratt Street, the crowd cheered the soldiers. But on Camden Street, they stoned them—a sudden change in mob temperament never forgotten by the tall, roll-neck 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: “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 blankets on top of their knapsacks. Through the station's door sailed a brick that bounced off private Gaither's blanket, 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 me to lose any possible respect for this commissioner. I would have liked some of the things he had done, such as helping to cover the paychecks of the entire police force once, 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 the 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 him 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 racists 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 your family told you, but the day you find out they were wrong and that the only difference between a white man and a 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. They became 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 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 that 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 the respect of historians that would someday study his work as a police officer, but it also put a 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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Note: We could have gone through and edited this to sound more politically correct, but the original wording of this text allows us to fully grasp the extent of the ignorance and prejudice that existed during that time. It serves as a reminder of the challenges black officers had to overcome in order to achieve what we have within the agency today. By preserving the original language, we can better understand and appreciate the progress that has been made.

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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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.

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How to Dispose of Old Police Items

Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department. Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222

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Baltimore Police Historical Society

Baltimore Police Historical SocietyBaltimore Police Historical Society put the articles found on this site together using research from old newspapers, old books, old photographs, and old artifacts. We rely more heavily on information written at, or near the time of the incidents or events that we are researching. We do not put too much weight on the more recently written historic information, or information that has been written with a biased opinion, or agenda. We will not tell our readers what to think about our past, as much as we will tell a story as it was written with the hopes our readers will form their own opinions. We tell a story about what happened, and not why it happened. That said, ever so often we might come across a story that to us is so exciting we might express an enthusiasm in our writings. We hope the reader will still form an opinion of their own based on the information written at the time, and not information more recently written that has a so-called "filtered past" or that has been twisted and pulled in the direction of a storyteller's personal feelings or agenda. Please enjoy the site and feel free to write us should you have any questions or information.


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


 Baltimore City Police Vehicles

The First Police Vehicles used in the Baltimore Police Department came beginning in 1909 based on a newspaper article dated 1911 which gave us the following count;

Auto Patrol vehicles have been added to the department subsequently as follows: The first vehicle ever came in May 1909, the second in May 1910, the third in June 1910, followed by the fourth in Aug 1910, fifth in July 1911, the sixth, seventh, and eighth all came in November 1911. In addition to these eight auto patrol units, there was a (Prisoner Transport Vehicle)  known as “Black Maria”, a truck, and a machine (auto) each for Marshal Farnan and Deputy Marshal Manning, making a total of 11 automobiles purchased for the entire department from 1909 to 1911.



There was a news article from August 1907 that stated the Department was to receive a Columbia Electric Automobile when complete the machine was put to use in the Central District as an Ambulance, and Patrol/Paddy Wagon. It was said to have been easy to run, and easily made 16 miles an hour. Unlike the illustrated picture used to show Baltimore’s New Police vehicle, Baltimore’s Wagon would come with windows and curtains. From the article at the start of this page, it would appear the vehicle they order in late 1907, didn't make it to Baltimore until early to mid-1909. (Some things never change.)


Scan 2018042572I

Courtesy Patricia Driscoll Scan 2018042572I n2006 Chevy

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The Department settled on the new design and ordered 60 vehicles, there were only 30 in the country all white, with 30 more out of the country. The department took them, the black vehicles were imported back into the country and came to us; in the future, we will only have black, (unless they do as they did in the beginning and use white for T.I.S. and other traffic units) but initially, we had to take what was available. I like the black best, and think this is one of the best looking cars we've had in a long time. "Captain J. Eric Kowalczyk of the Baltimore Police Department said, “Our new vehicle design is an outward reflection of the inner change taking hold in the police department. It was designed by our officers and speaks to the pride they have for this organization.” Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said, “You may have seen pictures on social media of a new type of Baltimore Police vehicle. The picture shows a black caprice, with new markings. “Yes it is real, and yes it is coming. We are currently waiting on some remaining equipment to arrive before the vehicles can be deployed to the districts, but that is the future we are headed towards. “A number of months ago, a working group was convened by Colonel DeSousa, to see if there was any interest in a new look for our cars, and what equipment you wanted to see in them. “The result was very clear, and the design of the new cars is the same design that has been on Foxtrot for years. I want to make sure that you have a car that you can be proud of and I know you will be very happy with the cars when they come to the districts soon.”

wtfCourtesy Rick Ojeda
2014 Chevy
1507142 10203102526420211 1771515064276860636 nNorthern District
3 Dec 2014
10847900 10203102523100128 3713119199586017241 nNorthern District
3 December 2014
123 December 2014
143 December 2014
173 December 2014
203 December 2014

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2012 BPD Chevy Caprice PPV400

Courtesy of Jim Derreth
2012 BPD Chevy Caprice PPV

Die-cast BPD Hidden Link

2012 BPD Chevy Caprice PPV400ii Courtesy of Jim Derreth
2012 BPD Chevy Caprice PPV
2012 BPD Chevy Caprice PPV400iCourtesy of Jim Derreth

2012 BPD Chevy Caprice PPV 


History of Emergency Lights on Police Cars

Police cars began adding spotlights to the driver side or out of the roof of vehicles for extra visibility as soon as the electrical systems could handle them, but red and blue dome rooftop police lights didn’t become common until the mid-1930s.

The first police lights made from tail lights— which explains the red — they were mounted on the front fenders, or front bumpers, long before they went to the roof. Some cars had them in pairs, and others had an extra light mounted on the front right fender, facing rightward, that read “PULL OVER” or “STOP” when lit, which was used to stop speeding drivers.

The first 360° rotating “gumball” type light, called the “Beacon Ray”, was introduced by the Federal Sign and Signal Company in 1948. Red (and later blue) gumball lights remained popular through the late 1960s when they began to be replaced with horizontal “light bars” that included multiple rotating lights, mirrors to reflect their light forward or wherever else it was needed, and a siren.


For all the changes that police cars have gone through in their first 100 years, one thing has not changed, at least not since that angry mob pushed the City of Akron’s custom-built electric police wagon into the river in 1900. Police cars have always been modified versions of standard automobiles, nothing more. Automakers didn’t even offer special law-enforcement upgrades (such as improved brakes, tires, steering, and suspension components) until Ford added them to its first “Police Package” cars in 1950. GM, Chrysler, and other major American automakers soon followed, and American police cars have been made that way ever since. So far, none of the Big 3 automakers have ever designed a “purpose-built” police car from scratch, because annual police car sales are too small to justify the expense.







Courtesy John Heiderman

sd 1910 wagon

This is what the backseat of a 1980's BPD Patrol car looked
like after some big ole oversized policeman turned the front
bench seat 
into a reclining bench seat

sd 1910 wagon

 To visit a Bike Unit Page Click HERE or ether of the two Bike Unit Pics below Bike 1920






Car logo 1985 72Courtesy Gary and Kath Lapchak
Car Logo - 1985

1920s MOTOR








8 7 1937bpdcarshotat


 Officer Fred R. Fleischmann and Officer Joseph Hergat

8 7 1937ttyshootingatpolicecar


37 terraplane
1938 Buick A I D cars

 Photo courtesy Sergeant Robert Fisher

1940 AID Car TC 3

 1940's Chevrolet A.I.D. Traffic car TC-3

1947 international wagon
1947 International Patrol Wagon

 Officer Oliver R.Ellis, Traffic Division

April 26, 1947

1940s Tow Truck

 1940's BPD Tow Truck

1942 Packard
Photo courtesy Sergeant Robert Fisher

 1942 Packard A.I.D. Off. U.B. Huff

1947international gaither place




 1946 Chevrolet FleetMaster Town Sedan


1948 Buick as listed on this photo is wrong
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Sun Wed Jul 19 1944 72
Police Cars Marked

19 July 1944

Baltimore Police radio cars are being required to surrender their anonymity by having the word “POLICE” painted on their sides in conspicuous lettering, commissioner Hamilton R Atkinson announced today 19 July 1944. The radio cars of Central and eastern districts appeared today with identifying lettering on their sides, and the cars in the other districts will be similarly equipped in the next few days, the commissioner said. Having no standard color and no lettering on their bodies, the radio cars heretofore could not be identified, except by their small license plates. Accordingly, Commissioner Atkinson said, numerous complaints were made by citizens, particularly in outlying districts, who said they never saw a police car in their neighborhoods. The foot-high letters on the cars will remedy that situation, he said.

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19 July 1944
Radio Cars are Marked for the First Time
Radio cars are marked for the first time departmental history. The Commissioner at the time Hamilton Atkinson said the cars could not be missed as they will have 12" letters running down both sides of the cars that simply reads "POLICE"  NOTE - Accident investigation vehicles were marked prior to the 1944 radio cars
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Wed Oct 17 1956 72
55 ford2
 1956 Ford, man kneeling on left is the owner of Shannon Baum, maker of the decals for the department,
checking out the POLICE decal on the rear of the car.
They also added the flashing red light to the roof for the first time in Baltimore.
1955 Ford Pic taken in 1956
when POLICE was added to the back
of our Patrol Cars
POLICE REFLECTIVECourtesy Johnny Heiderman
an Example of the Rear Panel of the Patrol Car
POLICE Reflective Letters

17 October 1956

Police Cars Get Reflector Signs

Some 200 Baltimore police cars are getting a safety device added today [17 October 1956]

That’s as simple as black and white.

The word “POLICE,” written in 5-inch white reflective letters on a black background, is being cemented to the rear of the cars. The change was suggested by inspector Leo T. Kelly after Commissioner James M. Hepbron noted an “unusual number” of accidents in which private vehicles rammed into the rear of stopped police vehicles. Within the past week, the cars have also been equipped with flashing red roof lights, similar to those used on Fire Department vehicles.




 Officer Maurice Cochran and Timothy Moran, Southwest District  72

Officer Wilbert Sudmeier (center)








1950s Chev

 Photo courtesy Sergeant Robert Fisher





1950 CheV traffic


1951chevrolet cp1
1951 Chevrolet

1950s Chev traffic car

1950's Chevrolet Sedan Accident Investigation car


1956 ford safety partol

1955 Ford pic taken in 1956 as is evident from the red flashing roof light.
This light was first added by Inspector Kelly when he added the word POLICE
to the rear of patrol cars in an effort to stop cars from being rear-ended.  

1956 FORD1

 1955 FORD

See remarks above regarding red light and rear markings

1955 FORD2

KSCN0012 SMSun paper pic
1955 Ford 2


k 9 19569

 1955-1956 Ford K-9 cars (above)

   1957 Ford Safety Patrol Unit (below)



 1957 FORD

1957 Ford S 2
1957 Ford RD 15
This is word POLICE first added to the back of the car in 1956
1957 FORD
Showing the side door markings
1957 Ford ND8
Accident Investigation Division
1958 FORD
1958 Ford A.I.D
1958 FORD
1959 ford dist car
1959 Ford at the scene of an accident
1959 chevrolet cp
1959 ford cp 10
1959 Ford A
1959 Chevrolet CP 8
59ford cp10
1950s tow trucks
 1960'S JEEP
1960'S BUS
1960s bus1
1960 Studebaker Lark
Photo courtesy Sergeant Robert Fisher
1960ford rd 53
1960 FORD
1960s Jeep Park Patrol1
1960ford test3
Above 1960 FORD patrol car, testing a new paint scheme. Black with front doors and roof WHITE, 
Below, 1960 Ford patrol car testing a new paint scheme. Black with both doors and roof WHITE.
Neither design was adopted.
All Black with a White roof was selected.
1960ford testcar1
1960ford testcar2
1961 ford1


1961 Ford CP


1962 ford k9 wagon


1962 Ford K-9 wagon
1960s gmc towtruck
1960s cp 11



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Courtesy Mark Lindsay
The first CP-11 and CP-12 trucks were donated to the Department from a Baltimore Bread Company.
Here one of the trucks: late 60's. At the Fallsway parking lot behind the old HQ Bldg.

BPD Rocker with Radio Patrol Patch

1950 door shield


BPD Officer 1960
1961 ford 2
1961 Ford A.I.D car TC 2

Photo courtesy Sgt. Robert Fisher
1961 Ford A.I.D. unit TC-2

 Accident Investigation Division

1962 Ford NED car 413
Photo courtesy Sgt. Robert Fisher
1962 Ford sedan NED post car #413
1963 Ford

 1963 Ford Sedan

1963 Plymouth

 1963 Plymouth Traffic Car 

In 1963 the department used both Ford and Plymouth in the fleet. The Plymouth was used for Traffic



1964 Ford Custom ND 502 car

1964 Ford ND 502 car


1965 ford radar


1965 Ford unmarked Traffic RADAR car
1966 Ford, testing a new paint scheme. Northern District Car N-521


The new colors were BLUE & WHITE.
The color scheme was adopted in 1967 with the new fleet of Chevrolet vehicles.
Blue body with both doors and the roof WHITE
NOTICE: the District Commander above the door emblem, this was also adopted in 1967 for the Captain of the District
This color scheme was adopted by Police Commissioner Pomerleau, who had come from Florida where this color scheme was used. Also used in Hawaii.
Bottom photo, the adopted version was for the trunk lid to be BLUE.
NOTICE: the small light on the roof behind the bacon, RECALL LIGHT.
When the officer was out on Foot Patrol, if he was needed for a call for service, the roof light could be activated from headquarters to notify the officer.


1966ford testcar
67 chev test car


Sunpaper photographer William L LaForce

Date 2 Oct 67 - Police Department Baltimore Patrol Cars 1967



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The Following 4 Pics came to us Courtesy of retired Lieutenant Robert Wilson


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1967 chev





SHOP# 9670
1967 Chevrolet04
jules denito 67 chev

 1967 Chevrolet

 Officer Jules Denito Southern District

67 chev k 9
1968 international


 1968 International Park Patrol Vehicle

 Assigned Northern District

Druid Hill Park & The Baltimore Zoo
1968 International Tow Truck 2
1968 Tow Trucks 1



68 chev 1200blk marshall

 1968 Chevrolet Southern District Unit, parked in the 1200 blk. of Marshall St., north of Osten St. 

"ON FOOT PATROL" flasher light on the roof used by the motorized foot officer.
Courtesy Officer John Brazil
1968 Chev 8904
Photo courtesy Sergeant Robert Fisher
1969 ford

 1969 Ford

1968 Chev 1970 FORD

 1968 Chevrolet Biscayne and 1970 Ford Custom

1970ford9509 1970 FORD

SHOP# 9509
Off Friendly Bus
Photo courtesy Bill Manzke
Baltimore City Police Community Relations "Officer Friendly Bus"  An old used MTA bus given to the BPD and converted into a police vehicle by  painting it with the new blue and white color scheme as used on the current fleet of vehicles.

Officer Friendly Bus1

Photo courtesy Bill Manzke 

1970 Ford

9636 smSun Paper Photo  Courtesy of my future Son-in-Law Matt Zembower

In 1971 the Department started adding Shop Numbers to the Roof, or Trunk of radio/patrol cars so that "Fox" could more easily identify officers from the sky. This was for both officer safety, and to more easily combat crime; as while in the air the observer could tell specific units where suspects on the ground were hiding. 

1971 Ford 635 NWD Car


 1971 Ford shop # 9677 635 car Northwest District 

1971 Ford1


1971 FORD

1973plymouth satelittest car

 1973 Plymouth Satellite TEST CARS

A double light bar was never adopted.
73 ply
Officer Friendly bus Officer Friendly bus2
1970s pontiac

1974 Plymouth May 1974


Commissioner Donald D. Pomerleau, members of the Command Staff and Officers representing the nine Districts and the Tactical Section were on hand recently when Mayor William Donald Schaefer presented the keys for the new Police Department Vehicles. The 200 new "air-conditioned" Plymouth are white with red and blue stripes on the sides

Officer Edward Sherman


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Officer Succumbs To Exhaust Fumes

September 1975 

Funeral services were conducted on Wednesday, September 17, 1975, for Southwestern District Officer Edward S. Sherman who died September 13, 1975, as the result of. a unique and tragic set of circumstances. Officer Sherman, 28, a 5 year veteran of the Baltimore Police Department was found unconscious in his patrol car by two fellow officers who were on routine patrol. 

The following excerpts from investigative reports shed light on what caused the officer to succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning: "At about 0718 hours this date, Officer Gary Martin and Officer R. Gooden, working 812 car, responded to the rear of Edgewood Elementary School . . . to try up same. Upon arrival, they found 811 car . . . on the rear lot with the motor running and all of the windows rolled up tight. "The car was butted against a chain link fence with a deep undergrowth (of weeds) . . . After attempting to arouse the officer by beating on the windows . . . Officer Martin broke the right front window and pulled Officer Sherman from the vehicle. While on the scene Officer Martin checked Officer Sherman's vital signs and could find none. . . " Extensive tests were made using the same automobile in an effort to ascertain exactly what caused carbon monoxide, in amounts sufficient to cause a fatality, to accumulate in the passenger area. Results of these tests pointed to three factors, which in the opinion of the experts, caused the high carbon monoxide level:

1. The patrol unit was backed to a chain link fence which was covered by a high growth of weeds. 

2. The engine of the vehicle was left running" for an extended period of time. All of the windows were closed. The heater was not in use. 

3. A small strip of rubber molding (weather stripping) underneath the trunk door near the locking mechanism was missing. (See photograph below.) 

Subsequent tests made on 1973, 1974 and 1975 model marked patrol units indicated that the absence of any of the above-listed circumstances would not have caused fatal levels of carbon monoxide to accumulate in the passenger section of these vehicles. 

Commanding officers subsequently caused an inspection of all vehicles in all districts and divisions in order to determine if the rubber molding was intact and that the rubber grommets (where appropriate) on the trunk floor were in place. Ongoing checks will continue. The rubber molding or rubber grommets can be repaired or replaced quickly in any defective Departmental vehicles. 

In order to prevent similar tragedies in the future, all motor vehicle operators are to make certain that the rear of the vehicle is clear of any obstruction when it is to be parked with the engine running. Additionally, windows should be opened as far as comfort permits whenever heaters are in use.



1970s Scout K9

 Photo courtesy Officer Mike Caplan

  1970's Scout K9 unit

BPD ford red blue stripes 1975

 1974 Chevrolet Malibu
Baltimore Police experimented buying former
Rent-A-Cars, as a cost-saving method, that proved unreliable.

1980s BPD Malibu
Photo courtesy Bill Manzke
1974 Chevrolet Malibu
1974 Plymouth Satelite101
Photo courtesy Officer Mike Caplan
1974 Plymouth Satelite100
Photo courtesy Officer Mike Caplan 
BPD cars new old style 1975E


In 1975 the new white color and striping scheme were phasing out the old blue & white unit

1970s Volvo

Photo courtesy Officer Mike Caplan

1970's VOLVO on Patrol on Belair Rd., Northeast District My Uncle Patrolman Mike Driscoll test drove one of these for the City



Representatives of the Volvo Corporation of America recently loaned the Department on a trial basis a 1974 Volvo. The air-conditioned four-cylinder marked unit is being compared in a performance study with a 1974 Plymouth. The study is designed to determine the feasibility of utilizing a smaller vehicle on patrol. It is currently deployed on a high mileage post in the Northeastern District for 30 days and then will be switched to the Central District for a comparable time span on a post with low mileage and heavy traffic.


1975 aspen

 1975 Dodge Aspen
Former Rent-A-Car 

1975ford maverick

 1975 Ford Maverick
Former Rent
Northwest District Parking Lot


 1978 FORD LTD 
SHOP# 9153

Marion Wiczulis 1982 1
Courtesy Joe Wiczulis
In 1982 Officer Marion Wiczulis, Traffic Enforcement, in an unmarked cruiser
Marion Wiczulis 1982 2
Courtesy Joe Wiczulis
Marion Wiczulis 1982 3
Courtesy Joe Wiczulis

 This Traffic car was the only one in the fleet to have whitewall tires and red lights, which were specially approved by Colonel Dick Francis.

Marion Wiczulis 1982 4

Courtesy Joe Wiczulis 

The Following 2 Pics came to us courtesy of retired Lieutenant Robert Wilson


City Fair 1979

 Officers at the City Fair 1979

3330 08 police 

bpd motorcycle donated us park police


1978 Harley Davidson Motorcycle restored by John Bayer, motorcycle mechanic U.S.Park Police.

 October 1, 1990. 

Motorcycle donated by the BPD to the United States Park Police Service for display in their lobby.
1978 harley
1980amc concord

 1980's AMC Concord

Proved totally unreliable for Police Work


 AMC Concord

Pic taken by TIS Officer Scott Wills. This was Officer Wills vehicle, shop 9380, and was a TIS vehicle. It had the red and blue grill lights, and the red flashing spot light that traffic cars had.

1975olds omega

 1980-1984 Oldsmobile Omega

Former Rent-A-Car
Officer Tom Leddon, NWD

bpd90 vi

 This is a 1989/90 Caprice 


The Department has recently received 150 new vehicles that will bear the new "Baltimore Police" logo. They are 1985 Chevrolet Impalas equipped with V-6 engines, power steering, power brakes, and electronic fuel injection. Other equipment includes an automatic transmission and heavy-duty seats with extra padding. The new units are being placed in service throughout the Patrol Division, Tactical Section, Traffic Division and Crime Resistance Unit. Thirty new unmarked vehicles of various makes and models have also been added to the Department's fleet. I came on in 1987 and this was the first car I drove 

85chev don healey

1985 Chevrolet, Don Healy, retired as a Major.



can I get a quick hot shot

Courtesy of Jobosto
How's this for someone needing a hot shot, and having things ready to go when you arrive. 

bpd cushman 

baltimorepd 072906






DSC 0148 722014
DSC 0149 722014

The Following 2 Pics came to us courtesy of retired Lieutenant Robert Wilson

DSC 0140 72Jan 2014
DSC 0189 72Jan 2014
DSC 0191  72Jan 2014 DSC 0428 72Jan 2014




light blue Ford Taurus

1992 Ford Taurus in the new "Baby Blue" "Powder Blue" color scheme that was begun by Commissioner Edward Woods. At the press conference, he stated that "They are the prettiest Police Cars I have ever seen" later on he said, " I just wanted to get away from the aggressive WHITE cars".

1992 Taurus


1995 Chev

 1995 Chevrolet

1997 Ford

1997 Ford Crown Vic Police Interceptor

BPD 1997 Ford Crown Vic 1E


BPD 1997 Ford Crown Vic 2


2000 Suzuki

2000 Suzuki dirt bike






Mounted Unit Pickup & trailer

park on vehicle




Electric carThis picture and below article was found on the internet by a visitor to our fair city.

One of the funniest things I saw in Baltimore was this little electric police car. Not for what it was, which is funny all by itself, but for what the Officer did with it. Now, I know plenty of big macho cops that would probably be mortified to drive this thing. I thought it was adorable. They drive these up and down the harbor pier, along sidewalks and seen here in the plaza square. Pretty easy way to get around. I saw this little thing on the street and wanted to get a photo. I had my camera out and was walking towards it when all the sudden the distracted Officer ran right into a flagpole. PING went the pole!!! What was he thinking? There were 6 huge flag poles on the corner. You can see the size of them in the photo. Did he forget they were there??? Hahahahaaaaa! Everybody who was nearby turned and looked. It took the cop a few minutes to get out and look. I don't think he wanted anyone to see him. There was a nice dent in the huge flagpole and a little scrape on the front of his little car. embarrassing! I'm still laughing.


traffic cars




baltimore ford








BPD car B W


2006 Chevrolet Impala Patrol Car
baltimore chev


Honor Guard 2


2006 emergency services 1
2006 emergency services 2
bpd tac vehicle
2009 Jeep lights on

2009 Jeep

414 patch


Box 414 Association, a voluntary service that furnishes hot coffee, sandwiches, at large fire scenes, or any other incident that requires Police and Fire/EMS personnel on the scene for extended periods of time.

They have served a very long time in the City of Baltimore providing much-needed relief to Police, and Fire personnel they deserve a lot of credit and warm wishes from those they have served so well. Thanks, guys for a job very well done.

BALTIMORE Ohio PoliceBaltimore, Ohio Police vehicle

City police shifting from white to black patrol cars

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The 2014 Chevy - Baltimore City police car
(Courtesy of the Baltimore Police, Baltimore Sun)

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Do you think Baltimore City police cars should be black or white?

Pretty soon, the city's white police cars will be a thing of the past.

The white Baltimore police patrol car — a familiar presence on city streets for decades — is slowly being phased out and replaced in a new color: black.

Over the next few months, residents can expect black-marked 2014 Chevy Caprice patrol cars cruising the streets of Baltimore. The change was requested by officers who wanted to appear more professional in updated cars.

The new cars are adorned with a blue streak that runs at an angle on both sides of the car along with a police shield and "Baltimore Police" in white lettering. Police FoxTrot helicopters and many mobile command trucks have had a similar design for more than a decade.

"It's one that we're proud of, and it's one that we think the people of Baltimore are really going to like," police spokesman Lt. Eric Kowalczyk said.

It's not the first time the department has embarked on a new color scheme. The city's police cars were black after World War II when the color was the only shade available. Since then, the cars have been black and white, and then blue and white. In the 1990s, the department planned to shift to baby blue to present a "friendlier image," but the plan was shelved two years and $2 million later.

Former Police Commissioner Edward T. Norris said he wanted to switch to black because he felt the white cars were too closely linked to, of all things, a 1970s television comedy. He also thought sleek black cars would give officers a sense of pride. The change was announced but never occurred.

The current switch is also being driven by the department's desire to boost officers' flagging morale. Less than 10 percent of Baltimore officers described morale as "good" in a department survey last year.

Commanders believe that raises approved last year, a more favorable work schedule and the new patrol cars will help change that. The cruisers also feature seats that adjust more easily and light and siren switches in more accessible locations.

The new black cars will be added to the current fleet as older vehicles are replaced, Kowalczyk said. The changeover won't cost additional money, officials said.

The department bought 30 black cars this year, and they are currently being outfitted for patrol.

Baltimore police union president Gene Ryan believes the cruisers are a big improvement. A committee of officers of various ranks picked the design, color scheme, lettering, and marking, police said.

"If you let somebody have ownership, it always boosts morale," Ryan said. "That car is their office."

It's an iconic shift for the city.

Millions of television viewers recognize Baltimore's white fleet of Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptors, Chevy Impalas and Caprices thanks to the police television drama "The Wire."

Before that, Kowalczyk noted, the 1990s TV show "Homicide: Life on the Streets," also based in Baltimore, featured different white cars from that era.

"Every design has been iconic in its own right, whether it's been seen on television shows or in the common understanding of the people of Baltimore," said Kowalczyk.

The Police Department has briefed some community groups on the change. Many have embraced it, especially if it helps officers do a better job. The city has significant problems to confront, they said, including more than 190 homicides this year.

"Times are changing... You're reaching into the millennial generation, and they're into a more modern and sleek look," said Joyce Green, president of the Central District Police Community Relations Council. "I want something that the officers like that they designed, and they can take pride in. And that should boost anyone's morale."

Black police cars are common in Maryland. Bel Air police are still changing over their fleet since making the shift to black in 2012 BPD Chevy Caprice PPV400i after 25 years of white cars with green lettering. Howard County police and Maryland State Police also have black vehicles. Maryland Transportation Authority police switched to black in 1988.

"The primary justification was to achieve a new distinctive look, as the agency was in transition at the time," MdTA police spokesman Sgt. Jonathan Green said.

Police cars painted primarily white or a combination of white and black have been historically associated with policing. Some research shows those schemes are the easiest to distinguish as related to law enforcement.

Researchers have also studied whether white or black-and-white cars serve as better crime deterrents than other cars in other colors, and have come to differing conclusions.

Times are changing... You're reaching into the millennial generation, and they're into a more modern and sleek look. - Joyce Green, president of the Central District Police Community Relations Council

A 2009 Federal Emergency Management Agency study on the visibility and conspicuousness of emergency vehicles found that "no single particular color" appeared to be the optimal choice for emergency vehicles to be seen under varying conditions.

Mark D. Thomas, professor of cognitive science at Albany State University, researched whether color made any difference as to how fast the mind recognizes a police car.

Black-and-white cars, he said, are the most recognizable police cruisers because the color pattern has been most widely used by agencies. That combination, he said, also sticks out more than other shades.

But he also found the amount of time it takes the mind to recognize black-and-white cars versus all-white cars as police vehicles is less than half a second. The amount of time it takes the mind to recognize a black car as a police vehicle is also probably negligible, he said.

He said many police agencies use either white or a combination with white as the primary color because they believe it better represents "community policing," where officers aim to be visible and easily accessible. State police agencies, whose officers roam highways, often use dark colors, he said, because troopers want to sneak up on speeding motorists.

"If [police[ want something more stealthy, black is more stealthy than white," Thomas said. "But if they want something that will be seen more, especially at night, then they want white."

Baltimore police said they don't believe they'll lose any visibility with the new design.

"I don't think there's going to be anyone mistaking them," Kowalczyk said.

Past efforts to change patrol car colors have backfired. The department dumped the baby-blue scheme partly because many officers and residents felt the cars made the police look soft.

In 2001, the department began making the change to black when then-Mayor Martin O'Malley learned of the plan, according to Norris, who was the commissioner at the time.

Norris said O'Malley, now governor, demanded the commissioner stop the changeover because he felt black would project an image of a force that was overbearing and intimidating.

O'Malley could not be reached for comment Friday.

"So I painted everything else those colors," Norris said. "The command vehicles, the helicopter, everything else."

Norris said he also ordered other changes to boost morale to make up for the pay raises he couldn't give officers. He swapped out 9 mm service weapons for more powerful .40-caliber guns and lifted a ban on the use of espantoons — the wooden nightsticks that Baltimore officers had used for generations.

"You can't pay them what they deserve, but you can give them things that will help them in their jobs," he said.

The white cars especially rankled Norris when a research firm showed him that the lettering on the side of the cars matched the font used on the credits of the "Mary Tyler Moore Show."

Black police cars, he said, would have projected a tougher image.

"I just thought it commanded more respect," Norris said.

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

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun

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EL The Following 25 Pics came to us courtesy of retired Lieutenant Robert Wilsonimg050img063img064img138img139img146img149img152img161img167img168img201img212img218img219img220img222img241img283img315img334img399img499img513img522img535



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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.

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Devider color with motto


How to Dispose of Old Police Items

Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department. Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222


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

1974 Strike

Baltimore Police Strike

Baltimore Police officers on strike 1974

 IMG 20160623 0002 72

The Baltimore Police Strike was a 1974 labor action conducted by officers of the Baltimore Police Department

Striking officers sought better wages and changes to BPD policy. They also expressed solidarity with Baltimore municipal workers, who were in the midst of an escalating strike action that began on July 11. On July 7, police launched a campaign of intentional misbehavior and silliness; on July 11 they began a formal strike. The department reported an increase in fires and looting, and the understaffed BPD soon received support from state police. The action ended on July 15 when union officials negotiated an end to both strikes. The city promised (and delivered) police officers a wage increase in 1975, but refused amnesty for the strikers. Police Commissioner Donald Pomerleau revoked the union's collective bargaining rights, fired its organizers, and pointedly harassed its members.

The Baltimore action was one of few police strikes in the United States since the Boston Police Strike of 1919. Although it was followed by a wave of police unrest in other cities, it remains one of a very few notable police strikes in US history. The action was also a test case for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), which was rapidly growing in size and strength but had not had much success in unionizing police officers.

Police Unionization in Baltimore

City officials opposed the organization of police as a group of workers, fearing the breakdown of order that might result from police strikes. However, Baltimore had a high proportion of minority and pro-union officers. Police officers who wanted to unionize met in secret for years before voting in 1966 to form Police Local 1195, a chapter of AFSCME. One of Local 1195's key leaders was Thomas Rapanotti—a labor organizer who worked in a coal mine, then at Martin Aircraft, then for AFSCME. Rapanotti expanded the union in Baltimore and made inroads into surrounding counties.

The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) immediately presented itself as a competing union. FOP Lodge #3, which still exists, and is independent of other types of workers and less militant as a labor group.

Conflict with Pomerleau

Baltimore's Police Commissioner, Donald D. Pomerleau, was particularly hostile to the idea of a police union. He repeatedly declined requests (from Baltimore's AFSCME Local 44 as well as from within BPD) to recognize Local 1195, even when much of the police force had joined.

Local 1195 and its allies in organized labor voiced many complaints against Pomerleau. In addition to criticizing Pomerleau's changes to department policy, they accused him harassing and intimidating union leaders. The AFL–CIO called his actions 'union-busting'. In 1968, officers picketed BPD headquarters and demanded his resignation. Grievances with Pomerleau continued to mount. In a 1973 grand jury investigation on corruption within the BPD, Rapanotti accused him of spying and of applying polygraphs tests selectively only to lower-ranking officers. Banned from striking by its constitution, in March of this year the union began to consider job actions.

Collective Bargaining

By 1973, about 2,000 of Baltimore's 3,500 police officers claimed membership in Local 1195. AFSCME leaders and representatives from other public employee unions and organizations pressed the City of Baltimore for collective bargaining rights and higher wages. Some of the officers had worked previously at Bethlehem Steel and been on strike before.

In November 1973, Pomerleau agreed to recognize collective representation for police and held an election to choose an exclusive bargaining agent. He stipulated that whatever the result, no secondary boycotts, slowdowns, stoppages, or strikes would be allowed. Local 1195 won the election by a large margin, with 1,488 votes to 769 for FOP 3. Turnout was 85%. After Local 1195's victory, Rapanotti laid out a 26-point proposal for the city.

Local 1195 immediately attempted to make good on the promise that collective bargaining might improve conditions and wages for police officers. The police asked for an increase of their salary range from $8,761–$11,082 to $12,500–$14,500. The city offered 5.5% raise, with a 0.5% increase in benefits. This package had recently been accepted by other city workers, including teachers, who went on strike in February of the same year. (The salary raise was 5.5% or 20 cents an hour, whichever was greater for the workers at hand. For many other municipal employees, 20 cents an hour was greater.) On June 30, Local 1195 voted unanimously to reject the city's offer.

1974 STRIKE 721974 STRIKE Cut in pay nations finest with bug 72

Actions begin

The lead-up to the police strike was a period of radical labor activity and unrest, sparked by a walkout of the city's garbage collectors.

Municipal workers Strike

Main articleBaltimore municipal strike of 1974

On July 1, 1974, over 700 sanitation workers walked off their jobs in a wildcat strike (against the wishes of their union leadership in AFSCME Local 44). Workers cited low wages (they wanted a 50 cent raise instead of a 20 cent raise) and undignified conditions (heat, exhaust fumes, and poorly maintained trucks) as reasons for striking. Mayor Schaefer threatened to fire them all. Soon after the strike began, AFSCME announced its support and sent major leaders from its national offices. By July 7 approximately 2,500 municipal sanitation workers, corrections officers, and other personnel had gone on strike. The atmosphere created by this strike emboldened the police force to push harder for their own demands.

Police Job Actions

Baltimore's police officers sympathized with other city workers, increasing their readiness to strike. The municipal strike—with garbage pileups and rioting inmates—also created an atmosphere of crisis, in which the role of police would be especially conspicuous. On July 6, the union formed a Steering Committee, with 84 members, to plan job actions intended to pressure the city for negotiations. According to the findings disclosed by a 1977 court case, these actions had "tacit approval" from Commissioner Pomerleau, who also wanted the city to negotiate further.

On July 7, police began 'job actions' that signaled their discontent. Officers would write lengthy reports on pennies ("objects of value") found along the side of the road and would turn obvious samples of tobacco over to the police lab for drug analysis. There was a massive increase in traffic stops and a 1000% increase in tickets issued. One ticket led to an altercation resulting in three arrests. Mayor Schaefer's limousine was ticketed twice. Kenneth Webster, a state Delegate, was arrested (on littering charges), for tearing up one of these tickets in front of the ticketing officer. John A. Lann, a police officer, was arrested and suspended from the BPD for blocking traffic on the newly constructed I-83. Union officials threatened a total strike if he was not released.

These actions mounted day by day and garnered widespread attention. On July 10, police cars blocked two out of three lanes on Franklin St. downtown.

Decision to Strike

Pressure for a strike had been building since the new contract was announced on June 30. Rapanotti opposed a full strike, predicting (correctly): "This thing is only a week old. If you pull and strike at this moment, they're going over there and offer the garbage men some money, and we're going to be standing there holding our Yo-Yo's." But after four days of job actions, the union's members were ready to escalate.

After meeting for an hour and a half on the afternoon of Thursday, July 11, members of the Steering Committee decided unanimously to go on strike.


Police officers strike

At 8PM on July 11, 39 officers on the 4PM–12AM shift returned to their stations and turned in their equipment. They were joined by 33 members of the Tactical Section Only 96 (of 238 scheduled) showed up for the midnight shift. Striking officers established picket lines at seven stations. The Baltimore Sun reported that looting began immediately in West and East Baltimore.

Strikers formed picket lines and carried signs reading "I will not die for 5.5" and "Professional Pay for Professional Service".

Striking and Non-striking Officers

It is estimated that nearly 1,300 police officers of the 2,300 went on strike. Non-Striking officers worked overtime: 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. (According to Pomerleau, there were only 565 strikers; most sources said his estimate was too low.)

Newspapers reported tension between striking and non-striking officers. "Don't trust that guy," one striking officer said of a working officer to a national guard soldier. Some non-striking officers likewise felt betrayed by their fellow workers and by Local 1195, which was officially a non-striking union.

Officers of the Fraternal Order of Police released statements opposing the strike.

Fourteen white youths picketed the strikers, displaying signs that said "Safety First; Money Second".

Effect on crime

After the walkout on Thursday, July 11, the BPD and the fire department received increased reports looting and arson. Trash fires (facilitated by the sanitation workers' strike) were the most common violation reported. These fires intensified immediately in southwest Baltimore, where all 22 officers on the night shift had walked off. Fire alarms increased to hundreds per day, and some firefighters were harassed when they arrived on the scene. Areas already high in crime saw more of it.

Police reported that the city was particularly quiet on the night of Friday, July 12. This abrupt halt in reported crimes coincided with the visible arrival of outside forces.

One man, identified as a looter, was shot and killed by a non-striking officer on July 12. Commissioner Pomerleau declared, "We're in a semi-riot mode, similar to the 1968 riots." However, activity in the streets never reached the same levels, and much less damage resulted.

Government Response

The strike met with opposition from the city government, the state government, and the judiciary. These authorities reacted more severely to the police strike than to the simultaneous municipal strike.

Before midnight on July 11, Circuit Judge James C. Murphy issued an injunction ordering the strike to end immediately. This injunction had no immediate mechanism for enforcement.

On July 12, Maryland governor Marvin Mandel ordered outside police help from 115 state troopers and ten canine units. They arrived with 100 cruisers and a tractor-trailer carrying two jeeps. These troops were outfitted with riot weapons but wore soft hats instead of helmets.

The Maryland National Guard was put on alert but Mandel said he did not expect them to become involved.

Also on July 12, Commissioner Pomerleau announced that 457 officers had been suspended.

On Saturday, July 13, Judge Murphy declared a fine for each day of striking—$25,000 for the union and $10,000 for Rapanotti. He also threatened Rapanotti with jail if the strike continued beyond 10AM on Monday, July 15. (Murphy issued parallel threats to union leaders connected to the ongoing municipal workers' strike.)

On July 14, Pomerleau fired 82 offices and demoted 9 detectives and 18 police agents (officers with college degrees). All the officers fired were 'probationary', meaning that they had served on the force for under two years; Commissioner Pomerleau stated that these officers were not entitled to hearings for their jobs. He further announced that there would be "no general amnesty", and that all striking workers would be fired unless they resumed their jobs immediately.


The police walkout quickly triggered negotiations for both police and the striking municipal workers. Union representatives and city officials met for five hours on July 12, the day after the night shift walkout. With leaders of both Locals under direct threats from Judge Murphy, marathon negotiations continued day and night, with few breaks. These negotiations were tightly controlled by outside representatives of AFSCME, who temporarily suspended Rapanotti for negotiating without accompaniment.

On Sunday, July 14, AFSCME negotiators responded to Commissioner Pomerleau (who had just fired 82 officers, threatened to fire more, and declared no amnesty) that amnesty would be a condition of settlement.

On Monday, July 15, the city announced its settlement with Local 44: a 25 cent raise immediately, and an additional 45 cents in 1975. The arrangement with the police was less clear. According to Mandel and Pomerleau, union leaders had promised that the officers would return to work. Leaders of the police union then announced in a press conference that they had been "assured of fair play" and that "many would be reinstated"—but there was still no promise of amnesty. Rapanonotti announced that the decision would be taken for ratification to a committee of strikers. Police officers would receive no immediate increase in salary. An increase of the salary range to $10,000–$13,500 was planned for July 1975.

Striking officers ratified the agreement on the morning July 16. Many of the strikers felt defeated, and most had already returned to work. Many of those who had been fired came to the meeting to express anger and frustration about the negotiations. Before this group would vote had to be reassured that leaders would seek amnesty.


Pomerleau announced that returning strikers would be treated harshly, writing in a July 18 letter : "I have asked the sergeants of this department to 'take charge.' If they wish to deprive a striker of an air-conditioned car or refuse to assign a striker to overtime duties that is their prerogative and, I will back them up." These returning workers were also banned from park and stadium patrols, and from assuming "officer in charge" status.

Pomerleau suspended and then fired George P. Hoyt, president of AFSCME Local 1195 and leader of the strike. Hoyt had been a member of the force for 17 years and was four days away from retirement when he was fired. Pomerleau subsequently fired dozens of officers, including all of Local 1195's remaining officials.

On July 25, Pomerleau issued a message, posted on bulletin boards and read for three days at roll call, which distinguished between strike leaders and followers. In this message, he specified the offenses that would in particular be punished:

As these are completed, please be assured that varying actions will be taken on an individual basis against
1) those officers from the Southwestern District and Tactical Section who deserted their posts at or about 2000 hours on Thursday, July 11, abandoning the citizens and endangering their brother officers,
2) those who instigated, planned, and implemented the walkout of Tactical and Southwest,
3) those who conspired to diminish the department's ability to respond by:
   a. jamming communications
   b. mixing keys in the Motor Pool
   c. blocking departmental [buses] so reinforcements could not move expeditiously, and
   d. holding open mikes 

4) those who exhorted and even coerced other officers to strike
5) and those who spat upon their brother officers. These men will be dealt with.

Thomas Bradley, president of the Metropolitan Baltimore Labor Council (a regional arm of the AFL–CIO), promised to establish a committee "who will see to it that there are no reprisals". AFSCME president Jerry Wurf also promised to help the officers get their jobs back. These campaigns were ultimately unsuccessful.

Judge Murphy fined AFSCME $15,000 and union organizer Thomas Rapanotti $10,000. None of the striking officers or leaders were imprisoned.

1974 Police Strike

Impact on the union

On July 17, Commissioner Pomerleau revoked the union's right to bargain, citing the terms of his 1973 order. He also announced and announced that union dues would no longer be 'checked off' automatically from workers' paychecks and that union leaders would not be allowed to visit police headquarters unescorted.

The union of police supervisors (Local 1599), withdrew their membership in AFSCME.

Local 1195, along with AFSCME, filed a lawsuit against Pomerleau and Mandel for union busting and illegal spying. The suit also accused Captain Donald E. Einolf and Edward Crowder as agents of an anti-union conspiracy. This lawsuit was lost in 1977.

The city refused to allow police collective bargaining (let alone right to strike) until 1982.


With no reprieve from the city, the formerly striking officers turned to Governor Mandel, asking him to re-authorize their union and impose amnesty. Mandel, feuding with AFSCME president Wurf, refused to assist them, declaring that he would prefer to lose the union's support in his re-election campaign.

Some officers felt sold out, or used as "cannon fodder," by the union leaders. Twenty of the officers who were fired sued national and local AFSCME offices in 1977 for false representation and negligence, charging that they should not have authorized an illegal strike that could lead them to lose their jobs.

Tension persisted between strikers and non-strikers. Some of the officers who did not strike opposed amnesty for those who did


Firing of Bomb Expert Sought

Sep 19, 1974

The Sun (1837-1987); Sep 19, 1974;
pg. C2

Firing of bomb expert sought

Baltimore Police bomb squad expert, who devised an item that enables police to defuse homemade bombs in packages from a distance was recommended for dismissal yesterday after a departmental trial board hearing.

Officer Leopold J, Luberecki a 16-year veteran was found guilty of three or five departmental counts stemming from the police strike.

Officer Lubereck had been a member of the steering committee of the police union, Local 1195 of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, which voted to strike the night of 11 July 1974.

Officer Luberecki said he voted against the strike that night and then reported for work. He was found guilty of violating the general order not to strike, having knowledge of a strike vote that caused a mutiny and being absent without leave for an hour.

Officer Lubcrecki said he was off the day after the strike began and spent an hour going around delivering signs to picket lines. He added that he was called back into work, but made "one-hour token walk-out" after being called His lawyer, Paul DBekman, argued that the bomb expert was no different than those in earlier cases who simply had received reprimands.

Knowledge of Strike

But, Millard S. Rubinstein, the assistant attorney general assigned to the Police Department, argued during the hour-long hearing that because the officer had knowledge of the strike he deserved more than a reprimand. Officer Lubcrecki devised a bomb-control device that is in use in various law enforcement agencies around, the country, a police spokesman said. The board's order is subject to review by the police commissioner, Donald D. Pomereau, who is authorized to modify the trial board recommendations. In one case the commissioner differed with the three-member board, according to sources. Officer Jerome Buccola, the Southern district shop steward. He had been recommended for dismissal, but the commissioner instead suspended officer Buccola for two months and then allowed him to return to duty.

1 black devider 800 8 72BALTIMORE ENDS ITS 15‐DAY STRIKE

By Ben A. Franklin Special to The New York Times

15 July 1974

BALTIMORE, July 15—A 15. day strike by sanitation men, jail guards and most other municipal service workers ended today, but hundreds of policemen refused to return to duty without an unqualified amnesty for their illegal four‐day strike.

At a hastily called news conference here tonight, Gov. Marvin Mandel and Baltimore Police Commissioner Donald D. Pomerleau said they had received an assurance from the policemen's union leaders that striking officers would be asked to begin returning to duty tonight. According to a police spokesman, 421 Baltimore patrolmen were officially listed as on strike.

The Governor said this assurance was in return for his and the Commissioner's promise that the police department would follow routine disciplinary procedures, before departmental boards, in any punishment of returned strikers.

But there was no promise of amnesty for all police strikers, as hundreds of rank and file strikers have been demanding for the last several days in picket lines and at meetings.

Hours later, at a news conference, leaders of the policemen's union sought to make the best of their apparent capitulation on the issue of the probationers.

“There will be no mass reprisals and we intend to press vigorously for the reinstatement of the 82 probationary employees who were dismissed,” insisted Thomas A Rapannotti, director of the union's police council. “We believe that many be reinstated,” Mr. Rapannotti said. He added that union leaders had been “assured of fair play” by Governor Mandel.

But William H. Engelman, a Union lawyer, acknowledged that “some men will be taken pack, some men will not be taken back. The commissioner has the last word.”

Mr. Rapannotti said a rank-and-file strike committee of police officers, not represented at tonight's meeting with reporters, would decide whether to recommend adoption of these terms to the membership at a ratification vote tomorrow.

The wage settlement with municipal employees exceeded the 6 per cent limit that the city had insisted was its limit.

The impasse on the amnesty issue blocked the policemen's acceptance of an agreement under which they, too, won most of their demands for salary increases exceeding the city's asserted 6 per cent ceiling.

Nevertheless, hundreds of striking officers apparently were reporting for duty. For the first time since last Friday, when Governor Mandel ordered state troopers in as reinforcements, the riot‐trained state policemen were absent from the city tonight.

The police strike here apparently is the first of this magnitude in a major city in the United States since the Boston strike of 1919, in which the Massachusetts Governor, Calvin Coolidge, rose to prominence.

Late today, Circuit Court Judge James W. Murphy removed a threat of imprisonment for contempt of court against the strikers union leaders, P. J. Ciampa, Ernest B. Crofoot and Raymond C. Clark.

Judge Murphy fined Local 44, the municipal workers union, $90,000 today for contempt of his injunction against the strike.

City officials estimated that it might take weeks to dispose of the thousands of tons of refuse that have collected on sidewalks, curbs and streets here since the garbagemen began their wildcat strike on July 1. The walkout began after the workers rejected a union sanctioned wage settlement that they regarded as inadequate to meet inflationary pressures here.

Mayor William D. Schaefer had insisted on no more than a 6 per cent settlement, contending that Inflation had sapped the budget and the city could not pay more. He told a news conference this afternoon that Baltimore would make up the estimated $2.5‐million cost of the higher pay agreement by cutting 300 jobs from the payroll, apparently mostly in the sanitation department.

Job turnover in the department is high, however, and there reportedly was no intention by the city to terminate the 300 jobs summarily: The agreement covering sanitation men and other workers included a no‐reprisal provision protecting strikers.

The 300‐man uniformed city “ail guard force here had been reduced by the walkout to only about 25 supervisory personnel, responsible for 1,200 prisoners in an overcrowded, overheated jail.

All returning patrolmen will apparently face case‐by‐case disciplinary hearings later. But with the aid of striking patrolmen who decided to return to duty late today, and by maintaining the force on 12‐hour, seven‐day‐a‐week shifts, the Police Department said that it would deploy 773 patrolmen here tonight. The normal weeknight complement is 307.

The police walkout began here last Thursday night, when nearly half the 2,800‐man force joined the strike by sanitation men, jail guards, highway repairmen and park and zoo maintenance workers. The stoppage caused a rise in looting, arson and crowd disorders that had tapered off under the emergency increase of nighttime police patrols by non-striking officers.

Some sanitation men were reporting to work late today, following the overwhelming approval of their new two‐year wage agreement. The pact was reached at a meeting this afternoon in the auditorium of the city headquarters of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents both the city's civilian workers and policemen.

The amnesty deadlock with the police was chiefly over Commissioner Pomerleau's dismissal last night, on the brink of the settlement at dawn today, of 82 probationary patrolmen who had joined the strike.

The Commissioner's statement last night threatening to extend the policy to tenured officers appeared to have softened today, however. “The parameters, when you interpret what was said last night, allow for reasonableness and flexibility” in the reinstatement of veteran officers who joined the strike, he told reporters today. “But there will be no general amnesty.”

The economic agreement, negotiated for nearly 43 hours, gives city hourly workers an immediate increase of 25 cents an hour‐5 cents more than the city had said it could afford—plus increases during the first six months of 1975 that total 45 cents an hour. The total during the two‐year contract period is 70 cents an hour.

A disputed “point system,” used by the city to terminate sanitation workers for absenteeism, was referred to arbitration, and all city workers won a fully paid medical insurance plan.

The police negotiators reportedly agreed to let the city hold its 6 per cent salary‐increase ceiling this year. But in July 1975, police salaries under the tentative wage agreement are to rise, to $10,000 to start, with a top of $13,500. The current range is $8,761 to $11,082.

1974 original wire photo of youth looting in Baltimore after a police walkout

Youth Looting in Baltimore 1974 During Police Strike

1 black devider 800 8 72

Sun Paper Metro Section 11 March 19751974 original wire photo of youth looting in Baltimore after a police walkout

Sun Paper Metro Section 11 March 1975 Suggests Police Commissioner Donald D. Pomereau sent ISD Spies into, Police Union meetings, to instigate Strike, in order for the Commissioner to shut down the Union in favor of the FOP Page 1 HERE

11 march 1975 pg2 BPD StrikeSun Paper Metro Section 11 March 1975 Suggests Police Commissioner Donald D. Pomereau sent ISD Spies into, Police Union meetings, to instigate Strike, in order for the Commissioner to shut down the Union in favor of the FOP Page 2 HERE

1 black devider 800 8 72Most of the striking officers were not fired, only those that were working and walked off of the streets. Those that didn't report for their next shift were not fired unless they threatened the officers that were reporting for work. Probationary officers that were on strike as of 4pm on July 12th were fired. Most were hired back after 6 months.  

Michael Hires

1 black devider 800 8 72POLICE INFORMATION

Copies of: Your Baltimore Police Department Class Photo, Pictures of our Officers, Vehicles, Equipment, Newspaper Articles relating to our department and or officers, Old Departmental Newsletters, Lookouts, Wanted Posters, and or Brochures. Information on Deceased Officers and anything that may help Preserve the History and Proud Traditions of this agency. Please contact Retired Detective Kenny Driscoll.

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

Devider color with motto


How to Dispose of Old Police Items

Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department. Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222

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

1968 Riots

The Baltimore Riots 1968


Police Riot Squad


This was and continues in large part to be why we had these types of riots, and at the time the police took signs and made arrests, but the media seemed to think it was OK to take a sign that one guy made, and re-print it and circulate to more than one hundred thousand readers, in nearly every state in the country. The media regularly used terms such as, "Negro" and "Negress" to describe African American Males, and Females when reporting a story about a crime committed, or an arrest made, but they never used the race to describe a "Caucasian" male or female when a Caucasian was a suspect, or victim of a crime. What this does is make race a non-issue when a Caucasian is involved, but when an African American is involved all we hear is the race. So over time of reading articles in newspapers, or watching the news on television and hearing only one race, it would have had to have had a brainwashing effect on readers and listeners into thinking African Americans are involved in all or most crime. This was something Malcom-X commented on while talking about the dangers of the media saying “The media's the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” Go online and subscribe to newspaper archives even if it is for a free 7 to 30-day trial and you'll see what the media did, they control the public's views and thoughts on whatever they want the public to see and eventually think.  

 riotsBPD1968 72BW

Courtesy Dave Eastman

1968 Riot Squads

 The Baltimore Riots 1968

The Baltimore Riot of 1968 started in reaction to the murder of Martin Luther King. After King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on 4 April 1968, rioting broke out in 125 cities across the United States. In Baltimore, Maryland trouble didn’t start until two days later. When rioting did break out on Saturday, 6 April, the Governor of Maryland, Spiro T. Agnew, called out thousands of National Guard troops and 500 Maryland State Police to quell the disturbance. When it was determined that the state forces could not control the riot, Agnew requested Federal troops from President Lyndon B. Johnson.

By Sunday evening 7 April, 5000 paratroopers, combat engineers, and artillerymen from the XVIII Airborne Corps in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, specially trained in riot control tactics, including sniper school, were on the streets of Baltimore with fixed bayonets and equipped with chemical (CS) disperser backpacks. Two days later, they were joined by a Light Infantry Brigade from Fort Benning, Georgia. With all the police and troops on the streets, things began to calm down. The FBI reported that H. Rap Brown was in Baltimore driving a Ford Mustang with Broward County, Florida tags, and was assembling large groups of angry protesters and agitating them to escalate the rioting. In several instances, these disturbances were rapidly quelled through the skillful use of bayonets and chemical dispensers by the XVIII Airborne units. That unit did not fire a single round of ammunition and arrested more than 3,000 detainees, who were identified, tagged with bracelets, and delivered in cattle trucks to the Baltimore police precincts.

By the time the riot was over, 6 people would be dead, 700 injured, 4,500 arrested and over a thousand fires set. More than a thousand businesses had been looted or burned, many of which never reopened. Total property damage was estimated at $13.5 million (1968).

One of the major outcomes of the riot was the attention Spiro Agnew received when he criticized local black leaders for not doing enough to help stop the disturbance. While this angered blacks and white liberals, it caught the attention of Richard Nixon who was looking for someone on his ticket who could counter George Wallace’s American Independent Party, third-party campaign. Agnew became Nixon’s Vice Presidential running mate in 1968.

Woman Pleads for People to Stay Out.

Woman Pleads for People to "Stay Out" - Eager Street at Broadway - April 8, 1968

432 North Ave
432 North Avenue
Boys and Girls Scurry from Grocery Store

"Boys and Girls Scurry from Grocery Store ... market pillaged near Biddle Street and Greenmount Avenue." April 8, 1968

Eager Aisquith
"Citizens on Run Near Eager and Aisquith Street" - April 8, 1968

Looted building
Looted building 


 Harford Rd. and Lafayette Ave.



Harford Rd. and Lafayette Ave



Harford Rd. and Lafayette Ave



Biddle St. and Greenmount Ave



Chase St.and Ensor St.


Courtesy Patty Driscoll


On patrol 400 Blk. E. Chase St.
An officer assisting store owner with looted building



Baltimore and Lloyd Sts. Officer Charlie Cumberledge CD walking down Lloyd St. toward his car...Officer Bernie Wehage had just taken a woman from the second floor apartment over top the tailor shop which had been set on fire....the woman, while Officer Wehage was dragging her down the steps, was hollering about her baby on the third floor, Officer Cumberledge ran up to the third floor and rescued her baby, "a canary"

coppin state 4 7 68aCourtesy Lt Bob WilsonGas Masks on Federal troopsCourtesy Lt Bob WilsonIMG E2493Courtesy Lt Bob Wilsonlooters biddle near madison 4 8 68 Courtesy Lt Bob Wilson Mapping Strategy Courtesy Lt Bob Wilson old town market clock tower Courtesy Lt Bob Wilson palm sunday fires 4 8 68 Courtesy Lt Bob Wilson spiro agnes4pm curfew 4 8 68 2 Courtesy  Lt Bob Wilson Smelkinson DairyCourtesy Lt Bob Wilson Study inContrastsCourtesy Lt Bob Wilson

maryland flag line6

Police Department

City of Baltimore, Maryland

officer badge1.jpg.w300h320

 1968 Riots

Action Reports, Baltimore Police Department

From 0600 Hours, Friday, April 5, 1968

To 0600 Hours, Friday, April 12, 1968

D. D. Pomerleau Police Commissioner

April 13, 1968

Police Department City Of Baltimore

Fallsway and Fayette Street Baltimore, Maryland 21202

Mulberry 5-1600 Area Code 301

Donald Pomerleau


Ralph G. Murdy

Administrative Bureau

Wade H. Poole

Operations Bureau

Thomas J. Keyes

Services Bureau

Deputy Commissioners

April 22, 1968


The attached Action Reports represent Journal entries extracted from the Log Book in the Emergency Headquarters Command Post during the period April 5-12, 1968. These Entries should in no way be interpreted as representing an all-inclusive account of the activities, which occurred in Baltimore during that period. Because of the exigencies of the moment, the entries are fragmentary and are presented merely as an overview.

Ralph G. Murdy

Deputy Commissioner

Attachments – Action Reports


In order to assist the Commanding General of the Task Force Baltimore in meeting his deadline, this overview of activities engaged in by the Baltimore Police Department during the period beginning 0600 hours April 5, 1968, to 0600 hours April 12, 1968, has been prepared. In the time allotted, it has not been possible to exploit all of the source documents and witnesses to fully report the commitment of forces in Baltimore city during the period of disorder. It is anticipated that additional reports will be prepared and submitted to the Commanding General.

Statistics on reports of fires, looting, deaths, and arrests were reported to Task Force Baltimore on an hourly basis and summarized daily. Accordingly, such statistics are not repeated herein. It should be noted, however, that all the statistics at this time are to be regarded as tentative since the field conditions frequently precluded their verification and the elimination of repeat calls.

D. D. Pomerleau

Police Commissioner

April 13, 1968

Table of Contents

Action Reports: Page

April 5-6, 1968

April 6-7, 1968

April 7-8, 1968

April 8-9, 1968

April 9-10, 1968

April 10-11, 1968

April 11-12, 1968

Services Bureau Report

Operations Bureau Manpower Strength Report

The activity of Field Commander Posts

Baltimore Police Department Frequency Polygon,

1700 hours April 6, 1968, to

0800 hours April 12, 1968

 Action Report, Baltimore Police Department

From 0600 hours, Friday, April 5, 1968

To 0600 hours, Saturday, April 6, 1968

1. Background

Thursday night in Baltimore found its citizens apprehensive and confused as to what events would follow the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, prominent civil rights leader, who was killed by an unidentified sniper in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. King died of his wounds about 7:00 p.m. on Thursday evening and the first successful act of related violence in Baltimore occurred within six hours. About 12:38 a.m. on the morning of April 5, 1968, an ADT alarm was set off at Hoffman’s Liquor Store, 4451 Park Heights Avenue, where a homemade firebomb had been thrown through a window and landed on a pool table. The owner also responded to the ADT alarm and was in the process of extinguishing the blaze when police arrived. Police had answered several earlier calls of suspected arson in the Southwestern District shortly after 10:00 p.m. on April 4, 1968, but little damage was found.

Baltimoreans remained in a tense state on Friday morning. Their shock, anger and fear were best described by one cab driver who said, “Anything can happen now – and I do mean anything.” Despite the violence, which had burst out in cities across the country, Baltimoreans prayed with the President that violence would be denied a victory.

Indications of unrest in Baltimore on Friday appeared at Coppin State College and Northwestern High School where students refused to follow a regular academic routine. Mayor D’Alesandro designated Monday as a city-wide day of mourning for Dr. King. He also proclaimed Sunday as a special day of prayer in Baltimore for Dr. King.

Governor Agnew announced on Friday that he had ordered the Maryland National Guard placed in a state of readiness shortly after 1:00 p.m. and signed into law a recently enacted emergency bill giving him a sweeping power to mobilize forces to meet impending internal disorder.

The Emergency Headquarters Command Post was opened at 11:00 p.m. on Friday, April 5, 1968. AT 11:15 p.m. an arrest was made at Pennsylvania Avenue and Pearl Street of a person who was charged with throwing a firebomb into a lumberyard. This person was later identified as Willard Dixon, a member of the CORE.

At midnight, Lt. Col. George Davidson of the Maryland State Police reported that all State Police Personnel were on 1010 alert, meaning they were in readiness to be called on short notice.

During the remainder of the early morning hours, a relatively small number of fires were reported. The Emergency Headquarters and Field Command Posts were secured by order of the Commissioner at 3:37 a.m., Saturday, April 6, 1968.


2310 Emergency Headquarters Command Post opened by Commissioner Pomerleau, 5th floor, Police Headquarters

2330 General Ogletree advised he had one MP Company mobilized at the 5th Regiment Armory for site security only. General Gelston was ordered to return from Atlanta, Georgia, to Silver Spring, Maryland by the Governor

2355 Car 1927 reported an arrest of an accused fire bomber at the lumberyard, Pennsylvania Avenue, and Pearl Street. Person Identified at 0001 as Willard Dixon, a militant member of CORE, Baltimore office.

0005 Lt. Col. George Davidson, Maryland State Police, reported all State Police on 1010 alert for possible commitment. Potential problem areas reported as Annapolis, Cambridge, Montgomery County, Maryland

0135 Commissioner Advised Pete Marudas, Mayor’s Staff that the situation was relatively quiet.

0210 Chief Battaglia and Deputy Chief Schnabel went to the scene of a fire at 2135 N. Fulton Avenue, Southway Realty Company. Found to be a mattress fire – not connected with civil disorder

0255 Fire at Broadway Market, follow up with police indicated no connection with civil disorder, i.e., building locked and intact and fire contained at the point of origin, vegetable stall

0330 Broken window reported in the barbershop at 4238 Park Heights Avenue

0337 Emergency Headquarters and Field Command Posts secured by Commissioner Pomerleau

Action Report, Baltimore Police Department

From 0600 hours, Saturday, April 6, 1968To 0600 hours, Sunday, April 7, 1968


The proceeding twenty-four hour period in Baltimore was marked by one of watchful waiting. The Adjutant General of Maryland had been ordered to return to the State by the Governor and the Maryland State Police had been placed on a 1010 alert. Sporadic Fires had occurred in the city but these were easily controlled. An important arrest was made just before midnight on Friday when Willard Dixon was arrested on a charge of attempted arson.

At the time the following report began, early on Saturday morning, April 6, 1968, law enforcement was in complete control of the City of Baltimore.


1145 Headquarters and Field Command Posts activated. Field Command Post located at Presstman and Appleton Streets with Major Donald T. Shanahan in command of Field Command Post Headquarters. Lt. Col. Frank J. Battaglia, Field Force Commander. Present in Headquarters Command Post at activation: Deputy Commissioners Poole and Murdy, Directors Morrisey, Norton, and Deems. Building security in effect.

1256 Chief Battaglia reported memorial ceremony at Pennsylvania Avenue and Mosher Street had been underway for twenty minutes. It drew a crowd of 250, mostly adults.

1337 Chief Battaglia reported the rally was breaking up with no incidents.

1430 Personnel on alert at the demonstration were returned to the staging area.

1435 Commissioner Pomerleau departed Emergency Command Post. Deputy Commissioner Poole left in command.

1459 Local FBI office called Deputy Commissioner Poole with a report that CORE threatened to picket police headquarters because of an arrest of Jerome Ford, detained on assault charges.

1501 Jerome Ford released on own recognizance. Stuart Wechsler of CORE agreed to Community Relations Division request not to picket police headquarters.

1503 FBI Supervisor Maurice Garrison relayed that SNIC was going to Mondawmin Shopping center.

1712 Firebomb thrown into the vacant house at 1002 W. Baltimore Street.

1720 Disorderly crowds reported in the 400, 500 blocks of Gay Street.

1725 Order given to shift Field Command Post from Presstman and Appleton Streets to Gay Street and Aisquith.

1727 Windows were reported broken on Gay Street. Chief Battaglia stated the situation was still under control.

1834 Field Command Post relocated at Aisquith and Gay Streets.

1838 Phase IV of Mobilization Plan in effect.

1842 Warning order given to National Guard. The National Guard advised Phase IV in effect.

1844 All off-duty personnel contacted to report to their respective divisions and districts.

1845 Wire services asked to announce that all police personnel was to report for duty. General Ogletree activated the National Guard and reported to the Guard would be on the streets in two and three hours.

1850 Commissioner Pomerleau informed the Mayor and Governor of this situation.

1907 Commissioner Pomerleau and Deputy Commissioner Polle briefed Mayor D’Alesandro and Eugene Feinblatt at the Command Post Headquarters.

1911 Commissioner Pomerleau ordered the K-9 Unit deployed in the downtown area to protect the business district.

1923 Old 2-½ ton Army surplus truck was reported in the area of Chase and Eager Streets carrying persons throwing bricks. Maryland license 2660 EV.

1925 Stores were reportedly being looted in the 1600-1800 blocks of Harford Road.

1930 Major W. W. Corbin, Assistant Chief of Operations, Maryland State Police, was requested by Commissioner Pomerleau to send the Maryland State police to the staging area at the State Office Building.

1935 Parren Mitchell called Mayor D’Alesandro at Command Post Headquarters to suggest a public appeal from the Mayor to “clear the streets. David Glenn, Eugene Feinblatt, and other officials present, recommended postponing the announcement and that the Mayor “sit tight.”

1943 Four Cars from the Northwestern District were dispatched to handle rock throwers on Harford Road and North Avenue.

1945 Snipers were reported in the 4300 block of Park Heights Avenue.

1946 Large crowd was reported at Baltimore and Gay Streets.

1950 Major Pomrenke was dispatched as Baltimore Police liaison with Captain Collister at the Maryland State Police staging area at the State Office Building.

1953 Follow-up report on snipers in the 4300 block Park Heights Avenue disclosed one shot had been fired and no other trouble observed.

1955 Colonel Robert J. Lally, Superintendent of Maryland State Police, arrived at Headquarters Command Post.

1956 Charles Bressler of the Governor’s office called Commissioner Pomerleau to advise that the Governor had just signed an emergency proclamation.

1957 Governor Agnew called Colonel Lally to clarify jurisdiction and Colonel Lally recommended the Commissioner Pomerleau remain in command. The Governor agreed to this and stated he would be available to close bars and make such other orders as necessary.

2004 Mayor D’Alesandro received a call that violence was scattered and sporadic. The Mayor said he was “holding on” for the present.

2005 Maryland State Police advised Colonel Lally they would have 300 to 400 men ready by 2100 hours.

2011 City Solicitor George Russell arrived at Command Post Headquarters.

2014 Attorney General Francis Burch arrived at Command Post Headquarters.

2015 Chief Battaglia reported that his men were still in control on the streets.

2020 A group of twenty-five white men on East Baltimore Street between Calvert and St. Paul Streets was dispersed.

2025 Attorney General Burch spoke with the Governor, as did Mayor D’Alesandro. The Governor had already made an announcement of his emergency proclamation on television. Attorney General Burch said this was required and that the Governor announced that his emergency proclamation was precautionary.

2030 252 Troopers of the Maryland State Police were in position at the State Office Building, 35 were assigned to guard the State Office Building, and 200 were available for deployment.

2032 General Ogletree agreed with Commissioner Pomerleau that police officers should not respond to the call-up of the National Guard.

2036 Parren Mitchell arrived at Command Post Headquarters to see Mayor D’Alesandro.

2045 Gene Noble of the Community Relations Commission was requested to have the colored clergy who had volunteered their services, to attempt to quiet crowds on Gay Street.

2051 Chief Judge I. Sewell Lamdin of the Municipal Court advised he was police headquarters building and had sufficient judges to hold hearings.

2055 Detective cruiser 1101 intercepted the 2-½ ton truck reported at 1923 hours with Maryland License 2660 EV. Six occupants were arrested at Madison and Forrest Streets.

2056 Walter Lively, Militant head of U-JOIN was observed at Greenmount Avenue and Biddle Street. Personnel were instructed to keep him under surveillance.

2057 Robert Osborne, Director of Baltimore Civil Defense, said his unit was fully activated.

2102 Task Force units were dispatched to a reported “Soul group” gathered at Pennsylvania Avenue and Mosher Street.

2110 In response to request of Commissioner Pomerleau General Ogletree advised the Guard would have 1,000 men mobilized within the hour at the Fifth Regiment Armory.

2119 Telephone service was installed at the Command Post at Gay and Aisquith Streets.

2133 The Fire Department reported a fourth alarm at Federal Street and Milton Street.

2134 The first police injury reported was Sergeant McIntyre, Southern District, who injured his foot at Aisquith Street and Ashland Avenue. He was taken to Mercy Hospital.

2138 A store fire was reported at Lafayette and Guilford Avenues.

2139 Major William Armstrong and Director William Morrissey reported to Headquarters Command Post and they had observed numerous situations of glass breaking by roving bands and expressed concern over the situation to Commissioner Pomerleau, who ordered them to report to Chief Battaglia, Field Force Commander.

2145 Chief Judge Lamdin came to Headquarters Command Post.

2147 A large fire was reported at North Avenue and Calvert Street.

2148 A source called Mayor D’Alesandro to advise of a crowd fighting in the 1000 block of West Baltimore Street. Governor Agnew called Mayor D’Alesandro and requested a prompt report. Chief Battaglia was requested to call the Command Post by Telephone.

2153 Attorney General Burch, Mayor D’Alesandro, City Solicitor Russell, Colonel Lally, and Commissioner Pomerleau discussed the possibility of calling in the National Guard and / or the Maryland State Police.

2157 The Mayor and Attorney General leaned toward calling in the National Guard. The City Solicitor suggested a gradual buildup beginning with the Maryland State Police.

2159 Commissioner Pomerleau alerted General Ogletree to an imminent call, which would commit the National Guard.

2200 General agreement was reached to ask the Governor to bring in the National Guard, and Attorney General Burch called Governor Agnew. The Governor spoke with Mayor D’Alesandro who said “things are getting worse.” The Mayor requested commitment of the National Guard, a curfew, and a ban on the sale of liquor. The Governor committed the Guard and said the curfew would begin at 11:00 p.m. and that it would be announced immediately over the wire service.

2204 A fire was reported at 235 Hollins Ferry Road, and a firebomb ar Aisquith Street and Lafayette Avenue.

2205 Col. Robert Lally committed the Maryland State Police as follows;

Captain David Dowd would be in charge of 92 men on Greenmount Avenue from North Avenue to 25th Street. 75 men would be sent to Milton Avenue and Preston Street, 50 men to North Avenue between Greenmount Avenue and Howard Street. Commissioner Pomerleau talked with General Ogletree on deployment of the National Guard. General Ogletree said he would commit two task forces – one from the West and one from the South.

2209 Col. Lally committed 50 members of the Maryland State Police under Captain O’Hara, from Park Circle north along Park Heights Avenue.

2210 Assistant Attorney Generals Fred Oken and Norman Polavoy arrived at Emergency Headquarters Command Post.

2212 Attorney General Burch, City Solicitor Russell, Eugene Feinblatt, and Mayor D’Alesandro left the Emergency Headquarters Command Post.

2213 A request for a wagon run an ambulance was received from the 3500 block of Park Heights Avenue.

2220 Commissioner Pomerleau notified General Ogletree that trouble was spreading west and he anticipated problems in the Park Heights area.

2230 20 additional troopers of the Maryland State Police were ordered by Col. Lally to patrol in the department store area of Howard and Lexington Streets.

2231 About 2,000 National Guardsmen were reported to be committed in the general areas of Greenmount Avenue and Calvert Street between North Avenue and 25th Street.

2240 The National Guardsmen was reported coming to the city from Pikesville. Deputy Commissioner Poole recommended that one section be deployed along Park Heights Avenue as far south as Park Circle. This would be in addition to the two battalions to be deployed between Greenmount Avenue and Calvert Street from North Avenue to 25thStreet.

2243 Commissioner Pomerleau recommended to General Gelston that National Guard forces be deployed as noted above.

2252 Fire Chief Killen said his forces were getting thin, and in view of the growing number of fires, he night have to call upon neighboring fire departments for assistance.
2300 The curfew went into effect from 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. No alcoholic beverages were to be sold and no gasoline delivered except directly into gasoline tanks of motor vehicles. In addition, no firearms, inflammable liquids, or dangerous weapons were to be carried. Violation of the proceeding could result in a fine of $100.00 or 60 days in jail, or both. This information came from Mr. Robert Montgomery of the Governor’s office. An additional 15 Maryland State Police troopers were added to the Howard Street detail.

2303 Chief Judge Lamdin was notified of the curfew order.

2310 States Attorney Charles Moylan was notified of the Curfew order.

2335 Five more Troopers of the Maryland State Police were added to Howard Street detail.

2350 Commissioner Pomerleau requested troops in the 1200-1700 blocks of Pennsylvania Avenue.

2356 The 92 men of the Maryland State Police on Greenmount Avenue were relieved by the National Guard and returned to the State Office Building staging area for reassignment.

0001 300 National Guardsmen were sent to Pennsylvania Avenue for patrol. Remainder of Pikesville contingent to city along Park Heights Avenue.

0013 15 Maryland State Police Troopers sent on request of General Gelston to protect a large supply of liquor at the Baltimore Security Warehouse, Hillen and High Streets. An additional 30 troopers were sent to a fire at Federal Street and Harford Road.

0022 Maryland State Police detailed 45 men sent to the Civic Center to control the break-up of a dance.

0124 National Guard forces swept the area between Calvert Street and Greenmount Avenue from 25th Street south to three blocks below North Avenue. Baltimore Police Department Tactical Forces joined National Guard at Harford Avenue to proceed to Pennsylvania Avenue to sweep Pennsylvania Avenue.

0129 A Youth Music Festival scheduled for the Civic Center on Sunday was canceled.

0138 A recapitulation showed 41 fires reported but many of these were repeat reports.

0159 Channel 13 quoted Fire Chief Killen 250 fires reported. The detention of Walter Lively was also noted on the newscast.

0305 Commissioner Pomerleau returned to the Emergency Headquarters Command Post from the field and ordered that Chief Battaglia return to the Emergency Headquarters Command Post for a critique.

0335 Preliminary figures showed 273 arrests, which reported a looter, wounded by a police officer in self-defense, and three dead. Two of the dead were found in a burned building and one was shot by the night manager of a bar.

0343 Assignment of the National Guard. Colonel Burke commanded a Task Force in Eastern, Northeastern, and Southeastern Districts. Colonel Fowler commanded a Task Force in Western, Central, and Northwestern Districts.These two Task Forces had no fixed post, but enforced the curfew and coordinated with district police commanders. The Baltimore Police Department was subordinate to Major General George Gelston, military commander. K-9 dogs were kept in the downtown business area as a deterrent and reserve forces were available in the staging area. The Baltimore Police Department remained on twelve-hour shifts.

0425 Field Force Commanders reported city relatively calm. Commissioner Pomerleau, Deputy Commissioner Poole and Murdy departed Emergency Command Post. Major William Armstrong, Staff Duty Officer remained in charge at Emergency Command Post.

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Looter shot by police

 Looter shot by a police officer in self-defense

City Prison Courtyard

 Preliminary figures showed 273 arrests maryland flag line6

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1968 Riots

Action Report, Baltimore Police Department

From 0600 hours, Sunday, April 7, 1968

To 0600 hours, Monday, April 8, 1968


This period began on Sunday morning. The disturbance in Baltimore had begun the preceding night and saw the commitment of the Maryland State Police and the Maryland National Guard to augment forces of the Baltimore Police Department. Reports of fires and looting accelerated during the night with the lowest ebb in the early morning hours of Sunday.


0759 State’s Attorney Charles Moylan visited the Emergency Headquarters Command Post and notified the department the prosecutors would be available in each Municipal Court immediately.

0810 A large crowd was reported in the 1400 block of Milton Avenue.

0853 The National Guard asked for assistance in dispersing a large crowd on Gay Street.

0930 An “assist an officer” call received from Greenmount Avenue and Biddle Street. Request received from the National Guard to seal off traffic on Pennsylvania Avenue from Mosher Street to North Avenue; on Harford Avenue from Monument Street to North Avenue: and Gay Street from Orleans Street to Preston Street.

1100 Officer Robert Haas, Southeastern District, was taken to Mercy Hospital with broken a finger and laceration of his face.

1120 Crowds stoning police officers and National Guardsmen at Preston Street and Greenmount Avenue. Tear gas was used at Gay and Eden Streets by the National Guard. Fire Department requested assistance at Lanvale Street and Guilford Avenue.

1200 City Jail prisoners refused to enter cellblocks.

1225 Chief Battaglia reported City Jail secured.  12 cars reported on Baltimore-Washington Expressway bearing Virginia and District of Columbia tags with 5-6 Negroes in each car. State police at Glen Burnie notified.

1315 City Council President W. Donald Schaefer advised Emergency Headquarters Command Post that he is trying to reach the Mayor to have the curfew moved up.

1327 Mr. Zaccagnini of the Mayor’s Office requested a National Guard Detail around City Hall.

1328 The Dickman Street Garage was opened 24 hours a day, until further notice.

1338 National Guard was given grid coordinates of reports on fires and looting since 0600 hours.

1344 Fire Department asked for assistance at 2 locations.

1346 Deployment of 50 State troopers was requested on Baltimore and Franklin Streets between Calvert and Howard Streets.

1350 Major Shanahan, at Filed Command Post 1, was advised he could obtain food at Mergenthaler High School.

1410 Maryland State Police reported 50 troopers were assigned in the downtown business areas, and over 60 were assigned for use at Field Command Post 1.

1420 Chief Thomas of the Fire Department reported that every fire in the city was under control at 1400 hours.

1433 Teletype received a proclamation from Governor Agnew prohibiting sale of alcoholic beverages in counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, and Howard

1449 Teletype sent to all districts notifying them of curfew from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. with orders to first notify violators and then arrest them.

1459 Commissioner Pomerleau spoke with General Ogletree on a need to commit the entire National Guard.

1500 Commissioner Pomerleau advised Attorney General Burch of the need to have the National Guard concentrate in the area of Milton to Maryland Avenues and Orleans Street to 25th Street. The Commissioner also asked Attorney General Burch to suggest that the National Guard be more aggressive in initiating repressive patrol.

1509 Attorney General Burch informed the Commissioner that he urged the National Guard to commit all their men.

1545 The Commissioner agreed to a request of the Field Force Commander for CS Gas, gas mask, and twenty shotguns at Field Command Post 1.

1604 The Commissioner asked Col. Lally to use his influence in getting more aggressive action initiated repressive patrol and total commitment by the National Guard.

1616 The Commissioner spoke with Col. Lally who called concerning the possibility of the Governor requesting Federal Troops. The Commissioner suggested waiting to see the results of the 4:00 p.m. curfew.

1630 Field Force Commander Battaglia asked for more trucks to transport curfew violators.

1700 Chief Funk of the Fire Department stated all Fire Department personnel had been called back to duty and that 60% of his equipment was still committed.

1730 Assistant Attorney General Fred Oken made arrangements for speedy hearings of curfew violators at 9:00 p.m.

1731 Attorney General Burch was advised of the upward trend of reported fires since 0600 hours.

1746 Governor Agnew called the Commissioner for an estimate of the situation. The Governor said he would ask for Federal Troops after immediately conferring with General Gelston.

1805 Chief Wett of the Fire Department said all fires were under control as of 6:00 p.m.

1901 In the 36-hour period from 0700 hours Saturday, April 6, 1968, to 1900 hours Sunday, April 7, 1968, the Baltimore Police Department received 7, 647 calls for police service.

1930 5 Gas and Electric power sub-stations were placed under guard.

1931 A curfew was announced for Baltimore County from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.

1932 Since 0001, Sunday, April 7, 1968, 248 reports of looting and 67 reports of fire, were received.

1940 Commissioner Pomerleau left the Emergency Headquarters Command Post to meet with Chief Battaglia and join Lt. General Robert York at the Fifth Regiment Armory. Civil Defense stated that 234 persons had been treated in hospitals during the disturbance to date.

2003 The Chief of the Fire Department refused to provide further statistics to Director Ashburn, Planning, and Research Division, stating he did not have the necessary clerical personnel.

2050 1900 Federal troops arrived at Mondawmin Shopping Center en route to Druid Hill Park.

2120 National Guard was advised of the growing trend of fires and looting in the Western and Southwestern Districts. Deputy Commissioner Poole was advised that the 18thAirborne Brigade would begin to sweep that area.

2130 Comptroller Pressman inquired and was advised against opening the 7 City markets on Monday.2225 Deputy Commissioner Poole advised Filed Command Post 1 to sweep east from Hilton Street to Pennsylvania Avenue on Edmondson Avenue.

2245 Mr. C. P. Stackhouse, 109th Military Intelligence, stated that the 82nd Airborne units were deployed on the west side of Jones Falls Expressway, and the National Guard on the east side.

2304 Commissioner Pomerleau notified Deputy Commissioner Poole that Federal troops had been committed in West Baltimore, but were not yet deployed.

2345 Deputy Commissioner notified Col. Abbott of the National Guard that 50 men were required at City Jail for disorders there.

0010 Commissioner Pomerleau notified Deputy Commissioner Poole, that National Guard troops dispatched to the Southeastern and Eastern Districts would be established outside each district. The Police Department would provide communications in order that the National Guard could be dispatched with cruising patrols accompanying in order to pick up prisoners and block off streets if necessary.

0130 Deputy Commissioner Keyes reported he was attempting to arrange for additional confinement areas.

0155 Major Norton advised that two suspects were arrested at the scene of a reported sniping in the 900 block of N. Fulton Avenue.

0340 Deputy Commissioners Poole and Keyes and Major Pomrenke were relieved by replacements.

 BNO 740 BS F 666x540

1968 Riots

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Gas Masks on Federal troops

Gas Masks on and Bayonets at the Ready, Federal Troops Prepare Sweep Down Whitelock Street to Clear It of Looters  April 8, 1968

Action Report, Baltimore Police Department

From 0600 Hours, Monday, April 8, 1968

To 0600 Hours, Tuesday, April 9, 1968


The twenty-four hour period preceding this report saw violence in Baltimore reach a climax, which required the federalization of the Maryland National Guard and the commitment of Federal Troops. The greatest number of reports, looting, and fires received between 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. on Sunday night.


0601 Army and National Guard officials were advised that the Baltimore school population was 205,300 (180,000) in response to their inquiry. An announcement had already been made that schools would be closed on Monday, April 8, 1968.

0608 Commissioner Pomerleau visited Emergency Headquarters Command Post and supervised the preparation of maps.

0640 Task Force Baltimore was advised that the Baltimore Police Department was working n 12-hour shifts of approximately 1100 men on each shift.

0743 A shooting was reported in the 800-block Somerset Street.

0755 2 escort drivers were provided for Lieutenant General York and Assistant Attorney General Fred Vinson.

0925 Colonel Kriwanek, Provost Marshal of the 18th Task Force Baltimore, came to Emergency Headquarters Command Post for briefing with Director Ashburn.

0940 The number reported lootings between 9:00 a.m. and 9:40 a.m. this date were noted to be double the number reported for the same period on Sunday morning, April 7, 1968.

0950 Lieutenant Harry Frantz, Baltimore Police Department Liaison Officer with Civil Defense, advised of the following food distribution points.

Caroline and Eager Streets

Fremont and Pennsylvania Avenues

29th Street and Alameda

Gilmor and Baker Streets

4502 Park Heights Avenue

Lafayette and Arlington Avenues

720 N. Calvert Street

2202 St. Paul Street

2521 E Preston Street

Greenmount Avenue and 22nd Street

Gay Street and Broadway

300 S. Broadway

1427 N. Caroline Street

Chase and St. Paul Streets

2627 N. Charles Street

560 N. Broadway

2641 Maryland Avenue

1021 Light Street

In addition to the above, meals were being served at Eastern High School.

0950 The shooting in the 800-block Somerset Street was confirmed to be a shooting of a citizen by Officer Bernard E. Hartlove who fired in self-defense when William V. Stepter came at him with a knife and a brick.

0955 The city reported that contraband would be accepted for storage at the city warehouse, 2801 Edmondson Avenue.

1020 Task Force Baltimore was advised of a reported crowd of 500 persons converging on the Western Police District.

1025 Police Commissioner directed that the following teletype be sent to all Commanding Officers:

“You are reminded that the established Firearms Policy remains in force. Police personnel will only shoot in defense of themselves, fellow officers, military personnel, and citizens. Looters will not be shot except in self-defense as described in the previous sentence. No warning shots will be fired. No gas will be used without direct authority of the Chief of Patrol, Deputy Commissioner of Operations or the Police commissioner.”

1038 It was confirmed that all major department stores were closed and estimated that 95% of the smaller stores were closed.

1045 Chief Battaglia opened up Field Command Post 2 at Pennsylvania Avenue and Laurens Street

1050 Captain Mello reported that he had not observed a large crowd in the vicinity of the Western District

1115 Commissioner Pomerleau requested Major Wilbur Conroy of the Maryland State Police to provide 300 troopers in the State Office Building Staging Area at 1700 hours for use until at least 0100 hours.

1155 Reports were received of extensive looting in the 800 to 1100 blocks West Baltimore Street and the Field Command Post 2 was advised to dispatch the necessary personnel.

1230 A teletype was sent to all Commanding Officers notifying them that police personnel could not use unauthorized personal firearms.

1250 Colonel Kriwanek, Provost Marshal, advised that 2000 additional Federal Troops were leaving Andrews Air Force Base by bus at 1300 hours for Baltimore City.

1255 Request of Chamber of Commerce to have 2 citizens at Headquarters as liaison was denied. The Chamber was advised to have such persons remain at their Headquarters.

1310 The Assistant Attorney General, freed Oken, arranged with the Baltimore Civic Center Commission to keep prisoners at that location.

1340 Reports were received of looting at Franklin Square and Provident Hospitals. These reports were determined to be unfounded.

1345 The Acting Superintendent of Schools advised Deputy Commissioner Poole that he had been instructed to open City schools on Tuesday, April 9, 1968.

1515 National Guard Troops were sent to protect a storefront at 235 Franklintown Road which contained a large number of guns.

1530 State’s Attorney Moylan requested that prisoners be sent immediately to the Criminal Court where judges were waiting to give them a prompt hearing. He said that preliminary booking would not be necessary at the district stations.

1530 Mr. Kalman Hettleman, Aide to the Mayor, was advised in response to his inquiry that Stuart Wechsler, CORE leader, arrested as a curfew violator had been transferred from Eastern District to the City jail at approximately 1500 hours.

1600 The curfew was put in effect from 4:00 p.m. Monday, April 8, until 6:00 a.m., Tuesday, April 9, 1968. Within an hour after the imposition of the curfew Danny Gant and Yosef Kareem of CORE were arrested as curfew violators.

1620 All districts were advised that military vehicles could obtain gasoline and oil from city-owned fueling stations in the Central Garage.

1630 Prince George’s and Anne Arundel Counties’ Jails were available for receipt of 50 prisoners each.

1650 Major McLane of the 18th Airborne advised Headquarters Emergency Command Post that previously issued curfew passes were no longer valid.

1725 Deputy Commissioner Keyes resolved procedure for holding hearings on curfew violators with State’s Attorney Moylan.

1805 Mayor D’Alesandro requested Commissioner Pomerleau to meet him in the Patterson Park area.

1806 Teletype was sent that curfew violators would be tried without the presence of arresting officers by authority of State’s Attorney Charles Moyan.

1829 A teletype was sent to all districts requiring special attention to 7 establishments containing large quantities of alcoholic beverages.

2025 Deputy Attorney General Robert Sweeney called on behalf of Governor Agnew to instruct that Danny Gant of CORE should be released on his own recognizance.

2031 A sniper was reported on the roof at Lloyd and Lombard Streets.

2040 A sniper was reported at Lombard and Exeter Streets shooting at firemen.

2210 Colonel Lally of the Maryland State Police informed the Emergency Command Post of a report received that Minute Men might try to assassinate Governor Agnew, Mayor D’Alesandro, and Former Mayor McKeldin. Details were arranged to guard these homes.

2300 The area in the 1100 block East Lombard Street was cleared of snipers. Deputy Commissioner Poole requested Fire Chief Wett to return to the scene of the fire. Police and Military personnel had used the fire equipment left by the Fire Department.

2310 Commissioner Pomerleau notified Attorney General Burch that the Fire Department was not manning its equipment in the 1100 block East Lombard Street, but that State and Baltimore policemen along with National Guardsmen were manning the hoses.

2315 The Police Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner Keyes conferred with Attorney General Burch and Assistant Attorney General Oken with reference to the depletion of detention centers for prisoners. Mr. Oken was designated to work with Deputy Commissioner Keyes in resolving this problem.

2320 Chief Battaglia reported that the fire in the 1100 block East Lombard Street was under control.

0030 Pvt. Sweden John of Task Force Baltimore reported that one shot had been fired at him at 2342 hours from a high-rise apartment at Biddle Stree and Argyle Avenue.

0230 Colonel Nixon of the National Guard reported the following troop deployment:1stBattalion, 29th Infantry, had a command Post on North Avenue and Caroline Street. 2 Radio Cars are assigned on 12-hour shifts. The boundaries covered are Patterson Park to Guilford Avenue, Chase Street to North Avenue. The second unit is the 31st Infantry, which has its Command Post at Pennsylvania Avenue and Laurens Street. 2 radio cars assigned to 12-hour shifts. The boundaries are Guilford Avenue to Fremont Avenue and Chase Street to North Avenue.

Kerosene Fire Burns Lombard Street
Kerosene Fire Burns Along Lombard Street" - April 8, 1968

Smelkinson Dairy

 Smelkinson's Dairy on fire

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Action Report, Baltimore Police Department

From 0600 hours, Tuesday, April 9, 1968

To 0600 hours, Wednesday, April 10, 1968


The peak of reported fires and looting was reached in the 24-hour period preceding this report. The greatest number of calls during the entire disturbance came at approximately 2:00 p.m. on Monday, April 8, 1968. Thereafter, while reports remained substantial during that period, a downward trend was noticeable. In the same period, the accumulation of prisoners began to tax the normal detention facilities available in Baltimore, and the Civic Center was pressed into use for this purpose. The most alarming occurrence of sniping took place during a 90-minute period just before midnight on Monday when firemen had to leave their equipment in the 1100 block of E. Lombard Street because of sniper fire. No one was hit by the fire, however.


0915 City Council President Schaefer asked that special attention is given to neighborhood grocery stores, which he had asked to remain open.

0920 The Civic Center reported an unsuccessful attempt by several prisoners to run away.

0936 A teletype was sent out advising police personnel that law enforcement courses at local junior colleges had been postponed because of the disturbance.

0945 Chief Judge Dulany Foster stated Criminal Court judges would continue to sit and hear curfew cases.

1105 Commissioner Pomerleau visited the Emergency Headquarters Command Post to brief personnel on his conference which had taken place at the Task Force Baltimore Command Post at the Fifth Regiment Armory.

1141 Deputy Commissioner Poole requested 50 soldiers be sent to the Baltimore City Jail where the warden reported prisoners were restless.

1232 Teletype was sent to all commanders that officers would allow delivery men, doctors, nurses, etc., who had proper credentials to proceed during the curfew period.

1240 Chief of Police Rocky Pomerantz and two police officers from Miami Beach, Florida visited the Emergency Headquarters Command Post.

1301 Lieut. Harry Frantz called Emergency Headquarters Command Post to furnish a report received from City Council President Schaefer. Mr. Schaefer said that Walter Lively was reported to be on Federal Street telling residents “wait until the funeral is over and we’ll start.”

1336 Lt. Gen. York called Emergency Headquarters Command Post to state that memorial parades in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King should be condoned and protected.

1352 New call numbers were assigned to the 3 Filed Command Posts.

2501-Field Command Post 1

2502-Field Command Post 2

2503-Field Command Post 3

1434 Col. Lally passed on a report that militant leaders had left Baltimore for Philadelphia. The Inspectional Services Division was notified immediately.

1435 A car was dispatched to the Fifth Regiment Armory to bring Lt. Gen. York to Lafayette Square.

1650 United States Customs Bureau advised it would have unmarked cars patrolling the waterfront.

1705 Commissioner Pomerleau visited the Emergency Headquarters Command Post.

1730 Burial of Dr. Martin Luther King concluded.

1900 Curfew in force from 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.

1935 Danny Gant of CORE called Commissioner Pomerleau to request that he locate 6 civil rights workers who had been arrested.

0120 The following information was received from Intelligence at Task Force Baltimore:

From: County Police

To: G2 LNO 109th Time: 092155 Apr. MSG #141

MSG: County Police were monitoring citizen band messages in the Hamilton area. General conversation since
2030 hours has been in discussions of whether or not they should form vigilantes to handle area. This is due to lack of police action. All stations have Call Sign of KQI individual units are 3617, 2852, 2939 (net control) 2929 (mobile) 3375, 3626, 3771, 3375 and 12280.

TIME: 092340 MSG: County police continued to monitor citizen band transmissions. Additional units of Hamilton area radio net are KQI 3678, 3626, KKI 2185. The base station is directing mobile units through the Northwestern area of the city. Units move to areas using a code system for street designation. Operators of the units are avoiding using name identifications. When asked to identify by other units, operators refuse which is a violation of FCC regulations. Radios are operating on 11 and 14 bands. Units will be called on one band and will answer automatically on the other.

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Action Report, Baltimore Police Department

From 0600 hours, Wednesday, April 10, 1968

To 0600 hours, Thursday, April 11, 1968


The twenty-four hour period preceding this report witnessed the funeral and burial of Dr. Martin Luther King, which lasted from approximately 10:00 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. on Tuesday. The curfew time was slightly shorter and citizens were reported fearful of an acceleration of violence after the funeral. While reports of looting and fires were still significant on Tuesday night, there was no holocaust as had predicted. Rumors were beginning to proliferate.


0653 Civil defense delivered 576 cots and 750 blankets to 420 Fallsway, which were signed for by Lieutenant Maurice Epple.

0812 Information received that a bomb was to explode on the third floor of the Community College of Baltimore at 0915. Unit 654 reported no bomb located.

0825 Mr. John O'Malley, Executive Secretary, Board of Fire Commissioners, Baltimore City Fire Department was contacted by Major Rowlett as directed by the Commissioner to ascertain the statistics of a normal fire week. Mr. O’Mailey quoted the following average number of fires per week.

Monday 75

Tuesday 75

Wednesday 75

Thursday 75

Friday 100

Saturday 100

Sunday 100

0826 Sniper Reports, analysis of

Sniper Reports for the Period 0800 April 9, to 0600 April 10, 1968

Reports Confirmed 9 April 68

1051 401 Car reported sniper fire at Curtain and Aisquith Streets. Investigated by Sgt. Donald Sutton who located a civilian in a parked automobile which had a bullet hole – a bullet was found in the car, sniper not located.

1327 707 Car dispatched to 1400 Block North Monroe to investigate sniper fire – 1 shot was fired, sniper not located.

10 April 68

0121 Car 303 dispatched to 1615 Spring Street where resident stated she thought shot fired from 1400 Eden Street. 300 Car arrested a suspect on the roof of 1432 North Eden Street C/M, w/o weapon.

Unconfirmed reports 9 April 68

0854 Officer Tana dispatched to Lafayette and Pennsylvania to investigate sniper fire – looter found, but no sniper.

0925 Report of the sniper at CP2-West – unfounded.

0945 Sniper reported by fireman firing at passing motorists – unfounded, believed to have been noise from breaking bottle, at 1500 Aisquith Street.

1316 Sniper fire reported from the roof of Johns Hopkins Press, Aiken, and Sherwood Street – 418 Car investigated – unfounded.

1449 Sniper fire reported Hartford and Normal – investigated by 401 Car – unfounded, believed to have been caused by broken glass.

1536 Sniper fire at Pulaski and Fayette – unfounded.

1555 Shooting at 2801 Dukeland Street investigated by 817 Car – not sniper fire.

1705 Unfounded report of shooting at store and owner (No name or address listed) Unable to confirm.

1755 Shooting at 1900 Annapolis Road investigated by 817 Car – not sniper fire.

2100 Sniper fire 2100 Herbert Street investigated by CP2 – West – unfounded.

2138 Sniper fire 900 Block Whitmore investigated by Tactical Section – unfounded.

2330 Man with a gun at 4900 Block Schaub investigated by 306 Car – unfounded.

2329 Army personnel reported rifle discharged from roof 2226 Eutaw – could not be confirmed by 306 Car.

10 April 68

0209 706 Car investigated the report of sniper fire at 1800 W. Fairmount Avenue __ unfounded.

0218 Shooting from the roof at Schroeder and Fairmount investigated by 715 Car – unfounded.

0309 Shooting 1800 Block W. Fairmount Avenue investigated by 706 Car – unfounded.

0827 Following message received from Army intelligence. All CP’s notified.

FROM: Reg 1, 109th to G2 LNO, 109th

TIME: 100415 Apr 68 MSG: 151

MSG: Final additional identification of civil band radio operating in Hamilton area:

KQ13678 = Vicent D. Barrett, 1920 Spencerville Road, Spencerville, Maryland KQ12185 = Levin S. Harrison III, Dogwood Street, Tighlman, Maryland (County Police not sure this call sign was in net, next call sign seems to be one heard.)

KK12185 = Charles L. Hedgepeth, 46 C. Oak Drove Drive, Baltimore, Maryland. FCC has requested that this is allowed to operate; so that county police may make tape recordings of transmissions. FCC has reason to believe these transmissions may have something to do with riot in Washington, D.C. Recording of civil communications were made during Washington riot and FCC wants to compare tapes of Baltimore transmissions with those of Washington, D.C.

0828 Following information concerning fires received by Major Rowlett from Mr. John O'Malley, Executive Secretary, Baltimore City Fire Department.

Sat. 6 Apr 68 0600 – 2400 250

Sun. 7 Apr 68 411

Mon. 8 Apr 68 335

Tues. 9 Apr 68 207

Total Fires 1208

Mr. O'Malley further reports that a Department and a half has been in service since the emergency began.

100 First Line Units

50 Second Line Units

All personnel of the Department has been on duty --- the off shift was divided between second line and first line units causing both to be over normal operating strength.

0829 Bomb reported at Douglas High School, Gwynns Falls and Pulaski – unfounded.

0900 Warden Parks, City Jail, in reply to an inquiry from Deputy Commissioner Keyes, reported that 175 curfew violators were ready to be transported – also that they had not been fed. Information passed to Major Gaeng at 0925 upon his return to CP who handled the situation.

0846 Bomb scare at Junior High School, Pratt, and Ellwood. Investigated by unit

202 – no bombs were found.

0925 Bomb scare Eastern High School. Investigated by units 402 and 431 – no bomb found.

0904 Bomb scare 229 North Franklintown Road. Investigated by unit 726, no bomb found.

0945 Unit 302 reports auto in 600 Block Mosher Street with the sign “Lafayette Square 2 P.M. – We want it to stop now – Let’s meet at Lafayette Square at 2 P.M.” CP’s notified.

0950 Chief Judge Foster inquired about resuming Criminal Court Thursday 4/11/68. Deputy Commissioners Murdy and Poole advised him that we believe it better to wait until Monday. Upon calling him, he said Warden Schoenfield also advised Monday and that it was so decided. (VE 7-0693) Teletype D-1536

0958 Councilman Alpert requested detail at 833 Madiera Avenue (728-8700). Major Shanahan notified CP 2 to provide special attention – no detail. Councilman Alpert so advised by Major Shanahan.

1010 One arrest between 9 – 10 A.M. Total 5299.

1011 Fines accepted at City Jail. Teletype D-1534.

1015 Radio reports curfew for Wednesday, April 11 will be 10 P.M. to 4 P.M. Confirmed by 5th Regiment Armory. Teletype D-1535.

1016 (Late entry) Traffic Court open Thursday. Teletype D-1536

1020 Captain Rice said he had excellent information that Stokely Carmichael is in Baltimore. He is believed to be in a light blue vehicle license plate numbers 57646 or cream Plymouth DC 311-056. Chief Battaglia, Majors Shanahan, Schnabel, and Harris notified. Also Officer Blessing, Inspectional Services Division.

1049 Chief Judge Dulaney Foster has advised that the regular Criminal Court assignment will resume at 10 A.M., Monday, April 15, 1968. Criminal Courts will be available to hear curfew cases April 10, and April 11, 1968, Teletype D-1536. The curfew will be in effect in Baltimore City from 10:00 P.M. 4/10/68 until 4:00 A.M. Teletype D-1537 & D-1536 (Late Entry)

1050 Arrangements made for escort and bus guards for 5 buses on shuttle detail, City Jail to Criminal Court House.

1115 Information from Sergeant Eben, Intelligence Division, 250,000 firearms including 100,000 handguns are stored at Union Industrial Warehouse, 4401 Eastern Avenue. Has no private security. Has A.D.T. alarm, SEDistrict, Deputy Chief Area 1 office, 5th Regiment Armory notified?

1144 Bomb scare at reading’s Drug Store Warehouse, 2523 Gwynns Falls Parkway. Investigated by Car 621 – unfounded.

1235 Bomb Scare at Douglas High School, Gwynns Falls, and Pulaski Street. Bomb to go off at 12:30. The call was traced to telephone number 728-9482, pay phone located on the second floor of Douglas High School. Investigated by Baltimore Chief #7, Eng Co. 2, Truck Co. 18.

1300 Total arrests between 12 A.M. and 1 P.M. = 5. a grand total of 5307 arrests.

1301 Received call from Mrs. Krukowski from Commissioner’s Officer in regards to a complaint from Mr. James Williams, 1135 W. Saratoga. Complainant is blind and he stated that his 13-year-old son told him a police car drove by and threw tear gas bomb at him causing burning of the eyes. Car 724 (veh#9682) responded. Unit 724 was manned by Officer Markenlonis and Officer Carr. They stated that they talked to two witnesses who the original complaint was unfounded although officers did find fragments of what appears to be a tear gas bomb. Unit 724 will make an M.I. and bring fragments in. Mrs. Krukowski was advised by Major Pomrenke to have radio dispatch another car to 1135 West Saratoga to explain the investigation to Mr. Williams.

1315 Bomb report of a bomb placed in Chassis at 1427 Ashland Avenue. Car 308 is investigating. Reported as burned out building – unfounded.

1351 Referred to teletype to pick up one Stokley Carmichael is hereby canceled. Do not pick up. However, if observed notify Deputy Commissioner of Operations at once. Teletype D-1305 part canceled and added.

1355 (Delayed entry) State Police was relieved at 0500 but will remain on 1010 alert per request of Lt. General York and Commissioner Pomerleau: In one hour – 100 men; 2 hours – 200 men; 3 hours – 300 men.

1400 Ball game command post set up in Hecht Northwood Parking Lot.

1500 Southeastern District were advised to pay special attention to Montebello Liquor, Bank, and Central Streets.

1505 Captain Ridgeley reported the threat to Maryland Health Department at 2300 North Charles Street – unfounded.

1515 Judge R. Murphy and Assistant Oken visited Headquarters and toured the city with Officer Eddins.

1957 Copy to Military Teletype

TF Bal G2

O 1021152 Apr 68

FR Co. Ren 1

To Co. 10918 MI GP

Info St UNCLAS From Opens. Off for DCEP-B-DC

B. Spot Report – 8101 – 182

C. Summary of Activities – Civil Disturbance – Apr 68

Frank X Gallagher, Baltimore City Councilman, third district, furnished a copy of a printed handout that is currently being passed around in his area. The handout was passed among his neighbors, NFI., until it reached the hands of one of his business partners, who in turn gave it to Gallagher. The handout announces a “Procession of Penance,” scheduled for 1230 to 1400 hours 13 Apr 68 / Saturday /. The handout stated reason for the march was “To confess the guilt of white racism and to pledge ourselves to the cause for which Dr. Martin Luther King lived and died.” The plans are to assemble 1200 hours at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, NFI, at 1230 hours, proceed to Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, NFI, then to Grace Methodist Church, NFI, and back to the Cathedral. Gallagher is against this march and is going to discourage it. He feels there are many whites in his district that would make trouble, especially so soon after the recent civil disorder.

0010 Bomb scare at the Afro-American newspaper. Unfounded.

0045 All Districts notified that men are not to return sniper fire unless fired upon by a sniper who can be seen. In such cases, a Sergeant or Lieutenant will be immediately sent to the scene to take charge.

0400 End of curfew.

0600 No arrests reported between 5:00 A.M. and 6:00 P.M.

Action Report, Baltimore Police Department

From 0600 Hours, Thursday, April 11, 1968

To 0600 Hours, Friday, April 12, 1968


The twenty-four hour period preceding this report showed a considerable decrease in reports of fires and lootings and a definite increase in unfounded threats of fires and disorders. One bomb scare at Douglas High School was traced to a pay telephone on the second floor of that school. The opening game of baseball season which had been delayed one day was played without incident on Wednesday. Curfew in effect on Wednesday night was the final curfew, from 10:00 P.M. to 4:00 A.M.


0600 No arrests reported between 5:00 A.M. and 6:00 A.M., Grand total: 5,704 April 11, 1968.

0650 No Arrests reported between 6:00 A.M. and 7:00 A.M., Grand total 5,704 April 11, 1968. Entered 0714.

0700 Prisoners Held by Locations:

Central 90

Eastern 45

Southeastern 5

Southern 1

Northeastern 9

Northern 14

Northwestern 17

Southwestern 31

Western 51

Youth Division 44

Penitentiary 99

City Jail (Approx.) 200

Total 605

0807 Officer Stem, Northern District, advised no fire at Department of Education building, 3 East 25th Street.

0850 1 arrest throughout the city between 0800 and 0900. Grand total 5709.

0952 No arrest throughout the city between 0900 and 1000. Grand total 5709.

1053 1 arrest throughout the city between 1000 and 1100. Grand total 5711.

1201 No arrest throughout the city between 1100 and 1200. Grand total 5711

1206 Officer Bolton – Message Center – advised teletype for 109 Corps G-2 sale of alcohol and gasoline lifted as of 1200.

1235 Deputy Commissioner Poole contacted Brigadier General William Ogletree, Maryland National Guard, requesting assistance at Druid Hill Park on Easter Monday. National Guard will advise on plans when completed.

1239 Tom Gravling, States Attorney’s General’s Office, advised that during the funeral of Doctor King, CORE and SNIC were passing out circulars stating stop, wait until Sunday then we will get the Jews.

1310 Entered following an executive order received.

D-253 File 14 SP Pikesville, Md. April 11, 1968To APB - - State Of Maryland

Executive Order

Whereas I, Spiro T. Agnew, Governor of the State of Maryland, have previously issued an executive proclamation proclaiming a situation of public crisis, emergency, and civil disturbance within the City of Baltimore and the counties of Baltimore and Cecil, and

Whereas I directed by executive order, that because of such public crisis and emergency, no alcoholic beverages were to be sold in the City of Baltimore and the counties of Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Howard, and Cecil, and

Whereas I directed by executive order, that because of such public crisis and emergency no gasoline was to be sold in Baltimore City of Baltimore County unless dispensed directly into the tank of a motor vehicle, and

Whereas I have now been informed by law enforcement officials and military commanders that the conditions of public crisis and emergency have lessened to a substantial degree in the areas aforementioned and that the restrictions on the sale and distribution of alcohol and dispensing of gasoline are no longer required in these areas,

Now, therefore, by virtue of the foregoing and because I am informed and persuaded that the following dictated by the improvement in the conditions of the public crisis which heretofore existed and now exist to a lesser degree, I do hereby proclaim and issue the following order….

1. All restriction on the Sale, Transfer or dispensing of alcoholic beverages in the City of Baltimore, Howard, Anne Arundel and Cecil shall be of no further effect and are removed as or 12-00 o’clock, Noon, April 11, 1968.

2. All restrictions on the sale, transfer or dispensing of gasoline in Baltimore City and Baltimore County shall be of no further and are removed as of 12-00 o’clock, Noon, April 11, 1968.

Given under my hand and the great seal of the State of Maryland in the City of Annapolis this 11th day of April at 10-30 A.M., in the year of Our Lord one thousand nine hundred and sixty-eight.

Spiro T. Agnew

Governor of Maryland

Auth Lt. Col. G.E. Davidson – Chief of Operations – Turner 1256

1312 From Operations Bureau 4-11-68

To All Chiefs

Deputy Chiefs

Director – Youth Division

Captains – All Districts, Traffic Division and Tactical Sections

The curfew has been lifted relative to everything except the sale of


maryland flag line6

Bars can now open and operated during usual hours.

/S/ Operations Bureau W.H.P.

Auth. Commissioner D. D. Pomerleau

. . . . . . . . . . .LM. . . . . . . . . . . . .1228 EST

1311 2 arrests throughout the city between 1200 and 1300 hours. Grand total 5717.

1335 Following teletype sent From the Commissioners Officer 4-11-68

To All Bureaus, Division, Districts, and Units

All units will submit to the Director of Fiscal Affairs Division for the period covering 12 Midnight, Friday, April 5, 1968, to 12 Midnight Sunday, April 14, 1968, the number of hours of overtime for patrolmen, sergeants, lieutenants, cadets, and civilian personnel by rank or category. This data will be submitted no later that Noon, Monday, April 15th.

maryland flag line6

Where exact information is not known within the time available, best estimates will be submitted.

 D. D. Pomerleau Commissioner 

LM 1320 EST

1352 5 arrests throughout the city between 1300 and 1400 hours. Grand total 5722.

1445 Lieutenant Rawlings advisers at approximately 1438 hours 50 Negro leaders left State Office Building from the conference, with Governor and are en route to Douglas Memorial Church located at Madison and Lafayette Streets.

1550 Lieutenant Horton advises he received information that there will be trouble at City Jail between 1600 and 1700 today.

1610 Major Pomrenke and Major Rowlett ordered to stand by at Emergency Headquarters Command Post.

1620 Mr. Donald Schaeffer phoned at 3:30 P.M. that he has been meeting with Jewish Refugee Organization, and stated that Mr. Herman Taub, phone 655-2351 has irrefutable information that Walter Lively has been riding in a car that was throwing firebombs and that it can be substantiated by Mr. Ford, phone number 358-6495, information given to Major DuBois at 3:45 P.M., April 11, 1968. Submitted to Deputy Commissioner Keyes.

1630 Information from Lieutenant Rawlings, an employee of a Doctor Edel, stated she received information from a minister that there would be trouble tonight on North Gay Street. Information received at 1610.

1630 Mr. Hyman Pressman called Deputy Commissioner Murdy to inquire whether an order existed that police could only shoot to protect officers. He was advised this was inaccurate since officers are required to protect citizens.

1705 Total arrest 5759. 7 arrest from 1600 to 1700.

1735 Returned call to the U.S.A. Steve Sachs for U.S.A.G.R. Clark of racial, breakdown of deaths resulting from the current disturbance in Baltimore. Advised him that preliminary figures showed a total of *6 possible:

1. Homicide 1 c/m found shot in the head in the burned building at Federal and Chester Streets – unknown.

2. Homicide 1 c/m shot by c/m, night manager of a tavern located at Harford and Lafayette. (Napoleon K. Slay)

3. Homicide 1 c/m shot in self-defense by a police officer. – Wm. V. Stepter.

4. Accident 1 c/f died in an auto collision with a police vehicle.

5. Homicide 1 w/m dead of asphyxiation in a burned building at Federal and Chester Streets. – Lee Albright

6. Homicide 1 c/m dead in burned building 400 block Myrtle – Dottie Hudson

1720 (Delayed entry) Meeting of civil rights group at Douglas Memorial Church has ended. All quiet per Lieutenant Rawlings.

1915 (Delayed entry) Press release in response to Governor Agnew by Civil Rights leaders received by Director Morrissey from Dan Riker, Bureau Chief of United Press International.

2017 Lieutenant Rawlings called to advise general situation as peaceful.

2110 (Delayed entry) 1715 General Ogletree has National Guard companies in following locations available for assignment.

2 Patterson Park

1 Clifton Park

1 Western Police Station

1 Northwestern

1 Mondawmin Shopping Center

The company has 180 men, 30-minute alert time platoon 44 men immediate alert time. All have fast light equipment as well as heavy trucks.

Central District, Colonel Williams, Pratt, and Fallsway – Druid Park Lake – Paca Street at Armory – 140 troops

Central – 20 troop flying squad, 32 troops on call at Central Station (Mobil Task)

Mobile Task Force – C.P.I., 75 troops stationed at Fayette and Front Streets under Colonel Burke.

Eastern – Southeastern- Northeastern has roving patrols, plus troops at Eastern and Southeastern. Task Force 200 troops at Kirk Field.

1510 (Delayed Entry) Mr. Katow, Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Small Business (PL 2-2000 x 565 or Laf 3-1100). Wants permission to announce in Churches Sunday that stolen goods can be returned to churches with no police action taken against them.

1700 (Delayed) Mr. Joseph Smith of the Mayor’s Office is interested in setting up receiving station for stolen goods.

1735 Teletype D1695 sent out regarding New York License 8974KD having Molotov Cocktails – negative

1825 Total arrests 6:00 P.M. April 11, 1968: 5763

1935 Lieutenant Rawlings reports the following concerning a meeting at Douglas Memorial Church:

“No anger overtone on persons attending the meeting. They formed four communities.

1. Economy restoration Committee

2. Job placement for those who lost jobs because of confinement.

3. Medical assistance

4. Food Committee (getting food into stricken areas)

Persons attending:

John Mackey – Baltimore Colts

Lennie Moore Baltimore Colts

SNEC (SIC) Walter Lively

2139 Director Osborne closed Civil Defense Headquarters. He and Lieutenant Franz can be reached at their respective homes.

2200 Arrests between 2100 and 2200 = 8, total 5807

2220 Deputy Poole departed Emergency Headquarters Command Post for the street.

2250 Deputy Commissioner Poole was notified to call Colonel Edwards 728-3388. By Major Rowlett

2310 Deputy Commissioner Poole notified Emergency Headquarters Command Post he was going home.

2340 Anonymous telephone call received in Communications from an intoxicated person, believed to be a male Negro. Call received by Cadet Wright position “H” “That Governor Agnew had better watch himself because he is going to be assassinated.” Information passed to Colonel George Davidson MSP.

April 12, 1968

0003 Information received from Sergeant Karner, Tactical Section, that Stokley Carmichael to be picked up in Washington, D.C. at 1200 and transported to Baltimore to organize a march on City Hall after 1700. Stokley will not participate in the march - - he is supposed to be picked up by Joe Perry and is to meet Melvin Williams and James Wescott. Also, Black Nationals 3 or 4 to a car in automobiles bearing DC, NY, and D.C. tags, occupants, number unknown, are supposed to be armed. Information passed to Sergeant Bowen, Inspectional Services Division.
0025 Colored soldier of 101st Engine states that he learned at a meeting that Stokley Carmichael is supposed to meet Joe Perry or Jerry and another colored man, name unknown who is bald at the Alhambra Club tonight – time unknown, to plan a march on City Hall and the Civic Center at 1700. 
Sergeant Bowen, Inspectional Services Division, notified. Colored soldier states that he is an undercover man and could not give his name. Information received from Officer Butler. 
0120 Colored Soldier, 121st Eng. Reports firebomb 143 North Broadway, 4-5 dead. Lieutenant Tyler investigated one dead, 1 seriously burned, CP #1 notified. This is a rooming house. Two units dispatched. Major Armstrong on the scene.

0135 Commissioner notified of 0120 and updated information 2 injured, 1 dead.

0220 Major Armstrong reports incident recorded on 0120 was accidental fire – no firebomb; 1 dead and 1 injured.

1830 A teletype was sent by the Police Commissioner to all Bureaus, Divisions, Districts, and Units as follows:

Each of you can be extremely proud of the job that the department has accomplished during the past several days. Your individual and collective efforts have been truly professional. Your dedication and devotion to duty and your demonstrated restraint under the most trying conditions possible have been outstanding. We can all be proud of being members of the Baltimore Coty Police Department. I can assure you its performance has established standards for these occurrences that will be most difficult to equal.

We apologize to no one for the conduct of operations. Please continue to exercise your good judgment and restraint as demonstrated during this period of stress as there are some few tensions remaining. We must continue to be ever vigilant in the interests of our community. My sincerest congratulations to each of you and to the department for the tremendous team effort which culminated in a most successful operation.

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6 April 1968 to 12 April 1968


At 1725 hours, 6 April 1968, the Departmental Emergency Mobilization Plan became effective.

At 1838 hours, Phase #4 of the Department’s Mobilization Plan was activated.

As a result of pre-planning, the Headquarters Command Post consisted of the following communication capabilities:

One base console – 155.61 megacycles which transmit and monitor the City-wide area #4 dispatching office. In addition, a base console – 453.2 megacycles, capable of transmitting and monitoring all units, includes portable transceivers.

Our telephonic communications consisted of two (2) unlisted, private telephones to enable top echelon command personnel, as well as certain state and city officials, to gain quick access to the Headquarters Command Post.

The following were direct lines:

Military Command Post – 5th Regiment Armory

National Guard at Pikesville Armory

Civil Defense,

And Maryland State Police field command at the State Office Building.

In addition, there were three (3) extensions of the Mulberry Administrative Switchboard and (2) extensions off the Call Box System.

Communications were maintained with the field forces by the following:

4 radio networks on the 150-174 megacycle band and 1 network on the 450-470 megacycle band for a total of 5 radio networks operating. These networks provided communication with 670 police vehicles. In addition, radio communication was maintained with 450 megacycle band with the Military Command Post – 5th Regiment Armory, the Pikesville Armory, Civil Defense Headquarters at 1201 E. Cold Spring Lane.

A metropolitan or mutual aid network is also maintained which permits communication with the State Police; Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Howard County Police Departments; U.S. Army Base, Fort Meade, and is interfaced with Washington D.C. Metropolitan Mutual Aid Networks.

There were also 18 cars assigned to the top echelon of this Department, as well as the Adjutant General of the Maryland National Guard and the Deputy Adjutant, that were equipped with 450 megacycle mobile radio transceivers.

The aforementioned radio communication was supplemented by 92 portable handie-talkie transceivers. These were distributed to various field command posts, detention centers and to districts to be used in conjunction with military personnel, field command posts at Maryland State Police-State Office Building, the Department’s Community Relations Division, Criminal Investigation Division, Inspectional Services Division-Intelligence Unit, and various other integral units of this Department.

Although the capabilities of our communication system were taxed to the utmost during certain times of the emergency situations, communications were continually maintained between Headquarters, the field forces and other Police Department facilities.

However, we now have under contract with a leading electronics firm, in order to supply and install the necessary electronic equipment to provide this Department with three (3) additional radio networks – 450-470 megacycle band which will increase our capability in rendering even greater communication service.

Our system will further be complemented by an additional 208, 450 megacycle portable radio transceivers which are now on order. Applications have been made to the Federal Communication Commission for 6 additional frequency pairs to meet our projected needs.

The role of the portable radio transceivers in our operation cannot be overly stressed. One of the most important assets is that it provides person to person communications and if it is necessary to leave a vehicle with mobile communication, contact is still maintained either with Headquarters or with fellow officers.

It is recommended that the Federal government stockpile these portable radio transceivers so the other municipalities not having an adequate communication system could be provided with same in the event of an emergency or civil disorder.

There are 14 emergency telephone trunk lines on the Communication Control Center and 10 complaint answering positions. In addition, there are 6 extension lines off the administrative switchboard.

The following number of calls for services were received from 0700 hours, 6 April 1968 to 0700, 12 April 1968:

0700, 6 April to 0700, 7 April - - - - - - 3, 963

0700, 7 April to 0700, 8 April - - - - - - 4, 395

0700, 8 April to 0700, 9 April - - - - - - 4, 736

0700, 9 April to 0700, 10 April - - - - - - 2, 364

0700, 10 April to 0700, 11 April - - - - - 1, 710

0700, 11 April to 0700, 12 April - - - - - 1, 890

Total calls for services - - - - - - - - - - -19, 058


Police Department Motor Vehicle Fleet:

From the time the emergency mobilization plan became effective, the Transportation Officer in charge of the Motor Pool provided the necessary supervision for the operation of our fleet totaling 707 vehicles.

He also established a liaison between the Municipal City Repair Garage enabling the fleet together with military vehicles and State Police vehicles to be gassed, serviced and repaired.

In addition, he acquired, as a result of prior [planning, 22 Baltimore City Public School buses for the transportation of prisoners and troops, as well as one 20 ton stake-body truck for the purpose of transporting recovered stolen loot.

Up to the present time, 7 police department vehicle windshields were knocked out, 4 back windows demolished and 21 others damaged as a result of stones, rocks, and other missiles that were thrown, and one total loss as a result of a traffic accident.


At 1900 hours, 6 April 1968, the Armory dispatched a loaded van, which was on standby in the Headquarters Garage and containing helmets, gas masks, riot batons, tear gas, and ammunition, to command Post 2501, Gay and Aisquith Streets.

At 1915 hours, members from various units of the Department appeared at the Armory and were equipped with 300 helmets and 200 riot batons. Riot type shotguns were also issued by the Armory to police officers acting in the capacity of security guards at detention facilities, power substations and guarding prisoners in transport, etc.

Upon request from Command Post 2501, 20 riot-type shotguns were sent to their location at 2200 hours, 6 April 1968.

As various details changed and men reassigned, equipment was turned in and re-issued throughout the emergency period. Twenty-four-hour service was maintained for the maintenance of armory equipment.

At 1730 hours, 8 April 1968, upon request from the Field Force Commander, 200 chemical Mace were obtained and distributed between the East and West field command posts.

Transportation of Prisoners:

Prisoners taken into custody by the Police and the military during the emergency period were transported in 27 departmental vehicles, consisting of 10 patrol wagons and 17 cruising patrols. In addition, and as a result of prior planning, 5 buses were secured from Baltimore City Public School System at 0230 hours on 7 April 1968. By 1600 hours, 7 April 1968, 15 additional buses had been secured from the same source.

These buses were used throughout the emergency period during which time they were operated by personnel of this Department and used to transport prisoners from the scene of arrest to place of booking and thence to a court for trial and if committed, to the Baltimore City Jail.

Security on these buses was provided by both the military and civil police and no damage, as a result of vandalism on the part of the prisoners was experienced. Prisoners were also transported, in some instances, by vehicles provided for that purpose by the military authorities.

This system of transporting prisoners was satisfactory, however, a refinement in the control and dispatching of the buses can and will be improved upon in the future.

Detention of Prisoners:

This Department has 10 detention facilities with a total capacity of approximately 1,000. When the lock-ups of this Department were filled, Warden of the City Jail agreed to accept prisoners for storage even though they had not been committed by a court.

At 1320 hours, 8 April 1968, when the capacity of the City Jail was reached, the decision to use part of the Civic Center for a place of detention was reached with Captain Lawrence of the Central District acting as the liaison; 300 male and 75 female prisoners were sent to that location.

During the entire period of the emergency, only three (3) detention facilities were used – The Police Department facilities, the Baltimore City Jail, and the Civic Center.

Transporting problems became critical inasmuch as prisoners were taken from one place to another for booking, then to a court and when the Jail could not receive those committed, back to the Civic Center.

Both the Judiciary of this City (Supreme Bench and Municipal Courts), the State’s Attorney’s Staff and the Attorney General’s Office, displayed a great sensitivity to the problems that were generated by the emergency to the extent that the administration of justice was carried out in a very expeditious and efficient manner. Both judges and prosecutors and members of the Bar often worked an excessive amount of hours and far into the night to accomplish this.

All prisoners in the custody of this Department, both in the departmental lock-ups, as well as the Civic Center, were adequately fed at least three (3) times a day and sometimes four (4), and of the same fare that police officers received. This food was prepared at the commissary of the Mergenthaler High School of the Baltimore City Public School System, staffed by their personnel and delivered to the prisoners by personnel of this Department.

In addition, throughout the entire emergency period, our forces in the field, those assigned to Headquarters Building, and other police facilities, were fed in the same manner and with food prepared as aforementioned and served by units of the Property Division.

The cooperation received by this Department from the school officials deserves unstinted praise.

In the future, many of the shortcoming in the detention of prisoners, and the booking process, as well as their subsequent trials in the courts, as experienced by us during this emergency, could be practically eliminated if consideration was given to a pre-packaging concept of a P.O.W. type stockade facility. This hopefully, would consist of tentage, chemical latrines, floodlights, galley ad sickbay with facilities for a booking and processing area and trial space so that the handling of prisoners could be reduced to the transporting of them from the place of arrest to the stockade where they would be processed, charged and tried. Judges could be available for trial at this installation and in the event of commitment; prisoners could then be transported to the place of incarceration. The resources for this type of facility should be stored at Fort George G. Meade, where it would be readily available in time of need to Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and other East Coast urban centers.

Security of Headquarters Building:

At 1800 hours, 6 April 1968, the security plan for the Headquarters Building was innovated, and the security detail has been maintained on a 24-hour basis from previously mentioned time and still in effect as of this writing.

The security force was recruited from the Property Division, Planning and Research Division, Laboratory Division, Recruitment Unit, Central Records Division, and Police Trainees from the Education and Training Division.

There were no aggressive incidents during the maintenance of this detail, however, the problem of securing the building was complicated by the fact that thousands of persons intent upon providing bail or securing information regarding arrested persons were handled in the courtrooms on the first floor of the Headquarters Building.

Recovery of Looted Property:

This Department had previously planned to use a building at 414 N. Calvert Street for the storage of recovered looted property in the event such an occurrence became reality. This storage facility was activated at 2100 hours, 6 April 1968 and is still being used in that capacity. It has been and still being secured, around the clock, by personnel of the Property Division.

Recovered looted property has been transported to the aforementioned building by City-owned trucks, army vehicles, maintenance truck of the Baltimore City Police Department, Cruising Patrols and other Departmental cars.

Although the recovery of the loot has been extensive, the capacity of the building has not been exceeded, nor has the loot been categorized as yet.


The Central Records Division was activated in accordance with the Department’s emergency mobilization plan and furnished from that time until the present, statistical information to Headquarters Command Post 2500. The arrest information was identified by district, hour and classification.

Later, the arrests became so numerous that attempting to identify the categories of the crime interfered with arrest procedures. However, information pertaining to the arrest by the hour, day, and the grand total was maintained and furnished on the hour, every hour, to the Headquarters Command Post.

From 1800 hours, 6 April 1968, 1600 hours, 12, April 1968, there was a total of 5, 950 arrests made. Although the vast majority of these arrests during this period were associated with the civil disorder, the precise number will not be established until all the arrest reports are analyzed. Studies are now being made of all arrest reports connected with the emergency for the gleaning of intelligence and other vital information which will be evaluated and incorporated into future planning by this Department.

When viewed in retrospect, it becomes crystal clear that the cooperation between this Department, the military, Maryland State Police, the courts, prosecutor’s staff, the Attorney General’s Office, Civil Defense, Fire Department, and others, was so outstanding that the violence and destruction emanating from the civil disorders were held to a minimum, which in turn, contributed to the small number of persons killed and injured.

This detailed report of the 1968 Civil disturbance is courtesy of Officer Bobby Brown, Southern District

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A soldier stands guard on East Baltimore Street

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1900 Greenmount Ave. April 7, 1968

 Remains - Several clothing dummies lie on the sidewalk in the 800 block of North Gay Street after looters swarmed through the area most of the day. Army trucks are parked on street and soldiers with weapons at the ready are patrolling in the background. The area was one of the hardest hit by looters during the riot-filled day.

Soul Brother sign

 Store with "Soul Brother" sign

Real Victim

 "Real Victim - Property owners and tenants alike both colored and white have become innocent victims of the violence which has rocked Baltimore in the last few days. Here grocer Carl Krieger weeps outside his store at North Avenue and Chester Street after troopers have chased looters

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Caroline & Eden Streets April 7, 1968
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 Demonstration at Coppin State April 7, 1968

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 Firefighters working the blaze at Federal Street & Harford Rd. April 7, 1968

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Curfew violator resists arrest at Gay & Forrest Streets April 8, 1968

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 Baltimore Police Officer standing guard at Gay & Orleans Streets April 8, 1968

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 Looter shot by Police after attacking the officer with a knife April 8, 1968

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 National Guard holds looters on Biddle St. near Madison Ave. April 8, 1968

Major Box Harris

 Major “Box Harris” and arrested looters - Pennsylvania Avenue

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 K9 Officer on Howard Street viewed from Franklin Street

Mapping Strategy

 Mapping Strategy For Aid ... Council President Donald Schaefer and Robert Osborne

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 Fires burning in the background from the Old Town Market Clock Tower April 8, 1968

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 The smoke of scattered fires clouds the air of a sunny Palm Sunday, marred by violence that followed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This view is a section of East Baltimore. Rioters hampered firefighters in their efforts to douse the many fires. April 8, 1968

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 National Guard on the scene of a fire April 8, 1968

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 Governor Spiro Agnew announces the 4 p.m. curfew for Baltimore yesterday accompanied by Maj. Gen. George M. Gelston, state adjutant general; Mayor Thomas L. J. D'Alesandro III; and Francis B. Burch, attorney general.

 April 8, 1968

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Greenmount & North Ave. April 9, 1968

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 National guardsman atop city jail guarding riot arrestees April 11, 1968

General George Gelston

 General George Gelston and his new army of volunteers ...members of the Negro community offer to quell disorder in the Inner city."
10 April 1968

 Study inContrasts

9 April 1968

 "Study in Contrasts - Three happy youngsters at the doorway of the Community Action Agency center at 1327 East Eager Street present a contrast to the serious situation that exists in Baltimore today. An Army trooper stands guard against future rioting as victims of four days of fires and destruction line up for food. Some 82,000 tons of federal surplus food were made available today at the six CAA centers in the city."  


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By Retired Officer Melvin Howell

I remember the riots in Baltimore City and the things that happened at that time. I had been pulled from the Northwest along with another officer, to work a few weeks on some burglaries in the Central District. We had gone to headquarters building to get information on a guy we considered a suspect.

The old headquarters, a large, five-story building, was located at Fayette and Fallsway. I always thought the inside was beautiful and I always regretted that it was torn down. The Central District was located on the first floor along with the Central District Court and Traffic Court for the city. The second floor had the Traffic Division for the city, and on the third floor was the Detectives, Homicide, Robbery, and Holdup Squad, etc. The fourth floor was Central Records, and the Police Commissioner and Chief Inspector had their offices there also. On the fifth floor was the Vice Squad. An elevator went up to the fourth floor but then you had to take the stairs to the fifth. You could also take stairs up to the roof of the building, which was just a flat roof. You could go up there and see the whole city in any direction - quite a sight. In the basement of the building, there was a drive-in area where departmental cars were gassed up. The Police Commissioner and Chief Inspector parked here along with some detective cruisers. The north side of the building had a parking area that held the Traffic Division cars plus those for Vice Squad and more Detective cruisers. There was a guard shack usually manned by a traffic officer who was on light duty, recovering from injury, sickness, etc. The first floor of headquarters building was really good looking. The walls around the elevator area were all made of white Italian marble, floor to ceiling. The rest of the walls in the hallways were white marble halfway up. It was real pretty. In the first floor courtrooms, the bottom half of the walls were white marble and there was more of the white marble in the bathrooms. There was a stairway on the north side of the building leading up to where the newspaper reporters had their office. One of these reporters would get so drunk he rarely left the office. He would see me when I was working in Vice, and ask, "What's going on, anything worth writing?" He would write up what I told him and it would be in the paper. As far as I know he never checked it out. He worked upstairs three or four years before he was finally fired.

Anyway, after we had finished our business about the burglary suspect, we walked outside. I saw a Lieutenant I knew and we started talking about cases we had been on together. We were standing on the drive in ramp outside Central District where his car was parked nearby and we had the door open so we could hear the police radio. A call came in to assist an officer at Gay and Hillen Street at the location of the old Bel Air market. The Lieutenant was the duty officer for the Central District, so he, a fellow officer and myself jumped into the Lieutenant's car and proceeded to the market which was about seven or eight blocks from headquarters. On our arrival, we saw the foot post officer standing on the corner and when he saw us he started to run towards the car. Behind him, a way's off was a crowd of 170 to 200 black people going north on Gay Street and as they moved along, they were breaking out the plate glass windows in all the stores. This area was highly concentrated with stores, some of which had been in business for nearly 100 years.

The area of the city was called "Old Town" and some still call it that yet today. We saw the people were pilfering as they walked along.

The foot patrolman reached our car and the Lieutenant asked, "What's happening?" The officer said, "I don't know. I just know that I saw several black males standing in front of the drug store on the corner. They started shouting and then they used rocks to break out the windows and then all of a sudden a crowd started gathering." The Lieutenant called for more police to our location and advised the dispatcher what was happening. Within a half-hour we had the same situation occurring in the Northwestern District of Pennsylvania Avenue from north of the police station all the way up Pennsylvania Avenue. A beautiful old theater stood in this area as well as a variety of businesses. The department was rushing as many officers as they could into these areas to maintain some order. The next thing we knew the crowd started setting fire to buildings. Fire engines were being called out all over the city.

 Whole city blocks were soon on fire and we knew we had something going on that was more than just a civil disturbance. Things were out of hand. The department called in everyone who wasn't already on duty. The Fire Department was really hamstrung because every time they would go to the scene of a fire, they came under sniper fire, not usually directed at the men, but the engines and equipment. Three-quarters of the business area on Pennsylvania Avenue from Hoffman Street all the way past the open-air market to Mosher Street was on fire. A decision was made that the fire department should not respond to calls in certain areas of the city until the police gained more control over the crowds of rioters and routed out the snipers.

I suggested to the Lieutenant that we should drive to the sporting goods store on Baltimore Street, which was not too far from the Central District. I felt we should make sure the rioters didn't get in that store because they had a great deal of ammunition and guns there. We also went to the large department store at North Avenue and Harford since they had a lot of guns and ammo in their sporting goods section. We stayed at the first store until the foot patrolman who was at Baltimore and Holiday Street came to stand guard over the place. We had a radio car come to the scene of the next store and stay while we handled the incident. We were trying to get a handle on things - because it seemed as if everything was out of control.

The crowd was going up Baltimore Street to Broadway. At that intersection, they were met by a large group of American Indians who had lined themselves up across the intersection and refused to allow the blacks to pass them. They told the rioters, "This is where it ends, you don't come here!" The Indians lived in that area and they were trying to protect it. We found out about this incident after the fact. I thought it was great that the Indians protected their territory like that. I'm sure they must have been armed in some way but no police had seen this take place.

Anyhow, it worked and the rioters turned and went another way.

The crowd of rioters headed east on Monument toward the business area. There were quite a few small shops there. They kept breaking out the glass as they went, picking up whatever they could find to use to break the glass. I saw one guy use a bicycle. Some used trash cans, or stones, whatever they could find. The crowd was very loud from the start, hollering, shouting but not saying anything we could understand. They stole anything that was in a store window, sofas, chairs, tables, clothes, whatever. We weren't trying to stop the theft at this time; we were just trying to contain the crowd from going any further. I remember we passed a small, well-known hamburger place at Washington and Monument Streets. They had knocked the glass out of the door. We stopped and I got out and stepped into the shop to see if anyone was still inside. It was an eerie feeling to see the coffee cups still sitting on the counter and steam still coming off the coffee. No one was inside.

The windows were all knocked out but the cash register was still intact. We could hear the crowd shouting and hollering going on down the street and we could hear the glass breaking.

We tried to arrest as many people as we could. The regular police wagons were not of any help, they were just too small, so we brought in buses, mostly school buses.

We were locking up 50 to 75 people at a time just trying to get a handle on the situation. The Lieutenants, Captains, and Inspectors had a meeting and it was decided that we did not have enough long guns for us to manage. In our arsenal, we had only about 125. It was decided to send a Lieutenant and a couple patrolmen to a well-known firearm factory up in Connecticut. The company had been called and our predicament explained. They had agreed to have the factory open when the officers arrived so they drove up right away. They had a purchase order with them and returned the second day with 250 long guns. The guns were distributed to men in the Central, Northeast and Northwest Districts. 90% of the rioters were in these areas. We had men in riot gear marching to the crowds trying to contain them, and we stationed men in a perimeter around whole neighborhoods. As we became more visible some of the rioters went on to their homes. In other districts of the city, we would have calls come in for "Breaking and Entering" and many burglaries were taking place. What was happening was that when people learned the police were all in certain areas of town, they took the opportunity to break into businesses in their own area and loot whatever they wanted. When we would get the call and get to the scene they would always be gone and then another call would come in for the same thing in another section of the city. It was a circus.

 On the second night, the Governor called in the Maryland State Police and activated the National Guard to help us. We just didn't have enough men. State Police cars were lined up on the west side of Howard Street from Maryland General Hospital to Pratt and Howard. This was to protect vandals from hitting the downtown shopping area with its large department stores.

The National Guard was a big help to us. Their headquarters was at the 5th Regiment Armory on Preston Street, and their men were deployed around the city at various locations. At three of these locations, there were machine gun emplacements, one at 33rd Street and Greenmount Avenue, one at North Avenue and Harford, at Sears Roebuck Store, and one at Mondawmin Shopping Center.

Also, a number of National Guard troops were assigned to Jeeps and placed in strategic areas such as Pennsylvania and North, Gay, and Broadway and Monument and Broadway. When a radio car was called to a particularly "hot spot" location, the three men in the National Guard Jeep would respond, following behind the car. They had facilities set up at the Armory to feed their men and provide a sleeping area.

 I didn't get home for three days. We had nothing to eat since none of the restaurants were open. The prisoners we arrested were fed but there was nothing offered the cops on the streets. Finally, a few men who had homes in the vicinity had their wives bring in sandwiches. The first sleep I got was on the second night. I slept on a pool table in the Central District because it was the only place I could find to lie down.

We got calls from all over the city. One was to North Avenue and Greenmount. Someone was breaking into a liquor store. Another plain-clothes officer and I responded. The liquor store was approximately 100 yards from North Avenue, on the west side of Greenmount Avenue, near an alley. When we pulled up, I observed two men coming out of the liquor store. Each one was carrying two cases of what appeared to be whiskey. They began running up the alley. I jumped out and fired the shotgun over their heads. With that, both men stopped about 75 feet up the alley. I approached and handcuffed both of them and brought them back to the car.

When I went back to the alley to retrieve the whiskey, it was gone. Someone had apparently seen what was happening, grabbed the whiskey and ran off.

An alarm rang outside a grocery store in the 900 block of east Biddle Street. As I got out of the car, I saw a young boy, maybe 9 or 10 years old coming out the door. He was carrying at least a dozen boxes of Wheaties cereal. I made him put the cereal back. Adults weren't the only ones looting and taking part in the destruction of stores. A lot of children were also willing participants, following the example of the adults.

We were standing on the ramp again at Central District discussing how best to post men in the various parts of the city. A call came in that the firemen who had responded to a call at Chase and Asquith Street were being pinned down by sniper fire. I was familiar with that location, it was right across from St. James Catholic Church.

There was a small grocery store on the northwest corner of the intersection, and this was where the fireman had been called. I took the radio car by myself because I didn't know just how many firemen were there and I needed room for them. I had a shotgun with me that I had gotten from a local sporting goods company. The gun only held three rounds at a time. I had gotten it when we first went to the store to be sure it was secure from the rioters. I had told the clerk I needed a shotgun and that I wanted a 32-inch goose gun. He gave it to me, and I returned it once the riots were over. When I got to the intersection where the firemen were, I could see ahead a couple of blocks that the grocery store was completely engulfed in fire with flames coming from the windows and out the side of the building up past the second floor.

 The fire truck was parked diagonally across the intersection. It was a hook and ladder truck and the firemen were lying on the ground underneath the truck. I pulled in adjacent to the fire engine and as I got out of the car, someone in the crowd that was milling around, threw a large number tin cans of tomatoes through the windshield of my radio car. With that, I fired one round in the air, which caused people to scatter. Thankfully, the sniper must have gotten the message that someone else had a gun because the shooting stopped. I hollered for the firemen to get into the radio car and not to worry about their fire engine - just get in the car!

There were 6 firemen; all who managed to get into the car. I pointed the vehicle down Chase Street toward Central Avenue and as we were driving I observed a man only about 20 years old, walking unsteadily in the middle of the street. I saw blood was coming from his back. I stopped the car and got out and walked over to him. I told him who I was because I was in plain clothes. It was then that I saw there was a bullet hole in his back. He said he had heard the shot and knew he was hit but he didn't know how bad he was hurt. He said he was having trouble breathing. I led him over to the curb and sat him down and told him I would call for an ambulance, which I did via our dispatcher. I drove the firemen to the Fire Department Headquarters at Gay and Hillen Streets, which is about a block away from Central District. The firemen were very grateful and kept thanking me for helping them. We needed the long guns because just the sight of them had an effect on the rioters and they also spoke to snipers in that they could "reach out" further than a handgun when fired. Pistols and revolvers just would not do the job in a situation like this.

By this time we had arrested about 1700 people. The magistrates were trying cases in the big court downtown at Fayette and Calvert Street, and we were only booking prisoners in the station houses not using the small courts. We were transporting prisoners to the big court where the judges were handling cases on an individual basis as much as possible. Those who had broken out the glass, or looted were tried one at a time. The courts were overwhelmed, even though we had about 30 judges sitting. We used every courtroom or any large room we could find.

Finally, we got all the fires out and the city was brought under control after about 4 or 4 and a half days. At this time there were also riots taking place in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. It was always said that the riots were not coordinated but you can see word was passed along so that things were in turmoil up through the eastern seaboard. Fortunately, no policemen or firemen were shot during the riots, but a lot of us sustained minor injuries. Three citizens were killed by snipers. We were very, very fortunate not to have more people killed. It was surely an ugly time.

I don't know that it was ever determined what really triggered the riots.

Speculation had that it was contrived to disrupt the cities, but why we will never know.

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Timeline: Baltimore Riots of 1968

This is by no means a comprehensive document. It is based on what little historical information about the unrest is available from common sources. The supporting data were compiled mostly from local newspaper accounts of the events. This timeline does, however, provide a fairly conclusive picture of what occurred during the riots.Some local events as context:

Monday, June 2, 1958, • Martin Luther King Jr. is awarded an honorary degree – doctor of law -- at Morgan State College along with three others including two Baltimoreans, Jacob Blaustein and Walter Sondheim Jr. King was the principal speaker before 3,000 gathered at Hughes Memorial Stadium on the Morgan campus.

December 20, 1963, • King speaks during the Baltimore Freedom Rally before a crowd of more than 8,000 at the Baltimore Civic Center. During the rally, an anonymous bomb threat was called in. A search by police and fire crews found nothing. The crowd was not informed.

Saturday, October 30, 1964, • King comes to Baltimore as part of a multi-city campaign to encourage Negroes to vote in upcoming elections.

Friday, April 1, 1965, • King, following a meeting in Baltimore of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, announces plans to launch a new drive to register Negroes in the South.

April 22, 1966, • King gives a speech, "Race and the Church," before a gathering of Methodist clergy at the Baltimore Civic Center.

July 1, 1966, • King cancels a visit to Baltimore where he was to speak at the convention of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).

Saturday, November 12, 1966, • King visits Baltimore. During a news conference, he presses the federal government to pass a fair housing law and calls for Americans to begin electing persons to office based on their ability and not their skin color.

March 1968 • King is scheduled to visit Baltimore but changes his plans and goes to Memphis, Tenn. to march with striking sanitation workers.

Thursday, April 4, 1968 • 6:01 p.m. —Martin Luther King is assassinated in Memphis • Night: Northwest Baltimore Tavern hit by Molotov cocktails; fire at three stores at Cherry Hill Shopping Center; vacant downtown building set afire; Park Heights—firebombs at tavern; vandals at tax accounting office; debris fire at Fayette and Paca; attempted to fire in the 500 block of W. Coldspring Lane.

Friday, April 5, 1968, •National Guard on standby •No significant occurrences •Heavy violence in other cities including Detroit and Washington, D.C.The unrest begins in Baltimore:

Saturday, April 6, 1968, • National Guard on standby during day • Riots begin in earnest in Baltimore. • Noon—Peaceful gathering of 300 at memorial service for King • 2 p.m.—Service ends, city is peaceful • 4 p.m.—Commemorative interdenominational service • 5 p.m.—First reports of store windows being smashed and disturbances in the 400 block of N. Gay St. on the east side • 5:30 p.m.—Violence breaks out in Gay Street "ghetto" area • 5:40 p.m.—All policemen in Central district ordered to posts • 6 p.m.—First reports of looting at dry cleaners, Gay and Monument streets. Police move in to seal Gay St. from the 400 to 700 block (side streets as well). • 6 p.m.—Looting at Gay and Monument streets • 6:15 p.m.— First report of a fire at Ideal Furniture Company, 700 blocks of N. Gay. Police pelted with stones and bottles as they seal off Gay from the 400 block North to the 700 block. • 6:30 p.m.— Two-alarm fire in Lewis Furniture Co., another furniture store in the 700 block of Gay. Fire goes to two alarms by 6:40 p.m. • 6:50 p.m.—All off-duty policemen ordered to report; headquarters set up at Bel-Air Market. • Evening—Complete curfew declared in the city between 11 p.m. Saturday and 6 a.m. Sunday. Approximately 6,000 National Guard troops enter the city, under the command of Maj. Gen. George Gelston. Two people (one black, one white) burn to death in a blaze at Federal and Chester streets. A three-building fire at the corner of Harford Avenue is the most serious of the night. A black man is shot and killed at Harford Road and Lafayette Ave. Sales of alcohol, flammables in containers, and firearms are banned in the city. Alarms go off all night on Gay St. from 400 to the 1100 block. Johns Hopkins Hospital staff are asked to stay on duty all night. • 7:15 p.m.—Economy/furniture/appliance store broken into by 50 youths in the 900 block of N. Gay. They tear away protective iron gratings and loot the store. A crowd of boys is dispersed from Mondawmin, and at Harford Road and North Ave. • 7:20 p.m.—Police arrive at a scene of looting and call the atmosphere a "carnival." • 8 p.m./8:10 p.m.—Maryland Gov. Spiro Agnew declares a state of emergency in Baltimore. Officers from the Maryland State Police move into the city and are placed under the command of Baltimore City Police Commissioner Donald Pomerleau. A fire is reported in a tailor's shop in the 2300 block of Greenmount. Mayor Tommy D'Alessandro reports to a communication center at police headquarters at Fallsway and Fayette. • 8:05 p.m.—Looting and burning of a tailor shop in the 900 block N. Gay St. • 8:45 p.m.—The worst fire yet is reported, at an A&P in the 1400 block of N. Milton in East Baltimore. The store is looted and then burned along with and three other stores. By 9:30 p.m. it is a four-alarm fire, with onlookers throwing stones and bottles. The Levinson and Klein store at Monument and Chester streets were looted. • 9:00 p.m.—By this point, 1,200 to 1,500 officers are in East Baltimore • 9:15 p.m.—Gov. Agnew says the situation is in control. Rioting threatens to move northward, but police assure the governor that nothing will get out of hand. Agnew reportedly doesn't believe them. City leaders stress that the declaration of emergency is only a "precautionary measure." • 9:20 p.m.—Police arrest seven people riding in a truck loaded with bricks and rocks on Madison St. near Greenmount Ave. There is a fire in the 4700 block of Park Heights. • 9:30 p.m.—Police set up a command post at Park Circle on the west side as a precautionary measure. During the day there were only a few scattered incidents there. In the Ashland Ave. and Aisquith St. area, there are disturbances which generate a police response. The crowd flees, chanting "We shall overcome." A murder is reported at Lucas Tavern in the 400 block of N. Carey St. (The incident is questionably related to the riot). • 9:30 p.m.— Baltimore police set up a command post at Park Circle. • 9.35 p.m.—At North Ave. and possibly Greenmount Ave., rocks are thrown. The same thing happens at Gay from Chase to Orleans. Three stores on Greenmount from the 1900 Blk. to the 2300 Blk. were burned by firebombs. Two stores on Greenmount in the 1200 block are burned. • 10 p.m.—By this point, a dozen stores on Greenmount Ave. are on fire and looters have crossed North Ave. Sporadic fires and pillaging are reported on the west side. Looting and burning sweep up Greenmount Ave. and crosses North Ave. • 10:10 p.m.—Gov. Agnew commits the National Guard. He bans the sale of liquor, firearms, and gasoline in surrounding counties. He puts in place a curfew from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. • 10:30 p.m.—Violence on Gay Street is declared "out of control." Gay St. area merchants, armed with rifles, board up their stores. • 10:45 p.m.—In the 900 block of N. Gay a jewelry store is firebombed. • 11 p.m.—By this time, police have arrested 100. Looting begins on Pennsylvania Ave. in the 1200-2000 blocks • 11:15 p.m.—National Guard troops move from the 5th Regiment Armory on trucks. Things quiet down. They take over the area from 25th St. to North Ave. Baltimore officers and Maryland State Police patrol the area south of North Ave. • 11:30 p.m.—Baltimore Mayor D'Alessandro appears on television. He appeals to citizens to obey the curfew and pleads for peace. Fire captain is injured by a thrown glass bottle in the 1000 block of N. Gay. • Summary for the day: Three killed, 70 hurt, 100 arrested, high levels of violence, looting downtown, 250 fire alarms. Boundaries of violence extend from Greenmount, North Ave., Chester and Baltimore. Most serious areas are in the 1900 and 2300 blocks of E. Monument, the 700 and 900 blocks of N. Gay, and at the intersection of North and Greenmount Ave.

Sunday April 7, 1968 • Midnight—Despite the curfew, looting and burning start up again. East Baltimore police send 400-500 Guardsmen armed with bayonets onto Aisquith to 25th St. to stop curfew violators. A dozen troop carriers are dispatched from the Armory. At Milton Ave. and Preston St., a food market/five and dime is looted and set ablaze. • 1:45 a.m.—City reported to be "relatively quiet." Sniper fire at police cruisers is reported at N. Fulton and Lafayette Ave. The mood of the crowds is "uglier" than on Saturday. • 7:30 a.m.—After a lull, looting picks up again • Morning—Gen. York comes to Baltimore. An early tour is made by D'Alessandro on Palm Sunday. Things are relatively calm. On Pennsylvania Ave., in the 900 block of North Ave., and the 600 block of Gay St., lootings are reported. Thirty-two are treated for injuries, and 47 fires are set in the area overnight. There are further reports of problems at 42nd St. at York Road and at Walbrook Junction. A two-alarm fire is reported at Federal St. and Milton Ave. Two fires break out two blocks apart—at Federal and Holbrook Sts., and Harford Rd. and Lanvale St. Looting is reported at Pressman St. and Fulton Ave. About 50 looters strike an abandoned liquor store three blocks south on Pressman. The intersection of Fulton Ave. and Baker St. is cordoned off. Nearly 300 angry youths throw stones and bricks at passing cars. At North Ave., looting is at its heaviest anywhere in the city. • Late morning/early afternoon—Police cars are lined up at Gay and Aisquith expecting calls. In the 2100 block of W. Baltimore St., a bus driver is robbed. There are so many people under arrest that school buses are being used to transport them instead of police wagons and patrol cars. County fire companies begin to be placed on standby. In the 1700 block of Harford Road, and on Eden and Gay streets there are fires, the latter being a huge one. Crowds chant "We've got the key to the city" and "We shall overcome." At Lafayette and Fulton avenues, and in the 900 block of Fulton, police respond to sniper warnings. In the 800 block of Gay St., a man is killed behind the 1200 block of E. Madison St. after being chased following a looting. Another 10 stores are looted in the 900 block of Whitelock St. Two blocks there are cordoned off. • 9 a.m.—Calls from the west side requesting shelter increase after this point. • 10 a.m.—Rain begins; looting slows. • 11 a.m.—At Whitelock St. and Callow Ave., a fire is reported at a Buick service station; an unruly crowd gathers near firemen. Fire breaks out in several buildings in the 2200 block of Fulton Ave. • 11:30 a.m.—Soldiers use tear gas to break up a crowd of about 300 blacks who smashed the windows of a grocery at North Ave. and Chester St. • Noon—First major fire of the day, a two-story brick furniture warehouse a half block west of the 1700 block of Guilford Ave. and Lanvale. At the city jail, inmates briefly refuse to return to cells after lunch. Police arrest 10 looters at a pawn shop at Bond and Monument streets; the store is later set on fire. A fire takes place in a store in the 900 block of W. North Ave.; it is burned along with three other buildings. Fires on Harford Ave., from Federal St. to North Ave., are reported. • 12:15 p.m.—Cordon lifted. • Afternoon—Looting and burning continues. National Guardsmen respond to hundreds of fires where they protect firefighters. Looting is reported in the 1800 block of Greenmount Ave. Police worry that the National Guard is not protecting all critical spots. At North and Linden Aves. there are reports of looting and burning. A fire is called in at Falls Road and 41st St. A grocery at Federal and Barclay streets is burned. Cars parked on East Baltimore streets are looted for parts and tires. A four-alarm fire breaks out at Guilford and Lanvale St. In the 900 block of W. North Ave., fires break out at a surplus store and three other buildings at Linden and North Ave. Looters are reported at the market a half block away. Precautionary moves are taken by officials in the early afternoon to protect the downtown shopping area. Looters strike the 1600 block of Pennsylvania Ave. In the 900 block of Whitelock St., a grocery store burns, and liquor and groceries are looted. There are unconfirmed reports of snipers, bringing state police and soldiers into protect the firemen. Later in the day, three dead are identified: killed at Harford and Lafayette, Federal and Chester, and North Ave. One person is shot in the 3500 block of Park Heights Ave. Teenage looters are reported as far north as the Pimlico area. Fires are being successfully battled, but the looting gets worse. At Federal and Milton, a fire breaks out in a liquor store. Gay St. to Broadway appears to be the center of problems. A fire is reported at W. North Ave, and surrounding stores are burglarized. All off-duty firemen are ordered back to duty. Saturday's violence is confined to a 20-by-10 block on the east side spreading to the west side. • 1:30 p.m.—State's attorney Charles Moylan Jr. is quoted as saying, "The looting in the eastern half of Baltimore has reached terrible proportions." Large crowds gather on Baltimore St. in "the block area." They break up by 3:30 p.m. at the police K-9 corps moves in. • 2 p.m.—Curfew hour is ordered advanced to 4 p.m. Gasoline sales and other inflammable are banned (except in cars). No alcohol is sold in Baltimore, Anne Arundel and Howard counties. (Bans go into effect at this time.) State, city and county offices close. • 2:15 p.m.— Three courts close. • 2.30 p.m.— Flare up at city jail between 250 prisoners. Four blocks of Harford Ave., from Federal St. to North Ave., that were hard hit by Saturday night's arson and looting erupt again. A luncheonette is set on fire, and two blocks north a deli and three houses are burned. • 3 p.m.—A police command post at Gay and Aisquith reports that between 400 and 500 people are looting stores near Monument and Bond Streets and Sinclair Lane. The first use of tear gas by National Guard takes place at the American Brewery complex. The building is looted and burned on Gay St. five blocks below North Ave. Major looting is reported on Lamont St. and Harford Ave. By this point more than 30 have been arrested in the Western District alone. Most are charged with looting and burning. • 3:30 p.m.—The eastern command post runs out of police cars. Blacks and whites work together to quell four fires beside the B&O tracks near Howard, Sisson, and 26th streets on the west side. A crowd on Baltimore St. disperses. • 3:40 p.m.—Three stores are looted at Guilford and 21st St. and at Fayette and Gilmore. A thrown brick cuts a patrolman's head. On Gilmore Ave., from Baltimore to Franklin, a string of drug and liquor stores were looted. At Lexington and Gilmore, 50 people looting the drug store, and another 200 cheer them on. Fire is reported in the 500 block of Roberts St. Looting of a burned out pawn shop at Bond and Monument was reported. A fire in Club Savoy at Bond and Monument streets is called in. Problems are reported at Hoffman and Dallas streets, and Bond and Lanvale streets. An unruly mob gathers in the 2400 block of Barclay St., and a crowd of looters moves in on a warehouse at Guilford and Biddle St. Much of this occurs just 20 minutes before the curfew begins. • 3:45 p.m.—Renewed looting at Ashland Ave. and Aisquith St., North Ave. and Wolfe St., and Preston and Ensor streets. Fire and unruly crowds are reported in the 1700 and 1800 blocks of Harford St. All cars ordered back to patrol, leaving prisoners jailed unofficially and the National Guard patrolling the post. • 4 p.m.—Curfew begins. Westside looting quickens; problems reported in the 1500-1700 blocks of Pennsylvania Ave. Police try to seal off the area, but teens circle back to loot liquor stores, with occasional rock and bottle throwing. At Ashland and Broadway, a dry cleaners is burned. At Madison and Gay, windows are kicked in at Midway Gas Station. Twenty shotguns are ordered sent up from the Armory, and four cruisers are sent to disperse a crowd of hundreds of youths at Ashland and Central Ave. At Monument and Bond, a pawn shop is looted. Three other stores are looted in the 2000 block of Edmondson Ave. Issues between police and National Guardsmen continue. Six stores are looted on Edmondson Ave. and Payson St. About 300 people mill about in the 2400 block of Barclay St. The Eastern Police District runs short of men. • 4:30 p.m.—By this time mobs are everywhere, from the 700 to the 2000 block of Pennsylvania Ave. At Bond and Madison streets a liquor store is burned and looted. • Evening—A refugee center is set up at 758 Dolphin St. The city jail now holds 500. A fire is reported at Lanvale St. and Guilford Ave. Rocks are thrown at firefighters and newsmen at the scene, and hundreds watch the massive flames for 90 minutes through three alarms. There is a fire at 21st St. and Greenmount Ave., with one store and three homes burned, and a surplus store burned and looted. Two separate fires take place at Monument and Bond, and a tavern and package goods store is looted. From the 2200 to the 1700 block of Monument St., at least 15 stores are looted. Homes burn on N. Broadway. In the 1800 block of Harford Ave., four houses burn in two hours. Army helicopters patrol. Night court plans are made to accommodate the large numbers of arrests made on the west side. A one hour warning is given before curfew violators are arrested. • 5 p.m.—Police begin to arrest curfew violators. The following is a sampling of calls made to the Civil Defense command post in northeast Baltimore after that 4 p.m. curfew: 5:05 p.m.—Fire in 600 block Barnes St. 5:06 p.m. —Fire at Myrtle Ave. and Mosher St., fire at N. Gilmore and Laurens St. 5:07 p.m.—Fire in 1900 block N. Rosedale St., fires in 1000 block E. Lombard St. at N. Calhoun and School, fire at Liberty Heights Ave., at Allendale in the 1500 block of N. Gilmore St., in the 2000 block of E. Biddle St., in the 800 block of N. Port St. , in the 1600 block of E. Eager St. 5:09 p.m.—Police protection requested at N. Poppleton and Saratoga St. 5:10 p.m.—Shooting at Poppleton and Lexington St. 5:11 p.m.—Fire in the 1600 block of Eager St. 5:17 p.m.—Fire in the 1000 block of E. Lombard St. 5:21 p.m.—Fire in the 1800 block of Baker St. 5:31 p.m.—Fire in the 1200 block of E. Preston St. 5:34 p.m.—Fire at E. Chase St. and Lakewood Ave. 5:38 p.m.—Fire at N. Milton Ave. and Preston St. 5:50 p.m.—Fire at N. Washington and Eager6 p.m.—Fires at Gay and Eager, 200 block E. Biddle Street, 700 block of E. 20th St., 30th and Jenifer Sts., 200 block of S. Bethel St. at Bond and Gay, at Madison and Caroline, at Caroline and Dallas, at Ensor and Preston, at Warwick Ave. and Presbury St., at Biddle St. and N. Collington Ave., and in the first block of N. Poppleton St. • Dusk—The number of troops and police is insufficient to quell the disturbances. Riots spread west and intensify. • 6 p.m.—Troops from the 18th Corps Airborne Artillery are bused into Druid Hill Park from Andrews Air Force base in Prince George County. Firing first reported between police and rioters on the west side of the city. There are 6,000 Guardsmen on duty in the city. Several large trash cans are set afire in the Flag House Court Apartments a half block from the Lombard St. fire. Looking at a liquor store at Baker St. and Fulton Ave. is reported. Looting is seen in the 3500 block of Park Heights Ave. City jails are filled to overflowing within two hours after curfew. The capacity of the jail is 1,700, but curfew violators and looters fill it to 2,200. Its maximum capacity is 2.500. • 6:14 p.m.—Pres. Lyndon Johnson orders 1,900 Army soldiers into Baltimore. • 7:30 p.m.—By this time, the conflict has spread across the city, especially to the west, with 95 percent of the offenders estimated to be teenagers. In the 2000 block of Edmondson Ave., looting of clothing stores takes place, and 50 are arrested on Baltimore St. from Pine St. west. • 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.—Looting peaks, with 128 incidents logged. Baltimore then becomes relatively quiet. West Baltimore hospitals treat fewer patients. Scattered looting is reported at Baltimore and Pine streets. From the 900 to the 1200 block of W. Baltimore St., stolen taxi cabs are used to transport stolen goods. In the first block of N. Caroline St., a pawn shop owner is ordered by police to hand over all his store's shotguns. Officers carry them to the Pikesville Armory. It appears that every store between Mt. Royal Ave. and Monroe St. on North Ave. has been hit. At North and Baddish, fires are reported. Guardsmen make a sweep through the east side. Gov. Agnew extends the curfew to Baltimore County. As the east side calms, the west explodes into a what is described as a "liquor-crazed frenzy of looting and carousing." • 8:30 p.m.—Gov. Agnew appears on television to explain what he has been doing and to announce a curfew. • Evening—A service is set for Monday at Loyola. Eastern High School is repurposed as a refugee center. Looting takes place at Guilford Ave. and Lanvale St. and on Harford Ave. from Federal St. to North Ave. Two liquor stores in the 800 and 900 blocks of Caroline St. are burned. At Laurens and Stricker, a liquor store is destroyed by fire. Problems are reported on Pennsylvania Ave. running past the 2000 block of Edmonson Ave. A black church in Catonsville is burned. Drunken looters are seen on the east side from Broadway to Gay. Pillaging takes place on Edmondson Ave. Looting and arson continue for four hours after curfew. The city jail remains filled beyond capacity. Three municipal courts are severely overcrowded. A race riot by 400 black prisoners breaks out at the Maryland Training Center. In the 900 block of Whitelock, rioting is reported. The riot area comprises 1,000 square blocks, bounded roughly by 23rd St. on the north, Poplar Grove St. on the west, Baltimore St. on the south and Broadway on the east. In the 1800 block of Greenmount Ave., there is a looting of a liquor store. At Sixth and Church

streets in Brooklyn Heights there is looting. At North and Linden, a crowd of 150 people witness three stores and several vacant buildings burn. Fire is reported at Falls Road and 41st St. A grocery store is burned at Federal and Barclay. At Guilford and 21st St., looting is reported. Along Gilmore from Baltimore St. to Franklin St., a string of discount drug and liquor stores is burglarized. Three stores are looted on Edmondson, and another six stores on Edmondson and Payson. A crowd of 300 gathers in the 2400 block of Barclay St. At 21st and Greenmount Ave. there is looting, as well as on North and Linden. Monument and Bond sees two fires. At Bond and Madison, a liquor store is looted and burned. The block between 1700 and 2200 Monument is hard hit, with at least 15 stores heavily damaged. On N. Broadway a home is burned, while in the 1800 block of Harford Ave. fires are set in trash cans. Laurens, Riggs and Stricker, all side streets of Pennsylvania, are consumed by looting. Pennsylvania Ave. takes on the appearance of a "ghost town" according to published reports. At Baker St. and Fulton there is looting. Also, reports of looting in Baltimore St. stores from Pine St. to the west are investigated. In the 2000 block of Edmondson Ave. and in the 900 and 1200 block of W. Baltimore, heavy looting is reported. Police say that it appears that nearly every store between Mt. Royal Ave. and Monroe St. on North Ave. was hit. Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties assisted the firemen in Baltimore city with 75 men. • Night—a shooting is reported at Lennox and Callow, and also at Franklin and Warwick Ave. At Division and Wilson, two fires break out. In the 1300 block of Edmondson Ave., a pawn shop is looted and 73 rifles are stolen. In the 4800 block of Edmondson Ave., a service station is looted. • 10 p.m.— A drug and liquor store at Windsor Mill Rd. and Chelsea St. is looted repeatedly in the two hours leading up to midnight. The Bolton Hill Shopping Center is ransacked at McMechen St. Special Municipal Courts convenes—more than 1,800 face charges of curfew violation or possession of stolen property. • 10:15 p.m.—The Maryland National Guard is federalized and Gen. York is placed in command of all military units deployed in the riot area. • 11 p.m.—Brigade of federal troops moves from Druid Lake to the 5th Regiment Armory. Four looters are arrested at Laurens and Stricker. Police confiscate a loaded pistol from a man at Monroe St. and Wilkens Ave. • 11:45 p.m.—The Fire Department refuses ambulance service for non-emergency sick cases. • Summary: Fires, looting large-scale disorderly crowds. Sunday's police reports include 400 episodes of looting, for a two-day total of 600. A 40-block swath of the east and west midsections of the city have been impacted by rioting. More than 700 businesses have been robbed. Looting increases, while fires decrease from Saturday. The riot area comprises 1,000 square blocks, bounded roughly by 25th St. on the north, Poplar Grove St. on the west, Baltimore St. on the south, and Broadway on the east. For the first time since railroad strikes in the 1870s, Baltimore is patrolled by federal troops. By evening, the force equals more than 9,000 soldiers. There are 300 injured, 420 fires, 550 cases of looting, and 1,350 arrested. A hit-and-run pattern of looting means that there are few clashes between looters and troops. Amidst the damage in riot areas, streets are filled with broken glass.

Monday, April 8, 1968, Midnight—By this point, six sniper incidents have been reported: Gilmore and Baker, the 1600 block of Calvert, Lombard and Lloyd, Monroe and Baltimore, Biddle and Argyle, and the 2900 block of The Alameda. Many more fires break out, at Frederick Road and Willard St., in the 1200 block of Central Ave., on Franklin St., and Allendale Road. Crowds gather to watch. On North and Patterson Park, the 100 block of E. Lanvale St., the 2100 block of Normandy Ave., the first block of N. Hilton St., the 600 block of Mt. Holly St., there is looting and burning of grocery and liquor stores. In the 800 block of W. Baltimore St., another furniture store is looted. A jewelry store on Eastern is looted. A tavern on Longwood St. at Westwood is looted. • After midnight—2200 block North Calvert St., a report of trouble. In the 200 block of E. Preston, a food market is broken into. Rioting reported near the Murphy Homes at Myrtle Ave. and Hoffman. In the 2100 block of Calvert St., a fire breaks out. In the 1600 block of Warwick Road, a house is burned. A store is looted and burned in the 2300 block of Hollins Ferry Road. In the 3800 block of Clifton Ave. looters are seen. There is a looting in the 1800 block of Linden Ave., and another on Division St. near Lanvale. • 1 a.m.—Lootings reported since midnight: 14, as opposed to 128 between 8 and 9 p.m. • 1:30 a.m.—"Curfew seems to be having an effect, city is generally under control."—Gen. York. The hot spot area of the night is in the Western district, where fires and looting are reported in an area bounded by Lake Drive and Gwynns Falls Pkwy on the north, Poplar Grove St. on the west, Baltimore St. on the south, and Green St. on the east. • Dawn—Three house fires are reported, several lootings, and a two-alarm fire in a liquor store at Federal St. and Milton Ave. • 7:40 a.m.—A looter is shot in an alley behind the 800 block of N. Aisquith St. He is chased in the 800 block of Gay St. from a liquor store. • 8:50 a.m.—A bomb is found in the 2700 block of N. Charles St. The area is evacuated. • 9 a.m.—By this point, police report that looting has picked up in the Western District and is causing more devastation that was seen on the east side, which was already damaged by mobs. Once police leave an area, looters swoop in and start anew. Gangs are rumored to be using walkie-talkies to figure out where police and troops are. Downtown business area is patrolled by National Guard and members of the 18th Airborne Corps. • Morning— A "whirlwind tour" is taken by the mayor, who is accompanied by Sen. Joseph Tydings. All schools, most businesses, and almost all offices in the city are closed. Another 1,900 Army troops are called into Baltimore. Rioting spills out from "Negro Slums east and west of Downtown area along main streets in all directions," according to one newspaper headline. "For the first time, unruly groups of whites and blacks confronted each other in the streets and posed the threat of race rioting," a news account reports. Since Saturday at 5:30 p.m., 510 have been injured, more than 900 fires reported, more than 1,700 cases of looting called in, and more than 3,450 blacks arrested. A 4 p.m. to 7 a.m. curfew is ordered again. Gen. York, the mayor and Pomerleau spend more than two hours traveling through the city. Fremont St. along Edmondson Ave. reports looting. • Early afternoon—Tear gas is used to disperse a crowd of 300 youths who smashed into a grocery at North Ave. and Chester St., near the worst area of destruction on Saturday night. In West Baltimore, soldiers with bayonets block the intersection of Fulton Ave. and Baker St. Crowds throw bricks and bottles at passing cars. The 400 blocks on the west side, from North Ave. south to Pratt St., from Gwynns Falls Pkwy. to Fulton Ave., are a "no man's land." At the western end, a bar, loan company, drugstore and cleaning store at the corner of North Ave. and Pulaski St. were all looted Fires in the 2700 block of Pennsylvania consume five stores and the apartments above. In the first block of N. Liberty St. a "jitterbug band" breaks windows. Cars are pelted at Monroe and W. Baltimore streets, and at Smallwood and W. Baltimore St. Police are scarce in the area below North Ave. Many people loot at will along Monroe St. The 1300-1500 blocks of Penn Ave. are destroyed, and the 1200 block contains only a few intact stores. In the 900 block of Pennsylvania Ave., looters take guns. At Edmondson Village Shopping Center, three stores have shattered windows. Looting steps up and the west side's first major fires begin shortly before noon. Afternoon a band of 75 youths armed with clubs and rocks marches down Pratt and Frederick to the Westside shopping center. Four policemen turn them back. • Noon—Fires start up again on the east side, consuming a liquor store at Milton Ave. and Federal St., a warehouse at Federal and Holbrook, and stores at Harford Ave. and Lanvale. • Mid-afternoon—Telephone exchanges are jammed. Edmondson Ave., from Fremont all the way west to the shopping center, has been scourged by looters; a few stores are burned, but almost all are looted and vandalized. In the 500 block of Roberts St., soldiers and policemen confront a mob with torches. Afternoon, looting calls come into headquarters at a rate of one per minute. A group of 40 Guardsmen set up a roadblock at Penn. Ave. and Franklin St. They block westbound traffic on U.S. 40. In the 1000 block of W. Baltimore St., a surplus store is hit by a multi-alarm fire. Four blocks west, there are still more fires. A major warehouse fire in the 500 block of Wilson St. is reported. Another 1,900 federal troops move into Baltimore in the afternoon, setting up field headquarters at the zoo. • 2 p.m.—A large crowd of whites forms on the east side of the roadway near Perkins Homes, a southeast Baltimore housing project, shouting and taunting. As whites enter these predominantly black projects, Guardsmen arrive, forcing whites east of Broadway and blacks west to create a three-block buffer zone. Whites exchange insults with black youths, bottles and bricks are thrown, four cars driven by blacks are damaged by rocks. • 2.30 p.m.—A grocery store and home at 1700 Madison Ave., looted Sunday night, are burned. • 3 p.m.—In the 3400-4000 blocks of Edmondson Ave., hundreds of people are on the street. About 10 stores are looted. In the 3500 block of Edmondson Ave., a sandwich shop is broken into. There is no arson in this area near the city line. • Before 3 p.m.—More than 50 Guardsmen stand a block away as a store at Fulton Ave. and Baker St. is looted. • 3 p.m.—Until 3:45 p.m. at Pratt and Pulaski, 250 whites gather and shout "white power," blocking North Ave. On Frederick Ave., a smaller crowd of blacks gathers. Police in general keep the crowds apart. Around that time, a block away at McHenry and Payson, a fight breaks out between several whites and two blacks. An officer arrives and prevents serious violence by firing into the air. Two white youths are arrested. A black driver ducking from rocks thrown by whites loses control of his car and causes a three-car collision. • 4 p.m.—In the 1400 block Druid Hill Ave., more looting and burning. But there is a decrease in violence immediately after curfew.

• Late afternoon—People hoard food because of curfews and fear. A shooting at 1200 block St. James St. is reported, following more looting in the 800 block of N. Gay. The 1000 block of Lombard St. finds more looting. In the 1000 block of Druid Hill, a surplus store is burned. Hospitals on the west side ask for police protection. At York Road and Woodbourne Ave., a window is smashed by a gang of roving youths. There is looting in the 500 block of Washington Blvd. In the Lower Broadway area, a crowd gathers and heads towards stores in Forest Park, where rioters do damage. In the 2900 block of Garrison Blvd., a store emblazoned with a "Soul Brother" sign is looted. At Garrison and Windsor Mill Road, drug store windows are smashed. A store is looted in the 4600 block of Park Heights Ave. Taverns along Harford Rd. opposite Clifton Park are looted by north-going looters from the east side. In the 2600 block of Harford Road, a bar that refused to serve blacks is looted. In the 100 block of E. Lafayette Ave., another bar is looted. Looting spreads out of poor areas into middle-class shopping centers serving racially mixed neighborhoods. At Fulton Ave. and Baker St., a crowd hurls bricks and bottles at cars. • Late afternoon—Tensions rise between whites and blacks in the South Broadway area and along W. Pratt St. After one man objects to being frisked, police begin to use mace to subdue uncooperative curfew violators. Some cars are covered in signs that say "Soul Brother" or "Black Brother," mostly driven by blacks with headlights on as a funeral salute to Martin Luther King Jr. Many also have a black rag tied on the antenna in solidarity. Some fire trucks begin responding to blazes with armed soldiers aboard. Roadblocks are set up at downtown intersections, and motorists are forced to turn back. • Evening—Sporadic fires burn throughout the night, many between 10 p.m. and midnight and concentrated in a single square mile bounded by North Ave., Preston St., Harford Road and Milton St. Teenagers roam the streets, throwing rocks and bricks at cars driven by whites along Monroe near Franklin and on E. Baltimore St. near Smallwood. Looting takes place on Monroe St. below Franklin, where witnesses describe the looters as "middle-aged." The mood of the rioters has grown worse. Pratt and Frederick represent a line of demarcation. Gov. Agnew releases a statement on the control of city's looting. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture sends in trucks with non-perishable food at night. Taxis are taken off the streets. Another 800 persons are arrested and taken to the Civic Center, in addition to 3,300 prisoners warehoused at the city jail during the night. Sniper fire breaks out at night for the first time since disturbances began on Saturday. A shooting at Calvert and Lanvale is reported. Some looting is seen at Reisterstown Road and Edmondson Ave. Seven in Pikesville are arrested for violating the curfew. • 8 p.m.—An outbreak of sniper activity continues until 1 a.m. Looters and fire bombers strike hard in West Baltimore. Rioting spills up Harford Road as far as Clifton Park and all the way out to Edmondson Village Shopping Center. • 8:30 p.m.—Some city policemen are pinned down behind cars by two or three snipers firing from upper floors of the Flag House housing project in the 1000 block of E. Lombard St. They are then attacked by hurled glass bottles. Minutes later, fire erupts across the street. Firemen respond but pull back when sniper fire continues. The fire is centered at 1017 E. Lombard St. and burns Smelkinson's Dairy, Attman's Deli, a sandwich shop, and another store next to it. Guardsmen in the 1200 block of N. Charles find a man with a rifle. • 9 p.m.—At Calvert and Lanvale streets, sniper fire pins police as they try to move a truckload of curfew violators. A white man is shot at the same time. Three men are arrested, but none were snipers, the injured man is taken to the hospital in serious condition. Guardsmen shoot back at people throwing stones and bottles and shooting in housing projects. • 10 p.m.—No new fires are fought between 9:30 p.m. and this point. Looting is seen in the 2400 block of Hollins Ferry Road at a grocery store. • 10:15 p.m.—Four reports of fire from the 1000 to the 1100 block of E. Lombard. • 10:30 p.m.—Reports of sniper fire in the 4000 block Edmondson Ave. Sniper activity also at Baltimore and Monroe streets. A man is seized in the 600 block N. Carey St. after he pointed a gun at a soldier. A firebomb attack is rumored in the Guilford area. • Night—Firebombs spread across North Ave. to Forest Park directly below Druid Hill Lake, up Harford Road to Clifton Park, and west along U.S. 40 to Edmondson Village and south to W. Baltimore St. At 705 Whitelock St. an auto garage is burned and a black-owned barber shop is damaged. In the 2300 block of Callow Ave., a drugstore is vandalized and looted. Looting in the 900 block of Whitelock St. is reported, and troops cordon off the area. In the 2200 block of Fulton Ave., a few more stores burn. A drug company in the 700 block of Whitelock St. is burned. A shooting reported in the 100 block of S. Exeter St. forces city firefighters to abandon attempts to put out a raging fire in Smelkinson's dairy store in the 1000 block of E. Lombard. Firemen refuse to fight the fire until the sniper is located. Guardsmen enter projects in attempt to find the sniper. • 11 p.m.—Police struggle with a fire hydrant after firefighters leave for fear of snipers. Firefighting begins again. Communications rooms cool down around this time. • 11:10 p.m.—Fire truck returns, but the buildings are lost. • Night—At least 110 communities across the country are hit by post-assassination violence, with approximately 29 percent of all arrests made in Baltimore. Police guard hub corners of Calvert and Fayette, Baltimore and South streets, and Calvert and Baltimore. Three food distribution centers open at Eden and Ashland, North Ave. and Barclay St., and North and Pennsylvania. Phone booth service is out in riot areas. Two white men are shot during an alleged sacking of a small grocery in the 100 block of E. Lanvale St. Provident and Franklin Square hospitals are protected by guards. • Summary: By this date, 2100 firemen have fought 900 fires in three days. During this day alone, 332 fires are fought, and 466 arrests are made. Fewer than 40 persons by Monday are injured seriously enough to warrant admission to the hospital. The worst of the rioting appears to be taking place on the west side. As of this day, Hopkins Hospital reports 74 lacerations, 12 gunshot wounds, one tear gas inhalation, three fractures, four stabbings, one bout of hysteria and two burnings resulting in death. Elsewhere, the Pope plans a statement on racism. Scavengers and looters are separated into two charging categories by the Army. Gov. Agnew releases a proclamation allowing banks to remain closed this day if the managers find it necessary. The wave of looting appears to go from liquor stores, to electrical appliance stores, then food stores, followed by pawn shops for firearms, then jewelry stores and loan shops for money and valuables. Most of the devastation is in the Western District from Druid Hill Park along Pennsylvania Ave. and Fulton Ave., and in the Northeastern District along Greenmount Ave. The total complement of troops in the city is 10,848. The rioting appears to decline at normal meal times. A graph by police statisticians shows that most riot activity occurs in the city's high crime areas. Baltimore becomes the first city to plot this information as the riots are going on. Other notables: There were seven reports of snipers after the 4 p.m. curfew, with sniper fire beginning in earnest after announcements were made about the situation being under control. More gunfire is heard at Baker and Gilmore, at Exeter and Monroe and Fairmount Ave.

Tuesday, 9 April 1968 • Basic Information: The arrest total since 6 p.m. Saturday stands at 4,424. The number of injured reaches 600 shortly before dawn. Since midnight, there have been 76 lootings and 10 fires. The Civic Center holds an overflow, 800 prisoners. To date, there have been six deaths, 1,075 lootings, and 1,032 fires. • Midnight—Fresh gunfire at Flag House Housing Project draws police back. More sniper shots reported by police. • 2 a.m.—Guardsmen protect firefighters. • 3 a.m.—A 70-year-old man becomes the sixth victim of the riots, dying of burns in an apartment fire above a grocery store which was looted and burned in the 400 block Myrtle Avenue. • 7 a.m.—The curfew is lifted, and motorists from outside the city are allowed in. Looting begins again, with 10 stores hit. Another two are burned. • 8:30 a.m.—Tear gas used on rioters. • 9 a.m.—Several fires are reported on the east side, but the west side is quiet. • 9:30 a.m.—Sniper fire hits a car in the 1200 block of Aisquith Street. Tear gas was used for a second time in an hour at Dukeland St. and Lafayette Ave. • Morning—A homemade bomb is found in an apartment in the 2700 block of N. Charles St. At Gilmore and Baker streets, six drunk men disturb the peace at a food distribution center. Pennsylvania and Lafayette show more looting. Three dwellings at Pennsylvania Ave. and McMechen St. are destroyed. A drugstore at North and Greenmount and a liquor store at Wolfe and Chase streets also are ruined. Many businesses reopen along with remaining public schools. Some area taverns open, but are ordered to stay closed until further notice. Troops are assigned to ride on fire trucks to protect firefighters. King's funeral service is held in Atlanta. At Lexington and Gillmor, some apartments are burned. Downtown stores reopen. Sporadic looting takes place on the west side. City and insurance company officials begin touring the damage. • 9:30 a.m.—A sniper on Aisquith St. sends a bullet into a car. • Midmorning—The Army begins a citywide attempt to prevent further looting by boarding up partially plundered stores and exploding a bomb of CS gas inside. They start along the 2000 block of Edmondson Avenue. Gen. York takes a walking tour of the Western District. Disorderly crowds are reported in the 200 block of Edmondson Ave. and at Dukeland St. and Edmondson Ave. • 10 a.m.—More sniper fire at Aisquith and Curtain streets. Dozens of police raids take place on this morning. • 11 a.m.—Between 10 a.m. and this point, when King's funeral begins, 13 lootings and one fire are reported, with 49 arrests. • Noon—Fire burns a Laundromat and clothing store. • 2 p.m.—At Harford and Lafayette a saloon is looted and one man arrested. Armed federal troops break up a peace meeting of 200 in Lafayette Square (even though they had approval from city police); angry crowds scatter and regroup at Mosher Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. • Afternoon—The Baltimore Orioles home opener against the Oakland Athletics is postponed. • 2:10 p.m.—A liquor store is burned at Chase and Wolfe. • 3:10 p.m.—Sniper activity is reported at a fire at Fayette and Pulaski. • 4 p.m.—At Monroe and Pratt, a crowd of white youths gathered restlessly. • 4:20 p.m.—A black family driving by the area mentioned above is stoned. The driver gets out of the car and is jumped by the mob. Another group jumps on the car and kicks in the hood and windows. A tall white man runs past and fires three shots into the car at the children, then runs south and drops a pistol. A few policemen arrive to reinforce a few Guardsmen who are pushing back the white crowd. The car leaves the area in the direction of the hospital. The crowd begins jeering and surges against policemen. Two men and one woman are arrested. • 5 p.m.—The two men and woman are booked. Between 4 p.m. and this time, 30 store lootings and five fire bombings are called into police. • 6 p.m.—Between 5 and 6 p.m., trouble subsides. Looters take to the streets again shortly after that, raiding 18 stores and lighting nine 9 fires. • 8 p.m.—In the first hour of the curfew, reports of trouble continue to reach police, though the number is dropping. • 11 p.m.—Sharp drop in looting and fires between 9 and this point. Only three reports of looting and two fires, down from 194 lootings and 26 fires at the same time on Sunday, and 53 lootings and eight fires on Monday. • Night—Troops ordered to tuck away bayonets, a sign of easing tension. But there is growing restiveness in white neighborhoods bordering inner city black areas, especially on the west side. Plans are announced for at least one more night of curfew. A list of affected merchants will be compiled, and taxpayers will be allowed to file after the April 15 deadline without penalty. Scarcities of milk and gasoline develop during the day. On W. Baltimore St., in the block between Mount St. and Fulton Ave., police hear shots from a row house on Longwood near North Ave. Lethargic gangs gather at Broadway and Gay. As of this point, 50 policemen and 10 firefighters have been hurt in the riots, none critically. A number of black community leaders patrol trouble spots with plainclothes black policemen during the curfew. A crowd regroups, chanting "That's enough, baby." More than 176 arrests are made after the curfew goes into effect at 7 p.m. Mace is used in a store in the 1300 block of Pennsylvania Ave., one of the hardest-hit areas of the city. Nonviolent civil rights organizations send sound trucks through the riot areas urging residents to remain in their homes. Looting takes place on Division St. In the 1700 block of Madison Avenue, arson is reported. In the 1400 block of Presstman St., there is a looting. A liquor store at the corner of Presstman and N. Calhoun streets was robbed. Within an hour of Mayor D'Allesandro's vote of confidence in the city, 48 are arrested, 19 lootings reported and three new fires set. • Evening—Curfew is relaxed, with the hours set from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. for Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning. • Summary: Riot losses are estimated at $10 million, enough to classify Baltimore as a catastrophe area—although it is learned that federal disaster relief does not cover riots and civil disorder. There are 1,150 fires, 1,150 lootings and nearly 5,000 arrests since the riots' beginning. Lootings drop to less than 10 an hour during the night. More than 80 percent of those booked since Saturday are tried. Arrests drop from 62 between 4 and 5 p.m. to 21 in the next hour, lootings from 30 to nine and fires from five to one. The east side's center of violence is a rectangular section bounded by North Ave. on the north, Monument St. on the south, Guilford Ave. on the west and Washington St. on the east. The west side's center of violence is a triangular area bounded on the south by Mulberry St., on the east by Monroe St., and on the west by Pennsylvania and Fremont. Fires in other areas are sporadic. By this point, large sections of Federal, Gay, Monument, Aisquith, and Pennsylvania above Biddle St. have been cleaned out. Since Saturday, 600 people were treated in hospitals, only 19 had injuries serious enough to require admission. Pupil absences of more than 50 percent are reported in elementary schools and 50 percent in secondary schools, with many teacher absences. The fire department received five bomb threats, four in city schools. All are false alarms. Hundreds of fires are reported. Scattered reports of gunfire and snipers were handled by police. A lot of phones have no dial tone, caused by the massive numbers of people reporting on the riots or telling others they are safe or calling for a phone repairman during the disturbances. Cooperation between police and the Army is said to have improved. A check of sporting goods and gun stores in the county reveals that residents were purchasing firearms and ammunition at an above-average rate on the previous Friday and Saturday as the threat of rioting in Baltimore mounted.

Wednesday, April 10, 1968, • 1:20 a.m.—Sniper fire in the 1400 block of E. Oliver St. Sniper not found but an arrest is made. • Morning—Nearly 2,000 workers are moved into East Baltimore to clean up and board up damaged buildings. A new curfew is announced. • 11 a.m.—D'Alessandro announces that he believes that Baltimore's riot was organized and planned in advance. • Noon—All banks and all seven of the city's markets (most in riot areas) are open. The only market that is damaged is Broadway, by a small fire. • Afternoon—Sightseers take the place of street gangs. Workers clean up debris from lootings and fires on the west side. • 4 p.m.— Gov. Agnew announces that conditions are improved, enough to possibly modify or remove entirely the ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages in the city and five counties • 8 p.m.—Fires are limited to a few vacant houses and previously looted stores, most of them in or near the west side. Reports label it "One last little fling." • 10:15 p.m.—Governor's spokesman announces that the statement on liquor sales still stands. • Night—Police exchange gunfire with suspected snipers on a roof in the 600 block of W. Lanvale St. Tear gas is used to disperse crowds in the area. A fire is reported on Fayette St. east of Broadway. • Summary: Arrests from midnight to 1 p.m. number 105, bringing the total to 5,316. Of that number, 175 curfew cases are tried. Juvenile court cases are postponed to Monday. There are only 10 new lootings on this day. The total number of lootings is 1,214. Two new fires bring the total to 1,208. Aid from the state insurance commission is made available at the Enoch Pratt Library. Most of the damage is in the city's "poverty belt," officials report. Student attendance rises but remains below normal. Plans are announced for a walk of penance on Saturday by a white interfaith group. Courts process the last of more than 5,300 criminal cases. The 11,000 Army and National Guard troops remain in Baltimore to assure that relative peace is kept. This day also marks the end of marathon duty hours for troops, policemen, and firefighters. Lootings are minor, but the total edges toward 2,000. There is far less crime in daylight hours than usual. Downtown shopping is open for holiday gift buying until 9 p.m., and some shopkeepers along Pennsylvania Ave. and Gay St. are open. Merchants in the 2100-2200 blocks of Monument St. report business is almost back to normal. Gov. Agnew asks in telegrams to Pres. Johnson and the Maryland Congressional delegation that quick action should be taken to bring damage caused by riots within the terms of federal disaster relief. Some 1,000 to 1,500 business owners are expected to meet at the Pikesville fire hall to discuss ways of getting help and of protecting against future disturbances.

Thursday, April 11, 1968, • Morning—50 trucks and 200 men move out to begin boarding up looted and burned out buildings. • 9 a.m.—Prohibition on selling containers of flammable materials is lifted. • Noon—Fire reported on Fayette east of Broadway. The ban on liquor sales is off, riot curfew lifted, and gasoline in containers rule is in effect. Prohibition of firearms and explosive sales remain in place. • Afternoon—Fire in the 1600 block of Ingleside Ave. in a carryout shop. This episode is just over the county line. • Summary: Repairs and assessments continue.

Friday, April 12, 1968, • Morning—Some federal troops begin to move out of Baltimore following a declaration from Gen. Robert H. York that order has been restored to the city. • 2 p.m.—Gov. Agnew says he is disappointed with the black community's leadership. •2:30 a.m.—Since 8 p.m. Friday, four outbreaks of violence have occurred: three fires and a shooting. • Summary: Insurers estimate Baltimore losses at $8-10 million. Chicago reports losses of $15 million. During four days of looting, 288 liquor-related establishments were burned or looted, and 190 food stores vandalized. About 500 of more than 5,700 persons arrested remain to be tried on various charges, mostly for curfew violations. The loss of life totals six—three by fire, one in an auto accident, and two of gunshot wounds in suspected lootings. Only one person is killed by a policeman. Baltimore accounts for a quarter of all national arrests and about a seventh of all post-assassination riot deaths.

Saturday, April 13, 1968, • 9 a.m.—Deadline for federal troops to clear out of the 5th Regiment Armory. • Summary: About 5,700 National Guardsmen remain to patrol the streets. There is an announcement that the riots will cause Baltimore to lose $345,000 in tax revenues. COPYRIGHT / USAGE Material on this site may be quoted or reproduced for personal and educational purposes without prior permission, provided appropriate credit is given. Any commercial use of this material is prohibited without prior permission from The Special Collections Department - Langsdale Library, University of Baltimore. Commercial requests for use of the transcript or related documentation must be submitted in writing to the address below.

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Baltimore Fire

Baltimore Fire 1904

  Baltimore fire aftermath
The Great Baltimore Fire of 1904
Baltimore In Ruins After The Great Fire Of 1904

The Sun (1837-1987); Feb 29, 1920; - pg. A6

One black night from the home of City Hall I saw Baltimore burn. I will never forget that site. Few people have ever been privileged to look down upon the populous city and watch as his very heart was eaten. It was a terrible hollering experience – to look. Look. Look. And know that there was no force to stay the flames: the thousands of human beings must stand important and hopeless while myriads of hot, red tongues withered everything in their path.

It was as a memorable night of 7 February 1904 – the night of black despair – to which I refer: when Baltimore was swept by a conflagration almost an equal in the history of American cities: when modern building after modern building, heretofore assumed to be fireproof succumbed that with amazing rapidity. Fireproof – amiss – the term refers to something that does not exist. I saw Baltimore burn: I know. Yes, 7 February 1904 was a terrible day followed by a more terrible night. The city was stunned and thousands of individuals common exhausted by fruitless efforts to rescue their goods and merchandise had abandoned hope.

Late last night, utterly fatigued. I was at the city library, City Hall. Suddenly I remembered that hanging upon a book almost within reach was the key to the dome. I was tired – “deadbeat” – but I realized that never again with an opportunity be presented to see such a spectacle. What time it was I do not know. Because I did not know then. I took no note of time in its flight. With the key of the dome, I went from the third to the fourth floor where, in the West car door, is a door which bars the way to the dome. Just then I encountered two men from York Pennsylvania who had, on a special train that brought the fire apparatus of that city to our city I invited those strangers to go along. The little door blocking our path responded readily and we began to gradually ascent through the narrow, black Connell was laying its semicircular courts through walls of solid Masonry just where the dome shows above the roof that covers the winds of the City Hall.

Alexander Brown and Sons Building Survives the Fire With Little DamageThe passage was [in fact is] so contracted that we had to go single file and with great caution. As we slowly rounded the curvature of approaching the point of exit above we notice through the narrow aperture the reflection of the flames. It seemed almost that the City Hall itself was on fire. This strange uncanny staircase, which upon that particular night had all the unpleasant tree suggested of a dungeon. It was connecting to a link between the lower region and a large circular mid dome apartment into which we emerged. This is, in reality, a great barrel 50 or more feet from its stone floor to the ceiling. The view in all directions is unobstructed through immense oblong windows extending almost from top to bottom facilitating and unhampered observation.

The view from the dome from the Crystal room – it may be sowed designated because of the number of character of its window – there extends a long spiral staircase which brings the traveler to the section of the dome where the clock in the apparatus that run it are installed. I had intended to climb those precipitous stairs and keep going, but I did not do so. The spectacles to those long windows of the Crystal room were almost paralyzing in its effect. One’s power of a locomotion’s seemed affected. I was utterly tired. I wanted to CARL up. To have gone higher one of added nothing to the view. It was all laid out before me – splendid old Baltimore was ablaze. It seemed to that the lower part of the city had caught fire, so near had the flames crept, and the sweeping glance to the south showed that the entire section between the building and the waterfront was read. Great columns of fire viciously stabbed at the darkness; flames passed from building to building, from block to block. Leaving nothing but blazing the breeze, gaunt gutted buildings, and desolation in the wake.

Mere words can convey no adequate idea of the terrible scene: any description must fail. It was maddening to realize that dear old Baltimore was burning like tender and that no human power could render effectual aid. This strange room was for the time being sheltered me from the dense smoke and flying embers that fitful dust sent over the dome was itself brilliantly illuminated spasmodically. The effect of the fire was startling. Flash after flash being accomplished by dull “boom” of explosions, which concussions mingled with countless other unwanted disturbances incident to the fire.

I really do not think the extent of Baltimore’s catastrophe is now appreciated. As I watched that night as flames ate their way through its heart I did not Explosion at the Hurst Company see how the city could ever recover. Think of the vastness of the destruction: from liberty Street on the west, Jones falls on the East, Charles and Lexington streets on the north, with all the buildings on the south side of Lexington Street to St. Paul Street, either going or gone, and a great battle staged on St. Paul Street to save the courthouse. Which was next in the past of the destroyer – that was the appalling situation 17 February 1904. It is beyond the imagination to picture 140 acres of a compact city like Baltimore burning or wrecked. It was terrifying to realize that there was practically no limit to which the fire fiend. Now on harnessed, might you go, it seemed as a look down upon it that the fire would take it’s course to the whole of East Baltimore contagious to the waterfront and burn, burn, burn until open country was reached. And so I am convinced it would. Had not it’s course been stayed by that filthy stream, the Jones Falls.

A grand total of 1526 buildings, many modern, its preparation of skyscrapers and in addition for lumber yards where the fuel for that disastrous combustion. Truly an appalling panorama it was as viewed by the all struck watchers away up in the dome of the City Hall. Acres blazing or in ruin, and no relief in sight how long I was in the dome I have no means of estimating. But suddenly I heard faint shouts. Which noises I knew could come only through the narrow channel of which I had climbed. I knew, too, the call was a warning, although I really felt there was no immediate danger, I lost no time in retreating through the tunnel and was soon back on the corridor on the fourth floor. It developed that a watchman, no doubt making his rounds, found the door of the dome open and, suspecting that someone was up there, had reported the discovery to the custody and of the building. The latter wisely decided to make an investigation, and as the searchers ascended it was there shouting which I heard and answered.

At that moment the City Hall was in no danger, but it wasn’t long before the doom seemed sealed. Only those who were in the building that night realized a close call it had. True, to the westward, whence the fire earlier came, the hall was then protected by the courthouse in St. Paul Street side of which was damaged and also by the granite post office the stone structures acted as a screen for the municipal building and both would have succumbed before the City Hall was attacked from the West. The threatened assault, however, did not come from that direction at all but from the southeast. I cannot recall the variations of the wind that fiery night nor the phenomenon that occurred. But it is a fact that the flames had swept from west to east and seeming well beyond that City Hall zone, slowly worked back from the South was southeast. Coming steadily toward the big structure this was the situation when I returned from my venture into the dome.

Soldiers and Sailors Brought to DutyThe flames approach. From the first branch Council chamber member a good view of the approach and fire would be obtained and when I went there I found the number of persons assembled. The fine chamber of commerce building a few blocks away to the southeast was ablaze midst a score of others insight and the destroyer were beating back with seeing a deliberate purpose of getting the smaller structures along Fayette Street, opposite the exposed southern when of the City Hall. It wasn’t long before all the buildings across narrow Fayette Street were ablaze and all but one, the Giddings bank building at the southeast corner of Fayette and Guilford Avenue, were utterly burned, correct, collapsed. Through the balance of the night, a determined flight was put up to save this antiquated bank and strange to say this effort was successful. With blazing structures across the street, it seemed for a period that the City Hall must certainly catch. The heavy window glass was hot and with myriads of sparks in the air seeking lodgment in the edifice, there seems little chance of escape.

The catastrophe was so widespread and appalling that the senses were actually deadened or numb and a building more or less did not seem of great Monument. I glanced about the sumptuous chamber luxurious in his heavy draperies, it’s walnut furnishings and costly carpets and I wondered whether the moment had come to put into execution a plan I had to save the most valuable objects insight – the portraits of the mayors of Baltimore. Although many of these paintings have since been removed and distributed throughout City Hall, a score or more at present hangings in the mayor’s sweet, they were at the time of the fire all in the two chambers of the Council. The great wall space in each branch was covered, the rooms, in fact, were a portrait Gallery of consequence, containing as they did effigies of the mayors from James Calhoun 1797 to Thomas G. Hayes 1903. There were other fine paintings in the group, particularly of the men – including Gen. Samuel Smith – who took part in the defense of Baltimore in 1814. Such artists as Charles Wilson Peale, Rembrandt Peale, Thomas Sully and others of a lesser population were represented. The campuses, some of which were very large and heavily framed, or of great intrinsic value and historically and sentimentally priceless.

Earlier in the night [or day for it may have been daylight] I had labored to get all the records in my custody out of City Hall when it seemed to the building was directly in the path of the fire and it was almost a personal disaster to have to abandon the portraits of those fine men who had in a sense, then the builders of Baltimore. I determined these paintings should not be abandoned. I would cut them from their frames!

This I could do quickly. For I had a trusty knife ready, and with the assistance of the others present it would not be a difficult job, I could roll the campuses up and escape with them under my arm – but when should I cut?

That was, in reality, a burning question. From the other side of Fayette St., South to the waterfront, the city was ablaze. The City Hall would be next. Nothing was now between it and the fire. Was a time to strike? I waited: I waited. The structures across the street were gone. Somehow the blistering heat did not burst the heavy window glass and ignite the hall. The showers of sparks passed harmlessly by. The miracle had been wrought. Daybreak with the terrifying spectacle it revealed was at hand. The little party in the Council chamber broke up. Such was the culminating incidents of the night spent in the City Hall while ruin reigned without. A night that followed a day into which had been crowded, and the experience of the average individual, gloom, dismay, fear amounting almost to terror.

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In The First Hours

early in the day [7 February 1904] it was noised all over town that a great fire was spreading to unwanted proportions involving a considerable area, but no one dreamed of the impending danger. I went downtown in the early afternoon and called at a newspaper office to obtain information concerning the conflagration. I was asked by the editor to procure a plat of the S. Library St. section where the fire was raging, the purpose being to reproduce the chart immediately in connection with the story of the conflagration. I went to the City Hall to get a map and brought forth a large atlas containing, among other charts, the plat requested. Some persons on the sidewalk seeing me emerged from the hall was a mammoth atlas set up a shell and twitted me, assuming I was taking the record to a place of safety because of the fire than half a mile or so distant. Those looters must later have credited me with supernatural wisdom or discernment. Only a few hours elapsed where not only myself but other city officials were nervously hurrying wagon loads of records from the City Hall. I did not let my atlas get out of sight and before it could be used the newspaper office was in flames. By that time the volume was back in city halls library. I saw to that personally. 

Meeting the Records

Sometime later when the big Continental building at the corner of Baltimore and Calvert Street became luminous: flames streaming from every window. I thought the City Hall and post office doomed. So and others. There would be no further delay; we must move. I had engaged some teams [so I thought] to meet the emergency but who could hold conveyances under such conditions? People with frantic and offering fabulous sums to have their goods moved, in front of almost every establishment along Baltimore, Lombard, South, Calvert, and scores of Streets wagons parts and rays were backed up, loaded in hustle Austin to drive away and deposit their burdens in another building which surely fell prey to the flames. This, unfortunately, was the experience of very many. 

There were few officials at the City Hall that memorable Sunday. Mayor Robert M. McLean, clad in a fireman’s outfit, was one the fire line of the superintendent of buildings and his force was on St. Paul Street assisting in saving the Zen new courthouse. But I recall three persons I met momentarily at the hall – Mr. William A. Larkins then deputy Commissioner of Street cleaning: deputy city collector Hartman, now judge of the Appeal Tax Court, and Mr. Frank J Murphy, clerk of the same court. To Mr. Larkins and Mr. Murphy, I feel I owe a debt of gratitude. The form of voluntarily sent me a detail from history cleaning forces to assist in removing invaluable records from the city library, and Mr. Murphy suggested that I share it struck he had managed to commandeer, which with the one I seized enabled me to clear the city library of many official Street opening plats, books and other records, the loss of which would have been irreparable. 

Danger to the Library

Quite a. A force of men was carrying out these archives. The drivers were instructed not to unload the wagons under any conditions. I think the records were sent to Union Station. At all events, they were taken to the place of safety and returned immediately after the fire. Though several times were taking out this did not make a great impression on the whole equipment. Many, many books were left in the cases, but the rarest of the collection was sent away. And I loaded myself down was my arms, including first records of Baltimore town in Jonestown: the first directory of Baltimore town and fell’s point and such. As a final choice, I would have turned the crowd on the streets into the library rather than see the books destroyed, on the chance of getting some back again. Many merchants did this in an effort to salvage their stock. 

While stirring around the city all I ran into Mr. Hartman, deputy collector. We passed each other in a rush, but I reminded him that in a large attic room where the accumulated tax records of over a century which were doomed if the building caught. It was the work of days under ordinary conditions to remove these. And Mr. Hartman said the books would have to be abandoned. He was desperately intent upon getting the “live” records of his department out of harm’s way since these showed what money was due to the city from taxpayers of the volumes meant not only chaos and irreparable confusion but the loss of the municipality of millions of dollars. 

All the strenuous physical effort. Mental strain and sustained excitement was very exhausting, and having done my utmost in the circumstances to protect the city property and records in my custody I went back to the city library. Where the key to the dome suggested a trip, heretofore described, to that point. 

I remain downtown in the fire zone, or at my office until 6 o’clock that evening – Monday. 8 February 1904, I was as black as a minor when I got home and so tired I seemed in a trance – yet I was but one of many thousands in the same flight. Some were half-crazed by their losses, demoralization and disorganization were complete. Everyone had been laboring under intense excitement, accompanied by a depressing sense of irreparable loss. The city was shocked beyond measure. As I write all this seems an occurrence of yesterday rather than of 1904. It is almost impossible to conceive that a new generation has risen which has no personal knowledge of that moment this occurrence. Oft has the statement been made that Baltimore is better as a result of that fire. I made it myself, and it is true – but I always make a mental or rather sentimental reservation. It did make possible the building of a splendid system of municipal docs; it did give the opportunity to widen streets, and there is no question that in many physical respects this city has splendidly advanced. It, too, wake the people and they have since been more alive to their opportunities. The spirit of broad is an evidence of this – yet even to this day, it makes me sick to think how building after building, landmark after landmark went up in a flash of flame and a puff of smoke. 

As to chance – well possibly it is necessary to make all Baltimore look like new; to get away from the original surveys; to turn Cal paths into boulevards, to revamp, rebuild and beautify from time to time but how much of the old city individuality, or personality was destroyed in the process? 

Is it better than Baltimore look new and bright and smart and modern and right up to the minute – rather than an orderly, enterprising, populous city with a dash of quaintness, and suggestions of historical associations in its buildings and streets? Has a city like Boston lost anything by adhering to its old areas to early surveys, and accentuating, rather than destroying and obscuring evidence of its antiquity? Well, well, I’m getting over my head now, – let’s get back to the fire, for a brief period. 

This started at 1048 [the time registered by thermostat alarm] in the six-story brick building occupied by the J. E. Hurst company, wholesale dry goods and notion house, and German [Redwood] and liberty streets and Hopkins place. In his report Chief Engineer Horton said, “The fire raged until 11:30 AM Monday, 8 February 1904” but this does not mean necessarily it was then extinguished. As a matter of fact, it to load and burned brightly along the eastern extremity of the area until much later, an estimated 36 hours and all. There is no way of accurately computing the loss, but $125 million is the generally accepted estimate, taking all elements in the consideration. This figure is, however, more or less arbitrarily set. 

No one was killed during the fire, though some firemen sustained injuries, and there were wild rumors of many fatalities. Mayor MacLean refused all outside financial aid and he announced to the world that Baltimore would rebuild through his own efforts, which it did was amazing rapidity. Several cities, however, rendered valuable assistance at the fire – apparatus, and fighters being rushed there from several points. Written 29 February 1920 as described by the city librarian Wilbur F. Coyle – The City Librarian, describes the destruction of Baltimore by fire, 16 years ago this month February 29, 1920, as seen in the City Hall dome – the removal of the records – the plan to cut valuable portraits of mayors from their frames to save them from the flames. These are the personal Chronicles of one who from City Hall Saul Baltimore burning

1904 Feb 8 Cataract spraying water on East Pratt Street wharves


Some of the Blazes That Have Cost Millions of Money and Many Lives 

The United States has, it is said, a record of destruction by fire not equaled by any other country. The greatest, of course, was "The Great Fire," which swept Chicago in 1871, burning over 2,124 acres, nearly covered by buildings, causing the loss of a great many lives and a property loss of more than $100,000,000. 

The Greatest Fires Baltimore had ever known up to this time were the Clay street fire of July 25, 1875, and the Hopkins Place fire of Sunday, September 2, 1888, both of which are described elsewhere. Big fires in other parts of the country have been as follows: 

Savannah, Ga., in 1820, 463 buildings and $4,000,000 value destroyed.

New York, in 1835, 530 buildings, 52 acres burned over, and $i5,000,000 of property destroyed; In 1845, 300 acres burned over, $7,500,000 value, 35 lives lost.

Charlestown, Mass., in 1838, 1,158 buildings.

Pittsburg, in 1845, 100 buildings; $1,000,000 property value.

St. Louis, in 1849, 15 buildings; $3,000,000 value; in 1851, 2,500 buildings destroyed. Philadelphia 1850, 400 buildings.

San Francisco 1831, 2,500 .building’s and a number of lives lost; property -value, $10,000,000.

Portland Maine, in 1866, over one-half the city 200 acres burned over and 1,743 buildings destroyed.

Boston; in 1872, 65 acres or mercantile section burned, including 776 buildings, nearly all of brick and stone construction; property value, $75,000,000.

In June 1889, Seattle, Wash., was destroyed, the loss being $30,000,000. Two months later Spokane- Falls burned. The loss being-$7;000,000.

At Lynn, Mass., In November of the same year $5,000,000 worth of property was consumed. Within a few days, the fire broke out in the dry goods· district of Boston and property valued at $6.000,000 was burned.

In October 1892, a fire at Milwaukee caused a loss of $6,000,000,

At Hoboken on June 30, 1900, the North German Lloyd. Piers and steamships sustained a loss of 10,000,000 and 200 lives were lost.

At Jacksonville, Fla., May 3, 1901, loss estimated at $12,000,000 and 1,300 houses were burned some lives were lost, but the number was not exactly known. . .

October 25, 1901, · In Philadelphia, 19 persons were killed and about $500,000 damage was done by a fire in Hunt, Wilkinson & Co.'s furniture warehouse, on Market street, near Wanamaker's Store.

At Waterbury, Conn., February 2 and 3 1904, Damage now estimated· at $2,500,000 was done.

New York; March 17, 1889, The Windsor Hotel fire, in which 45 persons lost their lives and a property loss of about ·$1,000,000 caused.

7 Feb 1979

The Great Baltimore Fire of 1904:
Isaac Rehert
The Sun (1837-1987); Feb 7, 1979;
pg. B1

7 February 1979 marked the 75th anniversary of the worst disaster ever to strike the city of Baltimore known as “the great Baltimore fire” what follows are two recollections of that fire

The Great Baltimore Fire of 1904:
Two Neighborhood ‘Girls’ Remember

By Isaac Rehert

It began at Hopkins place and German (now Redwood) streets, in the warehouse of the J. Hurst Company; from there it quickly spread to surrounding buildings.

For 2 ½ days, it raged, eating its way eastward in a roaring, hissing sheet of red flames across the half-mile front reaching from Fayette Street to the harbor.

Before it was contained at the Jones falls, it has consumed an area of more than 140 acres, destroying 1500 prime office and manufacturing buildings, leaving Baltimore’s entire business district a graveyard of smoking black embers.

Financial losses were estimated at between 100 million and $150 million.

Two little girls living in Baltimore during those faithful days – both now in their 80s – still recall the fear, the danger and excitement of those few days, when the destruction of the whole city seemed imminent.

One of them, Rosa Kohler Eichelberger, has written a book about it for children and young adults called “big fire in Baltimore,” just published by Steiner house a local firm.

The other, Esther Wilner Hillman, in an interview, has related a little-known facet of that stirring piece of Baltimore history.

RKE 1904
Rosa Kohler Eichelberger

“It was a bitter cold Sunday morning, about 10 or 11 O’clock, with first got her attention where the fire engines, shrieking by every minute, with their sirens and their bells. We knew there had to be a big fire somewhere.

“We were living at 329 North Carrollton Ave. – one of those three-story houses with little white steeps. It was a beautiful neighborhood in those days with lots of teachers and doctors living in our block.

“I was eight years old. Daddy was a telegrapher for Western Union. His office was in the Equitable building, but that was one of the first buildings to go and later they set up a transmission office in the addict of Welch’s restaurant.

“There were any telephones and radios, so we didn’t know about the fire – until the claiming of the fire engines. With so many of them passing, we all ran outside and when we could see the sky to the east all lit up with flames, and the dark black smoke gathering and blowing in the distance”

that, for the little girl, was the beginning of three of the longest event-packed days of a long active life – days of anxiety, of furious chasing around town, of our order world turned suddenly to chaos, of vents that it’s themselves permanently into her mind.

She never forgot them; she could never imagine how any Baltimorean – whether he lived through the fire or not – could ever forget them.

“Later, when I was grown, I work with children in the playground athletic league, and I would ask them what they knew about the Baltimore fire. “It burned me up. They didn’t know a thing. I told him about it and they were shocked. I said to myself. Someday I was going to have to write that story.” One reason the children hadn’t heard was because of the immediate, far-flung, effective action in the city to rebuild.

There was a brief mood of pessimism; but then-Mayor Clay Timanus created a “district commission,” and public officials, merchants, and financiers got to gather with plans and activities.

By the time Rosa Kohler’s playground children came along, but memories of the fire were lost in the first pink glow of Baltimore’s first Renaissance.

But she didn’t intend that it should be lost. “Later, I lived in New York, and we would have a dinner party and I would tell people I was from Baltimore and I would bring up the subject to the fire. “They look at me with eyes full of doubt and it asks, “oh did Baltimore once have a fire?”

“I had always love to Baltimore, but remarks like that – they started my inner fires raging and I began to think again about writing my book.”

Her head was still full of memories, but the first night when her mother disappeared.

“Nobody knew where she was, nobody could call or wire, we were getting information but only through the grapevine.

“Everyone was frantic, we imagine the worst, nobody slept.

“The fire was spreading the other way, but embers were blowing back in our direction, and we never knew whether our house might catch fire.

“Men wore celluloid collars in those days. And I remember one man – and Amber landed on his collar and set fire to him. They had to douse him with a bucket of water to put them out.

“That night, and every block, they set up bucket brigades on the rooftops keeping watch in case the houses of catch fire.

“Next morning mother showed up. She has spent the night with a friend on Biddle Street, helping her pack and move in case the win to turn and flames eat up that part of the city.”


She Still Recalled What the Fire Did to Her Grandfather

“He was in the shoe business. He had a factory on Water Street and three retail shoe stores. One was in the old son building on troll Street in Baltimore Street. I remember it so well, on the same floor was a shop selling Minsk badges and another for the Warner Hat Company. I used asked myself, how does the company make out selling nothing but badges?

“Daddy couldn’t go to work Monday, so he went with my grandfather to see if they could save the factory. There were hordes of people downtown. They came to go to work, just as they always did. They had heard there was a fire, but it was a workday, so they knew they had to get up and go to work.

“The military was out – and dandy fifth – keeping the spectators away from the danger zones. People standing around watching got so excited that sometimes when a wind came up, it would scatter some paper money that somehow didn’t get burnt up. But nobody would bother chasing it.

“They couldn’t save grandfather’s factory. It was completely gone. Everything stank up and burned. They found the foot of water on the floor, and they were sloshing around. Trying to find what might be left when my mother showed up.

“Nobody was supposed to get through the military lines. But mother was good-looking and somehow she made it.

“When she appeared, she looked at my father’s what feet and smiled. She said she knew it would be that way and she had bought him a pair of dry socks.

“Grandfather never rebuilt his factory; he was too old. He did reopen some stores, but he could never get used to selling shoes made by someone else. It was never the same.”

It was in her late teens that rose: the first decided she had to write a book about the fire. She had attended St. Catherine’s normal Institute, at Harlem and Arlington avenues. But she never went to college. Instead, she went to work as a recreation leader, where one of the jobs was telling stories to children.

Naturally, she would tell him about the fire. Later she wanted to be an actress, and read please with the vagabonds and with the war camp community service, the World War I organization providing recreation for servicemen.

She left Baltimore to travel with Chautauqua lectures, drama and other assorted kinds of culture to cities and small towns all over the country.

She became a professional storyteller, and one of the highlights of her career was telling stories at Hull house in Chicago where Jane Adams was at the crest of her fame.

In Chautauqua, she met her husband, Clark Eichelberger, a lecture on international affairs. He subsequently became a United Nations diplomat and has written a number of books in that area.

In the 1950s, [she was then approaching the age of 60] Mrs. Eichelberger took a course at the New York University in writing for children and shortly afterward published her first book, the Bronco close,

On the strength of that success, she has come New York publisher if he wouldn’t be interested in a long dash projected book about the Baltimore fire. He wasn’t.

“He said to me, “but you know, Mrs. Eichelberger, every little town in America has had its big fire.”

“That made me so mad.”

So she decided to write the book 1st and see if she could pedal it afterward

“I wanted children to see the fire as it actually happened. So I centered around the 12-year-old boy named Todd who wanted to become a Western Union telegrapher – he learned the moss code by practicing it on his gate latch – and he carried information to everyone about the fire.

“I get up every morning at 5 o’clock and work on this thing. Later in the day, I had my regular job and my housework to do

“getting up that early, I’ve wondered often how many millions of talented women writers have been smothered under housework. “I finished that manuscript, then I rewrote it, and then I rewrote again, again and again.

“Then I began talking to publishers, but nobody in New York was interested.

“It never occurred to me that there might be a publisher in Baltimore until one day I attended a reunion of old new dealers in Washington, and a friend of mine from Baltimore was there, and she told me about Barber hold bridge and stammer house. “I wrote to Barbara and she was interested right away.

“And that’s how it happened”

“After those kids, I personally told the story of the Baltimore fire to. I’m glad now that finally, it’ll be available to them all.

“My next book? I’m thinking about tackling my memoirs.”

ewh 1904Esther Wilner Hillman

There’s a Messiah on the door jam, and on the window, little decals about Israel. The walls are hung with pictures of children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

And there’s a big homemade greeting card tacked on the kitchen door from someone who I would say loves her.

Esther Wilner Hillman, 82 years old but looking nowhere near that age, is animatedly talking on the telephone, and the soap operas playing on the TV behind her.

But when you tell her you’ve come to hear her reminiscence about the Baltimore fire, everything stops.

Hastily she tells her friend, “I’ll call you back,” hangs up and leaves the instrument off the hook. She quickly turns off the TV. She explains that people are often here because she collects clothing to forward to poor people in Israel. And that today is her 82nd birthday, so she’s getting lots of calls.

But right now, first things first, “I’ve been waiting over 50 years to tell the story about what our Jewish people did in the Baltimore fire. Now that I’ve got a chance to do it, everything else is going to wait, even my birthday calls.”

First, though, a cup of tea – tea with maleness – that’s jelly or preservatives to sweeten it. And the cookie – you can’t drink tea without a cookie. Is it hot enough? If it isn’t hot enough, so warm it up.

Now that she's sure you’re comfortable, she begins her tail.

“I’ve tried to tell the story before, but they weren’t interested. All my life nearly every Friday I’ve been reading writing about the fire, but nobody has ever written what our Jewish people did. It was this way.” And she begins.

“It was bitter cold, just like today. We were living on sharp Street, at Camden.”

Sharp Street, she explains is the old name for Hopkins place. [It still Calls Sharp St., South of Pratt Street]

“That’s where the fire began, and Johnny Hearst place, right near the corner of German [Now Redwood] and Sharp.

She narrows her eyes and looks off into the distance, the better to see the exact corner.

“He was in the Drygoods and Notions business. So the stuff all over the South,” she looks solicitously into the teacup to be sure it isn’t yet empty, then continues her story.

“In those days, South Baltimore was a Jewish ghetto from Baltimore Street down to about Cross Street market.

“On the Shabbas, everything shut down because everybody went to see.

“But Sundays, they worked. Half a day, from 8 o’clock till two. Other days, they worked 12 hours. And they had to put in six days. Otherwise, they didn’t get their full pay. It was four dollars a week. Imagine, and today they made gets four dollars an hour.

“Anyway, my father worked for soul Ginsberg, whose factor was across the street from the Hertz.

“He’s going to work that morning as usual, at about 10 o’clock he came hurrying home caring these enormous books, weighed down with them. I’d never seen him look so intense and burdened. They were the ledgers from Ginsberg. “He slapped them on the chair and said to my mother, don’t let the children bother them. Tseppenin, that’s the word he used. “Then he ran back for more ledgers, and then he took my older brother, Sam, with him, back to the plant, to help them carry out bolts of cloth. Sam was nine years old. I’ve only seven. The bolts were so heavy, it took three of them to carry each one. But they kept running back and forth bringing more bolts until the police wouldn’t let them go back anymore.

“And then my father told everybody what happened. He had smelled fire and smoke, and a sent some of the workers to break the fire alarm. And then to stand at the corner ~fireman game. Remember, they were horse-drawn engines in those days.

“They saved all they could. What made it so sad was that there was a hardware store next door to the hearse, and they kept barrels of gasoline and coal oil out on the sidewalk – they weren’t allowed to keep them indoors.

“And then the fire read to them they exploded. It was terrible, after that, nobody was allowed to go back in, and the police went house to house throughout the road, telling us to get ready to move out, in case the winds shift toward the south. “We ran upstairs and carried down all our perenes (eiderdown quilts). What else do people have in those days? And then boys ran around and notified everybody who had a wagon to stay on alert – case we had to move. But thank God, the wind didn’t shift to the south.

“That night we children all slept downstairs on the perenes while our parents poured buckets of water on the roof, in case a spark should handle them.

“I remember father on the roof. And a mother on the sidewalk down below, filling the bucket and tying a rope to it so the men could port up.”

She interrupts to refill the plate holding the cookies. Do not homemade she apologizes. But you can’t get around as well as he used to.

“Now where was I? Oh, yes, sleeping on the perenes downstairs. You know, I’ll never forget that. Asked me what happened yesterday, and I won’t be able to tell you. But those days the fire, I’ll never forget.

“You know, it after just a couple of hours it was clear that it was so big that our firemen couldn’t handle it alone. So they sent help from other cities – from Washington, from Philadelphia, from door fall, from Richmond. “Of course, the firemen from out of town couldn’t go home, even the Baltimore firemen couldn’t go home. They would work for four hours, and then they were exhausted needed the rest, but in four hours they had to start again. “So the police came to our neighborhood and asked us to help. “The firemen needed hot coffee, could we keep a pot always going on the stove? And could do firemen come in and sleep in our houses? “Ordinarily we never use the parlor in winter, so it was always cold. We ate all meals in the kitchen. “But my father filled the big Latrobe stove with wood and coal, and we dragged the perenes in there on the floor, and that’s where the firemen slept. “Of course you couldn’t just give a man coffee without a bun. So my mother, like all the other women, began baking bread to feed the firemen. “I remember an old man, his name was Singer, he was very pious, and he kept a strict kosher grocery store. He sent over so many things. Without the charge, naturally. “On Camden Street, a family named Surasky kept the department store. It wasn’t like a department store today, but in those days it seemed very large to us. They sold everything. They sent boots for the firemen, and woolen socks, woolen caps, earmuffs, mittens. Whatever they had they sent, and everything was free of charge.

“My mother worked day and night, the only rest she got was on the couch in the kitchen. And my father and Sam were busy keeping the stove going day and night. “For us children, it was terribly exciting. Although strange men sleeping and eating in our house. “Since they slept around the clock, the house had to stay quiet, and my job was to watch the smaller children so they shouldn’t make any noise.

“Of course, the firemen were all black from the start, and they would wash and dry themselves on our towels – and the towels turned all black. I remember my mother standing all day over the washboard, scrubbing them clean. My father strong lines around the kitchen which were full of drying towels.

Our toilet in those days was outdoors, and we didn’t want to ask tired firemen to use that, so my father provided them buckets. I remember him and my mother caring the full buckets out and empty ones back in.

“Only the following Sunday, after it was all over, my father took us up there. What used to be such nice buildings were now all open fields. You couldn’t even tell where the streets had been.

“Everything was smoldering. I remember picking up a piece of black sender. As I held it, it still smoked.

“Back in the house, now the firemen were gone. Everything was so quiet. I remember how I missed the excitement. “But now we had to clean up. “We had no linoleums were rugs on our floors – everything was bare wood. And all the boards were black from soot. “The floor