Fugitive Squad

Fugitive Squad

The Evening Sun Mon Jan 5 1976 ESCAPE AND APPREHENSION 72

Click Article above, or HERE to see full size Article

The Evening Sun Tue Jan 24 1978 Uncle leo escape and Aprehension 72

Click Article above, or HERE to see full size Article


Special thanks to BullCreek Arms for rebuilding this 1939 Baltimore Police Fugitive Squad Winchester model 1897,12 gauge shotgun. It came to us as a literal basket case and was put back together by BullCreek. Along side BullCreek, a special thanks goes out to Worth-A-Shot for helping us getting the gun parts back to Baltimore, she offered to send it on to BullCreek for us, but we felt she did enough and didn't want to take advantage of her good nature. 


Side Inscribed Baltimore Police Fugitive Squad

Winchester Model 1897

The Winchester Model 1897, also known as the Model 97, M97, or Trench Gun, is a pump-action shotgun with an external hammer and tube magazine manufactured by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. The Model 1897 was an evolution of the Winchester Model 1893 designed by John Browning. From 1897 until 1957, over one million of these shotguns were produced. The Model 1897 was offered in numerous barrel lengths and grades, chambered in 12 and 16 gauge, and as a solid frame or takedown. The 16-gauge guns had a standard barrel length of 28 inches, while 12-gauge guns were furnished with 30-inch length barrels. Special length barrels could be ordered in lengths as short as 20 inches, and as long as 36 inches. Since the time the Model 1897 was first manufactured it has been used by American soldiers, police departments, and hunters.


The Winchester Model 1897 was designed by American firearms inventor John Moses Browning. The Model 1897 was first listed for sale in the November 1897 Winchester catalog as a 12 gauge solid frame. The 12 gauge takedown was added in October 1898, and the 16 gauge takedown in February 1900. Originally produced as a tougher, stronger and more improved version of the Winchester 1893, itself an improvement on the early Spencer pump gun, the 1897 was identical to its forerunner, except that the receiver was thicker and allowed for use of smokeless powder shells, which were not common at the time. The 1897 introduced a "take down" design, where the barrel and magazine tube could easily be separated from the receiver for cleaning or transportation, the ease of removal of the barrel becoming a standard in pump shotguns made today, like the Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 series. Over time, "the model 97 became the most popular shotgun on the American market and established a standard of performance by which other kinds and makes of shotguns were judged, including the most expensive imported articles". The Winchester Model 1897 was in production from 1897 until 1957. It was in this time frame that the "modern" hammerless designs became common, like the Winchester Model 1912 and the Remington 870. The Model 1897 was superseded by the Winchester Model 1912. However, the gun can still be found today in regular use.

Improvements from the 1893

While designing the new Model 1897, many of the weaknesses present in the earlier Model 1893 were taken into account and remedied. These improvements included:

The frame was strengthened and made longer to handle a 12 gauge 2+3⁄4-inch shell, as well as the 2+5⁄8-inch shell.

The top of the frame was covered so that the ejection of the fired shell was entirely from the side. This added a lot of strength to the frame of the gun and it allowed the use of a 2+3⁄4 inch shell without the danger of the gun constantly jamming.

The action could not be opened until a slight forward movement of the slide handle released the action slide lock. In firing, the recoil of the shotgun gave a slight forward motion to the slide handle and released the action slide lock which enabled the immediate opening of the action. In the absence of any recoil, the slide handle had to be pushed forward manually in order to release the action slide lock.

A movable cartridge guide was placed on the right side of the carrier block to prevent the escape of the shell when the shotgun was turned sideways in the act of loading.

The stock was made longer and with less drop.

Of these improvements, the slide lock is the one that made the Model 1897 into a safe firearm. This improved slide lock kept the shotgun locked until actual firing occurred which prevented it from jamming in the case of a misfire. The slide lock "stands in such a relation to the body of the firing pin as will prevent the firing pin reaching the primer until the pin has moved forward a sufficient distance to insure locking of the breech bolt". This prevents the action sleeve "from being retracted by the hand of the gunner until after firing, and hence rendering the firearm more safe".


The Winchester Model 1897 and the Winchester Model 1893 were both designed by John Browning. The Model 1897 is an external hammer shotgun lacking a trigger disconnector. This means that the user can hold the trigger down while cycling the shotgun and once the action is returned to battery the shotgun fires. The firearm itself is classified as a slide action pump shotgun. It was the first truly successful pump-action shotgun produced. Throughout the time period the Model 1897 was in production, over a million of the type were produced in various grades and barrel lengths. 16-gauge guns had a standard barrel length of 28 inches, while 12-gauge guns were furnished with 30-inch length barrels. Special length barrels could be ordered in lengths as short as 20 inches, and as long as 36 inches. Along with various grades and barrel lengths, the Model 1897 came in two different chamberings. One was the 12 gauge and the other was the 16 gauge. The shells should be of the 2+3⁄4 inch or 2+5⁄8 inch model. Any shells larger are not recommended. An average Model 1897 can hold 6 shotgun shells in the magazine tube. When working the action of the Model 1897 the forend (fore grip) is pulled back, forcing the breech bolt to the rear which extracts and then ejects the spent shell while simultaneously cocking the external hammer by pushing it to the rear. When the forend is slid forward again, the breech bolt pushes a fresh shell into the gun's chamber and locks into place.

The Chinese company Norinco has made an effort to reproduce this firearm. The Norinco 97 is an almost exact copy of the Winchester 1897, produced in both Trench and Riot grades, yet lacking in the fit and finish of the originals.


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

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 

90 Minutes

Baltimore's Police Lost Control in 90 Minutes


APRIL 28, 2015 11:52 PM EDT

On school days in western Baltimore, local kids gather at a drab shopping center called Mondawmin Mall where bus routes begin and end. On Monday, the hangout became the scene of a riot.

Policing experts who reconstructed the events of the day said that Baltimore police did not send enough officers to the situation at the start, FAILED TO QUICKLY MAKE ARRESTS ONCE TROUBLE BEGAN and did not deploy additional officers quickly enough. Key decisions led the situation to spiral out of control in a short 90 minutes, a lesson other police departments should heed.

Baltimore’s police force was prepared for more unrest related to the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who suffered a spinal injury while in police custody. Messages on social media seemed to be goading students to violence, so police went to the mall in riot gear by around 3 p.m. Still, they went prepared for typical high school rebellion, NOT A FULL-BLOWN RIOT.

“When we deployed our officers yesterday, we were deploying for a high school event,” Baltimore Capt. J. Kowalczyk told reporters.

Baltimore cops are trained to handle violent crowds, former police officials told TIME. Officers are drilled in maneuvers — how to form defensive lines, what formations to stand in, how to divide and conquer a crowd. But while police can practice arrests, subduing suspects and even home assaults, there is no real preparation for an angry mob like facing an actual angry mob. In the 90 minutes that Mondawmin Mall transformed from transit hub to a riot scene, Baltimore police were outnumbered and TOO PASSIVE in pursuing arrests, experts said.

The timeline of Monday’s unrest goes something like this. By 3:30 p.m., the students were throwing bottles and bricks at police officers. They were ordered to disperse, but the violence escalated as officers were injured. By 4:30 rioters were setting fires and making their way downtown. The police were unable to stop them. “I was there. I saw our reaction. I gave directions to advance,” Baltimore’s Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said. “They outnumbered us and outflanked us.”

The officers at Mondawmin Mall were too small a group to properly handle the crowd of that size, experts said. There were enough officers at the mall to hold a line and some property, but NOT enough to penetrate the crowd and make arrests, says Neill Franklin, who oversaw Baltimore police training from 2000 to 2004. “You’ve got to have enough boots on the ground,” said Franklin. “Without that, there’s nothing you can do. You’ll be overwhelmed very quickly.” Also important for policing is a deep familiarity with surrounding streets and alleys. In order to secure an area, Franklin said, “police should know all the access and exit points, where protestors can maneuver themselves to and from.”

Before backup arrived, the police officers stationed on the streets around Mondawmin Mall were unable to arrest stone-throwers quickly enough to snuff out the violence.

For a crucial hour and a half on Monday afternoon, they were pelted with rocks as high school and middle-school students ran through the streets. Outnumbered, the officers were forced to retreat and hold their lines, and the crowd quickly got out of control. “The moment the first bottle or the first rock is thrown first, or the first officer is assaulted, action has to be taken,” said Jon Shane, associate professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. “And it has to be swift, and it has to be firm.” Much of the crowd had already moved downtown by the time enough police had arrived to make arrests.

Overall, the problem seems to be that police were too passive, an ironic situation given that the protests were related to overly aggressive police tactics.

The Baltimore Police Department has in recent years sought to tone down aggression. A comprehensive retraining in the late 2000s connected Baltimore cops with young people in the city, while the top brass has warned officers repeatedly in recent months not to overstep behavioral bounds. “In past years, had there been riots like this there isn’t any question there would have been many hundreds of arrests,” said Adam Walinsky, a onetime advisor to former Attorney General Robert Kennedy who led Baltimore’s program to retrain its city police from 2007 to 2012. But with tight police oversight, Walinsky added, “what are they supposed to do?

It didn’t help that Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake gave mixed signals in the days before the riots. The police were instructed “to do everything they could to make sure the protestors were able to exercise their right to free speech. It’s a very delicate balancing act,” Rawlings-Blake said, adding, “we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.” She later walked back her comments, and expressed outrage that property was being looted. But much of officers’ restraint can be attributed to the appearance of hesitancy at higher levels, critics say.

Still, the police department’s tepid response to the first hour and a half of violence may have actually saved lives. Years of close training meant that despite all the police injuries, no police fired on the crowd, and no protestors were killed. “What I was impressed with is when they had bricks thrown at them, the police officers held their fire,” said Ret. General Russel L. Honoré, who led operations and brought calm to New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. “The police showed extraordinary restraint.”

Compared with the Los Angeles riots of 1992, when 53 people were killed, or the Baltimore riots of 1968 when more than 600 were injured, the unrest has so far been relatively tame. “Police have been really great example of being reserved of not doing some of the things we’ve seen in other cities,” said Franklin. “They are really doing their best not to make things worse by being overly aggressive.

After the showdown at Mondawmin Mall, the west Baltimore kids were joined by adults who burned buildings and looted on their way downtown. By Tuesday morning, 19 police officers had been injured, 15 buildings and 144 cars were set on fire, and more than 200 people had been arrested. For millions at home watching these scenes of looting and night fires on television, the violence looked similar to the riots that unfolded in Ferguson aa year earlier. Unlike Ferguson, though, there were no rubber bullets, assault rifles, or fleets of heavily armored vehicles. In the first hour and a half of the riots, there was just a hapless group of Baltimore police officers, struggling to contain a crowd that was too big, and too unpredictable.

In a larger sense, the decisions made by the Mayor, and city council, the police commissioner and other police leaders, for the streets in Baltimore on that day in 2015 don’t much matter. It’s the long game of improving police community relations that counts. Many have urged the Justice Department to provide more funding for police training and special programs. “This problem didn’t start last night or last week or when Freddie Gray got died,” said Walinsky, the Baltimore police reformer. “Once a riot starts, it’s a little late.

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17 Days

April 18, 2015 – May 3, 2015

12 April 2015, Baltimore Police Department officers arrested Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old resident of Baltimore. Gray's neck and spine were injured while he was in a police vehicle causing him to enter into a coma. On 18 April, there were protests in front of the Western District Police Station. Gray died on the 19th of April. 

Further protests were organized after Gray's death became known publicly, amid the police department's continuing inability to adequately or consistently explain the events following the arrest, and Gray's injuries. More and more pockets of spontaneous protests began. After the funeral service, several of the protests crossed the line of protests, into rioting with the addition of violent and destructive elements. Civil unrest continued with at least twenty police officers injured, and more than 250 arrests, 350 businesses were damaged, 150 vehicle fires, 60 structure fires, 27 drugstores burglarized and looted, thousands of police and the Maryland National Guard troops were deployed, a state of emergency was declared within the limits of Baltimore City. That state of emergency was lifted on May 6. The series of protests took place against a historical backdrop of racial and poverty issues in Baltimore.

On May 1, 2015, Gray's death was ruled by the medical examiner to be a homicide. Six officers were charged with various offenses, including second-degree murder, in connection with Gray's death. Three officers went to trial, evidence was offered, and heard before they were all three subsequently acquitted. In July of 2016, following the three acquittals, Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby realizing she had overcharged with little to no evidence was forced to drop the charges against the remaining three officers. 


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

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 

Jesse James

Jesse James

The Baltimore Sun Sun Aug 25 1929 Jessie James Frey 72

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 Click HERE for Audio File of above Newsletter1 red devider 800 8 72

Jesse James Once Lived in Baltimore

25 Aug 1929

He stayed here more than once as did other well-known western characters from American history. Doc Holiday for one was trained as a dentist here in Baltimore at the University of Maryland Dental School. Getting back to the James Boys, it seemed when things got hot, they found their way to Baltimore where Jesse stayed under his alias Thomas Howard. Neighbors said he was a calm easy-going man. Approx. 1879 at the end of what was known as the “Serious Seventies” Baltimore was a quiet town. It had cobble stone streets for which barouches and other such vehicles of the time bumped and clattered their way over. The population at the time was only made up of 330.000 and city government only collected about $4 million a year in taxes. The mayor at the time was Ferdinand Latrobe who began his career as mayor and continued the position for seven terms. The Northern boundary of the city was North Ave. and its intersection with Madison Ave.

Jesse James’ Family Headquarters

Of all the parts of Baltimore’s history, Jesse and Frank James staying along with their families was not known until the 1920’s. It turns out that the bandit, his wife, kids, and his brother Frank James sometimes made Baltimore their headquarters and this took place during the serious and picturesque seventies. There was a story of a close call of what would have been a shootout between Frank James and our Baltimore City Policemen of the time.  Frank James lucked out, also prevented the thrill of anyone knowing the James boys were harbored by this city. It wasn’t often that Jesse James would leave a clue of his true identity when he galloped away from a crime back to where he once came, said, Robertus Love, a former newspaper writer, who knew Jesse personally and for a short time road with the James Boys in order to pen Jessie’s biography, “The Rise and fall of Jesse James,” Love liked Jesse very much.  Mr. Love wrote, “Mr. James stated that the family had lived at Nashville, and elsewhere in Tennessee in recent years, and for a time in Baltimore Md., and for some months in Kansas City just removing to St. Joseph.

Where did they live? The records are unclear, and the reason is unclear, he obviously didn’t give the name Jesse and Frank James, Thomas Howard wouldn’t have been as well know back then as it became after his having been killed. When Mrs. James spoke, she said, “We came here to live as other people do. They tell some hard things about my husband, but a better man never lived. He never drank, smoked, or chewed. He never liked whisky. He never swore in my presence and wouldn’t allow others to do so,” Jesse was evidently a good husband and father. A good family man.

A Good Neighbor

“Tom Howard” was the name taken by the man who was much “wanted by the police” in those days, and in all probability he was so successful in his attempt to “live as other people live” that his presence among them created no suggestion of a ripple in the quiet lives of his various neighborhoods. At the time of his death several people who had known him in various cities gave testimony that Tom Howard was “a good neighbor.” There were many who believed Jesse James was not an outlaw and bandit by choice, but that after the civil war he became involved in the guerrilla warfare which continued for some time between the border states, and through these conflicts becoming attached to an outlaw band, he found it impossible to break away. He had a ton of friends among law-abiding groups making it easy to slip in and out of towns where he did not commit crime and blend right in. There were many neighbors that said he attended church and sang all the hymnals, though they say he was obviously a better bank robber than he was a singer. A Baptist Minister once asked Jesse why he does not stop the things he is doing? Jesse answered, “If you’ll tell me just how I can stop, I’ll be glad enough to stop; but I don’t intend to stop directly under a rope!” His brother frank found a way to stop, he made his way into see a governor in the state of Missouri and turned himself in. He was tried for one crime in a plea deal, served his term, came out of prison, and lived to be a respectable member of society. It was at this period in his life that he told a story of his experience in Baltimore City. At the time of the telling he was employed as doorkeeper at a prominent theater, and the tale was related to a man who was then a young detective.  The story was told in Mr. Love’s book was based on Frank James’ theory that “the officer always gets it when he least expects it” “He the illustrated his point by relating his Baltimore experience, as he put it, “They thought they wanted me.” He said he was stopping in Baltimore; he had a room in a house built of solid block of dwellings with no space between them. One night he wanted something to eat, so he took a walk to a nearby market that was open. On the way back to his room with a basket of food on his left arm, his coat collar turned up and his hat brim turned down, he noticed a number of policemen walking up and down in front of his house and they were waiting for him to return. He said, “I was too close to turn back without drawing their suspicion. Directly across the street from the policemen I noticed a white horse hitched to a buggy; the street was well lit from gas lamps and the horse showed up quite well in the mellow gleam.

“I decided quickly upon my plan of action. Probably the officers, I thought, had the block surrounded. My plan was to walk straight on past them if they didn’t interfere with me; I would not go into my room at all. If they attempted to capture me, I would try to reach the horse and buggy by “shooting it out” with the officers. And then drive away as fast as that horse would have taken me.”  - “James said he walked along with his six shooter, which he had harnessed under his left arm. His right hand thus was concealed under his coat and under the arm in which the basket hung. Approaching the bunch of officers, he edged out toward the curbing, intending to walk around them as though he had not noticed them especially. When he was opposite the officers, one of them reached out a hand to stop him. James sprang backward into the street, off the sidewalk, toward the horse and buggy, pulling his pistol from its place, but not quite getting it out – not so that it was visible to the policemen.  “Well, sir, what is it? What is it?” James asked the officers who had tried to stop him. “Don’t be scared, “ said one of the officers, with an oath; we’re not going to hurt you,” James again said, “What is it?” expecting every second to find it necessary to open fire and “get” as many of them as he could, when another officer in a rather gentle tone said, “Say, don’t be afraid of us; we’re not going to harm you, man; we simply want to get men enough to serve as a jury in a coroner’s case where a man in the house next door to my house had died without medical attention, by natural cause or otherwise.” “James then saw, he stated, that the policemen were in front of the house adjoining the one where he was roomed…... he “simply told them he was not a citizen of Maryland but lived in Washington.”  But those Baltimore Policemen never knew how close they came to shooting it out with Frank James, and or how far from James his outlaw brother Jesse might have been.


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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.

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 


Baltimore Police Newsletters

back of No coat NYPD news about BPD traffic uniform order

 Click HERE or the article above to see full size article

Newsletter from that year PDF click HERE



Baltimore Police Newsletters


1964 Newsletter Assist an Officer

1965 Newsletter Assist an Officer

1966 Newsletter Assist an Officer

1966 Newsletter Night Patrol

1967 Newsletter Vol 1 1 to 22 March 2 1967 to December 20 1967

1968 Newsletter Vol 2 1 to 25 January 3 1968 to December 18 1968

1969 Newsletter Vol 3 1 to 20 January 1 1969 to December 31 1969

1970 Newsletter Vol 4 1 to 26 January 14 1970 to December 30 1970

1971 Newsletter Vol 5 1 to 26 January 13 1971 to December 29 1971

1972 Newsletter Vol 6 Issue 1 to 26 January 12 1972 to December 27 1972

1973 Newsletter Vol 7 Issue 1 to 26 January 10 1973 to December 26 1973

1974 Newsletter Vol 8 Issue 1 to 26 January 9 1974 to December 24 1974

1975 Newsletter Vol 9 Issue 1 to 26 January 8 1975 to December 24 1975

1976 Newsletter Vol 10 Issue 1 to 26 January 7 1976 to December 22 1976

1977 Newsletter Vol 11 Issue 1 to 26 January 5 1977 to December 21 1977

1978 Newsletter Vol 12 Issue 1 to 26 January 4 1978 to December 20 1978

1979 Newsletter Vol 13 Issue 1 to 26 January 3 1979 to December 19 1979

1980 Newsletter Vol 14 Issue 1 to 27 January 2 1980 to December 31 1980

1981 Newsletter Vol 15 Issue 1 to 26 January 14 1981 to December 30 1981

1982 Newsletter Vol 16 Issue 1 to 26 January 13 1982 to December 29 1982

1983 Newsletter Vol 17 Issue 1 to 26 January 12 1983 to December 28 1983

1984 Newsletter Vol 18 Issue 1 to 26 January 11 1984 to December 24 1984

1985 Newsletter Vol 19 Issue 1 to 26 January 9 1985 to December 24 1985

1986 Newsletter Vol 20 Issue 1 to 26 January 8 1986 to December 24 1986

1987 Newsletter Vol 21 Issue 1 to 26 January 7 1987 to December 23 1987

1988 Newsletter Vol 22 Issue 1 to 26 January 6 1988 to December 21 1988

1989 Newsletter Vol 23 Issue 1 to 26 January 4 1989 to December 19 1989

1990 Newsletter Vol 24 Issue 1 to 26 January 3 1990 to December 18 1990

1991 Newsletter Vol 25 Issue 1 to 26 January 2 1991 to December 16 1991

1992 Newsletter Vol 26 Issue 1 to 20 January 1 1992 to December 16 1992

1993 Newsletter Vol 27 Issue 1 to 7 January 1993 to December 1993

1994 Newsletter Vol 28 Issue 1 to 5 May 1994 to October 1994

1995 Newsletter Vol 29 Issue 1 to 7 January 1995 to November 1995

1996 Newsletter Vol 30 Issue 1 to 5 January 1996 to July August 1996

1997 Newsletter Vol 31 Issue 1 to 6 January 3 May 1997 to December 1997

1998 Newsletter Vol 32 Issue 1 to 6 January 1998 to November 1998

1999 Newsletter Vol 33 Issue 1 to 19 January 1999 to December 22 1999

2000 Newsletter Blue Line News Vol 34 Issue 1 to 11

2001 Newsletter Blue Line News Vol 35 Issue 1 to 7 Special Edition

2002 Newsletter Blue Lines News Vol 35 Issue 10 to 11

2003 Newsletter Blue Line News Vol 36 Issue 1 to 2

2004 Newsletter Blue Line News Vol 26 Issue 3 to 12

2005 Newsletter Blue Line 04 04 05

2005 Newsletter Blue Line 10 08 05

2005 Newsletter Blue Line News Vol 27 Issue 1 to 4

2006 Newsletter Blue Line 06 01 06 Special Edition

2006 Newsletter Blue Line 12 11 2006

2006 Newsletter Blue Line Vol 28 Issue 1 to 3 Special Edition

2007 Newsletter Blue Line Feb 2007 Special Edition

2007 Newsletter Blue Line News Vol 29 issue 1 and Special Edition

2011 Newsletter Blue Line Editions 1 to 3

2015 Newsletter Vol 1 Issue 1 to 4

2015 Newsletter Vol 1 Issue 1

2015 Newsletter Vol 1 Issue 2

2016 Newsletter Vol 2 Issue 1 to 4







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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.

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 

Sleuths in Masks

Masked Detectives Before the TWO WAY Mirror 1i

Sleuths Have Masked the System

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First Prisoners Subjected to Ordeal Turns Pale

Wednesday, 29 July 1908

The mask system, which enables detectives to examine crooks without being recognized, was inaugurated yesterday (28 July 1908) by the detective department. The masks worn by the detectives were of the ordinary white dominoes, with muslin covering the lower part of the face. They are adjusted by an elastic band, which is slipped over the back of the head. The prisoner put under the eyes of 20 detectives was Hymen Movitz, 18 years old, white male who is charged with being a pickpocket. He was placed on a platform in the assembly room of the courthouse by the Captain of the Detectives Pumphrey, who was not masked, who told the detectives who the man was and what he was arrested for. “I want you men to examine this youth closely,” he said. The 20 detectives scrutinized the youth. The lad grew pale and seized the brass railing under the ordeal. During the examination Col. Sherlock Swann, president of the police board, stood by and took in the proceedings with interest. Col. Swann brought the idea from New York, where he went last spring to familiarize himself with the methods adopted by the police of that city. He was greatly impressed by the scheme, believing it an excellent means of having detectives identify prisoners or suspects without themselves being scrutinized. Movitz, who faced the detectives yesterday, was arrested Monday night by the patrolman Woolford, of the central district, on the charge of picking the pocket of Adolph Ettner, 1500 North Chapel St., and stealing seven dollars. He was committed to court by Justice Grannan, at the central station.

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Police Use Spotlight - Pugilistic Aspirant Plants One Subjected to Ordeal

Friday, 31 July 1908

He was a meek-looking little fellow as he was hustled into detective headquarters yesterday morning and he said he was 17; but when he gave his name – Michael Romano, a son of “Sunny IT” – the sleuths stood back for a careful survey. They knew him as a prizefighter – a lesser star in the pugilistic firmament – who once called himself “Jack O’Brien the second. ”Never had they seen the boys flinch in the ring, but when 20 pairs of eyes peeped through 20 white masks and focused on him, Michael, whose true name was Michaelini, grew nervous. And then someone turned on the spotlight and explained to these 20 men behind the masks that he had been arrested on the charge of picking the pocket of Mr. Adolf Ettner, 1500 North Chapel St., on 27 July and stealing seven dollars, and that he stood committed for court. They twisted and turned the boy about from one position to another so that the masked onlookers might see him in every possible position, and the lad quivered at the strange sight. He did not know there were two eyes centered upon him that had seen him from the time he was a “we” bit of a baby. But there were and they belong to Detective Peter Bradley. The sleuth knew the prisoners' whole history. But from now on every man in the detective department – some of whom Michael does not know and had no chance, to see – will know him by the site. The lad was arrested by the police of the central district. A few days ago Hymen Movitz, another pugilistic aspirant, was arrested on the same charge. It is said the two boys and a companion were together when Mr. Ettner lost his pocket-book. Movitz was the first person to be put under the spotlight and shown to the masked detectives. He, too, was committed for court.

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Police “Mugg” the Governor - Stitch Executive Inspects the Department and is Enthusiastic

Sunday, 6 December 1908

According to Col. Sherlock Swann and Mr. John B. A. Weddle, of the police board, Governor Crothers yesterday inspected the police department. The governor was accompanied by his secretary. Mr. Emerson R. Crothers, and upon his return enthusiastically expressed himself and approval of what he has seen. “The system,” he said, “is splendid. I liked the thoroughness with which every detail is provided for and the whole business impressed me with its efficiency. The police department is modern and up-to-date. ”The governor was first taken to the detective department, and there witnessed the interesting incident of the bringing in of several prisoners who were confronted by the detectives wearing their white masks. Lieut. Casey “mugged” the governor, taking pictures of his profile and full face, but promised not to place the photographs in the rogue’s gallery. The governor also submitted to having been measured, according to the Bertillon System, and spent nearly an hour in going over the records of the department.

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Col. Swann Declines - Refuses Reappointment as President of Police Board - May Have Mayoralty in Mind

21 April 1910

“That Bridge Can Be Crossed When We Come to It,” He Says in Reply To Question. Col. Charlotte Swann, president of the Police Board, wrote to Gov. Crothers yesterday that he would be unable to accept reappointment to that office, which had been offered him by the governor. Col. Swann’s action was a surprise in political circles and many persons were inclined to think he meant that the Col. was preparing to become a more male real candidate. Asked his reason for declining reappointment, Col. Swann said: a “my letter to the governor answers that question. I will say, however,” he added, “that I try to practice what I preach. Baltimore hopes to become a manufacturing city. I think that it is its destiny. I have gone into the manufacturing business, and hope that I can assist in some small way in reaching that desired goal. ”Does your retirement from the police department mean that you will be a candidate for the Mayor? ”I have no other thought at the present time than the success of the business in which I am engaged. The Mayor bridge can be crossed when we come to it, but that is too far off for consideration just now. ”Col. Swann’s letter follows: “to his Excellency, Austin L. Crothers, governor of Maryland: “Dear Sir – one of the officers of the Druid Oak Belting Company, Inc., – of which company I am president – who has in the past relieved may of the branch of the work I should have performed for it, will leave very soon for an extended stay abroad, which will make it impossible for me to devote the necessary amount of time to properly administer the office of Police Commissioner. I have always made it a rule to faithfully try to perform to the best of my ability the duties of any public office as I may assume. The one I now occupy requires of the incumbent his undivided time if the best results are to be obtained. “It is, therefore, with the utmost reluctance and sincere regret that I must decline the reappointment to the office of Police Commissioner for the Baltimore city police, with which you have honored me, and I most respectfully notify you accordingly. “This severe and is of my official connection with your administration, with my colleagues and the members of the department, is one of the heartiest acts I’ve ever been called upon to perform. “Assuring you of my deep gratitude for the confidence you have proposed in May and trusting that I have in the past two years, in some small way, contributed to the welfare of the people of this city, I am, “very truly yours, “Sherlock Swann.”

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His Record on Police Board - Col. Swann Has Done Much to Improve the Force

21 April 1910

As President of the Police Board (Board of Commissioners)  Colonel Sherlock Swann took the initiative and many reforms that resulted in a benefit to the people and efficiency in the department which in no small measure was revolutionized under his administration. At the time Baltimore was considered to be one of this country's finest police departments, a title with which came respect, and envy of many other big-city police departments. This honor also instilled pride in its men and women that would last into the millennial. Some would argue we no longer hold the titles or envy once given to us by other agencies, but from a viewpoint of your average street officer, and from talking to those working the streets. Today's police don't have what we had just 15 years ago. Today police don't have support from the top; this was something that started at the top and even less from city hall and the media. For the most part, our police are all joining for the same the reasons they want to help those in need of our help. The public knows they need them, but the politicians, media and to some extent their departmental leaders are opening their hands.  We used to have what was called Good faith, and as long as you were acting in good faith, you would be OK. But nowadays, they have no support, even with a video showing a suspect resisting, the public is siding with the criminal. When police don't get support, they stop risking their jobs and give the public what they ask for. From that come higher crimes. If we want to reduce crime, we need to enforce laws, all laws, that means anything short of compliance during an arrest is resistance. Col. Swann was said to have been the first president of the Board of Commissioners (BOC) who has ever given his entire attention to the office. He has taken the deepest personal interest in his duties and devoted not only all of the business day of each week to them, but was often “on guard” Sundays, holidays and at night. Every vote taken by the board has been a unanimous one, and the commissioners worked in perfect harmony. This is possibly the greatest cause of the success of the board and checking crime and in helping to place Baltimore in the first rank of well-governed cities from the standpoint of police protection. And speaking of is two years experience as head of the BOC, Col. Swann said: “Before taking hold of the police department, I went to New York and studied the situation there, so when I took office, I did not do so as an absolute greenhorn. Also before going in the one thing that struck me, although a novice, that was most remarkable was the fact that the Detective department was a separate and distinct body of men from the regular police. I got a law through the legislation of 1908 making Detective part of the Police Department whereby men could be transferred into the Detective Department and out again at the will of the commissioners, and also that no man could become a member of the Detective Department unless he was first a member of the Police Department. Doing away entirely with the old system of taking men up off the street, usually for political reasons, and making detectives out of them. “One of the greatest improvements made here was the passage by City Council of the Swann Traffic Ordinance to regulate the traffic on the streets of the city. As soon as this was passed, I opened a school at headquarters, and with the aid of little toy cars, to teach each of our traffic men their duties. At first, it was rather laughed at, but at present, I think of all of the merchants of the city, and the people involved appreciate the safety and acceleration that have taken place in handling the traffic. “Before we came into office the commerce in cocaine had reached alarming proportions, and it was through the prompt action of the board and the passage of the Swann Cocaine Law that it has been entirely wiped out of the city. An attempt was made to extend this law through the action of the last legislator to the entire state but was met with defeat. It is only a question of time before it will be taking up and passed, for it is a subject that is disturbing even the national government. “We got an act recently passed enabling a million-dollar loan so that many of the police stations can be rebuilt, and others added, and the eventual construction of a new Police Headquarters and Central District House combined. A place where the entire police department's business can be segregated and carried on. A place where a courthouse will have the accommodations are what they should be. As it was then, the court's business was getting so busy that all the space in the courthouse was required. “We also had passed a bill limiting to one year all eligible lists, either, "appointment on the force" or, "promotion in the force." Under the old system, men would take an examination test and that list would remain in effect until the men were either appointed or rejected, which in some cases could last as many as three to four years. Now every man will get a chance every year to reach the top of any eligibility list. “Another law we had passed was a very drastic one against the carrying of concealed weapons. This will bring quite a little income into the department, for a certain charge will be made for all persons whose duties require the carrying of weapons, and the board has power under this law to permit them to do so. We also had passed a law whereby all private detectives must be licensed by our police board. Which will do away with blackmailing and graft? This too will bring a recurring income to the department, as there is an annual charge for such a privilege. “We had passed a law giving the BOC the right to regulate the charges of taxicabs and giving the owners of those companies an equal standing with the passengers to enforce collection of charges. “It has been the idea of the present BOC that all grades of the department should be within themselves graded; in other words, a man should always have something he can look forward too. The law recently introduced in the legislature to carry this out and at the same time to give an additional number of men, who are sorely required, was defeated. This bill established three grades of Patrolman, and it was the idea to eventually have two grades of Sergeants two grades of Detectives, a Round Sergeant and two grades of Lieutenants, with the single grade of Captain. Col. Swann said, "A man always has to have something to work for and another step to climb in the latter of promotion. "Another law that was defeated was that giving the board power to pay a man a sum of money not exceeding one-year salary who had served less than 16 years who had some incurable malady, and not compel the board to appear heartless by the preferring charges of inefficiency against such a man in order to drop them from the department." "Still another law that was defeated was one requiring all pawnbrokers and secondhand dealers to report daily to the police department all things pledged with them. This law is in effect in almost all the principal cities of the country, and here it would have saved the services of 10 to 12 detectives/officers daily, who could have given their time to other duties. ”Here are some of the things done by the board during the two years Col. Swann has been at the head of it. Merit system followed as far as civil service law permits, and politics kept out of the department. A system of maps instituted for each police district, whereby the use of tacks with different color heads necessary information can be obtained at a glance. A new form of printed “lookout sheet” or special daily information for the men. The issues of a week or two can easily be carried. Substituted for the old typewritten, bulky ones, which were cumbersome to carry and difficult to read. These would be printed on a small sheet small enough to fit in your pocket. [This sounds like he is describing what we used to know as a "Lookout sheet/book"] New Detective headquarters established. New rooms for Bureau of Identification. Partitions, Telephone booths, etc., at Headquarters. Adoption of mask system by detectives, whereby all Detectives can see criminals, yet the criminals cannot see them. Before this was put into practice, only a few Detectives would ever look at the offenders. Proprietors of one-half of the saloons in the city prevailed upon to remove blinds during prohibited hours of selling simply by request. Acknowledged long service of 40 years by a special insignia. Adopted insignia to show details of Traffic, Marine, and water services. Donated Swann Gold Medal for Bravery [not yet won] Protection of men against members of their families running them into debt without their knowledge or consent. Assignment of men near their homes and to congenial duties as far as possible, on the principle that a man always does better under those circumstances. Adoption of a complete check system for all possible payments. Kept records of men, crediting them only with convictions secured and no arrest made. The latter would often lead to unwarranted arrests. Pistol practice is given, resulting in about 80% of the men now being able to shoot with accuracy. Before that many had never fired a shot in their lives. Had arranged for the teaching of each man the A B Cs of “first aid to the injured,” which may at times be the means of saving lives. A relentless war against bookmakers and gamblers. Rigid enforcement of liquor license laws. Establishment of an absolute legal system for the measuring and photographing of criminals, and the humane use of such a right. Insulation of motor patrol wagons, which do twice the mileage and one quarter the time and that one half the expense of horse-drawn wagons. Installation of an automobile for the Marshal and Deputy Marshall. Before this was put in service not more than two or three districts could be inspected in a day. Now all eight are visited daily. Adoption of winter caps instead of helmets, to which can be attached short caps, protecting the men in bitterly cold weather. Adoption of state crest emblem, with men’s number, which any citizen can plainly see. [NOTE; Current hat device]Adoption of quark helmet for summer, which protects the men from heat prostrations. Adoption of belts and dress sticks white stripe down patrolman’s trouser and winged collars. Christmas presents entirely barred out, which saves the men from contributing when they often could not afford it. Almost complete weeding out of drunkards and drunkenness within the department. Instilling in the minds of the men that they should look upon the profession of the policeman as an honorable one. Advocating what is known as "esprit de corps. "Finding the men days of holidays and punishment instead of money, so that they themselves must pay the fine and not their families. [The reason they used to take days instead of money began here]Established Museum of tools used by burglars, etc., so that men can see and know what such things are if they see anyone with them. Establishment of a motorcycle squad, to enforce traffic laws. Publication in the lookout sheet of every man’s name before he is appointed a member of the force, and requiring a complete inquiry into his character, etc., in order to avoid the possibility of men of a bad character getting on. Partially solving the traffic problem on Pratt Street, which the laying of the car tracks on the north side, instead of in the center of the street, made most difficult. Placing of canopies over traffic men at certain street intersections in the summer where they can obtain protection from the sun rays. Construction of sleeping quarters at headquarters for detectives, so they can rest comfortably until needed, and not be compelled to sit up all night and chairs. This has been the means of adding the services of two men previously lost. Handling of traffic problem and protection against the danger of accident on Mount Vernon and Washington places. Adoption of a system of telephoning to and keeping on record at headquarters happenings in each district. Placing of thermometers and sell rooms at each station house, so that proper temperatures can be maintained in winter. Employment of telephone clerks and station houses. Handling of traffic at theaters. Instituting an order that injuries to men be reported in 24 hours so that record can be made, whether such was received in the line of duty, or of duty in order that if an application is afterward made for retirement with a pension, the records will show whether deserved or not. Conveniences for newspaperman at headquarters.

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A Lineup of Crooks Stopped - No More will New York Execrate Ancient Byrnes Institution.

Sunday, 13 Aug 1911

Special Dispatch to the Baltimore Sun

New York, August 12 – The ancient “Line-Up” of crooks, an institution invented by Inspector Byrnes and regarded with veneration by police headquarters for 25 years, was eliminated today by order of inspector Hughes. No longer will Detectives from Wakefield and Tottenville waste two hours of their working time coming to the headquarters to look at wiretappers and “Moil buzzers.” No longer will 482 men and mask trample on each other’s heels to look over a crowd of supposed criminals, in which not one 10th of them could have the slightest interest. The old system was devised by inspector Byrnes for a Detective Bureau of 40 men. The Bureau has outgrown it. Hereafter detectives will only be called to headquarters to see prisoners who may be of particular interest to them. The fingerprint and battalion men will attend to general identifications. The system has come to be execrated by all New Yorkers in private life.

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Alleged Theft Silent

7 December 1913

William Myers Fearless of Masked Detectives

William Myers, male white 30 years old, alias “Bill” Morris, and known among his pals as “Brigham,” stood under the spotlight in the detective bureau yesterday and defied the detectives when questioned. Myers is accused by detective day and Davis as well is patrolman Don, of the Northwestern district, of robbing the suburban homes of Mr. Henry Berg under an L. G. Peppler on 22 November at the Northwest police station yesterday morning Myers was charged by Capt. Henry with robbing the home of trolls E. Hill Gardner, 3503 Fairview Ave., 122 November

Three men are now held in Philadelphia on the charge of receiving stolen silverware alleged to have been taken to the Quaker city by Myers. Myers was arrested after a battle with Patrolman Don Friday night.

“I will tell you nothing,” Myers snapped at the detectives one subjected to a grilling. “Don’t waste time asking me questions, I don’t tell things to people I don’t know.” The 40 eyes of the detectives peered at Myers from behind their white masks, the experience was not a new one for the prisoner and he nonchalantly gazed about the room while being “sized up.”

He was first photographed and “taped” [measured] for the Rogue’s Gallery six years ago. Myers was delivered to the Baltimore holding cell authorities after his visit to headquarters. 

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For More Detectives

24 February 1919

Marshall Carter and Police Board Planning Reorganized Bureau - A Need for Men is Imperative -  City’s Growth Makes The Necessary - Greater Force Of Plainclothes - Men To Handle Increase In Crime

Plans for the reorganization of the detective bureau, which will include an additional 25 men and new quarters, are being worked out by Marshall Carter and members of the police board, and it will be contained in a police bill to be presented to the next legislature. For several years Marshall Carter and the police commissioners have realized the lack of men in the detective branch of the police department, and now that the city is twice its former size, the need of efficient plainclothes men is imperative. No change is anticipated in the general personnel of the Bureau, but Marshall Carter has long since recognized the fact that the department, in general, has been somewhat handicapped because of lack of a sufficient number of detectives to meet the increase in crime – a natural thing with the growth of a metropolis.

Detective Capt. McGovern, who has been executive Ed of the Bureau for 10 years, has seen the work of his branch of the service grow until there are not enough men to handle it properly. Men are frequently switched from one case to another and are not given sufficient time to ferret out one job before another is assigned to them. As a result of this system, the men cannot concentrate as their chiefs would have them. Police Commissioner E. F. Burke and Marshall Carter have agreed that 50 men are a reasonable number for the Bureau. The men must be arranged in couples and the legislature will be asked to create new ranks. It is not the intention of either Marshall Carter or Mr. Burke to have the Bureau cluttered with man ranking as detective Lieut. The Marshal proposes to allow the present members of the Bureau to remain as detective lieutenants. The additional men picked for detective work will go to the Bureau as detective sergeants or as an ordinary plainclothes patrolman.

Would put men on Mattie

Much of the ordinary work now assigned to detective lieutenants could then be given detective sergeants or ordinary detectives. In establishing three grades in the Bureau. Marshall Carter and members of the police board believes that excellent results will follow. There would exist and incentives for the under detective by good work in the apprehension of criminals to rise to the grade of Detective Lieut. Marshall Carter is convinced that the system would result in the best material in the department being given an opportunity to produce results. Any day of the week will find less than a score of detectives on duty in the city allowances must be made for the men off duty. Those sick and those in other cities bring back alleged malefactors. Capt. McGovern is himself frequently obliged to take reports and furnace information which should be done by a subordinate.

Some of the detectives may be opposed to the establishment of the three grades in the Bureau, due to their belief that they may be transferred from the highest grade to the lower grade but it is understood that a provision will be made that any detective rating as detective Lieut. cannot be reduced accepts on charges. This provision clearly protects the men, but it will not apply to detective – sergeants and the plainclothesmen. If men assigned to the Bureau failed to measure up after a reasonable time, they simply will be transferred back to the uniform force and other named to fill their places. Marshall Carter said that there should be not less than five detectives in the motor division, for in the combustibles division, for in the homicide division, for in the bogus check division, six for special I classwork and 25 men for burglaries, petty theft, and general complaints.

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Facing the Mask - Looking for Answers

Z9.584.PP8Detective room, Police Department [African American man being watched by men wearing masks]ca. 19108 x 10 inch glass negativeHughes CompanyHughes Company Collection, ca. 1910-1946

An outstanding webpage was pointed out to us to help find answers to questions about the following photo, we will do our thing which is to conduct an investigation, only now that I am retired we call it research, so we'll research to pick, try to come up with who what when where and why.. typical rules for police work when conducting an investigation, reporters while writing an article, and moms and dads when their kids do something stupid... The difference between police and moms and dads, or the media's "who what when where and why" we would need to be able to go into a courtroom and show how we came up with our conclusion, we need evidence, witnesses have to be sworn in and testify too. Also, we are not allowed to speculate. Thinking back to Dragnet when the detective would say, "Just the facts!" LOL. Anyway, we'll include the photographs and their source. The Source is a Baltimore Police History Book released in 1907 and then again in 1909. The issue was the 1907 version had photographs of working detectives, the 1909 version is the same book, but they included some gold paint over the detective's faces. Two points about this gold paint and the year 1909, first the gold pant is telling, it's a lot like the white masks (called a Domino Mask) but these domino masks had white napkins attached to them, via staples or tape, two napkins the first held in place by the mask, the second taped or happened beneath the mask or possibly it was unfolded to help cover both the sides of the mask around the eyes and under the mask hiding the mouth. Similar to the gold pant in the 1909 book was to hide the identity of our detectives. The next thing we know this occurred prior to 1907 otherwise it wouldn't be in the McCabe Book (somethings are so obvious they almost don't need to be mentioned, but the mentioning of them does help with research/investigation. While researching Marshal Farnan of the Baltimore Police Department we came across a 1907 newspaper article that would indicate Baltimore's Police Department was the first in the United States to use fingerprinting to catalog criminals in our country. The 1907 article went on to report the following; "In line with this tendency in the ancient trade is the fingerprint method of identification, invented by E. R. Henry, of Scotland Yard, London. Shortly after its introduction, it was tried and put to use Baltimore. On 26 November 1904, when Sgt. Casey, chief of the local Bureau of Identification officially printed  John Randles, a suspect being held on a theft charge. Randles had a criminal record and became the first person in the United States that was officially printed under this new system. Before this, they used the Bertillon system. The initial thought was to use both systems side by side, but time, cost and accuracy had us dropping the Bertillon System, which was also cut by other agencies around the country and the world for that matter when before long the only country using both systems was France, Alphonse Bertillon's home country was from. This would have been done in the early 1900s started in New York, we didn't have two-way mirrors until 1903 so we had to have a way of hiding faces while looking at suspects. So every morning detectives would put on these cheap domino masks and use a paper napkin to hide the rest of their faces, while everyone arrested overnight was brought by one by one to let the detectives have a look at them. With this the detectives got a look at their local pick-pockets, car or horse thieves, burglars, etc. and the suspects didn't get to see who would be coming after them. They hoped it would have the criminals think twice before committing a crime In one article they leave the room showing this technique to a reporter, to go over to a Ruge's alley, in the books they see a young lady that looked like a school teacher, turned out she was a horse thief. This practice was stopped because photos were becoming more easily accessible, two-way mirrors were available and marching prisoners by one by one every morning was becoming a waste of a lot of time. A couple of things this had in common with the two-way mirror or physical line up was, the suspect was under brightest lights while the witnesses/detectives were put under a dimly lit part of the room. So this was the predecessor to the physical line up and the two-way mirror. We'll use the same close-ups provided by our reader in their questions to us about these photos

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Here we have Detectives with their faces covered using White Napkins and White Domino Masks

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Looking more closely a the photo we see the top white napkin is held in place by the white Domino mask, the bottom napkin held on by tape or staples, the idea is just to disguise the detective and hide his identity from the subject in the room. 

Here we have the suspect, basically in the old days prior to the early 1990s police stations had courtrooms inside the station. Then until the mid to late 1990's Police Stations in Baltimore had holding cells, so when an officer made an arrest, the subject was held in the station house cell-block until they saw a court commissioner and then they were either released, or sent over to Baltimore City Jail t be held until their court date. In the early 1990's we had East Side courts opened and our station house courtrooms closed up, then in the late 1990s the cell blocks closed up when we opened what was called CBIF (Central Booking Intake Facility) This picture being taken back in the early 1900s prior to 1904 the year the book was first released, we know they were still using police station courtrooms and cell blocks. We have shown this to police friends just to see what they may have heard, or just what they might think is going on. We got a lot of people suggesting it was either prior to the two way mirror, or the two way mirrors would have been too expensive so we covered faces of witnesses and detectives so the suspect couldn't tell who was picking him or her, then one at a time a half dozen or so inmates would be brought through in hopes of one of them being identified by the victim.  Others said they have heard of this and t was a system from back in the early 1900s in which suspects arrested overnight would be brought out one at a time in front of the district's detectives, so the detectives would get to know their pick-pockets, horse or car thieves, robbery suspects, burglary, shoplifters, etc. The idea was the detectives would know who they should be looking for, the suspects would not get to know who their districts detectives were. The men without masks were known detectives, maybe the arresting, or supervisors. So these were the two most common answers. So that is where we needed to start. 

We'll start with the two-way mirror and the history of same - The first two-way mirror called the 'transparent mirror' was invented by Emil Bloch. He was a Russian who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio when he patented his 'transparent mirror' on February 17th, 1903. Emil's design was close to what we call a two-way mirror today. It had a thinner layer of reflective metal on it so that in certain lighting conditions it could act as a window, while in regular lighting conditions, it acted as a regular mirror. So if the two-way mirror was invented in Feb of 1903 and these shots were published in 1907, chances are the Baltimore police department was not using a two-way mirror yet. So this white mask could have been used for both witness identification, and detectives to get to know what suspects might look like. In the last 1800 we started and refined one of the best Battalion systems in the country, Alphonzo Battalion was a French Police officer that developed a system of measuring and photographing prisoners for identification. Of his system, the only thing that is still used today is the Mug shots, front-on, and a profile. Back then they called it being "mugged," for "Rogues' Gallery".  In 1904 Marshal Farnan went to the Chicago Worlds Fair and Chiefs of Police meeting where he sat in on a fingerprint course, developed by English Police Sir Edward   

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Our Findings

Here are our finding based on media reports of the times. Their stories tell us where the system came from when we started using the system, and what the system developed into. There was a method of viewing suspects while keeping their identity anonymous. The two-way mirror was invented in 1903/04 and wouldn't make it's way into Baltimore Police buildings for some 90+ year with the addition of the annex building named after Commissioner Bishop L. Robinson. Before this, but after the White Mask System, we had a Black Screen System in which had bright lights over the suspect(s) in a physical line up not only lit the suspect for better identification but made it hard for them to see out into the darkened portion of the viewing area. The White Mask idea that came to us from New York Police would only last a few years before it was dropped here too. The idea brought to us by the President of the Board of Commissioner; Colonel Sherlock Swann. While it was an odd idea for detectives to view suspects, it was a nice idea for victims to see potential suspects and pick them from a line up of as many as six similar-looking suspects without fear of being identified by the suspect. Dropping the masks, relying on lighting and a black cloth screen, the White Mask system developed into a system that would be used into the year 2000/01. Other ideas as you have no doubt already read above that were brought to us by Col. Swann, who by the way was only on the board for two years will have been found above. He brought us, two motorcycles to work from our traffic division in 1908 a full six years before we had our own Motor’s Unit. He produced, “Look Out Books,” merged the Police Department with the Detective Department. He wanted to be able to promote officers to become detectives and put detectives not worthy of the job, in a uniform. He believed in not punishing a family for the shortcomings of the father/husband, and with that felt giving a man an opportunity, to a point where he came up with the idea of taking days over fining officers for violating general orders. He devised a system of using toy cars to help train traffic police. These ideas and others were hopefully already read in the writings above. Col. Swann may have been a little odd, but he brought our department some of the better rules and regulations, as well as equipment. I think the mask idea was strange, but what it developed into was helpful in solving many crimes over the years. Likewise, he admitted at the time his system of using toys cars to train traffic officers was at first, "laughed at," but then found to be extremely helpful, it too has been used for years in training, developing traffic patterns and even courtroom testimony. The above articles should have explained where we gathered much of this information, we hope you have or will read it and enjoy it. Also, stop back from time to time as we plan on adding information as it comes in. 

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Note - The first two-way mirror was called the 'Transparent Mirror' it was invented by Emil Bloch. He was a Russian who lived in Cincinnati, Ohio when he patented his 'Transparent mirror' on 17 February 1903 his design was close to what we call a two-way mirror today. It had a thinner layer of reflective metal on it so that in certain lighting conditions it could act as a window, while in regular lighting conditions, it acted as a regular mirror. Since this was invented in 1903, it would have taken a few years, for it to begin use in law enforcement, and in fact maybe into the '70s before it was being seen in police buildings. Before this, they used dark rooms, screens, and lighting to prevent suspects from seeing witnesses, or undercover police well enough to identify or recognize them. Before this, a system developed in the NYPD was used, in which a white lone ranger's looking mask called a "Domino Mask" was used. These only covered around the eyes a little, so the detectives were known to staple paper napkins under the mask to prevent their cheeks, mouths, and any potentially recognizable facial hair from being seen. This was particularly useful for victims and or witnesses that wanted their identities protected while viewing potential suspects of crimes.  


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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


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

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes' London

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

Sherlock holmes pal knfe

Sherlock Holmes Baltimore MP3

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

From This Story

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


221 Baker street Apt B


The Baltimore Legend Of Sherlock Holmes
William M Dame

30 March 1947

The Baltimore legend of Sherlock Holmes

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

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

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

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

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

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The Public Safety Officers’ Educational Assistance (PSOEA) Program consists of two parts, the Education Prescreen, and the Education Payment Application. The Prescreen Application collects the basic required materials needed to confirm Your eligibility for PSOEA Benefits Prior to submitting any Payment Application. After submitting your Education Prescreen and receiving notice that your Prescreen has been accepted, you will be given access to complete your initial Payment Application.

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The Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program allows Claimants whose claims are denied at the PSOB Office level to appeal the decision at two levels of administrative appeal; the Hearing Officer level and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, or BJA, Director level. Claimants have 33 days to appeal their initial denial, as well as 33 days to appeal to the BJA Director. 
For more information on the PSOB appeals processclick here.

To review a guide on submitting an Appeal Request onlineclick here.

For questions regarding the Appeal Process or PSOB Program, please contact the PSOB office at 1-888-744-6513 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time or submit a message via MyPSOB after logging into your PSOB account.


CONTACT US: Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Office Bureau of Justice Assistance Office of Justice Programs 810 Seventh Street NW. Fourth Floor Washington, DC 20531 Phone: 202–307–0635 Toll-free: 1–888–744–6513 E-mailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  For more information visit the PSOB website: www.psob.gov

About the Program  Benefits  Law & Regulations      Contact Us

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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.



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

Our Wounded

Baltimore Police History is a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring Baltimore's fallen and injured heroes. More than 200 officers have made the ultimate sacrifice for the City of Baltimore since 1784 We also have a growing list of injured officers, a list that may never be complete. We are honored to preserve their names, their stories and their memories by giving their friends, families, other officers, and citizens the opportunity to look back and remember them, or to get to know them, so we can all honor them and the sacrifices they made. As for our injured we don't have access to the department's list, so if you were awarded the Citation of valor, please send us the information so we can add your name to the page.


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Our Wounded

Line of Duty InjuredAaron J. StewartLine of Duty InjuredAlfred W Hudson Jr. Line of Duty Injured

Alphonso Wright

Line of Duty Injured

Alric Moore

Line of Duty Injured

Alvin Martin

Line of Duty Injured

Andrew Leso

Line of Duty Injured

Arthur E. Kennell, Jr.

Line of Duty Injured

Calvin G. Higdon

Line of Duty Injured

Calvin R. Mencken

Line of Duty Injured

Charles A. Walker

Line of Duty Injured

Charles Benjamin

Line of Duty Injured

Charles Mitchell

Line of Duty Injured

Charles P. Smith

Line of Duty Injured

Daniel J. Calhoun

Line of Duty Injured

David Garayoa

Line of Duty Injured

Donald E. Fisher

Line of Duty Injured

Donna Cooper Line of Duty Injured

Durwood Hood

Line of Duty InjuredDaniel J. Calhoun

Line of Duty InjuredDavid Garayoa

Line of Duty Injured

Donald E. Fisher

Line of Duty Injured

Earl Carter

Line of Duty Injured

Edward O'Byrne, Jr.

Line of Duty InjuredErnell ThorntonLine of Duty InjuredEugene CassidyLine of Duty InjuredFrancis MillerLine of Duty InjuredFrank Lorah

Line of Duty InjuredFrederick Dickens

Line of Duty InjuredGary Lapchek

Line of Duty InjuredGlenn D. Hauze

Line of Duty InjuredJames Brennan

Line of Duty Injured

James Clark

Line of Duty Injured

 James E. Young Jr

Line of Duty Injured

James L. McFillin

Line of Duty Injured

James Weglein

Line of Duty Injured

Jerome Wilkins

Line of Duty Injured

John Burns

Line of Duty Injured

John F. Baker

Line of Duty Injured

John Heiderman

Line of Duty Injured

 John J. McNamera

Line of Duty Injured

John Swiec

Line of Duty Injured

Joseph B. Huffman

Line of Duty Injured

Joseph Dobrosielsky

Line of Duty Injured

Joseph E. Hlafka

Line of Duty Injured

Joseph Wolfe

Line of Duty Injured

 Karen Brzowsky

Line of Duty Injured

Kathleen Irwin

Line of Duty Injured

Kenneth Hayden

Line of Duty Injured

Kenny Driscoll

Line of Duty Injured

Kirby Croft

Line of Duty Injured

Lawrence Bennett

Line of Duty Injured

 Loretta Francis Lynn

Line of Duty Injured

Mac McKinley Johnson, Jr.

Line of Duty Injured

Martin Greiner

Line of Duty Injured

Marty Disney

Line of Duty Injured

Michael Cassizzi

Line of Duty Injured

Michael Dunn

Line of Duty Injured

Michael Herpel

Line of Duty Injured

Neal C. Splain

Line of Duty Injured

Paul Coster

Line of Duty Injured

Paul Karaskavicz, Jr.

Line of Duty Injured

Ralph E. Greaves

Line of Duty Injured

Raymond Howard

Line of Duty Injured

Richard B. Mioduszewski Sr

Line of Duty Injured

Richard Phillips

Line of Duty Injured

Ronald Tuefer

Line of Duty Injured

Stanley Sierakowski

Line of Duty Injured

Stephen Martin

Line of Duty Injured

Teresa Rigby-Menendez

Line of Duty Injured

 Terrance McLarney

Line of Duty Injured

Theodore Black

Line of Duty Injured

Theodore Staab

Line of Duty Injured

Thomas Dillon

Line of Duty Injured

Thomas E. Whalen

Line of Duty Injured

Thomas F. Hogan

Line of Duty Injured

Thomas Lewis

Line of Duty Injured

Thomas R. Cave

Line of Duty Injured

Timothy Wade

Line of Duty Injured

Wardell JamesLine of Duty Injured

William HudsonLine of Duty Injured

William Scott

Line of Duty Injured

William Surratt

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If you didn't see your name on this list, but were awarded the Citation of Valor, please, know we didn't keep you off on purpose. We don't have access to the department's records. Just send us your information, along with supporting documentation, newspaper reports, and, or, any other documentation you may have. We would love to add you to the list. You can write to us here - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

More to Come

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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.

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 

Police Academy

Baltimore Police Academy
School of education


13 Feb 1921

Students write Crime Stories at City Policeman set School

Embryo Bluecoats invent Mock Thrillers as Part of Feral Training Before they are Allowed to Enter Active Service.

They used to take a man who had, “voted right” place a cap and badge on him, poke a stick in his hand and say, “Go on out and be a policeman!” Now, right here in Baltimore, they make him write several short story plots, and that is not all.

The cradle of law enforcement in Baltimore is now in a classroom at Northern Police Station.  Chairs are ranged in rows, as in an ordinary law school lecture room.  At a big desk facing these chairs, which are filled with broad shouldered man from 21 to 35, is Round Sergeant Albert J.  Plantholt, a plain clothes policeman with ideas, who can talk on his feet.  Among the things that make it look different from an ordinary law school lecture room are a lot of flying rings hung from the ceiling, weights against the wall, a punching bag platform, charts showing men being saved from drowning, bleeding to death and burning up: a red fire alarm box and a green police call box.

Day of Amateur has Passed

This is Baltimore’s Police School, an institution designed to create a metropolitan force a professional policeman.  As Round Sergeant Plantholt says, “Baltimore has had enough of the amateur policemen.” He was one himself when he started.  When they dressed him up in the policeman’s uniform close to 20 years ago he knew no more about policemanship than he knew about an airship: he not only admits that but is slightly proud of it in as much as he finds himself today teaching other policemen how to do a scientifically.

Yesterday he talked to reporter, explaining in detail for the first time how the new scientific policemanship is being taught in Baltimore.

Presumably a mental and physical examination is required for admission to the school, but only the physical examination is really given.  It is believed impossible to establish to a mental standard for the right to study policemanship, beyond the ability to read, write and understand English.  The physical examination, while not too rigid now, owing to a scarcity of men, is adequate.

Three weeks.  No man can finish it in less time than that.  If by that time his work hasn’t satisfied Sergeant Plantholt, he stays in a school until it does.  One man recently stayed there seven weeks.

Curriculum Practical

A list of things they have to learn looks, at a glance, like a digest of a university curriculum.  Upon closer examination it is clear that practical policemanship is the general theme of all the subjects, which included, “methods and practices of thieves and pickpockets,” “what constitutes evidence and how to present it in court,” “How to find evidence,” “How to catch handle and subdue criminals,” “How to write reports” and a score of other things.

Sergeant Plantholt has had to pioneer in building up the school, learning what studies to require and what lessons to prepare as he went along.  For instance, one of his recent classes had a terrible time with his spelling.  Its sample reports were full of the most atrociously spelled words he had ever seen.  In a spelling test he gave them early in the session, the man with the highest average got three words right out of 30.

Sargent Plantholt could not write an essay to teach them how to spell every word in the dictionary, but he did prepare a list of “police words,” or words that reoccure often in a policeman’s literary efforts.  A small portion of this list would be included:

Explosion, discovered, sidewall, complexion, grease, amputated, crossed, suspicion, underwear, rape, buffet, pocketbook, jimmy, stole, identification, description.

Day after day he had them spell these words, orally and in writing.  When that class graduated after three weeks, the man with the lowest averaged in spelling had scored 89%.

Write Crime Stories

In a sense they really have to write “short story plots,” in the course of learning what constitutes evidence and how to present it in the student policeman are required to prepare in writing fictitious cases involving the preparation of crimes and the capture of suspects.  They imagine every conceivable crime from the stealing of clothes to the dynamiting of the Custom House and submit their brief plots to Sergeant Plantholt.  With the plots before him, he requires his students to get on an improvised witness stand and rehearse the evidence in the case they have conceived.  He marks them for the completeness of detail, accuracy and ability with which they present the evidence.

They learn about the methods and tricks of criminals from Sergeant Plantholt and William J.  Lutts, assistant instructor, who tell their own experiences, and relate tales of good policemanship that had become classics in the Baltimore Police Department.  But the way to get on the trail of a crime and track down the criminals they can learn from no one, but themselves.  The instructors can show them how other policemen have done it, but nothing that any other policeman has done will serve in a brand-new case suddenly flashed before a new policeman.  His only resources are his own instincts.

Good Ones Born, Not Made

“Good policemen – by which I mean, “Men who can do the Right Thing at the Right Time – are Born, Not Made.” Said Sargent Plantholt, and the way he finds the good ones now at the school is something like this:

Sergeant Lutts goes into a room adjoining the classroom.  He pretends he is the victim of a robbery.  There is a knock and he opens the door to admit a student policeman, he will address him as if he were utter stranger who had sent for police aid.  It is up to the student to get information out of sergeant Lutts by asking him questions.  The sergeant will volunteer nothing.

The big test is whether the student is good enough to look around for evidence on his own account.  Sometimes Sergeant Lutts drops a card, a button or a cigar butt on the floor or fixes up a little trail of red ink leading to a window.  If the near policemen discover these things by himself, he is considered a promising fella.  If not, he will pound a beat for years, probably, and never get anything out of being a policeman accept for fallen arches.

This school can do wonders,” says Sargent Plantholt, “but there are three things it will never teach and never can.  They are, a power of observation, ability to get information and memory for faces.  We can awaken dormant instincts for those things, but we cannot teach them.  Men are born with them, and whenever we get such men, we grow just a little prouder of this school.

May Study Safe-Cracking

“Pretty soon we may have a safe up in here in the classroom.  Then we will give lessons in handling safe cracking cases.  We will have the students looking for Sergeant Lutts and my fingerprints, or we would just turn them loose on the safe and see if it occurs to them to look for fingerprints.”

A Day in The Police School is Something Like This

8:30 am – Military drill on the street for an hour, under instructions a Patrolman Lucien Totato, former lieutenant in the army.

930 to 10:00 am – Calisthenics or instruction in first aid.

Recess of 50 minutes

10:15 am – Traffic laws read, explained and demonstrated on a model street intersection of wood with toy automobiles and horse drawn vehicles.

11:15 am – automobile laws studied.


1:00 pm – Afternoon session devoted to moot court proceedings with practice in giving testimony; study of Book of Rules, practice in making reports, lectures on handling fires, thieves, pickpockets, murderers, and so on.

5:00 pm – Adjournment at

During the three weeks Sergeant Plantholt gives his class 16 examinations in different subjects.  He has had 55 students now.


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The following  is a series of articles telling how a Baltimorean becomes a POLICEMAN.

20 September 1937

By Lee McCardell......... 20 September 1937

1. Policeman For His $40 A Week Must Prove His Knowledge For The Job

He Applies, Takes A Test, And If Passing, Is Put On Eligibility List-Then He Waits Before He Dons A City Officer's Uniform

The policeman-you know him. Where does he come from? And how?

The following is the first of a series of five telling how a Baltimorean becomes a policeman

The policeman toots a whistle, holds up a white gloved hand… helps a blind man across the street….. tries the store doors along his beat after dark…investigates strange noises… and gets $40 a week after two years' probation.

You greet him warmly as "Officer" when at your request, he appears in the middle of the night to discourage someone from jimmying the dining-room window (The person jimmying the window may call him a “bull.") You speak of him as a "cop" when he sticks a parking ticket under your windshield wiper. He's a "flatfoot" if the judge fines you.

Well, you needn't turn up your nose at the next Baltimore policeman you see, regardless of what you call him. He belongs to a select circle of exactly 1,897 Police Department employees.

Breaking into the police force these days is almost as hard as breaking into a bank. The number of department employees, while not the maximum permitted under State law is the maximum for which salaries are provided in the Baltimore city budget.

Should you yourself aspire to perform brass-buttoned constabulary duty in Baltimore, you must wait until a death, resignation or dismissal that reduces the number of names on the Police Department pay roll. Then-- One at a time! Don't rush, There will be plenty of time and plenty of notice First, you must get on the eligible list. From Eligibility List Comes the Appointments

The eligible list is prepared by a board of three police examiners appointed like the Police Commissioner, by the Governor. It is the duty of the board to hold competitive examinations from time to time in order to keep a list of eligible candidates on hand for appointment as probation officers. From the list the Police Commissioner makes the actual appointment.

The present list contains enough names to fill all vacancies likely to occur until next April 24, when it expires. Early in January the board will a advertise an examination to prepare a new list.

To take this examination an applicant must be a registered voter of the State of Maryland. not less than 25 or more than 37 years of age on the following April Fool's Day: not less than five feet ten inches tall in his stocking feet and at least 150 pounds in weight. No color line is drawn.3,500 Are Interviewed In 3-Week Period

Numbered application blanks are handed out in the offices of the Board of Police Examiners, Room 506, on the fifth floor of the police building at Fayette street and the Fallsway. Every day for three weeks, between the hours of 11 A.M. and 1 P. M., the three-board members are on hand to interview applicants. Dr. Dwight H. Mohr, chief physician of the Police. Department, is there to give preliminary physical examinations.

As many as 3,500 applicants have been interviewed during that three week period. Who are they?

Stationary engineers, automobile salesmen, freight truckers, cab drivers, refrigerator service men, manufacturers' agents," professional baseball players, telegraph operators, pipe fitters, tailors, barbers, teachers, clerks, motormen, ice wagon drivers, filing station operators, bookkeepers, auditors, printers, machinists, weighers, markers, inspectors, managers, runners, Painters, elevator operators, steel workers, firemen, butchers, carpenters, paper hangers. bench hands, helpers. laborers. . .Some are college graduates. Step On Scales; Show Your Hands, Applicants

Interests equally as varied are represented by the three examiners who interview these men. W. Lawrence Wicks, president of the board, is the son of a former Baltimore police sergeant and manages a Liberty Heights bowling alley. Sigmund Stephan, the second member, is a retired postal inspector. The third member, Arthur Kadden, is the proprietor of an East Baltimore street hat store. Just inside 'the examining board's office door the men who want to be come policemen step on a scale set at 150 pounds. They have to tip that to get any further. Then they stand beneath a measuring rod fixed to a door frame and set at the required 5 feet 10 inches. Do they wear glasses? Down they go to the office at the end of the hall for an eye test by Dr. Mohr.

"Let's see your hands. Got all your fingers?" A Felony Against You And You're Counted Out

No use going any further if you haven't got the fingers to handle a pistol properly. "Ever been 'arrested? What for?... A felony disqualifies you.

But, passing these preliminaries, an applicant receives a numbered blank with a perforated tab. The tab must be filled out then and there with the applicant's name, address, election ward and precinct. On the back of this tab he is "finger-printed by a police expert assigned to special duty in the examiner's office. This tab with, its finger prints is torn off and retained by the examiners. He Has Questions, Then Some More Questions

The would-be policeman takes the rest of the blank and a sheet of mimeo-graphed instructions home with him.

There he fills out his formal application, writing in the answers to a long list of questions that give his complete personal history, and appending the names of five acquaintances preferably lawyers, doctors, clergymen. willing to vouch for his "ability, industry, character, habits and general fitness for appointment to the Police department of Baltimore city."

He must swear to the truth of all the information he gives about himself. There is a place on the back of the blank for a justice or notary to take his oath. And the completed application blank must be returned to the Board of Examiners by a specified date.

The applicant's' instruction sheet informs him that the examination will be held in the Maryland Institute building at Baltimore street and Market Place on such-and-such a date; that card. of admittance will be mailed to his address a week prior to the examination, and that he will be tested in spelling, arithmetic, locations, and common sense.

Comes Test Time And Room Is Filled

The board makes out its own examinations. Mr. Stephan say, gets up a list of ten good words for the spelling test, Mr. Kadden works up five arithmetic problems. The president of the board figures out ten questions on locations and ten common sense questions. Meanwhile the applicant's age, address, ward and precinct, as they appear on his finger-print tab are being checked against records of the Board of Election Supervisors. Provided there is no discrepancy, he is mailed a card of admittance to the examination. Underscored on the card is the hour when "doors will close." Stamped upon it in red ink is the instruction to "bring your own pencil."

A large class of applicants fills practically all the rooms of the institute building. Each room is supervised by several watchers, Smoking and talking are taboo. Each applicant receives a numbered examination paper for his spelling test and a numbered booklet for the rest of his, written work. Try A Question Or So If You'd Like A Job

An hour and thirty minutes is permitted for the examination after the ten words of the spelling test have been pronounced. When he has done the best he can by his spelling, the applicant opens his numbered booklet and goes to work on location, common sense and arithmetic.

Where, he is asked, are such places as:

(1) The Robert Garrett Hospital for Children?

(2) The House of the Good Shepherd for Colored Girls?

(3) Headquarters of the Maryland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to


(4) The Federal Land Bank

(5) The Armistead Monument?

(6) The Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad Station?

(7) The Baltimore headquarters of the .Salvation Army?

(8) The Baltimore Cemetery?

(9) The Baltimore Mail Line dock?

(10) What license plates are required on Mail trucks?

(11) In criminal cases, upon whom does the burden of proof lay?

(12) what are the general duties of a coroner?

(13) Where must trials for violation of criminal law take place?

(14) What are three methods by which you might summons Fire Department

apparatus? Easy? Okay, Try Some ! More And Arithmetic

Name three Baltimore public service corporations. Must you be a taxpayer to serve as a juror? What is the name of the system, used for identifying criminals, by means of certain bodily measurements and marks? For what legal reason may a penitentiary prisoner's term be reduced? How can a man, who has served a term for felony, have his citizenship restored?

Arithmetic comes last. Calculations as well as answers must be set down for problems along this line:

If 12 men can earn $270 in 9 working days, how much can 28 men earn in 5 days? An agent sold 9,873 pounds of sugar at 4 3/8 cents per pound, charged

1 5/8 per cent. commission and $2.90 for other expenses. What were the net proceeds of the sale? A son inherited 920 acres from his father and later sold 138 acres. What per cent of his inheritance remained? What is the cost of 58 5/8 yards of goods at 37 1/4 cents per yard? The firm of A and B has a capital of $12.387. A's investment being he $2,387 less than B's. What is each partner’s investment?


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Cop Who Made A Tough Beat Tender Prepares Rookies To Be Officers

22 September 1937

You'll Find No Circus Stunts Or Movie Equipment In Lieutenant Plantholt's School, For There Beginners Learn "The Works" On Policing

The policeman-you know him. Where does he come? And how?

The following article is the third of a series of five telling how a Baltimorean becomes a policeman.

By Lee McCardell September 22, 1937

Lavishly arrayed with all the generalities and semicolons dear to a legislator’s heart the powers and duties of the police of Baltimore are set forth at great length in Section 744 of the city charter.

The policeman's bible, a little black book of department rules and regulations boils it all down to this:

"It is the duty of policemen, at all times, both and night preserve the peace: detect and prevent crime, arrest offenders, protect the rights of persons and property; guard the public health to enforce all laws and ordnances, the enforcement of which devolves upon the police force, and to obey all orders and rules and regulations of the Police department.

But even this is pretty broad. The laws of Baltimore city specifically direct policemen to arrest everybody from persons who breed mosquitoes to people to people who "tie the month of any calf to prevent its drawing from the cow its natural and accustomed food. Where is a green policeman supposed to start?

He goes to school for eight weeks, to find out. No Circus Stunts In This School

There is nothing fancy about the Baltimore Police School of Instruction on the fifth floor of the Police Building at Fayette street and the Fallsway.

Its students are not trained to perform any circus stunts on horseback or motor cycles. Down at the end of the corridor there’s a big gymnasium for any policeman who wants to use it. But the members of the force are "not even taught to wrestle, box or swim.

They study:

1. The powers and duties of police.

2. Department orders, rules and regulations the keeping of records and the making out of reports.

3. Traffic rules and regulations and the handling of traffic.

4. The laws of the State and the ordinances of the city, the enforcement of which devolve upon the police.

5. Procedure in courts at law and at coroner's inquests and the preparation and giving of testimony.

6. First aid to the injured.

7. Setting-up and gymnasium exercises.

8. The care of revolvers and revolver practice. School's Director Made A Tough Beat Tender


Standing is Class Instructor Lt. Adelbert J. Plantholt

Lieut. Adelbert J. Plantholt, director of the school ever since it was established seventeen years ago, is a powerful. white-haired man who had twenty-one years of hard practical policing to his credit before he began teaching probation officers.

Plantholt joined the force in 1901 as a patrolman in the Northeastern district. He was assigned to a beat so tough that it was only one block wide and two blocks long. When he got through with it, it was so tender that, it was added to another officer's beat.

Promoted to the rank of sergeant, Plantholt was transferred to the Northwestern district, assigned to duty on Pennsylvania avenue, the main stem of Baltimore's Negro section. As a round sergeant he went to the Southwestern district. Then former Commissioner Gaither called him in, made him a lieutenant and told him to take charge of the police school. Since then the lieutenant has started off more than 2,000 rookie policemen. Score Goes Up Yearly And Reaches 99 P. C. Every year when the Board of Police Examiners gives its test to make up an eligible list of lieutenants for promotion to the grade of captain, Lieutenant Plantholt finishes first. Every year his score gets a little higher. Last January when the last examination was held, he made ninety-nine per cent. The good policeman, as Lieutenant Plantholt sees him, has four cardinal virtues. These are first, observation, second, ability to get information, third, patience; and, fourth. perseverance and hard work. The lieutenant gives the probationers a little talk along this line when they first arrive in the police school. He reminds them of his four points as they go along. Rookies Begin Their Day At 8.30 am A typical day in the police school begins at 8.30 A.M. when the lieutenant leads his class of fifteen or twenty probation officers in a half hour of physical exercise. From 9 until 9.30 they have a period of simple, close-order military drill. There is plenty of room for both calisthenics and drill in the big schoolroom, which is practically a hall. Then comes a fifteen-minute recess. Off to one side of the schoolroom is an alcove with benches, chairs and tables. Here the student officers relax, talk, smoke if they want to. The lieutenant enjoys a smoke himself. He prefers a pipe. He has a rack of assorted pipes on his main desk lip in the front corner of the room. Recess Ends And First Aid Instruction Starts At the end of the fifteen-minute recess school takes in again with first-aid instruction-also by Lieutenant Plantholt who teaches everything in the schools curriculum. There are cots, blankets and a small white iron hospital bed at the lower end of the room for demonstrations in first aid. A lecture on some phase of police work follows. For this, the students seat themselves in rows of broad-armed chairs ranged, at one side of the room before a platform on which the lieutenant has a chair and desk with a blackboard behind him. He lectures without notes, encourages questions, draws on his own twenty-one years of practical experience on the street for examples of police work. Class Takes Books And Studies Law A t the conclusion of this lecture the class gets out its books and reads and discusses the police digest of city and state law. That takes them up around noon. From noon until 12:30 their time is their own for lunch. After lunch they study the Police Departments own 150 page book of rules and regulations that get down to the fine points of police conduct and deportment by reminding an officer that he must especially avoid giving cause for gossip or scandal by idly conversing with women in the streets when he is in uniform, whether on his post or not. Soft-Spoken Courtesy Expected Of Officers Furthermore, that policemen should be quiet and soft spoken, and that: When asked a question they shall not answer in a short or abrupt manner, but with all attention and courtesy, at the same time avoiding as much as possible entering into unnecessary conversation. And it probably comes as a disappointment to the cockier probationer to read: ":Members of the force shall not swing or toy with their espantoons, but shall carry them as inconspicuously as possible. They Find There's A Rule For Almost Everything More important, perhaps, than these scraps of etiquette, a policeman learns from his book of rules and regulations just exactly what he is supposed to do in case of fire, riot, accident, drowning, sudden death or other emergency. And how to arrest people, handle prisoners, dispose of stolen property and lost children if he finds any. There is a rule and regulation, it seems, for everything a policeman may have to do. When Lieutenant Plantholt thinks his class has had enough rules and regulations for one dose he changes the subject to automobile law. Then they have another recess and another lecture. The day winds up with class study of a model police report of a murder, suicide, burglary or larceny. Each probationer then writes up a similar report of his own. Lieutenant Corrects And Criticizes Papers These are collected by the lieutenant, corrected and criticized. The student officers also have oral and written Quizzes from time to time. They are not graded on any numerical basis. It's a matter of discretion with the lieutenant as to whether their progress is satisfactory. On easels set up in the schoolroom are permanent displays of permits and badges with which a policeman should be familiar, and of the different types of automobile tags and licenses that he should know. Around the walls hang pistol charts and police photographs of scenes of Baltimore crimes. On the bulletin board are copies of police orders and flyers. Miniature Streets Are There To Study A real police telegraph and signal box, back to back with a real fire alarm box, stands on a revolving pedestal beside the blackboard. On a table behind the blackboard is a layout of miniature streets with toy street car and automobile traffic. And once a week Lieutenant Plantholt takes his class down in the basement for revolver instruction and target practice on the police pistol range. The length of a period devoted to any one subject is variable; inasmuch as the Lieutenant teaches everything himself. It may be thirty minutes. It may be two hours. That's one of the conveniences of having everything under one man. The lieutenant wishes he had more room and some additional equipment--no microscopes. No jujitsu teachers. Nothing like that. "That's all right on the stage," he says. "It looks pretty. "But in practical policing a good mental photograph is worth more than a microscope. In a real fight there are no rules. It's a question of getting in there quick-getting in anyway, just so you get there first." 4. Police School Methods Give Rookie A Chance To Show His Stuff In Jiffy "Field Work" Breaks Him In On Every Phase Of Job, And He's Doing Valuable .Duty Even Before He Gets Uniform The policeman-you know him. Where does he come from? And how? The following article is the fourth of a series of five telling how a Baltimorean becomes a policeman. By Lee McCardeIl September 23, 1937 Probation officers have no home work to do when they leave the Police School of Instruction at 4:30 in the afternoon after a hard day of rules and regulations. But every Wednesday and Saturday night they report to police district station houses for what might academically be termed "field work," In plain clothes and chaperoned by full-fledged experienced officers, they do regular police work then. Sometimes they cover a post with uniformed patrolman, learning the routine tricks of the trade. Sometimes they do special duty with plain-clothes men. This part of a student officer's training is entirely in the hands of the captain commanding the district to which the probationer is assigned when appointed to the force. The captain picks out the job and fixes the hours. Captain Charles A. Kahler, Western district commander, to whom three probationers now attending the police school reports twice a week, recalls that in the old days policemen went on duty abruptly without benefit of any previous instruction whatsoever, either formal or field. Man Didn't Even Have Time To Get Uniform He remembers being notified of his own appointment to the force on April 1, 1901, and of being ordered that same day to report for duty that night at the Northeastern Police Station. He remembers borrowing a helmet, a nightstick and a uniform coat from an older officer whom he knew. That was the custom in those days. A man didn't have time to get a uniform of his own when he was starting out. Self-conscious in his borrowed outfit on the sleeve of the coat were four stripes of black braid indicating twenty years of service by its owner at the new policeman posted a younger brother In front of the Kahler home on Orleans street to watch for a street car. When the car came along, Patrolman Kahler dashed out in such a hurry that he upset a child playing on the sidewalk. He Was Handed A Badge, And Off He Went He reached the police station on the verge of a nervous collapse, fearing he had injured the child he had knocked down and might be subject for arrest himself. He telephoned his home and felt better when he learned that the youngster was all right. But the new officer was still far from being calm. He was handed a badge and a number for his borrowed helmet. He joined a squad of officers, including several other greenhorns, that followed a sergeant out of the police station. At Madison Square they halted. “This is your post” the sergeant told Kahler "Caroline to Central Avenue, Eager to Preston street. I'll come back and see you later. A Nice Short Cut, And What It Led To Left to himself to get along as best he could Kahler did what he had seen other policemen do. He walked the streets of his beat, but by taking a short cut through Madison Square neglected the corner of Caroline and Eager streets. This was the very corner the returning sergeant picked to meet his new officer, figuring that Kahler ought to pass there if he patrolled his post properly. The sergeant waited for two hours-until somebody finally told Kahler that he was waiting. Kahler 's hurried to meet him. The sergeant was pretty hot "You can be taken down before the commissioners (there used to be three) for this, he stormed. "On my first night?" moaned the new policeman. He wasn't taken before the commissioners. He learned to be a good policeman. But that was something an officer taught himself thirty-six years ago. Things Nowadays Are Quite Different Nowadays they do things differently. Assignment to actual duty is not so sudden. The student officer begins as an observer. He is not schooled for any particular post or position. He serves a general apprenticeship, gets a taste of all kinds of policing and an idea of his entire district before he puts on his uniform. That apprenticeship runs concurrently with the probationer's attendance at the police School. He reports at the station house for his semiweekly tour of duty with badge, revolver whistle and call-box key. But he is in civilian clothes. Those assigned to the Western district and the practice here is the same as that generally followed in the other districts--are sent to various posts with different patrolmen, but never with the same officer or to the same post twice. Wednesday night the student officer goes to a post in the residential section. Saturday night it's the business section. Next Wednesday night the, market section. Next Saturday night a Negro section. Every Neighborhood Poses New Problem

He learns the boundaries of the different posts, their streets, courts and alleys, the locations of the red fire alarm boxes and the green police signal and telegraph boxes. He learns to keep an eye on unoccupied buildings, cheap saloons and traffic. Each neighborhood presents different problem to a policeman. On special assignments with experienced plain cloths policemen, he investigates alleged disorderly houses, suspected gambling establishments. In some respects this sort of work is his most important contribution to the police department at the beginning of his career. The old experienced plain-clothes men of the district are often known to persons who make a point of tipping off a suspect whenever they show up. But the new student officers, strangers to the neighborhood, a policeman is never assigned to a post on which he lives-manage to get into places and see things where the experienced man can't. The Sort Of Place Where New Man Shines Perhaps it's a house where gambling is going on. The place may be wide open. But when the old plain-clothes man barges in he merely finds a few people sitting around playing cards. The student officer gets upstairs, before anyone knows who he is and, maybe finds a big league crap game running full blast. Because he is unknown and unsuspected, a student officer can go into a store where pinball machine checks are being redeemed in money contrary to law-and make out a case for an arrest. He can go into a book making establishment and do the same thing. He can drop into a tavern where liquor is being sold illegally on a beer and wine license and buy a pint that I would be refused to a known ·plain clothes policeman. Some Of His Quarry ~ Actually Welcome Him Streetwalkers, plentiful in some neighborhoods but uncannily wary of the ordinary plain-clothes man, flirt with probation officers, without hesitation. The student officers are invited into disorderly houses. Fortune tellers welcome them and tell them the all the things that a regular plain-clothes man can never tempt them to recite. In all these cases, of course, a regular plain-clothes man follows on the heels of the tenderfoot, backing him up immediately once a law violation is uncovered The student officer is sent ahead to prepare the way. He is something of a bait. When he finds what the experienced officer is looking for he gives a signal and the pinch 'is made. Then Come Occasional Assignments Alone After they have begun to learn their way around, student officers occasionally are sent out alone on relatively unimportant assignments. Perhaps a minor traffic situation at some intersection. Or a bunch of boys throwing stones at windows. Innumerable complaints of this sort are being received constantly at the station houses. Saturday night is the big pocketbook snatching night of the week. Many women are on the street marketing for Sunday. The methods by which the pocketbook snatchers operate are explained carefully to the probationers, who are then posted in localities where trouble has occurred or is anticipated. A. week or so ago a student officer, assigned to the Western district and stationed on the. Washington Boulevard to watch for purse snatchers, saw a man go down an alley and break open a window. The officer went after him and caught him-a burglar. Night Duty First, Then Daytime Turns As a rule the student officers report to their station houses at 6 o'clock and work until 11. But sometimes they are called on day duty. The district commander phones Lieutenant Plantholt, at the Police school, asks that a certain student be permitted to leave the class and report early for some special assignment. In the meanwhile instruction continues at the police school with lectures, discussions and demonstrations. At the end of eight weeks the probation officers are given a final examination. Lieutenant Plantholt gives them a last talking to, a bit of fatherly advice along personal and intimate lines. That constitutes their graduation. Men Studied To See Where They Best Fit The captain of each police district studies the probationers assigned to his command, tries to figure out where each man will be most useful. A new officer who formerly did clerical work is probably best suited for duty in a residential section. A former truck driver, harder boiled than the clerk is the better of the two men for work in a lively Negro section. At the same time such a section calls for a man who is calm and cool, and who Isn’t afraid of anything on earth. If a probationer proves himself unusually useful as a plain-clothes man, he may remain on plain-clothes duty for a while, even after he has completed his eight-week course of training. A new officer is rarely assigned to a regular post when he first goes on full time duty. He is more likely to be used as a relief than for any post.


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City Makes Honest Men Of Police Pupils; They're Scrutinized Fore And Aft

21 September 1939

Watchers Pace Aisles During Tests-Candidates’

Finger Prints Are Checked, Then Detectives Take Up Their Trails

The policeman-you know-him. Where does he come from: And how?

The following article is the second of a series of five telling how a Baltimorean becomes a policeman

By Lee McCardell September 21, 1939

If a man has lived in Baltimore long enough to be a registered voter and has the equivalent of a grammar school education the Board of Police Examiners figures that he should be able to pass its written test for probation patrolman without consulting any notes on his cuff.

But human nature being as frail as it is, the tests are not conducted under the honor system. Alert watchers walk up and down the aisles of the Maryland Institute's Market Place building during the hour and a half the examination is in progress. There must be no whispering, no rubber-necking. If anyone taking the examination is caught cheating, his paper is taken up and he is disqualified.

Before an aspirant may leave the building after taking his examination, he must fill out still another blank form stamped with the number of his examination papers. On this last form he writes his full name and address. Another impression of his finger prints goes on the bottom of this sheet. This is to prevent an applicant from sending in some one brighter than he is to take his written test for him. Finger Prints Checked With Applications

The last signature and set of finger prints arc compared with those on the applicant's original application tab before his paper is accepted as genuine. The three examiners then get together around a big desk in their inner office at the Police Building, close the door and go to work.

The examiners are "three sober and discreet persons." according to the law who draw $1,200 each year with $1,800 for a secretary and $900 for office expenses. Appointed for two years examiners are required to have been registered voters for three consecutive years prior to appointment. Two of the examiners must be adherents of the two leading political parties of the State. But there are no educational, qualifications for a police examiner.

Triple ,Check for Prevents Error Grading a batch of probation officer examination papers is a pretty good job, particularly, as each of the three are sober and discreet persons around the desk checks all the answers to all the questions on all the papers. This triple check is to prevent error. The examiners work holidays as well as week days in order to have all the papers the marked in time to prepare a new list the of eligible candidates for the police force by the latter part of April when the old eligible list expires.

Not al the men who apply to the board for application blanks and preliminary physical examination show up to take the written test. Probably half of those who take it pass. The principal stumbling block is the common-sense questions. Sometimes they give even the college graduates trouble.

Applicants Get Chance To Challenge Grades Correct answers to all questions given in the test are posted after the examination on a bulletin board in the examiners' outer office. All examination papers are kept on file, and if an applicant questions the grade he receives he may ask to see his paper. Papers are graded on a basis of 100 per cent. The passing mark varies. Sometimes it is 60 per cent. Sometimes it is 70.

A list of at least a hundred candidates who passed the test, beginning with the names of those who made the highest marks and coming down the line, is now certified by the Board of Examiners and sent downstairs to the office of the Police Commissioner. After That He Picks Whom He Pleases

From this list he may pick anyone he pleases to fill existing vacancies in the ranks of the patrolmen. He is not required to select the candidate with the highest grade first. He can pick‘em out anywhere on the list. And if he want another list, the Board of Examiners must supply it.

Having made a tentative selection for appointment, the commissioner calls in a couple of men from the Detective Department and assigns them to investigate the persons who have indorsed the candidate's original application, and to scout around the candidate's neighborhood and find out just what kind of a fellow he is. Physical Examination Is Next Hurdle

If the candidate survives this test he is called into police headquarters for a complete physical examination by one of the department's half dozen physicians. When pronounced one hundred per cent sound by the doctor, he is appointed a member of the force and assigned to duty in one of the eight districts.

An attaché of the commissioner's office takes the appointee up Fayette street to the Courthouse. In Room·205, the office of Stephen C. Little, clerk of the Superior Court of Baltimore city, the appointee is sworn into the police service with the following oath: "I . . . do swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the State of Maryland and support the Constitution and laws thereof; and that I will to the best of my skill and judgment, diligently, faithfully, without partiality or prejudice, execute the office of probation officer of the police force of the city of Baltimore according to the Constitution and laws of the State." Presto! He's A Policeman

This oath is printed in a gray indexed ledger, the police test book, kept on file at the clerk's office. After taking the oath with up-raised hand, the probationer signs his name in the test book, initials the district to which he has been assigned and sets down the date.

He's a policeman now. But he doesn't know anything about his job. He.

doesn't have any equipment. So back to police headquarters he goes and, takes the elevator to the fifth floor to report to the Police Department's School of Instruction for an eight-week in course in policing. Veteran Of 37 Years Is Teacher

Right next door to the offices of the Board of Police Examiners, the School of Instruction occupies the greater part of the fifth floor in the Police Building's south wing. It is one big room, subdivided by rows of steel lockers. At a large desk just inside the door sits the schoolteacher, Lieut. Adelbert J. Plantholt, a gray-haired police officer of thirty-seven years experience.

Here the probation officer receives his stick (known almost exclusively in Baltimore as an espantoon), pistol, a badge, cap device, whistle and a key to police telephone and signal boxes.

As a rule, this is a second-hand equipment previously used by the officer whose death, resignation or dismissal created the vacancy to which the probation officer has been appointed. Goes About Armed At All Times

Like any other officer, the probationer is supposed to carry his pistol badge, whistle and key with him at all times, in uniform or out, and to arrest violators of the law who come within his jurisdiction. He may not know at first what his jurisdiction is, But Lieutenant Plantholt will put him wise.

To facilitate the increase of his wisdom, the probation officer receives a copy of the rules and regulations of the Police Department, a 500-page digest of state and city laws, a booklet containing the automobile laws another containing the traffic laws and, an American Red Cross book of first aid instruction. BUYS Own Clothes At $100 An Outfit

He attends school every day except Sunday from 8.30 to 4 in his civilian clothes. A week or so after his induction he goes down to a clothing establishment at Baltimore street and Market Place to be measured for his uniforms. But he won't wear a uniform, except for his own delectation, until he has completed his course of instruction and been assigned to regular duty.

At his own expense he is required to buy a dress uniform coat with a double row of brass buttons for spring and fall wear, a uniform blouse with open lapels for summer, a winter overcoat and the necessary trousers. This outfit stands him about $100.Shoes, Neckties And Such Are Extra

Collar ornaments are included with his uniforms. But the black shoes and black neckties required by department regulations are extra. So is a raincoat, or a pair of gloves, or a pair of gum boots, if he wants them. All police uniforms proper, of fixed specifications, are supplied by one firm of clothing manufacturers, chosen by the department on a basis of competitive bids. This firm has a contract with the department, and until his uniforms are paid for deductions of $1 a week are made from the probation officer's pay. They Start At $35, Minus 2%

During his first year, when he is rated as a patrolman, third grade, his pay is $35 a week, less a deduction of two per cent. for the police pension fund. During his second year, when he advances to the rank of patrolman, second grade, he gets $37.50 a week. As a first-class patrolman, after two years of probation, he should draw $40 a week. Pay days come twice a month, on the first and the sixteenth.

The probation officer does not pass through his early training period alone. He is a member of a class in the police school. Probationers are usually appointed in groups of ten or twenty, " possibly half a dozen times a year, depending upon the turnover of the department.

During 1936 only forty-three new patrolmen were appointed to the force.

“It's a good job," says President Wicks, of the Board of Police Examiners. "A policeman seldom wants to give it up."

Insignificant Police Captain-Did the prisoner offer any resistance? Answer-Only one buck, and I wouldn't take it.

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Efren Edwards Sr. showing the recruits the parts of the car, 

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Gunpowder range info


Opening of the Gunpowder Range 

BPD Newsletter Dec 1968
Click HERE or the article above


Reopening of the Gunpowder Range

1975 BPD Newsletter click HERE


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Life Saving Award

Awarded by the Police Commissioner to sworn members who save the life of another person by decisive action. Situations include: CPR, Heimlich Maneuver; prompt application of first aid in potentially fatal situation; and any other act that saves a life and is not strictly a police related function.