Crime Resistance

Crime Resistance Unit

Captain DePino Cathy Pugh Sgt Wilson and Colonel Wilbur Miller

Captain DePino - Cathy Pugh - Sgt Wilson - Colonel Wilbur Miller

CRU Billboard

CRU Billboard

IMG 6553This was a part or the Lock Your Car Program. Police Agent Bob Douglas put thousands of decals on meters. The decals were designed by Officer Pete Katich. Cathy Pugh is standing behind the Mayor

IMG 6586 (1)IMG 6587 (1)IMG 6590 (1)IMG 6592 (1)Lt Wilson swear s in Santas Thousands of Summons reminding people to lock their cars and put valuables out of site were placed on vehicles in Baltimore

Lt Wilson swears in Santa(s)
Thousands of Summons reminding people to lock their cars and
to put valuables out of site were placed on vehicles in Baltimore

Members of the CRU assisted with developing this National program Picture is Agt Marty Seltzer and McGruff

Members of the CRU assisted with developing this National Program
Picture is Agt Marty Seltzer and McGruff

Meto Crime Stoppers was also developed and coordinated by the CRU

Metro Crime Stoppers was developed and coordinated by the CRUOff Charles Feaster Sgt Hezzie Sessomes and Off Mike Byrd

Off Charles Feaster - Sgt Hezzie Sessomes - Off Mike Byrd


CRU poster

Sgt Lewis Ag Douglas Agt Marty Seltzer Off Byrd Sg Bob Lassahn and Agt Rodriguez

Sgt Lewis - Ag Douglas - Agt Marty Seltzer - Off Byrd - Sgt Bob Lassahn - Agt Rodriguez

Sgt Seltzer Agt Rodriguez Sgt Kincaid Off Byrd and Agt Douglas

Sgt Seltzer - Agt Rodriguez - Sgt Kincaid - Off Byrd - Agt DouglasTaxi on Patrol ProgramTaxi on Patrol Program

20 January 1982 - T.O.P. [ Taxis On Patrol ] was started in Baltimore by The Baltimore Police Department working side-by-side and hand-in-hand with the Checker Cab Company, on the T.O.P. project to form the Taxi On Patrol program. What began here in Baltimore went on to become a national program, to report and solve crimes all over the country With support of Deputy Mullen and Mark Joseph Yellow Cab Company all cabs in Baltimore participated in this program Decals advertising the program were placed on all cabs an drivers were trained in what to look for and how to report crimes

taxi tops pg1

With support of Deputy Mullen and Mark Joseph Yellow Cab Company all cabs in Baltimore participated in this program Decals advertising the program were placed on all cabs an drivers were trained in what to look for and how to report crimes

1 Brookes041020201 Brooks R04102020 (5)1 Drunk Drive1 IMG 64821 IMG 64881 IMG 65101 IMG 65421 IMG 65461 IMG 65791 IMG 65821 IMG 65831 IMG 6679

Bob paint 72i

Sgt Bob Wilson

1 MIU at Shot Tower1 PICT02361 Sgt Wilson Commuity Affair 19741 SgtWilsonandCathy Pugh Lock Your Car Campaign  11 Bobby D and Jack Feb 83 Snow04102020 (2)

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


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


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Devider color with motto




How to Dispose of Old Police Items


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


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


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


Class Pics


Academy Graduation Pictures

class unkAcademy Class Photo News

This site is pleased and honored to have the largest collection of BPD Academy photos. If your class photo is missing, please submit a copy to keep this collection growing. We have been requested numerous times to supply an officer a copy of his class photo which had been lost or damaged and we are very happy to help. One thing that many of us hold dear to our heart is the memory of our graduating from the police academy. Our class photo shows all of our classmates and brings back those memories.

Contact:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you can help supply a photo or if you need your class photo and it is here on the site.




Humbly recognizing the responsibilities entrusted to me as a member of the Baltimore Police Department, an organization dedicated to the preservation of human life and property, I pledge myself to perform my duties honestly and faithfully to the best of my ability and without fear, favor, or prejudice.

I shall aid those in danger or distress, and shall strive always to make my City, State and Country a safer place in which to live. I shall wage unceasing war against crime in all forms, and shall consider no sacrifice too great in the performance of my duty.

I shall obey the laws of the United States of America, and the State of Maryland and shall support and defend their constitutions against all enemies whomsoever, foreign and domestic.

I shall always be loyal to and uphold the honor of my organization, my state, and my country.

In one of its definitions, the word "ethics" encompasses the standard of conduct governing all members of a profession. Police exist to preserve law and order. The Greek philosopher Plato wrote that good government is wise, brave, temperate and just. This statement of ethics for police officers establishes broad standards to help police accomplish their mission in a manner which comports with good and wise government. Citizens who earn their police badges voluntarily bear the public trust. They are faithfully charged to protect the safety and the rights of fellow members of society. To provide these special protections, police officers carry special powers. They have the authority to investigate other people, to abridge their normal liberties, and to use force when necessary. Two basic constraints limit use of this authority.

First, it is wrong for police to use their office for personal profit or gain, wrong for them to accept any favor which places their own advantage above the welfare of the public. Second, it is wrong for officers to violate the Constitution or laws in performance of their work. Officers must also bring to their work personal qualities which can spring only from within their personal fabric. They must appreciate and care for the needs of the people they serve. They must exercise common sense in a manner that conveys common decency. They should never render themselves needlessly to danger; they should maintain their physical fitness and their skillfulness in using the tools of their work. Fulfilling this public trust is demanding work. It brings disappointment, weariness and stress. But these are the facts of life in this profession each officer has chosen. But it also provides officers the opportunity to contribute in an immeasurable way to the common good. The Police Department is obligated to provide the best training and support for its officers throughout their careers. The Department will strive to the utmost to provide clear policies and adequate resources for every officer to accomplish the work we have accepted together. Integrity The public demands that the integrity of its law enforcement officers be above reproach. The dishonesty of just one officer may impair public confidence and cast suspicion upon the Department as a whole. Succumbing to even minor temptations can generate a malignancy which will ultimately destroy an individual's effectiveness and which may well contribute to the corruption of fellow officers. Officers must scrupulously avoid any conduct which might compromise their integrity or the integrity of those with whom they work. No officer should seek or accept any special consideration or privilege, nor anything of value for which others are expected to pay, solely because they are police officers, or for performing their duty in some manner inconsistent with the highest regard for integrity.

Respect for Rights

A broad range of rights and privileges are afforded each individual by law and nature. Liberty is maintained for the most part by our constant attention toward preservation of a consistent exercise of these rights and privileges and through mutual respect for every person's exercise of his or her rights and privileges. However, the police officer must contend with a persistent flow of personal conflicts, both legal and illegal. To resolve these differences, the police enforce a body of laws within the Constitution's assurance that all of us - regardless of economic status, sex, race or creed - receive equal and fair treatment. In so doing, officers often face ambiguous situations, particularly in trying to protect the rights of a victim and an accused. To carry out this mission, police officers have the power to search and arrest, to use force, and to investigate and incarcerate. As police, we must use these tools properly with no abuse of our authority. Decency, security, and liberty all demand that government officials observe strict limits to their awesome powers. A government of laws cannot exist when its servants fail to observe the law's own boundaries. Any government official who disobeys the rigorous demands of law in turn disturbs the public order which all of us are sworn to uphold.

Use of Force

In a complex urban society, officers daily confront situations where control must be exercised to effect arrests and to protect public safety. Control is achieved through advice, warning, and persuasion, or by the use of physical force. Force may not be used unless other reasonable alternatives have been exhausted or would be clearly ineffective under the particular circumstances. When the use of physical force is necessary, using a baton, pepper spray, firearms or other means, it must be exercised only when, and in the manner, authorized in the Department's policies. Decisions as to when and how to use force must be consistently made and exercised throughout every neighborhood of this City.


Effective law enforcement depends on a working partnership and a community of interest between the Department, its officers and the public they serve. The practice of courtesy in all public contacts encourages understanding and appreciation. Discourtesy breeds contempt and resistance. Most of the public are law-abiding citizens most of the time; they rightfully expect fair and courteous treatment by Department employees. While the urgency of a situation might preclude the ordinary social amenities, discourtesy under any circumstance is indefensible. The practice of courtesy by an officer is entirely consistent with the firmness and impartiality that characterizes a professional police officer.Devider


Courtesy Kenny Sanchez


Courtesy Kenny Sanchez

Doug Womack and Greg Womack

Photo Courtesy Ret Sgt Doug Womack
Brothers, after graduating the Academy 1979. Officer Sgt. Doug Womack (left) became a flight officer. Brother P/O Greg Womack went to the Southern District.

class pic

The academy has a sign with the Baltimore Police School's motto
"Service with Hope of Honor as Reward!"

Nancylee Kleine formerly Nancylee Wilhelm passed away on December 19th 2012Photo Courtesy Andy de la Vara
The Female Police Officer to the far left wearing a black dress with white color is
"Nancylee Kleine" formerly "Nancylee Wilhelm"


Class 69-5 Assignments1-72

Class 69-5

assaignment 1-1

assaignment 1-5

assaignment 1-4

assaignment 1-3

assaignment 1-2

assaignment 6-1

class 69-5-1

class 69-5-2

Photo and Documents Courtesy of Ofc. Leonard O'Connor
BPD Academya Class 1926 Ray Miles

Photo courtesy Raymond K. Miles Jr.

Academy Class 1926

Officer Ray Miles kept track of his 1926 class members until around 1963

Officer Cooney assigned CD.......Promoted to Sergeant

Officer Trombotta assigned: SWD........Fired

Officer I. M. Hoff assigned: SD......Retired 1951

Officer Hopkins assigned: NWD.....Fired

Officer Schwatka assigned: NWD....Died 1927

Officer Flanagan assigned: NED....Resigned

Officer Ray Miles assigned: WD....Retired 1951

Officer Atkinson assigned: WD...Headquarters...Fired

Officer McGrath assigned: NED.....?

Officer Maloney assigned: NED.....?

Officer Bock assigned: NED....Retired

Officer Young assigned: SWD....Retired

Officer Jackson assigned: ND...Promoted to Sergeant...Promoted to Lieutenant...Died

Officer Tarbutton assigned: SWD....Fired

Officer Clary assigned: ND....Fired

Officer Smith assigned: ND....Fired

Officer Bruchey assigned: SWD...Retired

Officer Eben assigned: NED....Promoted to Sergeant..Promoted to Lieutenant..Retired....Died

Officer Schneider assigned: WD...Died

Officer Leight assigned: WD...Quit ?

Officer O'Daugherty assigned: WD...Promoted to Sergeant....Retired

Officer Jones assigned: NWD....Retired

Officer Lynch assigned: NED...Transferred to NWD....Fired

img199 -72

Courtesy Tommy Linton

img200 72

Courtesy Tommy Linton


Baltimore City Police Department “Oath of Office”

In the Year of Our Lord 1937

"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 “Police Officer” of the police force of the city of Baltimore according to the Constitution and laws of the State.


Courtesy Lieutenant James Kelly

Academy Class 1940's
John F Zaloudek2
Officer John F. Zaloudek attended this class
1942 BPD Academy Class
 Photo courtesy Bob Poist
Academy Class 1942
Officer Edward Poist 2nd. row fourth officer from the left.
class 7-6-1955
Class 7-6-1955
1950s 1
Courtesy Lieutenant James Kelly 
1950s 2 Courtesy Lieutenant James Kelly 
1950s 3 Courtesy Lieutenant James Kelly
1950s 4
  Courtesy Lieutenant James Kelly 
1950s 6 Courtesy Lieutenant James Kelly
1950s 7 
Courtesy Lieutenant James Kelly
1950s 8
Courtesy Lieutenant James Kelly
Richard C. Ruth ("Dick" Ruth) is in the second row, second from the right.
1950s 9
  Courtesy Lieutenant James Kelly 1950s 11
 Courtesy Lieutenant James Kelly
 Photo courtesy Christina Bohli, John Drexel's daughter
Academy Class 1951
Officer John Drexel attended this class of recruits, photo taken upon graduation November 1, 1951 (Below) Names of the members of this class handwritten by each member in order of their location on the photo.
Class 68 8 Jim Comegna Sr
  Courtesy Jim Comegna Sr
Class 68-8Academy Class 1951 names
Photo courtesy Christina Bohli, John Drexel's daughter
Class 7-6-1955a
Academy Class: July 6, 1955
Officer Raymond Staniewski attended this class. 
Academy 1955
 Photo courtesy Mike Kearney
Academy Class 1955
 Officer William Kearney attended this class, within a few years he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and then to Lieutenant. He retired from the department in 1991 and passed away in 2001.



This was a record class at the time (date unknown) 165 men. At the front, the Sergeant on the right is none other than the legendary Roger B. Stocksdale, he later became a Lieutenant He was a fine firearms instructor in 1962



In the front row, the man on the end on the left is Colonel Edwin Lawrence.  The next row up, second from the left is Lieutenant Kenny Crispens.  Right next to Kenny is Lieutenant Clarence Ethridge.  The fifth man further to the right in that same row is Sergeant Montfredo.  At the far right of that same row is Colonel Simon J. Avara.  Top right, the fellow standing in front of the column is one of the Panowicz brothers.  In the last row, directly under the "LI" in POLICE over the center door is Anton "Tony" Glover. 

Arthur Bud DiStafano
Academy Class 1956
This was one of the very large classes that graduated in 1956 from Turner's Armory on Hillen Road.  Major Robert DiStefano's oldest brother Arthur "Bud" DiStefano is in the last row, fourth from the right.  He stayed on the force for 11 years before he had enough.  Currently, he is in a nursing home, suffering from advanced Alzheimer's disease, and the aftermath of a severe stroke and brain surgery.  He is completely paralyzed and has been living on a stomach tube for almost two years.  Say a prayer for him.  Lieutenant Dennis Ortman is in the third row of males, eighth from the left!
1950s 10

Courtesy Lieutenant James Kelly

Academy Class 1956

Graduated September 15, 1956, at Turner's Armory.

Officer Jim Mitchell was a member of this class, upon graduation he was assigned to the Western District and spent 26 years in patrol and 3 years as a turnkey.

(See more about Jim on the Western District Chapter)

Calvin McCleese090 class

Courtesy of Jeff McCleese
Class 1957 at Turner's Armory - Calvin McCleese


Courtesy Sgt. Nick Caprinolo

 Academy Class:1958

Nick Caprinolo third from the left, in the third row. Joe Bonhoff is third from left, 4th row, just behind Caprinolo and to the right. Dick Frazier, fourth row third from the right. McClellan is the second from left. second row. He was in the crime lab for a long time. Walter Janowitz is fourth from the right, third row. Fabizak is fourth from right, top row.

Tom Black 4th from the right bottom row.John DiStefano, brother of Ret. Major Robert DiStefano, 3rd row, 7th from the right. 

Academy Class 1959

Photo courtesy Lieut. Emmett Jones

Off Lawrence Merrifield Class April 3 1959

Photo courtesy Officer Lawrence Merrifield

Academy Class April 3, 1959
LOOKOUT 9-11-1961
B.P.D. LOOKOUT 9-11-1961 displays a list of applicants for appointment as probationary patrolman and policewoman
Nov 1960
Photo courtesy Mrs. Elaine Honeycutt
Academy Class 1960 
Academy Class graduating November 1960.
Officer William M. Honeycutt is pictured second row 3rd. from left.


One of the classes of 1960
Officer Billy R. Vest Sr

1960 Dec UL

Courtesy Mabel Smith
Class Photo Dec 1960 

1961 CLASS

Academy Class 1961

Academy class of 1961 in front of the Baltimore Museum of Art, in front of “The Thinker” Front row: left to right 4th Elizabeth Treakle, 5th Mary Thomas, 6th Kay Allman, 7th Clara Sigman, 9th Peter Pauline Second row: left to right 4th Kenneth Lambert, 7th Charles Markiewicz, 11th Paul Oneto Third row: unknown Fourth row: left to right 4th Bernard Sullivan, 11th William Willis, 15th Donald Hranicka, 16th Norman Cutsail, 18th Merle Newman

Sgt George T Owens New Cops1 1962

Photo Courtesy Sgt. George T. Owens

Sgt George T Owens New Cops2
 Photo Courtesy Sgt. George T. Owens
1962 Academy Class
Photo courtesy Officer John G Magrogan Jr.
Academy Class 1962

Academy Class 1962 started in May and recruits were graduated in September.

Police Officer John Magrogan, badge# 166, is pictured far right, second row 1st. officer

Officer Magrogan left Baltimore Police Dept. of Prince George Co Police Aug 1965

1960s academy class


Academy Class 1962-2

Officer Bowden, 1st row last on right, left the department during the first year, Officer Elbert F. Williams is in the second row, 1st. from the left, second row second from left is Officer Tony Savalina second row second from right is Officer James Catterton, who left the police department and joined the fire department, 1st row third from left is Officer Agusnack, next to Officer George T. Owens

Sgt George T Owens Academy Review

 Photo Courtesy Sgt. George T. Owens

Kenneth Schiminger2
39 Probationary Patrolmen appointed by
Commissioner Bernard J. Schmidt during the early 1960's
(to enlarge the above list of officers click on the 100% icon bottom right corner)
Class Aug 1964
Photo courtesy Sgt. Donald Daugherty
Academy Class 1964

Graduation August 1964

Officer Daugherty, was in the second row third from the right.

Bessie Norris, Dottie Charles, Bill Rowley were also in the class

.march 1964 Humble

Courtesy Jan Humble
1964 Class picture taken on the steps of the Baltimore Museum of Art, March 1964.

Jean Mewbourne is the young lady front and center, Jim Stein is 1st row on the right end.
Bill Humble is 2nd row 2nd from the left end. Jim Gallagher is 2nd-row right end.
Top row right end is an officer with the last name is Rubin.

Class 65


Academy Class 1965
First row extreme right is Jim Larkins, Ret. ED. Don Voss is to the first person second-row extreme left side.  Norman Hook is the third from the right, second row. January 1965, taken at Turner Armory
 academy class 1966
Photo courtesy Sgt. Earl Le Bon
Academy Class 1966
Joseph Bolesta is second from the right second row. Al Taylor fourth from the right second row. Earl LeBon is sixth from the right top row. Ray Mills is standing next to him at seventh. October 1966
academy class1965
Courtesy Officer Jules Denito
Academy Class: 67-6
Officer Jules Denito, served in the Southern District and Northwestern District. Officer William Melvin Phelps can be seen standing in the front row, second from the left. He served in the Northern District, Central District, K9, Western and Eastern Districts. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1971 and left the BPD and served with the Cape Coral, Florida Police Department for 19 years, retiring in 2002.
Photo courtesy Detective Raymond Wilson
Temporary Identification Card issued to the trainees while in the Police Academy, this one belonging to Raymond E. Wilson issued 12/7/67 (Below) Academy class of 1968 in which Ray Wilson graduated. He is standing 4th row back 3rd officer in from the left. 1 member of this class was killed in the line of duty.
Academy Class 1968
Photo courtesy Detective Ray Wilson
John R Blackburn------------WD Daniel Boniarski-------------SED James J. Brokus------------SED Malcomb L. Cosby----------SD Marvin L. Councilman-----WD Matthew W. Dogan III------NWD Homer R. Dorsey- ----------SD Harry C. Foard----------------ND James E. Gilpin--------------SWD Fielding C. Godbee, Jr.---SWD Clyde R. Goodrum-----------WD Jerome E. Greer--------------SD John H. Haase, Jr.------------WD Ronald D. Hartman-----------SD Kevin J. Hildreth---------------WD Richard A. Hughes------------CD Ronald D. Johnston-----------ND Ronald D. Johnston-----------ND Emerson L. Knox--------------WD Charles W. Leonard-----------ED Peter W. McFarlane-----------ED James W. Mayfield------------WD Raymond F. Meyers----------SWD Robert C. Moscirella----------WD Henry L. Parker-----------------WD Willie L. Perdue-----------------WD Frank A. Russo---------------- SD Ronald S. Savage---------------SD George E. Sheffield------------WD George M. Singer---------------SD Milton Spell-----------SD--(LOD 8-15-74) Vincent W. Yedynak------------CD Jocephus Weeks---------------NWD Raymond E. Wilson------------WD
196812 July 1968 
Courtesy Edward Marston Jr
Photo courtesy Lieutenant Robert Wilson
Academy Class 68-6

Photo courtesy Officer Donald Meyers

Officer Donald Myers graduated from 68-6 and served The Baltimore City Police Department for several years and moved on joining the Taneytown, Maryland and then the Manchester, Maryland Police Departments, serving as Chief of Police for each. Don is now retired and living in Florida.

Robert Wilson was graduated as well from this class and attained the rank of Lieutenant before retiring.

baltimore city police 06

Courtesy Det. Leonard A. Willis, Sr

Academy Class 68-9

68-9 is a very small but unique class because it was the first graduating class of the "Experimental Time Phase Functional Recruit-Training." The class of 21 policemen went through 20 weeks of training. Each graduate received 12 college credits for the completion of this program. The names of the graduating Officers are: Top Row: from left to right are: Ronald C. Stewart, Charles L Vanneman, Alvin A. Winkler, James F. Alford, Leonard A. Willis Sr., Ray L. Gillispie, Kenneth R. While Middle Row: left to right are: Louis F. Wright Jr., Billy R. Anderson, Frank H. Grant (Howard County Police), James K. Conway, Brent L Crawford, Edward L. Hamilton, Robert A. Moore, and Edgar H. Whiteman. Bottom Row: Left to right are: Charles F. Cichon, John Cunningham, David M. Doxzen (Howard County Police) Robert C. Harrison, Charles J. Ryan, Robert J. Addison and Joseph W. Weber. Information provided by Leonard A. Willis, Sr., a former homicide detective with the Baltimore Police Department.

police trainees range

Police Trainees, shotgun training at the range

gunpowder range buildings


Baltimore City Police Firearms Training Area

Class 87-3 obviously followed by class 87-4 heard of some poor decisions made by members of the junior class and that Pepsi machine seen in this picture, from what we heard you could either hit the machine, or reach up in it and get free soda's (they didn't know free wasn't free, first it was stealing and second they paid for it with their jobs. Several members of that class were fired for stealing sodas. If you are going to catch a thief in uniform there is no better time than while they are in training. 

gunpowder range line


Baltimore City Police Oath of Office

I do swear or affirm that I will support the Constitution of the United States: that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the State of Maryland and support the Constitution and Laws thereof: that I will to the best of my skill and judgment diligently and faithfully without partiality or prejudice execute the office of a Probationary Police Officer for the Baltimore City Police Department according to the Constitution and laws of this State.



 Academy CLASS 68-?

Officer Ernest Elliott third row, third Officer in from left to right. Officer Elliott was Assigned to the Southeast District and served there for 5 years. Officer Alan Williams, 2nd row 3rd from right

Michael Roselle class 68-11 14 Feb 1968

CourtesyMichael Roselle
Class 68-11. This is the right photo of Class 68-11 graduation on Feb 14th, 1969



Academy Class 69-1
2nd row on the right side we can see Jimmy Halcomb
Photo courtesy Officer Leroy Smith
Academy Class 69-3
 Officer Leroy Smith top row 1st. officer right side.
 Firearms training taken at Gunpowder, now Retired Major DiStefano was a firearms/defense tactics instructor at the time. The man on the left end is then Sgt. later to be Captain, Robert Jenkins. The man in the middle is Bob Michael, and the man on the right end is then Sgt, later to be Captain Howard Parrot. The other instructor is Elmer Thomas.

defense tactics1


Defense tactics at the old E&T in the Northern "attic", January 31, 1968, DiStefano was the instructor, then a cadet, later Major Frank Russo is executing the tactic.
defense tactics2
Training at the old E&T in the old Northern,  it shows then Sgt., later Lieutenant, Thomas "Tom" Hennessey, explaining what DiStefano is doing to his partner, Patrolman Robert C. Michael.


Northern E&T, DiStefano and Officer Bob Michael again.


E&T at the Northern, Jan 31, 1969, showing DiStefano, and a group including then cadet, later Major, Frank Russo, on the left of the picture, in the back row

Class 69-4

Class 69-4

class 69-5 Bill Bertazon s

Courtesy Officer William Bertazon

Academy Class 69-5
BPD class 69-5 on July 1969 in front of Poly-Western High School. Officer Bill Bertazon top row, third from the left.  Just underneath the left rear tire of the pickup truck.
Academy Class 69-6
Photo Courtesy Officer David Williams
Academy Class 69-6 
Officer David L. Williams. Second row third from the left.
Photo Courtesy Officer Don DeWar
Academy Class 69-8
Officer Don DeWar, third row from the top and 5th from the left, Officer Robert Brown is second row second from left
69 9
Academy Class 69-10

Class photo was taken in front of the War Memorial Bldg.

1st row…. .. 7th from left is Officer James Liberto

2nd. Row…6th from left is Officer Dan Gray

3rd. row...... 7th from left is Officer Gilbert Robinette

4th row....... 5th from left is Officer Wilbur C. Bartels E.O.D. August 1969 to retirement October 1989

Sgt Parrott class 69-11

Courtesy Lt. Tom Douglas

Sgt. Parrott staging a crime scene for class 69-11at E & T in the old Northern District in January 1970.  Officer Tom Douglas standing with glasses.  Paul Byer is the farthest to the left.
Class 69-11 Graduated February 1970
Courtesy Lt. Tom Douglas
Academy Class 69-11
Officer Tom Douglas 1st. row, far right.
Courtesy Lt. Tom Douglas
 Courtesy Sergeant Donald F. Kramer, Sr.
Academy Class 69-12
Sergeant Donald F. Kramer, Sr.
Academy Class 69-12




AVERY, WILLIE J.                    KIBLER, GEORGE T.






BUSCEMI, JOHN M.                 MUIR, ROBERT W.

BUSH, RICHARD E.                  O’HARE, THOMAS L.

CAPPS, LARRY E.                   PETRIC, IVAN

COOPER, KING E.                   QUINTANA, PAUL D

COPE, MICHAEL I.                  SCHMIDT, ROBERT P.


DAY, DONALD D.                   SIZELOVE, HARRY A.







HALL, JAMES B.                    WHITEMAN, CHARLES H.




Criminal Justice Commission Names lieutenant Otto A. Urban As The "Policeman Of The Month"

April 1970

Lt Urban


Lieutenant Otto A. Urban, a 43 year veteran of the Department, presently assigned to the Education and Training Division, received the Criminal Justice Commission's "Policeman of the Month" citation on April 2nd. The award was made by Commission president, Phillip Heller Sachs, during ceremonies at the Education and Training Division. Mr. Sachs noted that "outstanding police services not directly related to the apprehension of criminals are frequently unpublicized and Lieutenant Urban merited this award as an 'unsung hero' for sustained above-average performance and dedication to duty over a long period of time." The picture above includes in the back row, from left to right Major Norman E. Pomrenke, Deputy Commissioner Wade H. Poole, and Deputy Commissioner Thomas J. Keyes; the front row includes from, left to right, Mr. Richard G. Sullivan, Managing Director of the Criminal Justice Commission, Lieutenant Otto A. Urban, Mr. Phillip Heller Sachs, Commission President and other members of the Commission, Mr. Ernest Johannesen, and Mr. Warren A. Miller.

class 70-1


Officer William Hackley photo

Academy Class: 70-1
Officer William Hackley, second row 3rd. from the right
class 70-1 02
class 70-1 03
Photo courtesy Officer William Roberts
Academy Class 70-6
Photo courtesy Officer William Roberts

Class 70-7 - BPD

Courtesy Wesley Wise

Class 70-7
academy class 1971
Courtesy Officer Missie Edick
Baltimore Police Academy Class 1970-1971
Officer Bob Brown's Class
class 71-4
Courtesy Officer William Garmer
Academy Class: 71-4
Was the 1st. class to graduate from the St. Agnes College Campus. Officer Everett Voelker, top row, far left
Officer William Garmer, top row second from the left. Officer Barry Wood died in the line of duty 11-04-1998
first-row center sergeant Howard Collins, bottom row far right.
jerry 3 72
Courtesy Jerry DeManss
Class 71-7

Bernie Lowry class pic

Class 72-?
Bernie Lowry class
Academy Class 71-8
 Class 71-8  Officer Gary D. Starkey, top row, 9th from the left.


CLASS 71-8



HOWARD R. BANKS                    RICHARD J. KOEL

JOHN P. BARTON                         FREDERICK D. LANE

EDWARD M. BOYLE                     ERIC N. MANUEL



HENRY D. CAVE, JR.                   LOUIS G. PARKER, JR.



JACK N. D’AMARIO                      MAURICE W. REDMOND

THOMAS J. FISHER                     SANFORD C. SCOTT

STEPHEN G. FREY                      MICHAEL G. SHANAHAN


PHILIP S. GERALD                      GARY D. STARKEY


DON W. HELMS                          BRADFORD A. THOMAS


GEORGE S. HILL                       JIMMIE E. WALLACE, JR.


         71-9 Officer Terry L Miller
Academy Class 71-9

The Class Commander was Lt. Lewendowski and Training Academy Commander was LT. Hoover with an Officer George Eckert as first aid and self defense instructor.



Photo courtesy Officer Rick Krause

Academy Class 72-2
1972 Academy Class
Photo courtesy Mrs. Debbie Bell
Academy Class 72-?
Officer James H Bell, Jr., 3rd in from the right, bottom row, his arm cocked.
class 72-7 frank napfel
Courtesy Officer Frank Napfel
Academy Class 72-7
Officer Frank Napfel 1st. row 8th. from the left.


Drew Hall
Graduated 1972 (72-4)
James M. Distler
1972 72-9
Photo courtesy Officer Larry Austin
Academy Class 1973
Academy Class  73-3
 Photo courtesy Officer Kayhla Hendren
1973 73-6
Photo courtesy Officer David Webb
Academy Class 73-6
BPD Class 73-10
Photo courtesy Scott Thomas
Academy Class 73-10
74-4 jim carnes Courtesy Jim Carnes
74-6 A
Courtesy Officer Stephen Pohl
Academy Class 74-6
Officer Stephen Pohl  7th from the left in the top row
Officer David Clauss 10th. from the left in the top row
74-6 B
Courtesy Officer Stephen Pohl
1974 74-7
 Photo courtesy Agent Robert Jud
Academy Class 74-7
Front row left to right. Wardell James John Lorme, Zachery Tims, Ronald Hubbard, Matt Immler, Abe Usera, Roland Miller, Mike Sharkey, Robert Jud, unk, unk, unk, unk, Class Advisor Sgt. Frank Broccolini.
Back row left to right: unk, Gary Stott, Ronald James, William Ritmiller, unk, Johnny Fisher, unk, Brent Bryson, unk, unk, unk, Robert Douglas, unk, Leonard Blum, Innes Foster
The missing names from the class are: Roger Aikin, Ray Coleman, Mike Hanks, Glenn Miller, Swindell Roulhac, Kenneth Seekford, George Singleton, Thomas Stein, Melvin Thomas, Thomas Wells, and Howard Whitaker III. These names listed as (unk) possibly someone will look at the class photo and be able to fill in the blanks.
1974 74-8A
Photo courtesy Police Agent Alan Small
Academy Class 74-8
1974 74-8B
Photo courtesy Police Agent Alan Small
Photo Courtesy Sergeant Bill Gordon
Academy Class 74-9

Photo Courtesy Sergeant Bill Gordon
CLASS 74-11

Front Row: James Eigner, Annapolis Officer Edward Mackiewicz , Byron Williams, Russell Merritt, Unknown, Floyd Myers, Daniel Chapman, Unknown, Annapolis Officer Glen Cross, Kathy (Hamilton) Patek, August Beyer, III, Stephen Grenfell, Officer Raymond Butler, Class Adviser

Back Row: James Fell, Kelly Allen, Andrew Leso, Tony Petralia, Gregory Meacham, Jeremiah Daley, George Faulkner, Annapolis Officer Neil Burke, David Bugda, John Poliks, John Johnson, Unknown, Unknown, Unknown Taken at Mt. St Agnes Academy on Smith Ave.

Academy Class 1975

Photo Courtesy Denise DePasquale (Daughter of Officer Timothy Ridenour
Academy Class 75-?

Officer Timothy B. Ridenour, Top row, 3 rd. from the end. Officer Ridenour was killed in the line of duty October 27, 1975
Academy Class 1975
 Courtesy Carl Eric Stambaugh
Academy Class 1975
Courtesy Jeff Rosen
Academy Class 75-9
Photo courtesy Officer Gary Provenzano
Academy Class 75-9

April 30, 1976

75-9 was the first class to graduate wearing the current issue badge.

When they were hired, they were issued the 4th.issue style that had been used since 1890, by the time they graduated, they were wearing the current badge. Also noteworthy is that they were wearing black bands on their badges in memory of Officer James Halcomb, who died in the line of duty.

 75-9 program 

class 76-2
Courtesy Officer Paul Williams
Class 76-2
Officer Paul Williams, back row 7th. from the right
Paul J. Williams E.O.D. April 1976 Retired October 21, 1996. Assigned to the Northwest District the first 5 years then transferred to the Eastern District. Because of being injured, he was sent to telephone reporting unit, evidence control unit, and then back to the Eastern District where he retired from this class was one of three class that were laid off that year because of buget cuts. The day that all three class were told about the layoff, the staff at St. Agnes was called for more Police to stand by because they thought there was going to be trouble, there was none.
76 3 72
Courtesy of Robert  McMahon

1class 76-2a

Program for Academy Class 76-2

class 76-2b


Courtesy Officer John Brazil

Academy Class 77-1

Class 77-1 Roster

Courtesy Officer John Brazil


Photo courtesy Lt. Jack Spicer
Academy Class 77-2 
 Photo courtesy Lt. Jack Spicer
77 3
Courtesy Charles Klein
George Eckert 1977

Officer George Eckert giving a Police Trainee CPR training 1977

E&T was located on the 10th. floor of the HQ building
Buddy Ey1

Buddy Ey2
Photo courtesy Kenneth M. Schiminger

78 1 Robert Jones

Courtesy Robert Jones
Class 78-1
 Photo courtesy of Officer Doug Womack
Academy Class 79-1

Photo courtesy Officer Doug Womack
Academy Class 79-2
 BaltPD Class 79-5i sm
Photo courtesy Officer William Stanley
Academy Class 79-5

Photo courtesy Officer Donnie Wayson
Academy Class 79-11
Academy Class 80-2

Courtesy Agent James S. Segeda
Academy Class 80-2
Academy Class 80-3
1980 80-6
Academy Class 80-6
80 10
Academy Class 80-10
80-11 A
Photo Courtesy of Sergeant David Munyan
Academy Class 80-11
80-11 B
Photo Courtesy of Sergeant David Munyan
Jon Foote 2
Photo Courtesy Officer Jon Foote
Officer Jon Foote Seq.# D080, Class 81-6 receiving his certificate from Commissioner Frank Battaglia.

BaltimorePD-81-10 reduced
Courtesy John Jarman (Officer 1981 – 1988, Southern District)
Class 81-10
82-1 corrected nick
Courtesy Officer Brian Schwaab
Academy Class 82-1
Officer Brian Schwaab,back row,4th. from the right.
Photo enhanced courtesy retired Sergeant Nick Caprinolo
82-1 cover
Program (above) and list of graduates (below)
Class 82-1
82-1 list
Program (above) and list of graduates (below)
Class 82-1
82 4a
Class 82-4
82 4b
Class 82-4
82 4c
Class 82-4
82 4d
Class 82-4
82 4f
Class 82-4
82 4g
 Class 82-4
Courtesy Steven Hatchett
82 4g
Class 82-4
Courtesy Steven Hatchett

Academy Class 82-5
Photo courtesy Officer Williams Johns
Academy Class 82-5

Photo courtesy Major Antonio Rodriguez
Academy Class  83-2
Photo courtesy Officer Roxy Cotton
1983 83-04
Academy Class 83-4
 Back row: Raynard Jones; McDermott; ?; Robert Hughes; Bost; ?;  Kenneth Nauman; Lt. Joanne (Burkhardt) Voelker; Sgt. Charles Morgan (?); ?;  Ed White (SD); Elmer Justice; Parrott; and

Sgt. Robert Booth.

Second row: Sgt. Mealy; AA; Dennis Thurman; John Mack; Gene Cassidy; AA;  ?; Greg McGillivary; AA; Randy Humes;

Sgt. Rietz; ?; and Taliba Mohommad.

Third row: AA; Terry Love Sr;   ?; Whelan; Roxanne Cotton (VCIS);   Col. Timothy Longo;   Sgt. Charletta Jackson; ?; Michelle Cheatham (ED);   and Van   ?.


   (?= unknown;   *AA= Another Agency; *Orange Names= Active BPD)

 84-1 Nancy Jones

Courtesy Nancy Jones
Class 84-1

nancy jones roster lg

Courtesy Nancy Jones

Baltimore Police Academy Class 87 1 Ben Fiore
Courtesy Ben Fiore
Class 87-1

Academy Class 85-2 Graduates
No Photo Available

Jeff 85 3 sm

Courtesy Jeff McCleese
Class 85-3

Courtesy Sgt. Doug Schwaab
Academy Class  85-3
Top row third from the left is P/O Robert Alexander who was killed in the line of duty 9/20/86.
Officer Doug Schwaab 4th from the left. Sgt. John Slaughter, class advisor
P/O  Steve Saghy   (Third Row/Third From Right)
class 85-4

Courtesy Officer William Painter
Academy Class 85-4
Officer William Painter's class, Lt. Winkler standing far right
class 86-4 john long

Courtesy Major John E. Long
Academy Class 86-4
Officer John E. Long back row 5th. Officer from the right.
Officer Long was promoted through the ranks
and retired as a Major
Maj Pat Bradley
Courtesy Officer Lenny Podgorski
Major Patrick Bradley, Director of E & T
Lt Bass Sgt Tom Maly Stan Mezewski Major Bradley
Courtesy Officer Lenny Podgorski
L to R Lt. Mike Bass, Sergeant Tom Maly, Sergeant Stan Mezewski, Major Patrick Bradley
DeT Jean Mewborne
Courtesy Officer Lenny Podgorski
Detective Jean Mewbourne
Off Lenny Podgorski1
Courtesy Officer Lenny Podgorski
Officer Lenny Podgorsky

Sgt Stan Mezewski

Courtesy Officer Lenny Podgorski
Sergeant Stan Mezewski
Theresa Cunningham
Courtesy Officer Lenny Podgorski
Agent Theresa Cunningham
Sgt Tom Maly
Courtesy Officer Lenny Podgorski
Sergeant Tom Maly
Courtesy Officer Lenny Podgorski
89 2 72
Courtesy Shonda Williams / Mario Notargiacomo
Class 89-2
Courtesy Kevin Archer
Class 90-4
class unk
Academy Class 91-1
Academy class...91-1 at the Raven's complex in Owings Mills
Advisors Sgt. Tim Longo and Sgt. James Sharpe.
Officer Steven Longo's class

92-1 cover

Bob Gordon E821

Courtesy Robert Gordon
Class unknown 2
Courtesy Officer Lenny Podgorski / Det. Michael Hansen

Academy Class 92-2

BPD Academy 1993-1

Photo courtesy Det. Lou Trimper

BPD Academy 1993

The Baltimore Police Academy was temporally housed in the Colts/Raven Sport Complex in Owings Mills.

All recruit academic training and In-Service was conducted here for a number of years.

BPD Academy 1993-2

Photo courtesy Det. Lou Trimper

Class unknown 1
Curtesy Officer Lenny Podgorski

Academy Class 94-2

Dave O'Leary, Erik Pecha, Rob Cremmen


1995 95-1

Photo courtesy Officer Benny Barnes
Academy Class 95-1
Academy Class 95-4

IMG 341741235368659
Courtesy Captain Steven Ward
Class 99-2
1999 99-04
Academy Class 99-4

Class unknown 3
Courtesy Officer Lenny Podgorski
Unknown Class above
2004 04 01
Photo courtesy Detective Wendy K. Morton
Academy Class 04-1
P/O Leslie A. Holliday was in this class.. pictured in the front...she died in the line of duty in 2005


Photo courtesy Officer Orlando Quiles
Academy Class 05-1
Top row left to right: Payne, Stickles, Hall, Coates, Surratt, Collins, Afmegad, Giordano, McDuffie, Shuttleworth, Cherry, Magwood, Curry, Miller, Teelle, Drew, Gillespie, Berry, Schlepper, Kienle, Unknown, Armstrong, Rice, Mann, McShane, Stevens, Maddred.

Bottom row right to left: Glazerman, Orlando Quiles, T. Smith, Monah, Buie, Reed, Sinkler, McCormick, Bailey, Honablew, S. Payne, Allman, Williams, Ferguson, White, J. Smith.

2007 Class 07-06
Academy Class 07-6
The background for this photo as the then-new public safety training center in the NWD.
Academy Class 08-1

Photo courtesy Officer Robert Trimper

brandon stickles mayor

Courtesy Detective Leslie J. Stickles, Jr.
Mayor Martin O'Malley, Officer Brandon Stickles,

Police Commissioner Leonard Hamm 2005

"Rosado" A

Law Enforcement Family

Officer Joseph Rosado accepting his certificate

Photo Courtesy Sergeant Jose Rosado

Officer Joseph Rosado, above, receives his Certificate of Completion of the Baltimore Police Academy, from Commissioner Leonard Hamm, June 1, 2007

Below Joe is standing with his proud father, Sergeant Jose Rosado, who served the Northwest District, the Helicopter Unit, the D.A.R.E. program, E & T, and Southeast District.

Officer Joe Rosado with father Sergeant Jose Rosado

Photo Courtesy Sergeant Jose Rosado

Alex Joe classmate and future wife Myrna Joes mom and twin sister Stacey 6-01-07

Photo Courtesy Sergeant Jose Rosado

Officer Joe Rosado seen here standing with his gracious mother, his sister, Stacey and also with Alex, a classmate and future wife.

Officer Joseph Rosado and his twin sister Stacey
Photo Courtesy Sergeant Jose Rosado

Officer Joe Rosado, above, with his twin sister Stacey

And below he is with Major Sue Young, now retired, the Commanding Officer of the Education and Training Division

June 1, 2007

A fine family and Joe, you have some very big shoes to fill, following your dad, a 30-year veteran who served the department in various assignments with true dedication and skill

Joe and Major Sue Young

Photo Courtesy Sergeant Jose Rosado

BPD 00-080001 Portz 08 72

Photo Courtesy of Lisa Olszewski
BPD Class 2000-8  -  Tommy Portz' class‏
90 4(1)

Courtesy Kevin Archer
Class 90-4

90 4

Courtesy Kevin Archer
Class 90-4
Jay Wilysm

Courtesy Jay Wiley
Class 80-9
John J Wiley If my memory is correct that is Com Donald Pomerlau sm
Courtesy Jay Wiley
John J Wiley with PC Donald Pomerleau

Class unknown 3
Class unknown 1
Class unknown 2 
class 86-4 john long 
class 85-4 
2004 04 01

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

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

old time police

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

By Lee McCardell …..September 20, 1937

The policeman toots a whistle holds up a white-gloved hand… helps a blind man across the street….. tries the store doors along with 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 payroll. 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 servicemen, manufacturers' agents," professional baseball players, telegraph operators, pipefitters, tailors, barbers, teachers, clerks, motormen, ice wagon drivers, filling station operators, bookkeepers, auditors, printers, machinists, weighers, markers, inspectors, managers, runners, Painters, elevator operators, steelworkers, firemen, butchers, carpenters, paperhangers. 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 become 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 fingerprints are 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 mimeographed 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 says, gets up a list of ten good words for the spelling test, Mr. Kadden works up to 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 are 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?

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

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 fingerprints goes on the bottom of this sheet. This is to prevent an applicant from sending in someone brighter than he is to take his written test for him. Finger Prints Checked With Applications

The last signature and set of fingerprints 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 weekdays 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 percent. The passing mark varies. Sometimes it is 60 percent. 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 wants 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 endorsed 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 percent 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 piece of 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 gumboots, 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 percent. 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. Paydays 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."


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

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

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 ordinances, 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 motorcycles. 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.

The 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



Sun Paper Pic 1936
Standing could be the Class Instructor Lt. Adelbert J. Plantholt

Lieut. Adelbert J. Plantholt, director of the school ever since it was established seventeen years ago, was 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 percent. 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 school's 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 At 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 emergencies. 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 the 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 streetcar 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 anyone 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 any way, 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 UniformThe 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 homework 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 "fieldwork," In plain clothes and chaperoned by full-fledged experienced officers, they do regular police work then. Sometimes they cover a post with the 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 day's policemen went on duty abruptly without the 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 streetcar. 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 mo 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 a 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 a different problem to a policeman. On special assignments with experienced plainclothes 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 bookmaking 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 to disorderly houses. Fortune tellers welcome them and tell them 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.

5. Patrolman's Interlude:

Bandits Strike At 2:13, They're Caught At 2:15

But There's More Of Routine, Button-Polishing, Bowling And Such; $4,500,000 Force Grew From Time-Calling Night Watch

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

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

By Lee McCardell September 24, 1937

AT 2:13 P.M. an automatic burglar alarm from a branch bank at Park Heights and Spaulding Avenue rang at police headquarters.

At 2:14 a police radio car was dispatched to the bank

At 2:15 the two policemen manning the radio car entered the bank with drawn pistols, disarmed two bandits who had held up three clerks and were attempting to open a vault equipped with a time lock and alarm system.

But Baltimore's police force doesn't always move at that pace. Police work isn't always that dramatic. Probation officers learn this even before they been graduated from the police School of Instruction and gone out on their own.

They discover, moreover, that a policeman is nearly always working overtime without receiving any extra put pay. Whenever he has a case that takes hat him to the station house he works about two hours extra. If he has one that takes him to the Traffic Court he works four hours overtime. If he has a case that reaches the higher courts he may be tied up all day while working at night.7 Days A Week Plus Special Duty

He is supposed work only eight hours a day on one of three shifts -8 A. M. to 4 P. M., 4 P. M. to midnight, and midnight to 8 A. M. Sunday is just another day in his life. He is allowed forty days leave a year, which puts him on a six-day-plus week. But he is subject to call for special duty at any time, and it seems to him that he is usually called just when he'd like to apply for a leave.

He has not worked long before he also begins to realize that there's more truth than poetry in Walt Mason's famous verses, "The Policeman," framed by Lieut. Plantholt and hung on the wall of his schoolroom.And What Does He Get? The Horse Laugh

The burden of those verses is that while the policeman daily risks his a neck for general order and public safety, the general public sits back in a rocking chair, laughs at him, abuses him and finds fault with almost everything he does.

For two years a new policeman remains on trial. Every three months the captain of his district sends a report on his conduct and efficiency to the office of the chief inspector at headquarters. At any time during those two years of probation, he may be dismissed from the force without any charges being brought against him. Another Physical Test, Another Oath

At the end of his first year of probation, he must stand another physical examination. If he passes this and completes the second year of service satisfactorily, he makes another trip to the Courthouse and repeats his oath in the Superior Court clerk's office, this time swearing to "execute the office of patrolman of the police force of the' city of Baltimore" and signing another test book to this effect.

Then and only then, is he a full-fledged policeman.He Learns About Buttons And Electroplates

By this time he has learned how to preserve the lacquer of his brass buttons and yet keep them bright with an old toothbrush and a bottle of household ammonia. He has found a place where he can have his nickeled cap device and badge electroplated cheaply while he waits.

He has learned how to extend the normal life of a police uniform by taking it off when he gets home and put on old clothes, and by not holding his hands behind his back-a habit that will plant a grease spot on the back of the best uniform coat.Specialization Has It’s Appeal

As time goes on he may grow bored with ordinary duty on a regular post.

He may think he'd like to specialize. The traffic division, the detective bureau, the harbor patrol, the radio and horse and vehicle divisions each have their own particular appeal. He can ask to be transferred when a vacancy occurs.

As long as he remains a patrolman on post duty he is under the immediate supervision of a sergeant who marches him back and forth between his post and the station house, inspects his equipment, watches his behavior and otherwise contrives to keep him on his toes with his pants creased and his shoes polished.6 Or 8 Years, Then Chance At Promotion

After he has been on the force for six or eight years, the patrolman may take another examination before the Board of Police Examiners in an effort to get his own name on the list of patrolmen eligible for promotion to the rank of sergeant. A sergeant gets a base pay of $46.50 a week.

But even if the officer remains a patrolman his pay increases at the rate of two and a half percent every five years until he has thirty years of service to his credit. Should he become injured in the discharge of his duty at any time after appointment as a probation officer, he is eligible for the retirement of half of the pay he is then receiving. He is also eligible for retirement after sixteen years of service if certified as incapable of performing further duty.

$268,860 Goes To Retired Men

Last year the department had a payroll of $268,860.44 for retired members of the force. Retired officers are subject only to the department's rules of good conduct. If they can find another in a job while drawing their pension, the department has no objection. Some retired officers get work as bank guards. Others are employed as private watchmen.

Once an officer reaches the rank of sergeant he is in line to take another examination for another eligible list for appointment as a lieutenant at a salary of $55 a week. Lieutenants, in turn, take an examination for an eligible list for appointment as captain of a district. with pay at $70 a week. The captain of detectives gets $80.Inspectors Get $4,500 A Year

The higher the rank, of course, the less the chance of promotion. There are only five positions in the department higher than the rank of captain. These are three inspectorships, which pay $4,500 a year; the chief inspector-ship, which pays $5,000, and the position of Police Commissioner never yet held by a former policeman with a salary of $10,000 a year. Inspectors are appointed from the rank of captain without any examination. The commissioner, who makes all appointments and promotions from the various eligible lists, comes into office by way of Gubernatorial appointment.

He may know as little about actual policing as a probation officer. But the department can function with a commissioner without a commissioner or in spite of a commissioner.

The chief inspector, while under the direction of the commissioner, is the chief executive officers of the police and detective force, He keeps the police machine running smoothly on an annual budget of about $4,500,000, or approximately a dime out of every dollar collected in city taxes. First Force, In 1775, was A Night Watch

The present setup of the department, dating from 1920; represents an evolution of more than 150 years.

Baltimore's police began in 1775 with a night watch that called the quarter hours, prevented drunks from smashing the street lamps and arrested night walkers, malefactors and other suspicious persons between the hours of10 P.M. and daybreak.

At first the town was divided into six districts and Fells Point, with a captain and a squad of sixteen watchmen for each division. Later the watch was reorganized and the town was divided into three districts, Eastern, Middle and Western. Not until 1843, when it was suggested that watchmen were tipping off prowlers as to their whereabouts by bawling the hour, was that grand old custom discontinued in Baltimore.Real Department Organized In 1857

In 1857 a regular Police Department, as police departments are known today, began to emerge from a loose organization of ward constables and night watchmen. A marshal, a deputy marshal, 8 captains, 24 sergeants, 350 patrolmen, 5 detective officers and 8 turnkeys constituted that force. One third of this force was on duty during the daytime and two-thirds after dark. Headquarters was two rooms on North street, now Guilford avenue, near Fayette.

This police force wore three-inch stars embroidered in white worsted on the left bosom of their blue uniform coats. The word police was painted in one inch bold Roman letter on their glazed leather belts. They wore their uniforms at all times in public, whether on duty or off. Subject to duty at any time, they had no hours. Their pay ranged from $10 a week for patrolmen to $1,500 a year for the marshal.Riots Led to Creation Of Police Commission

The Mayor of Baltimore enjoyed control of its police force until 1860 when election riots and political rowdyism led to the creation of a board of police commissioners. Thereafter, policemen were required to be able to read and write and the force was known as the "Metropolitan Police." It had trouble with the volunteer fire companies. When lacking fires to fight, the volunteers practiced on the cops.

The Metropolitan police got a stiff workout when the Massachusetts troops passed through Baltimore in 1861. Later that year Federal troops moved into the city and arrested the police commissioners, the marshal, and other officers. After the Civil War the force underwent another reorganization. Anticipating civil disturbances, the police drilled at their station houses with Springfield muskets. As early as1867 Baltimore's police established a reputation for benevolence by contributing 25 cents of their fortnightly pay for relief among the poor during the winter. As a police organization, they distinguished themselves on several occasions, notably during a flood in 1868, railroad riots in 1877, a horse-car strike in 1886 and the Baltimore fire of 1904.Oath Bars Prejudice, But Jews Are Scarce

In their oath of office the members of the Board of Police Examiners swear not to be influenced by the religious or political affiliations of applicants when nominating eligible candidates for appointment. But the number of Jews in the Police Department has never been large. There are not more than ten Jewish policemen now.

Virginia and the Maryland Eastern Shore provided many of the city's policemen immediately after the Civil War. Others were of German and Irish Stock, some of them immigrants.

At one time almost ninety percent of the police force was Irish. Today the Irish are on the decline. The number of officers of Polish extraction is increasing. Old-Time Athletic Fervor On Decline

Along about the time the Irish cop was in his prime, each police district had its own athletic teams. One of the big events of the year was the police gymnastic exhibition at Ford's Theater. Since then the police have lost interest in such things. The advance of the minimum-age requirement for probation officers from 21 to 25 is partly blamed for this apathy.

Aside from their regular work, the police now have a band, an orchestra, a quartette, a department baseball team, pistol teams, and a bowling league. Many officers are still members of the Police Beneficial Association, an optional insurance society organized by members of the department in 1886.

Baltimore's police force has no motto. But obviously, it has traditions. And police work is not without its attractions. Notwithstanding the pessimism of Mr. Mason and W. S. Gilbert, a Baltimore policeman does not regard his lot as an unhappy one.

"There's something about a policeman.”

The following are Holsters one time owned by Inspector Forrest

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


Pocket Holster from the Late 1800's early 1900's


Pocket Holster from the Late 1800's early 1900's


Pocket Holster from the Late 1800's early 1900's


Audley Saftey Holster Pat. 13 Oct. 1914

 57 17

On the right, we see the rear of the Audley Safety Holster Pat. 13 Oct. 1914


On the right, we see the rear of the Audley Safety Holster Pat. 13 Oct. 1914

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Hat History

Baltimore Police Department 
Hat and Helmet History

1784 - Various Bell Hats, Derby Hats, Cowboy Hats etc. were used
1886 -  The Police Helmet, (Bobby Cap) worn in other cities, was made part of the uniform in Baltimore. (It was introduced by Commissioner Alford J. Carr. Taking the place of the derby or bell cap formerly worn by Baltimore police.  Commissioner Carr specified that the black helmet was to be worn in the winter, and the pearl gray helmet worn during summer months.  The helmet at that time was significant of rank, only patrolman and sergeants wore it.  The Marshal and his Deputy Marshal as well as all Captains and Lieutenants wear the regular cap of the period.)
1908 - 6 November 1908 - After 22 years, The Baltimore Police Department stop using the Police Helmet, (Bobby Cap), and goes to a more modern round, or oval top, police hat. From the Baltimore Sun - The Baltimore Police go from the Bobby Type Helmet to the more modern cap and Officers donned new uniforms, veteran Captains returned to old Districts, caps supplant helmets and Espantoons are in use once again. 
1908 - 6 November 1908 - Also on this day and with the hat switch under the direction of Col. Sherlock Swann came a new hat device, it was on this day in 1908 that we dropped the Wreath style hat device moving to the hat device used today with the Coat of arms and badge number.
You might have noticed the Maryland Flag doesn't show up on the BPD hat device until this issue, it was once said it was because we did this because we were under control of the state. That could be part of it, however, the Maryland flag as we know it wasn't developed until after the civil war, actually sometime around 1880 would be the first time it was recognized as our state flag, and it wasn't our official flag until much later. So, we didn't see it earlier because prior to the civil war, it did not exist. Read more about it HERE 
1935 - The Police Department's Traffic Section including the Mounted Unit were issued Pith Hats a kind of Safari Helmet which was not well liked by many as they seemed to blow off the officer's heads in even the slightest of winds, causing officers to chase more helmets than criminals while the head wear was in use.
1941 - During the year 1941/42 Officers started removing the metal ring from their hats to make them resemble the "Crushed" Caps seen in the military, a trend started, or made popular by General MacArthur HERE
1944 - 7 October 1944 - The Baltimore police switches from the round, or oval top police caps that were worn for a little more than 30 years after the "Bobby Cap" type helmet, to the current "Octagonal" or "Eight point" hats we wear today.


Baldwin Thomas Marshall1

Derby Type Hat

Bobby Helmet

hat 0hat 0Police Helmet
Worn from 1886 - 1908

1908 1944

Round Hat
Worn from 1908 to 1944

1908 1944 2

1941 to 1944
MacArthur Crushed Style

This "Round Hat" had the wire reinforcement ring taken out to give us more of a "Crushed" hat in appearance. The Crushed Hat style came about circa 1941 due to General MacArthur’s Crushed Hat. For more info click HERE

Jay WileyBaltimore Police Eight (8) Point Hat
- Present


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 Pith Hat

Jay Wiley

Baltimore Police Pith Hat
Worn by Traffic and Mounted

1935 BPD Pith hat


In 1935 One of the Many Hats warn by Police both Metaphorically and Physically came the Pith Hat

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Thrsday 13 June 1935 Pith hat pith

Traffic Police Not Happy with the Pith Hat

Wed Jun 12 1935 Pith helmet Pith

The Governor Wears the Police Pith Hat on a Trip

A Pith hat

An old Police Pith Hat

The Evening Sun Mon Feb 4 1935 shorts out piths in

We dodged a bullet, and were not ordered to wear the entire uniform, just the hat 

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Prior to 1886 - Baltimore Police wore "Derby" type hats, "Bell" hats and even what some might say looked like a "Cowboy" hats of sorts. Then in 1886 the police helmet, (Bobby Cap) that was seen in London England and many American cities came to Baltimore where it was made part of the uniform of a Baltimore Police Officer and Sergeant. Introduced by Commissioner Alford J. Carr to take the place of the derby or bell cap worn prior by our officers and Sergeants. The Police helmet was introduced by Commissioner Carr who specified that the black police helmet was to be worn during winter months, and the pearl gray helmet would be worn during summer months.  The helmet at that time was significant of rank in that only patrolman and sergeants wore it.  The Marshal and his Deputy Marshal as well as all Captains and Lieutenants were to wear the regular police cap of the period. 


Sometimes called a bell hat, and more often used by the Fire Department

1886 - The Police Helmet, (London's Bobby Cap) worn in other cities, was made part of the uniform in Baltimore. It was introduced by Commissioner Alford J. Carr. to take the place of the derby, or bell cap formerly worn by Baltimore police.  Commissioner Carr specified that our helmet was to be worn in the color black during winter months, and a pearl gray helmet would be worn during the summer months. The helmet at that time was significant in rank to be worn only by patrolmen and sergeants.  The Marshal and his Deputy Marshal as well as all Captains and Lieutenants were to remain wearing the regular cap of the period.



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1908 - 6 November 1908 - After 22 years, The Baltimore Police Department stop using the Police Helmet, (Bobby Cap), and goes to a more modern round, or oval top, police hat. From the Baltimore Sun - The Baltimore Police go from the Bobby Type Helmet to the more modern cap and Officers donned new uniforms, veteran Captains returned to old Districts, caps supplant helmets and Espantoons are in use once again. 
1908 - 6 November 1908 - Also on this day and with the hat switch under the direction of Col. Sherlock Swann came a new hat device, it was on this day in 1908 that we dropped the Wreath style hat device moving to the hat device used today with the Coat of arms and badge number.

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 Notice the Hat Device has the Wreath on it meaning it was used prior to 1908
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 Notice - The Hat Device has the State flag, Helm and Officer's badge number
A clear sign that this came after 1908 and was take between 1908 and 1944 
Bowen William Officer 1960
 1944 and after

1944 - 7 October 1944 - The Baltimore police switched from the round, or oval top police hat/caps that were worn for a little more than 30 years after the "Bobby Cap" type helmet, to the current "Octagonal" or "Eight point" hat we wear today.

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Civil Defense

Civil defense or civil protection is an effort to protect the citizens of a state (generally non-combatants) from military attacks and natural disasters. It uses the principles of emergency operations: prevention, mitigation, preparation, response, or emergency evacuation and recovery. Programs of this sort were initially discussed at least as early as the 1920s and were implemented in some countries during the 1930s as the threat of war and aerial bombardment grew. It became widespread after the threat of nuclear weapons was realized.

Since the end of the Cold War, the focus of civil defense has largely shifted from military attack to emergencies and disasters in general. The new concept is described by a number of terms, each of which has its own specific shade of meaning, such as crisis management, emergency management, emergency preparedness, contingency planning, civil contingency, civil aid, and civil protection.

In some countries, civil defense is seen as a key part of "total defense". For example, in Sweden, the Swedish word "totalitarian" refers to the commitment of a wide range of resources of the nation to its defense - including to civil protection. Respectively, some countries (notably the Soviet Union) may have or have had military-organized civil defense units (Civil Defense Troops) as part of their armed forces or as a paramilitary service.

Baltimore's Mayor's Office of Emergency Management

Civil Defense logo emblem chart

Mayor's Office of Emergency Management MOEM evolved from the City’s Civil Defense program, originally established to prepare for the nuclear dangers of the Cold War.

In 2002, under Mayor Martin O’Malley, the office was moved from the Department of Public Works into the Fire Department.

From 2005-2007, Fire Chief William J. Goodwin, Jr. also filled the role of emergency manager for the City.

In 2008, under Mayor Sheila Dixon, the Office of Emergency Management was incorporated into the Mayor’s Office for policy and citywide program coordination purposes. Administratively, the office remains part of the Fire Department.

Today, MOEM works on preparedness and response for a variety of hazards that can occur in Baltimore.

Coastal and flash flooding, severe storms, power outages, blizzards, hazardous materials incidents, bomb threats, and numerous other incidents that require a multi-agency or multi-jurisdictional response, have occurred in the City in the last five years. During these events, MOEM works to coordinate resources and make sure that the affected citizens receive all of the help that the City can access.

Civil Defense WWII

CD nsignia 72

BCP 1940s

Baltimore City Police
WW1 Era US ARMY M1917 Doughboy Helmet

Modified during the 2nd World War by a WD officer this M1917 doughboy helmet was painted black
with B.C.P. painted on front and WD painted inside for use during civil defense or civil protection details

(We don't know the complete back story to this. It would appear from markings on the inside that it may have been used in the WD)


The old U.S. civil defense logo was used in the FEMA logo until 2006 and is hinted at in the United States Civil Air Patrol logo. Created in 1939 by Charles Coiner of the N. W. Ayer Advertising Agency, it was used throughout World War II and the Cold War era. In 2006, the National Emergency Management Association — a U.S. organization made up of state emergency managers—"officially" retired the Civil Defense triangle logo, replacing it with a stylised EM (standing for Emergency management). The name and logo, however, continue to be used by Hawaii State Civil Defense and Guam Homeland Security/Office of Civil Defense


From the air raid warning and plane spotting activities of the Office of Civil Defense in the 1940s, to the Duck and Cover film strips and backyard shelters of the 1950s, to today’s all-hazards preparedness programs led by the Department of Homeland Security, Federal strategies to enhance the nation’s preparedness for disaster and attack have evolved over the course of the 20th century and into the 21st.

Presidential administrations can have a powerful impact on both national and citizen preparedness. By recommending funding levels, creating new policies, and implementing new programs; successive administrations have adapted preparedness efforts to align with changing domestic priorities and foreign policy goals. They have also instituted administrative reorganizations that reflected their preference for consolidated or dispersed civil defense and homeland security responsibilities within the Federal government.

Programs were seldom able to get ahead of world events, and were ultimately challenged in their ability to answer the public’s need for protection from threats due to bureaucratic turbulence created by frequent reorganization, shifting funding priorities, and varying levels of support by senior policymakers. This in turn has had an effect on the public’s perception of national preparedness. Public awareness and support have waxed and waned over the years, as the government’s emphasis on national preparedness has shifted.

An analysis of the history of civil defense and homeland security programs in the United States clearly indicates that to be considered successful, national preparedness programs must be long in their reach yet cost effective. They must also be appropriately tailored to the Nation’s diverse communities, be carefully planned, capable of quickly providing pertinent information to the populace about imminent threats, and able to convey risk without creating unnecessary alarm.

The following narrative identifies some of the key trends, drivers of change, and lessons learned in the history of U.S. national preparedness programs. A review of the history of these programs will assist the Federal government in its efforts to develop and implement effective homeland security policy and better understand previous national preparedness initiatives.

Pre-Cold War Period (1917-1945)

World War I introduced a new type of attack: the use of strategic aerial strikes against an enemy’s population to degrade its ability and will to wage war. German aerial bombardment of towns in countries such as France, Belgium, and Poland began in August 1914, and in the following year Kaiser Wilhelm authorized sustained bombing campaigns against military and civilian targets, particularly against England.1 From May through October of 1915, Germany launched seven air strikes against London alone.2 England, like most other nations at the time, did not have an organized civil defense program to aid citizens during such attacks. Individuals were forced to find their own way to safety, often taking refuge in the city’s underground subway stations.3 By all assessments, the damage and casualty figures that resulted from these early bombing operations were comparatively insignificant, but they exerted a psychological toll on the British public.4 It became clear that civilian defense, involving a range of actions to protect the general public in the event of attack, would become a major fixture in future warfare.

Though the Axis and Allied powers continued to employ strategic bombing throughout World War I, leaders in the United States did not feel that the country was vulnerable to attack. They concentrated their public outreach on rallying support for the war effort.5 Much of this task was coordinated by the Council of National Defense, established on August 29, 1916 with the passage of an Army appropriations bill.6 The Council was a presidential advisory board that included the Secretaries of War, Navy, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, and Labor; assisted by an Advisory Committee appointed by the President.7 Its responsibilities included “coordinating resources and industries for national defense” and “stimulating civilian morale.”

The work of the Council escalated when the United States entered the war in 1917. In the same year, the Federal government asked State governors to create their own local councils of defense to support the National effort.9 However, the Council’s activities continued to focus more on facilitating mobilization for the war than on protecting civilian resources. When hostilities ended, the Council shifted its efforts toward demobilization. Its operations were suspended in June, 1921.

For the remainder of the 1920s, the Federal government undertook little public outreach related to defense and security. However, the 1930s saw a revival of civil defense efforts, when aggressive actions and arms stockpiling in Europe fueled international concern.11 In 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt created by executive order the National Emergency Council (NEC) which consisted of the President, his Cabinet members, and the head of nearly every major Federal agency, commission, and board.12 The mission of the NEC included a variety of programs unrelated to civil defense; however, its duties also included coordination of emergency programs among all agencies involved in national preparedness.

As World War II ignited in Europe, Roosevelt reestablished the Council of National Defense in 1940.14 Once again States were asked to establish local counterpart councils. Tensions among Federal, State and local governments began to rise about authority and resources.

The states claimed they were not given enough power to manage civil defense tasks in their own jurisdictions, and local governments asserted that State governments did not give urban areas proper consideration and resources.15 Non-attack disaster preparedness remained almost entirely the responsibility of States, while federal funding was reserved primarily for attack preparedness.

Because of extensive civilian bombing campaigns in Europe, concerns about possible attacks against the U.S. homeland increased. Mayor Fiorello La Guardia of New York City wrote a letter to President Roosevelt stating:

“There is a need for a strong Federal Department to coordinate activities, and not only to coordinate but to initiate and get things going. Please bear in mind that up to this war and never in our history, has the civilian population been exposed to attack. The new technique of war has created the necessity for developing new techniques of civilian defense”

President Roosevelt responded to the increasing concern of the public and local officials by creating the Office of Civilian Defense (OCD) in 1941.17 The President delegated a number of responsibilities to the OCD by broadly interpreting civilian protection to include morale maintenance, promotion of volunteer involvement, and nutrition and physical education.18 The OCD oversaw unprecedented federal involvement in attack preparedness. As with the Council of National Defense, the OCD created corresponding defense councils at the local level.

The issue of whether the OCD should emphasize protective services, typically done at that time by men, or social welfare services, typically undertaken at that time by women, created tension from the office’s inception.20 Director Fiorello LaGuardia referred to “non protective” activities as “sissy stuff” and saw opportunities to build neighborhood militias. Pressured to focus on other non protected areas such as neighborhood support, he appointed Eleanor Roosevelt to expand volunteer activities.21 The two leaders, with their radically divergent points of view, exemplified a conflict over the meaning and purpose of civil defense that would continue well into the cold war era.

OCD received criticism from Congress and the public on several fronts. It was called “pink” by influential politicians who disliked the program’s broad reach and social development programs. Some believed the organization’s tasks were better undertaken by the Department of War.22 One of OCD’s early leaders, James Landis, recommended that the organization be abolished, since the threat of an attack on U.S. civilians had receded.2

With the end of World War II, most U.S. officials agreed that the risk of an attack on the U.S. homeland was minimal. Roosevelt did not take Landis’ suggestion, and the OCD continued to operate.24 While the OCD did not fulfill all of its ambitious goals, it did begin the development of concrete civil defense plans, including air raid drills, black outs, and sand bag stockpiling

Truman Administration (1945-1953)

Soon after taking office, Harry Truman did follow Landis’ advice and abolished the OCD, reflecting the widely held belief that the immediate threat of war had receded. 26 Initially, civil defense was not a high priority in the Truman Administration, as troops began to return home and other war time offices were diminished in scale or disbanded altogether. The development of the atomic bomb, however, had opened up previously unthinkable risks. Increasing hostilities with the Soviet Union and their pursuit of a nuclear bomb threatened the United States.

In this context, Truman began to reexamine the national defense structure, reviewing the results of a set of commissions.27 In 1946, the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey published its report evaluating the results of strategic bombing campaigns by imperial Germany and Japan against enemy civilian populations. The report indicated that civil defense plans could significantly mitigate the effects of strategic bombing.28 Specifically, mass evacuation plans for urban areas and shelters for those unable to leave the area could form components of a viable civil defense plan.29 In 1947, the War Department’s Civil Defense Board, led by Major General Harold Bull, released a second report.30 The so-called Bull Report stated that civil defense is the responsibility of civilians, and the military should not be expected to get involved in such matters.31 According to the report, civil defense was best implemented locally, a concept referred to as “self-help”. Still, the document did concede that the Federal government could provide the majority of necessary resources.32 Additionally, Congress passed the National Security Act of 1947. Best known for the creation of the Central Intelligence Agency, the Act also created the National Security Resources Board (NSRB), which was initially responsible for mobilizing civilian and military support, as well as maintaining adequate reserves and effective resource use in the event of war.

Neither report resulted in substantial reforms to the Truman Administration’s policies because civil defense continued to remain a low priority. 34 However, as U.S.-Soviet relations became increasingly strained, President Truman began to implement civil defense policy reforms. These changes resulted, in part, from the strong recommendation of Colonel Burnet Beers, who was responsible for directing a study on future civil defense planning and operations to establish a civil defense unit in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD).35 Truman acted promptly on this advice, establishing the Office of Civil Defense Planning (OCDP), whose purpose was to recommend a course for the creation of a permanent civil defense agency. 36 After six months, the OCDP released its 300-page Hopley Report, 37 which called for the creation of a Federal office of civil defense directly under the President or Secretary of Defense. The report additionally recommended that the Federal government provide civil defense guidance and assistance, but that State and local governments handle most of the operational responsibilities.

Reactions to the Hopley Report inside and outside government were generally negative. There were concerns about the cost and scope of civil defense. Many people feared its recommendations were too far-reaching and made unrealistic demands on the public and government.39 And there were concerns about military control. Some civilian groups thought the report called for transferring what should be a civilian responsibility to the military, which could lead to a “garrison state.”

Truman ultimately chose to address the latter concern by assigning civil defense planning to the NSRB, a civilian agency.41 However, the NSRB did not receive the necessary resources or authority to carry out its mandate.42 As a result, the Board was moved to the Department of Defense (DOD), then shifted to the Executive Office of the President, and finally had its responsibilities transferred to the Office of Defense Mobilization in December of 1950.

The climate of civil defense changed dramatically with the successful Soviet test of a nuclear weapon in August of 1949. The United States lost its monopoly on nuclear weapons and the corresponding negotiating power that this entailed. Local officials began to demand from the Federal government a clear outline of what they were to do in crisis situations.43 The Truman Administration received criticism from local officials, a worried American public, and Congress for not taking firm action.44 In response, in 1950, the NSRB generated a new proposal called the Blue Book, which outlined a set of civil defense functions and how they should be implemented at each level of government.45 The Blue Book also recommended the creation of an independent Federal civil defense organization.

Truman agreed with many of the Blue Book recommendations, but held firm to his belief that civil defense responsibilities should fall mostly on the shoulders of the State and local governments.47 In response, Congress enacted the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950, which placed most of the civil defense burden on the States and created the Federal Civil Defense Administration (FCDA) to formulate national policy to guide the States’ efforts.

As planning began, policymakers struggled to define what was meant by national security. A key question was the appropriate level of readiness to be attained. At what readiness level would people have to surrender personal freedoms to state control? At what level of security would civil defense metamorphose into a garrison state, undermining the underlying purpose of protecting individual rights?49 The decision to assign civil defense responsibility to States and localities was intended partly as a safeguard against the garrison state.

Planners also struggled with a difficult political question: just how much support should government provide? Congressional resistance to paying for a comprehensive program, and concerns about establishing public dependency on government, led to adoption of a doctrine of “self help”: individual responsibility for preparedness to minimize (not eliminate) risk.50 The idea of decentralized, locally controlled, volunteer based civil defense was not new; in fact it was the foundation of the successful British civil defense effort in World War II. However, the decision to make self-help the basis of civil defense was also a political compromise, a way to balance conflicting views over the size, power, and priorities of the emerging postwar nation.

The FCDA led shelter building programs, sought to improve Federal and State coordination, established an attack warning system, stockpiled supplies, and started a well known national civic education campaign. In 1952, the FCDA joined with the Ad Council to release Korean War advertising to boost national morale.52 The FCDA specifically aimed to teach schoolchildren about preparedness, primarily through civil defense drills.53 In order to effectively educate the entire youth population, the FCDA commissioned a movie studio to produce nine civil defense movies that would be shown in classrooms across the nation – among them Duck and Cover.54 The movie, through its main character Bert the Turtle, showed children what to do when they saw “the flash of an atomic bomb.”55 Newspapers and experts generally heralded the film as a positive and optimistic step toward preparedness.56 The New York Herald Tribune, for example, called the film “very instructive” and “not too frightening for children.”57 Ultimately, the film was seen by millions of schoolchildren during the 1950s.58 The public education campaign throughout the decade promoted the idea that with preparation, a nuclear attack could be survivable

An examination of the FCDA-led shelter building initiative underscores some of the civil defense program’s internal inconsistencies. The Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950 allocated significant funding to a shelter initiative. The law allowed the FCDA to develop shelter designs and make financial contributions to shelter programs. However, Congress stipulated that the Federal government could not finance the construction of new shelters.60 In communities across the country there was great debate over the necessity of the shelters, and Truman himself was not eager to spend government money on the program.61 Moreover, FCDA Administrator Millard Caldwell initiated a public relations fiasco when he misconstrued the shelter program as a means to protect every person in the country. A program that expansive was deemed to be too costly to receive sufficient political support; as a result, it never left the planning stages during the Truman Administration. Contrary to the outlook offered by Duck and Cover and the other educational campaigns, early media reports about the possibility of nuclear war offered grim predictions concerning the aftermath of an attack. The scenarios were horrific, and the association of civil defense with death and destruction made not only home preparedness and sheltering, but the whole self-help preparedness concept, a tough sell.

The political, fiscal, and emotional crosscurrents were reflected in civil defense funding. Despite ambitious funding requests, actual appropriations to civil defense remained low throughout the Truman Administration, and throughout the 1950s. For example, from 1951 to 1953 Truman requested $1.5 billion for civil defense, but appropriations totaled only $153 million – 90 percent less than requested 6

Despite these practical setbacks, the concept of civil defense as a purposeful approach to the protection of citizens from threats outside the Nation’s borders began to take shape during Truman’s presidency.65 Though each leader who followed would focus on different programs and approaches, civil defense remained an important initiative during the coming decades

Eisenhower Administration (1953- 1961)

President Dwight Eisenhower’s approach to civil defense was quite different from his predecessor’s. Eisenhower identified the enormous economic commitment required for military development as one reason not to undertake expensive civil defense programs.66 Additionally, Republicans in Congress were eager to curtail spending, as the party had publicly promised to balance the budget when Eisenhower took office.67 Though Eisenhower requested less funding than Truman, actual appropriations were virtually identical to appropriations under Truman

In addition to economic concerns, world events contributed to Eisenhower’s decision to support a mass evacuation policy, instead of the shelter program initiated under Truman. In 1953, the Soviets detonated a hydrogen nuclear bomb; and shortly thereafter, the effects of the initial U.S. hydrogen explosion were released to the American public.69 The blast and thermal effects of these new fusion nuclear weapons were so destructive that many experts argued that American cities would be doomed in the event of a nuclear attack, regardless of sheltering efforts.70 As a result, new FCDA Administrator Frederick Peterson urged Congress to scale back or completely eliminate the shelter program

In strongly supporting mass evacuation, Peterson noted that successful execution would depend on sufficient warning time, proper training for civil defense officials, and regular public drills.72 Many of the responsibilities for evacuation would be borne at the State and local level, which appealed to Eisenhower’s belief that the Federal government should not shoulder the entire burden for civil defense programs.73 Congress also was in favor of the shift in attention from shelters to evacuation.74 Yet some members, especially Congressman Chet Holifield of California, were adamantly opposed to reducing the shelter system.75 Holifield was the ranking member of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy and later the chairman of the Military Operations Subcommittee.76 In support of a federally funded shelter system, he likened the idea of family built shelters to creating “an army or a navy or an air force by advising each one to buy himself a jet plane.”77 As a well publicized champion for shelter building, Congressman Holifield consistently and persuasively articulated the benefits of shelter building to the American public.

In March of 1954, the United States detonated another thermonuclear bomb, called Bravo, on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands.78 Due to a major wind shift, a large amount of radioactive fallout was unexpectedly released over a 7000 square mile area, ultimately poisoning the crew of a Japanese fishing boat in the area and even injuring personnel involved in the test.79 It did not take long for Congress and the public to turn their attention to the need for shelters to protect the citizenry from such lethal effects.80 The FCDA was in a tough position. They had just fought for evacuation policies, at the expense of the shelter option, and the Eisenhower Administration continued to support evacuation as the chief civil defense objective.81 Faced with this dilemma, FCDA Administrator Peterson redirected his policy toward an “evacuation to shelter” approach, whereby individuals would be evacuated from affected areas to shelters.82 He even proposed digging ditches along roadsides for those who could not get to shelters in time.

The Eisenhower Administration had just begun work on its massive federal highway program, connecting major cities and in the process providing a means for evacuation.84 Peterson clashed with the President on the program, arguing that Congress should divert some of the highway funding to support civil defense programs. He believed that the highways should be designed to lead only 30 to 40 miles outside of major cities to rural “reception areas.”85 However, Peterson’s clout did not match the President’s, and thus no money was diverted from the highway program The FCDA received extensive criticism over the next few years for not developing a feasible plan for evacuating major cities.87 Congressman Holifield called FCDA efforts only a façade of civil defense programs.88 He also chastised the President for not taking more responsibility.89 At Holifield’s request, in 1956 the House Committee on Government Operations held a series of hearings to discuss the viability of the FCDA.90 The “Holifield Hearings” constituted the largest examination of the civil defense program in U.S. history

Holifield and his Committee concluded that the FCDA had been myopically focused on evacuation, which they termed “a cheap substitute for atomic shelter.”92 The FCDA responded by presenting a National Shelter Policy, which proposed a $32 billion program for “federally subsidized self-help” (e.g. tax incentives or special mortgage rates to shelter owning families).93 Taken aback by the cost of the proposal, Eisenhower convened the Gaither Committee (named for its first chairman, H. Rowan Gaither) composed of leading scientific, military, and business experts. The committee evaluated military readiness and concluded that the United States could not defend itself from a Soviet surprise attack on the homeland. 94 While its report, released in 1957, emphasized funding anti-ballistic missile (ABM) defense systems, it also acknowledged that a fallout shelter system occupied a secondary position in deterrence, and to that end recommended adopting the FCDA shelter proposal.95 Two subsequent reports advanced similar ideas.96 In 1958, the Rockefeller Report, compiled by a board of experts and practitioners directed by Henry Kissinger, stated that civil defense was one aspect of a robust deterrent that should also include more investment in offensive military capabilities.97 That same year, a report published by the RAND Corporation emphasized the importance of civil defense as a powerful component of deterrence. 

Despite these supporting reports, the FCDA shelter proposal continued to run counter to the views of top officials in the Eisenhower Administration. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles argued that the nation should focus resources on retaliation capabilities and curtail the shelter program.99 Military leaders also opposed the shelter program, fearing it would cut into defense spending.100 Eisenhower himself remained opposed to the massive shelter program.101 Instead of pursuing the National Shelter Policy, he instructed the FCDA to initiate much more limited actions, including research on fallout shelters, a survey of existing structures, and informing the public about shelters. 

Holifield and other legislators were outraged that the President would disregard the findings of three separate committees.103 Supporters of the shelter system publicly expressed disappointment with the Eisenhower administration, and Holifield commented that civil defense was in a “deplorable” state during this period.104 Finally, in the face of strong criticism, Eisenhower largely dissolved the FCDA to make way for the short-lived Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization (OCDM), which began the bulk of its work during the Kennedy presidency 

It bears noting that for all of his public opposition to massive sheltering programs, in the middle of his tenure Eisenhower secretly commissioned the building of an underground bunker in West Virginia that would serve as a safe haven for top members of Congress, in the event of a catastrophe.106 The project was similar in scope and intent to one initiated by President Truman in 1951. Called “Site R,” that effort involved construction of an Alternate Joint Communications Center in Raven Rock Mountain, Pennsylvania, to be used in case existing centers in Washington, DC were destroyed by an attack.107 Like his predecessor, Eisenhower believed it was vital for the government to ensure continuity of operations following an attack on the homeland. The West Virginia bunker was built under the five-star Greenbrier resort and was only placed on full alert once, during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.108 The public remained completely unaware of the operation until 1992 when the Washington Post broke the story.

Kennedy Administration (1961-1963) During the first year of his presidency, John F. Kennedy made civil defense more of a priority than at any previous time in U.S. history.110 He was also the first President to discuss civil defense publicly, issuing an appeal in the September 7, 1961 issue of LIFE magazine to all Americans to protect themselves “and in doing so strengthen [the] nation.”111 Kennedy continued the approach of his predecessors of including civil defense in deterrence calculations, and he believed that the only effective deterrent was a strong retaliatory capability. 112 However, he also believed that deterrence could fail in the event one faced an irrational enemy, and thus a strong and coordinated approach to civil defense was required. As he stated to Congress on May 25, 1961

[Civil defense] can be readily justifiable…as insurance for the civilian population in case of an enemy miscalculation. It is insurance we trust will never be needed – but insurance which we could never forgive ourselves for foregoing in the event of catastrophe.

He concluded by proposing “a nationwide long-range program of identifying present fallout shelter capacity and providing shelter in new and existing structures.”

To accomplish these goals, Kennedy issued Executive Order 10952 on July 20, 1961, which divided the Office of Civil Defense and Mobilization into two new organizations: the Office of Emergency Planning (OEP) and the Office of Civil Defense. OEP was part of the President’s Executive Office and tasked with advising and assisting the President in determining policy for all nonmilitary emergency preparedness, including civil defense. OCD was part of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and was tasked with overseeing the nation’s civil defense program. The responsibility for carrying out the fallout shelter program was among the program operations assigned to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.

The 1961 Berlin crisis gave Kennedy renewed urgency to improve US civil defense. The President emphasized the importance of fallout shelters as a means to save lives.

He stressed that identifying and stocking existing shelters with food and medicine should be made a priority.117 McNamara explained that this approach was not a major departure from the Eisenhower shelter program; however, the scope was larger and thus required more money.118 The goal was to provide maximum protection through cost effective means by utilizing existing buildings. Some members of Congress, notably the ranking Republican of the House Appropriations Committee, John Taber, worked hard to limit funding to the shelter project. However, most underscored the importance of the shelter program as a rational response to the growing threat of a nuclear attack.119 Congress ultimately approved more than $200 million that Kennedy asked for the project, which was twice as much as Eisenhower had ever requested for civil defense.

With the appropriated funds, OCD began a nationwide survey of all existing shelters.121 In order to be designated a public shelter, a facility had to have enough space for at least 50 people, include one cubic foot of storage space per person, and have a radiation protection factor of at least 100.122 The materials division of DOD, called the Defense Supply Agency, furnished shelter supplies to local governments, which were then responsible for stocking all shelters in their regions.123 By 1963, 104 million individual shelter spaces had been identified;124 and of those 47 million had been licensed, 46 million marked, and 9 million individual spaces had been stocked with supplies. 

The President also decided to distribute booklets to the populace that would outline the purpose of the shelter program and the steps that every American should take during an attack. The booklet, created by a team of Madison Avenue writers, was to be sent to every household in the nation.126 In an unintended twist, the booklets themselves created new controversy. Some presidential aides felt that the pictures used were too graphic, while others felt that they indicated the booklet was meant only for the upper class.127 Ultimately the Kennedy Administration decided to tone down the content, so as not to cause unnecessary alarm.128 The booklets were then sent to post offices throughout the nation, so people could pick up copies. 

The means of communicating the Administration’s civil defense message to the public was not the only target of controversy during this time. Reviving a long-standing debate, some prominent members of Congress, including Albert Thomas, the Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee in charge of civil defense, felt that the Federal government should not be undertaking such a massive sheltering project when civil defense responsibility belonged to State and local governments.129 Kennedy convened a meeting with eighteen of his top advisors at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, on the day after Thanksgiving in 1961 to discuss the appropriate next steps for civil defense.130 There, consensus evolved that the Federal government’s primary role was to provide community shelters.

Johnson Administration (1963-1969) Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963 marked the beginning of a drastic cutback in funding of the Nation’s civil defense program. The topic began to fall slowly off the public radar, and President Lyndon B. Johnson allowed it to slip further by not pressuring Congress to pass the Shelter Incentive Program bill,132 which proposed to give every non-profit institution financial compensation for each shelter it built.

Earlier in the decade, Secretary McNamara had begun to describe the concept of “mutual assured destruction” (MAD), which essentially meant that the Soviet Union and the United States had the capacity to effectively annihilate one another with the weapons in their arsenals, such that this constituted an effective deterrent to offensive action.134 Congress and the public began to accept the doctrine of MAD. As a result, a growing percentage of the population began to wonder if civil defense programs could adequately protect citizens from a large scale nuclear attack.135 However, when the U.S. military began expanding its ABM defense system, McNamara re-emphasized the importance of a shelter system because he questioned the wisdom of relying solely on an ABM defense.136 He argued that “the effectiveness of an ABM defense system in saving lives depends in large part upon the availability of adequate fallout shelters for the population.”137 The belief was that the ABM defense system could be beaten by detonating nuclear weapons upwind of large metropolitan areas and outside the range of the defensive missiles. The result would be radioactive fallout spreading across America’s cities.138 Large numbers of people would die from the exposure to the fallout, unless there were a sufficient number of shelters. Congress opposed financing a shelter system, and McNamara continued to be pessimistic about an ABM defense system saying, “Whether we will ever be able to advance the art of defense as rapidly as the art of offensive developments…I don’t know. At the moment it doesn’t look at all likely.”

In an ironic twist, attention to civil defense was also undermined by a series of major natural disasters that rattled the Nation. Hurricanes Hilda and Betsy devastated the Southeast, an Alaskan earthquake caused a damaging tidal wave in California, and a lethal tornado swept through Indiana on Palm Sunday in 1965.140 Senator Birch Bayh of Indiana sponsored legislation that granted emergency Federal loan assistance to disaster victims.141 The bill passed in 1966, and Bayh urged Congress over the next few years to provide even more disaster assistance to citizens. The concept of all-hazards assistance was gaining adherents, at the expense of civil preparedness for attack.

The Vietnam War struck a further blow to civil defense during the Johnson years. As the war progressed, it required increasing amounts of time, money, and resources.143 Although civil defense efforts continued to receive modest funding, and would for the next twelve years, no major steps were taken to enhance overall capabilities.144 A transformation in the way the Federal government viewed the task of protecting the public had begun.

Nixon Administration (1969-1974)

By the time President Nixon entered office, public and government interest in civil defense had fallen precipitously from its peak in the early 1960s. According to the New York Times Index, in 1968, only four articles on civil defense appeared in that publication compared to 72 in 1963.145 However, the new administration did make a major contribution to civil defense by redefining civil defense policy to include preparedness for natural disasters. In no small measure, the President’s thinking resulted from the Federal government’s lack of preparedness to handle the horrific damage wrought by Hurricane Camille (see discussion below). Upon entering office, Nixon immediately tasked the OEP to complete a broad review of the Nation’s civil defense programs.

In June 1970, the OEP released the results of its comprehensive assessment in National Security Study Memorandum 57. 147 The study concluded that the Nation’s preparedness for natural disasters was minimal to nonexistent.148 The Administration responded by introducing two of its most significant domestic policy changes in National Security Decision Memorandum (NSDM) 184. NSDM 184 recommended the establishment of a “dual-use approach” to Federal citizen preparedness programs and the replacement of the Office of Civil Defense with the Defense Civil Preparedness Agency (DCPA).149 President Nixon would later implement these recommendations, placing the new DCPA under the umbrella of the Department of Defense.

For the first time in the history of civil defense, Federal funds previously allocated for the exclusive purpose of preparing for military attacks could be shared with State and local governments for natural disaster preparedness. This dual-use initiative subscribed to the philosophy that preparations for evacuation, communications, and survival are common to both natural disasters and enemy military strikes on the homeland. From a practical perspective, the dual-use approach allowed more efficient utilization of limited resources, so planners could address a larger number of scenarios. 150 Given that civil defense funding during Nixon’s first term barely exceeded the low $80 million per year level of the Eisenhower Administration (when adjusted for inflation), scarce resources likely played a part in the decision to adopt the new approach.

A series of natural disasters during Nixon’s tenure also increased the pressure to expand civil defense to include preparation and response to natural disasters. Several major hurricanes and earthquakes exposed significant flaws in natural disaster preparedness at a time when no centralized system for disaster relief existed.152 Perhaps most significantly, in August 1969 Hurricane Camille wreaked havoc in the greater Gulf Coast region, highlighting major problems with disaster response.153 In response, Congress passed the Disaster Relief Act of 1969, which created the concept of a Federal Coordinating Officer (FCO). The FCO was an individual appointed by the President, who would manage federal disaster assistance onthe-spot at a given disaster area The President’s decision to increase focus on natural disaster preparedness also aligned with U.S. foreign policy considerations. In order to reinforce the doctrine of MAD, Nixon was deeply involved in negotiations with the Soviet Union to limit defensive weapon capabilities. 155 The first Strategic Arms Limitation Talks treaty (SALT I), signed on May 26, 1972, froze the number of strategic ballistic missile launchers and allowed the addition of new submarine ballistic missile launchers only as replacements for dismantled older launchers. 156 Perhaps most significantly, SALT I limited the superpowers to only two ABM defense deployment sites. 157 Advocates of SALT argued that such agreements were necessary because any increase in defense capabilities would spur another arms race for improved offensive capabilities. 158 The Nixon Administration felt that the SALT I advances would be jeopardized if either side continued to build up nuclear attack-related civil defense programs. This concern helped justify the decision to turn more attention toward civil preparedness for natural disasters.

The dual use approach was attractive to State and local authorities. While in the past State and local officials had been reluctant to participate in nuclear attack planning, the ability to deal with attack preparedness in the context of a particular hazard in a specific area (e.g. floods in coastal or riverine areas, hurricanes in coastal areas, tornadoes in the Midwest and Plains States, and civil unrest in urban areas) encouraged new coordination and participation

The change of focus also garnered public support. The interest of the American public in attack planning had waned considerably. There was little enthusiasm for ambitious shelter building projects or evacuation drills.161 A number of historians attribute this lack of interest to a diminished perception of risk, psychological numbing to the destruction of nuclear weapons, and a growing belief that civil defense measures would not ultimately be effective in the event of nuclear war.162 Planning for natural disasters was perceived to be more effective, less resource intensive, and able to deliver tangible benefits at the State and local level.

Nixon’s broad policy changes were accompanied by equally sweeping organizational changes. Following the replacement of the OCD with the DCPA, another major reorganization took place. In 1970 and 1973, Reorganization Plans 1 and 2 abolished the Office of Emergency Planning and delegated its functions to various agencies.163 Executive Order 11725 of 1973 solidified the new organizational structure by distributing preparedness tasks to a wide variety of new agencies including the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the General Services Administration, and the Departments of the Treasury and Commerce.164 In total, the new bureaucratic structure placed responsibility for disaster relief with more than 100 federal agencies.165 Not surprisingly, this reorganization is perhaps best known for its ineffectiveness.

Despite the suggestion of great activity, real progress on civil defense, both in the traditional sense and its new dual-use direction, was limited during the Nixon Administration. One illustrative example is the signing into law of the Disaster Relief Act of 1974 (Public Law 93-288). While the Disaster Relief Act sought to remedy bureaucratic inefficiencies and provide direct assistance to individuals and families following a disaster,167 funding remained low, with levels comparable to spending in the pre Kennedy years. The Act did succeed in involving State and local governments in all hazards preparedness activities 168 and provided matching funds for their programs.169 However, soon the federal government’s emphasis on all-hazards preparedness would lessen.

Ford Administration (1974-1977)

At first, the Ford Administration supported its predecessor’s approach to dual-use preparedness. In March 1975 President Ford strongly endorsed the policy, stating: “I am particularly pleased that civil defense planning today emphasizes the dual use of resources…we are improving our ability to respond…to national disasters…”170 However, less than a year later, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) rescinded DOD’s use of civil defense funding for natural disaster mitigation and preparedness.171 Civil defense was returned to the original orientation of nuclear attack preparedness, as seen during the Truman and Eisenhower years.

There were several motivations for this policy change. Perhaps most importantly, the United States had just resumed its intelligence observations of Soviet civil defense after a five year break.172 Reports from these operations detailed significant Soviet progress in civil defense, compared to relatively small U.S. efforts. Massive Soviet expenditures (estimated at $1 billion per year in 1977) on preparedness initiatives, such as evacuation plans, contributed to a growing concern that the United States was falling behind.173 Whereas in the United States, civil defense was considered “an insurance policy,” the Soviets considered it a “factor of great strategic significance.”174 The most alarmist American commentators concluded that the entire U.S. nuclear arsenal could not inflict significant damage on the Soviet Union, due in large part to its increased civil preparedness.

Developments in Cold War diplomacy likely also contributed to the temporary end of all hazards planning. Gradually the doctrine of MAD was replaced with new ideas, such as limited nuclear strikes against strategically important military and industrial targets,

rather than population centers. As early as January 10, 1974 Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger stated during a press conference that “the old policy [of MAD]…was no longer adequate for deterrence” and should be replaced by “a set of selective options against different sets of targets.”176 Over the next decade, these ideas of flexible targeting and limited retaliation developed into the policy of “flexible response.”177 Flexible response was based on the idea that both the Soviet Union and the United States had the capability for small-scale nuclear attacks that could be answered by similarly-sized acts of retaliation by the other side.178 Theoretically, instead of massive retaliation against population centers, targets would be specific, highly-strategic sites.179 Since some of these sites could be civilian in nature, some level of civil defense and nuclear attack preparedness was deemed necessary. Thus, U.S. policy makers renewed their attention on civil defense, as a means of protecting against targeted highly-strategic attacks.

One result was a new initiative called the Crisis Relocation Plan (CRP). Begun in 1974 by Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger, the CRP favored a strategy of evacuation rather than sheltering. Directed by the DCPA, CRP evacuation planning was conducted at the State level with Federal funds and encompassed all of the necessary  support for relocation, food distribution, and medical care.181 Under the CRP, urban residents would be relocated to rural host counties, with a target ratio of “5 immigrants for every native.”182 The focus on preparedness through the CRP was continued throughout the Ford Administration by incoming Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who strongly opposed the dual-use approach. Rumsfeld believed that the Federal government should address only attack preparedness, while peacetime disasters were a State and local responsibility.

Though Administration officials and policymakers defended the CRP as a set of simple and highly effective procedures, the program suffered widespread criticism.184 The Plan’s reliance on a relatively long warning time (1 to 2 days), compared to the shorter notice necessary for sheltering, meant it could only be effective in a situation of rising tensions in which the launch of missiles against the country could be predicted. Additionally, vocal critics from Congress and the public doubted the feasibility of such large-scale evacuations through bottlenecked transportation routes.

Organizationally, the fragmentation of civil defense responsibilities begun under Nixon became increasingly apparent. Nixon’s reorganization plans prescribed that the bulk of the responsibility for civil defense fall to three different agencies: the OEP would advise the President, HUD’s Federal Disaster Assistance Agency would manage disaster relief, and the DCPA would coordinate State and local preparedness efforts.185 Though these bureaucratic changes were not complete until the Carter Administration, some Congressional committees were already beginning to investigate the problem of disjointed civil defense. In 1976, the House Armed Services Committee recommended that an office within the Executive Office of the President (EOP) be tasked to manage civil defense, while the Joint Committee on Defense Production recommended combining the three agencies into one body.186 These recommendations, coming during the final months of the Ford Administration, were evaluated in the subsequent Carter Administration.

Overall civil defense funding during Ford’s tenure did not change significantly from the Nixon years. With the implementation of the CRP, Secretary of Defense Schlesinger made modest increases in the 1975 budget to develop city evacuation plans and implement population defenses.187 However, as in previous Administrations, civil defense still competed for funding against more traditional military expenditures, and the 1975 increases were nullified the following year in favor of spending on offensive military capabilities

In sum, despite ambitious claims of progress by the Ford Administration, civil defense programs within the United States remained less than effective. U.S. nuclear deterrence plans still emphasized offensive capabilities. In its evaluation of the state of civil defense in 1976, the Congressional Research Service unconditionally labeled the efforts “a charade.”189 It would be another five years before significant progress was made

Carter Administration (1977-1981)

Upon taking office, President Carter immediately began a review of the disjointed system of bureaucracies that managed civil defense. An interagency study led to Presidential Review Memorandum 32 in September of 1977.190 The study concurred with the 1976 recommendations of the House Armed Services Committee and Joint Committee on Defense Production that the various civil defense agencies must be combined into one coherent agency in direct contact with the White House.191 In response, Carter issued Presidential Directive (PD) 41 in September of 1978, which sought to clarify the Administration’s view of civil defense. However, it did not offer any particular plan for implementation.192 According to PD 41, civil defense was an element in the strategy to “enhance deterrence and stability”. Civil defense still did not become a priority for the Administration, which concluded that it was not necessary to pursue “equivalent survivability” with the Soviet Union.

Meanwhile, in the midst of a lengthy debate regarding the creation of a single disaster preparedness agency, an unprecedented civilian nuclear accident unfolded on March 28, 1979 at the nuclear energy plant on Three Mile Island, near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.194 By highlighting the slow response, poor local Federal coordination, and miscommunications that occurred; the accident dramatically demonstrated the need for more effective disaster coordination and planning.195 Partially in response to the near nuclear disaster, on July 20, 1979 the Administration issued Executive Order 12148, which established the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as the lead agency for coordinating Federal disaster relief efforts. FEMA absorbed the Federal Insurance Administration, the National Fire Prevention and Control Administration, the National Weather Service Community Preparedness Program, the Federal Preparedness Agency of the General Services Administration, and the Federal Disaster Assistance Administration activities from HUD, and combined them into a single independent agency. At the time, the creation of FEMA represented the single largest consolidation of civil defense efforts in U.S. history.

Despite the reorganization and move toward greater mission clarity, civil defense planning on the ground did not change dramatically. Practical plans continued to reflect traditional civil defense programs and did not adopt the dual-use approach, though Carter did urge FEMA to direct more of its efforts to coping with peacetime disasters.196 Evacuation continued to be the focus of Federal planners, and Secretary of Defense Harold Brown reaffirmed his predecessor’s crisis relocation strategies.197 When FEMA assumed responsibility for citizen preparedness, the agency called on civil defense planners nationwide to create area-specific CRPs.

The decision to continue to pursue evacuation as the primary civil defense policy was influenced by several factors. Well-funded and extensive Soviet evacuation programs continued to worry key U.S. decision makers, including Brown.199 Evacuation also made sense in the context of continued resource limitations. According to a 1979 FEMA report, since effective and cost-efficient sheltering in large cities had proven difficult, “the U.S. nuclear civil defense program developed into an evacuation program…as a low-cost survival alternative.”

It is likely that the Carter Administration’s focus on evacuation was also affected by Cold War diplomacy. The continuing SALT negotiations created a conflict between the desire to advance U.S. civil defense, and the desire to avoid upsetting the delicate strategic balance required for successful threat reduction negotiations. With this balance in mind, maintaining the status quo by continuing to support evacuation policies may have been deemed the best option.

Though the creation of FEMA and the goals of PD 41 signaled renewed interest in civil defense, funding throughout the Carter Administration remained historically low. The 1980 request for $108 million was less than adequate for implementing the new plans.202 In the following year, Congress did not meet a higher request for funding, instead choosing to allocate funds to other priorities.203 As had been the case many times before, funding levels did not match the ambitious plans for program improvement.

In keeping civil defense funding low, Congressional leaders had little public opposition to fear. In contrast to generally widespread public participation and acceptance in the peak years of civil defense during the early stages of the Cold War, most people by this time had little faith that any government civil defense planning could lessen the impact of nuclear war.204 Some local communities refused outright to cooperate with Federal civil defense mandates because they did not believe the CRPs would be effective if a nuclear attack were to occur.205 This public attitude would continue throughout the remainder of the Cold War period.

Reagan Administration (1981-1989) It would appear that Ronald Reagan entered office with the intention of building upon the civil defense foundations set by his predecessors. In December 1981, Congress acted dramatically in favor of the dual-use approach by amending the 1950 Civil Defense Act. In this milestone decision, all future civil defense funds would be allotted for natural disasters, as well as attacks on the homeland.206 The amendment did stipulate that funding and planning for peacetime disasters could not overtly detract from attack preparedness programs. Nevertheless, dual use preparedness was promoted with much of the same language and reasoning as it was during the Nixon Administration.

Though Reagan was in favor of the dual-use approach, his civil defense strategy was largely a continuation of Carter’s. In the midst of deliberations regarding the 1982 budget, the National Security Council (NSC) compiled National Security Division Directive (NSDD) 26, which spelled out the objectives of Carter’s Presidential Directive 41 and was designed to promote deterrence, improve natural disaster preparedness, and reduce the possibility of coercion by enemy forces.208 The unclassified version of NSDD 26 states: “it is a matter of national priority that the United States have a Civil Defense program which provides for the survival of the U.S. population.”209 However, NSDD 26 went further than PD 41 by stipulating a concrete deadline in 1989 for plans to protect the population, and it mandated that civil defense leaders investigate and enhance protection measures for critical industries in case of attack.210 Furthermore, NSDD 26 for the first time supported research into the development of strategies to ensure economic survival in the event of a nuclear attack.211 However, drawing upon the CRPs of his predecessors, Reagan continued to promote evacuation the primary strategy for civil defense. During this period nuclear preparedness became a top priority for FEMA

Congress and the Administration came into conflict in February 1982, when the President requested $4.2 billion for a seven-year plan to massively boost civil defense programs.213 Congress did not react positively to this request, particularly because it seemed to be part of Reagan’s hawkish stance on Cold War diplomacy.214 For example, the House Committee on Appropriations criticized FEMA’s dependence on evacuation planning at the expense of other preparedness programs and suggested that more attention be paid to peacetime disaster preparation. Expressing their disagreement with FEMA’s plans, Congress allocated only $147.9 million to cover FEMA’s 1983 budget, about 58% of what the agency had requested.215 In 1984 and 1985, Congress again blocked requests for funding increases.

In 1983, FEMA responded to the Congressional push for more peacetime disaster preparation with plans for an Integrated Emergency Management System (IEMS) to develop full all-hazard preparedness plans at the Federal level.217 Under the IEMS, State civil defense planners would facilitate the development of multi hazard preparedness plans based on threats faced by specific localities.218 According to the IEMS, this all-hazards approach included “direction, control and warning systems which are common to the full range of emergencies from small isolated events to the ultimate emergency – war.”219 Despite this innovative attempt to integrate civil defense and disaster preparedness concerns, Congress was not sufficiently convinced that the IEMS would effectively address the management of all hazard preparedness, and therefore never met requested FEMA funding levels. Cold War diplomacy continued to play a role in civil defense decisions under Reagan. President Reagan supported neither the doctrine of mutual assured destruction nor the détente that had been a centerpiece of the Carter Administration.220 On March 23, 1983 Reagan openly rejected mutual assured destruction with his speech proposing the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). SDI focused on using ground-based and space based systems to protect the United States from attack by strategic nuclear ballistic missiles.221 SDI flew in the face of the 1972 SALT I agreement banning strategic defenses, and it demonstrated a shift towards more proactive and aggressive defensive measures.

The final years of the Reagan Administration saw a number of actions intended to allay concerns regarding non-attack preparedness. The Meese Memorandum (Executive Order 12656), signed in 1986, delegated lead response roles to certain Federal agencies, depending on the type of disaster.222 On November 23, 1988 the Disaster Relief Act of 1974 was amended to become what is now known as the Stafford Act, resulting in a clearer definition of FEMA’s role in emergency management. The Act defined the disaster declaration process and provided the statutory authority for Federal assistance during a disaster. The agency’s role in disaster response would be tested and debated in the years to come.

Bush Administration (1989-1993) In the year after George H.W. Bush took office, several natural disasters challenged the Nation’s nascent approach to all-hazards preparedness. On March 24, 1989, 11 million gallons of crude oil spilled into Prince William Sound in the Gulf of Alaska from the Exxon Valdez oil tanker.223 It was the largest oil spill in U.S. history, and the Administration was ill-prepared to manage an environmental crisis of such large scale. Instead of using FEMA through the Stafford Act to coordinate the response, Bush invoked the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, under which the Environmental Protection Agency and Coast Guard managed the event. The Administration drew much criticism for the poor response

On September 13, 1989, Hurricane Hugo struck the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and South Carolina, inflicting significant damage. This time Bush chose to send Manuel Lujan, Secretary of the Interior, to assess the damage and provide additional executive oversight.225 FEMA’s participation in the response was plagued by shortages of properly trained personnel, communication problems, and a lack of coordination.226 Within a month of Hurricane Hugo, the Loma Prieta earthquake struck northern California causing an estimated $6 billion in damage. Already stretched thin from dealing with the Hurricane Hugo recovery, FEMA’s response continued to be hindered by coordination and staffing problems. Again, President Bush appointed a Cabinet-level representative, Secretary of Transportation Samuel Skinner, to oversee recovery operations, and again FEMA’s contribution to response and recovery was judged inadequate.

The dissatisfaction with FEMA’s response to the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, Hurricane Hugo, and the Loma Prieta Earthquake led FEMA to begin developing the Federal Response Plan (FRP) in November 1990.228 Drawing from the Incident Command System and Incident Management System framework, the FRP defined how 27 Federal agencies and the American Red Cross would respond to the needs of State and local governments when they were overwhelmed by a disaster. The plan used a functional approach to define the types of assistance (such as food, communications, and transportation) that would be provided by the Federal government to address the consequences of disaster. 

By the second year of the Bush administration, significant political changes were occurring. The Berlin Wall fell in 1989, followed shortly by the collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of communist governments across Eastern Europe. The Cold War had come to a rapid and unanticipated end, and the threat of a strategic nuclear attack on the United States diminished significantly almost overnight. As a result, civil defense in the traditional sense was no longer a major priority for emergency planners or Congress. With the recent onslaught of natural and man-made disasters top-of-mind, FEMA planners began to adopt the idea of a true all-hazards approach to disaster preparedness. In March of 1992, President Bush signed National Security Directive 66 instructing FEMA to develop a multi-hazard approach to emergency management, combining civil defense preparedness with natural and man-made disaster preparedness

Testifying before the Armed Services Subcommittee Hearing on Civil Defense on May 6, 1992, Grant Peterson, Associate Director for State and Local Programs at FEMA, reported that:

The President has approved a new civil defense policy…The new policy acknowledges significant changes in the range of threats, and eliminates the heavy emphasis on nuclear attack. The policy recognizes the need for civil defense to address all forms of catastrophic emergencies, all hazards, and the consequences of those hazards. The new policy increases the emphasis on preparedness to respond to the consequences of all emergencies regardless of their cause. All-hazards consequence management recognizes that regardless of the cause of an emergency situation, certain very basic capabilities are necessary to respond and that planning efforts and resources should be focused on developing the capabilities necessary to respond to all the common effects of all hazards.

In August 1992, Hurricane Andrew hit south Florida and the central Louisiana coast. President Bush once again appointed a Cabinet-level representative, Secretary of Transportation Andrew Card, to coordinate Federal relief efforts.232 Unfortunately, this additional oversight did not result in improved performance as “government at all levels was slow to comprehend the scope of the disaster.”233 And despite the presence of the FRP, FEMA and the other agencies involved in the response and recovery faced the same kinds of coordination and logistical problems they had three years prior. FEMA was strongly criticized by Congress for its poor performance.

As a result of this criticism, FEMA was instructed by Congress to contract with the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) to conduct a study of the Federal, State, and local level capacity to respond to major natural disasters.234 Issued in February 1993, NAPA’s assessment, Coping With Catastrophe, detailed the obstacles facing emergency management at all levels of government and made recommendations to improve FEMA’s ability to prepare and respond to disasters. NAPA concluded that, “a small independent agency could coordinate the federal response to major natural disasters…but only if the White House and Congress take significant steps to make it a viable institution.”235 Because of the timing of the report, it was left to the Clinton Administration to evaluate the findings and implement changes to make FEMA more effective. 

Clinton Administration (1993-2001) Upon taking office, President Bill Clinton appointed James Lee Witt director of FEMA. Witt, the former Director of Emergency Management for the State of Arkansas, immediately reorganized FEMA.236 He created three functional directorates corresponding to the major phases of emergency management: Mitigation; Preparedness; Training and Exercise; and Response and Recovery.237 In February of 1996, Clinton elevated the FEMA directorship to Cabinet-level status, improving the line of communication between the Director and the President.

The shift in emergency preparedness towards an all-hazards approach allowed FEMA to focus on addressing natural disasters without having to fear negative political reactions from advocates of civil defense.239 The Agency’s Mitigation Directorate, for example, focused many of its early programs on hazards such as flooding and earthquakes.240 At the same time, however, recognition of the threat of terrorist attacks inside the United States was beginning to emerge. In 1993, Congress included a joint resolution in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that called for FEMA to develop “a capability for early detection and warning of and response to: potential terrorist use of chemical or biological agents or weapons; and emergencies or natural disasters involving industrial chemicals or the widespread outbreak of disease.”

As evidenced by this resolution, Congress was becoming increasingly concerned about the threat posed by terrorist organizations and technological disasters. Much of this concern resulted from the World Trade Center bombing earlier that year, in which 6 people were killed and 1,042 were wounded. The blast left a five story deep crater and caused $500 million in damages

In November 1994, the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950 was repealed and all remnants of civil defense authority were transferred to Title VI of the Stafford Act.242 This completed the evolution of civil defense into an all-hazards approach to preparedness. FEMA now had the statutory responsibility for coordinating a comprehensive emergency preparedness system to deal with all types of disasters. Title VI also ended all Armed Services Committee oversight over FEMA and significantly reduced the priority of national security programs within FEMA. Money authorized by the Civil Defense Act was reallocated to natural disaster and all hazards programs, and more than 100 defense and security staff members were reassigned

The period between 1995 and 1996 saw a series of major terrorist attacks launched domestically and abroad, which further influenced U.S. preparedness policies. In March 1995, the Japanese religious cult Aum Shinrikyo released sarin nerve gas on five separate cars of three different subway lines in Tokyo. Twelve people were killed and thousands were injured. One month later, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols detonated a truck bomb at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 169 people. On June 25, 1996 the Khobar Towers, a U.S. military facility in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia was bombed, killing 19 Americans.

These events had a profound effect on U.S. lawmakers and the Administration.245 Two days after the bombing of the Khobar Towers, the Senate adopted an amendment aimed at preventing terrorists from using nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons in the United States.246 In September Congress passed the NDAA for fiscal year 1997, which included the Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction Act commonly known as the Nunn-Lugar-Domenici Act.247 This Act required DOD to provide civilian agencies at all levels of government training and expert advice on appropriate responses to the use of a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) against the American public. Lawmakers originally planned to have FEMA lead the training and provide equipment; however, FEMA officials had testified that only DOD had the necessary knowledge and assets .

As a result of the Nunn-Lugar-Domenici legislation, Metropolitan Medical Strike Force Teams were created, as well as a domestic terrorism rapid response team, whose purpose was to aid State and local officials in WMD response.249 Three years later, WMD preparedness was transferred from DOD to the Office of Domestic Preparedness (ODP) within the Department of Justice (DOJ).250 In 1999, DOD also established 10 National Guard Rapid Assessment and Initial Detection (RAID) teams, which served to provide technical expertise and equipment to deal with a WMD attack.251 The unanticipated result of these actions was a new fragmentation of responsibility for civilian preparedness programs. Despite its overtures toward all-hazards preparedness, many of FEMA’s efforts remained focused on natural disasters. Meanwhile, DOD through its RAID teams, and DOJ through ODP, became increasingly involved in preparations for and responses to WMD threats.

Apart from these efforts, as the century came to a close, a new concept of homeland security began to emerge. Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) 62, signed in May 1998, created the Office of the National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-Terrorism within the Executive Office of the President. This office was designed to coordinate counterterrorism policy, preparedness, and consequence management.252 Later that same year, President Clinton issued PDD 63 on Critical Infrastructure Protection. PDD 63 established principles for protecting the nation by minimizing the threat of smaller-scale terrorist attacks against information technology and geographically distributed supply chains that could cascade and disrupt entire sectors of the economy.253 In the absence of a centralized authority for homeland security, Federal agencies were designated as lead agencies in their sector of expertise. The lead agencies were directed to develop sector-specific Information Sharing and Analysis Centers to coordinate efforts with the private sector. PDD 63 also required the creation of a National Infrastructure Assurance Plan.

At the same time, the U.S. Commission on National Security in the 21st Century, chartered by DOD, and known as the Hart Rudman Commission, began to reexamine U.S. national security policies.254 One of the Commission’s recommendations was the creation of a Cabinet-level National Homeland Security Agency responsible for planning, coordinating, and integrating various U.S. government activities involved in “homeland security”. The commission defined homeland security as “the protection of the territory, critical infrastructures, and citizens of the United States by Federal, State, and local government entities from the threat or use of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, cyber, or conventional weapons by military or other means.” Legislation toward this end was introduced on March 29, 2001, but hearings continued through April of 2001 without passage of the legislation.

Another influential commission formed during the latter stages of the Clinton Administration was the Gilmore Commission, chaired by Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore. The Commission, officially known as the Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction, developed and delivered a series of five reports to the President and Congress between 1999 and 2003.256 Of the Gilmore Commission's 164 recommendations, 146 were adopted in whole or in part 257, including creation of a fusion center to integrate and analyze all intelligence pertaining to terrorism and counterterrorism and the creation of a civil liberties oversight board.258 However, the impetus to implement many of these recommendations only occurred following the series of devastating attacks on the U.S. homeland that occurred during the initial months of the next administration.

Bush Administration (2001-Present)

The initial months of George W. Bush’s presidency saw a general continuation of existing homeland security policies. Prior to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, OMB summarized homeland security as focused on three objectives: counterterrorism, defense against WMD, and the protection of critical infrastructure The new Administration did implement changes that affected how national security and homeland security policies would be generated. The Administration abolished the system of ad hoc interagency working groups used by Clinton to address homeland security issues and replaced them with Policy Coordination Committees within the National Security Council. A Counterterrorism and National Preparedness Policy Coordinating Committee was established that was composed of four working groups: Continuity of Federal Operations, Counterterrorism and Security, Preparedness and WMD, and Information Infrastructure Protection and Assurance.260 The goal of this reorganization was to create a more formalized structure to deal with threats to the homeland. 

Then came the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. In their wake, there was near universal agreement within the Federal government that homeland security required a major reassessment, increased funding, and administrative reorganization. In October 2001, the White House Office of Homeland Security was established via executive order to work with Executive departments and agencies to develop and coordinate the implementation of a comprehensive national strategy to secure the United States from terrorist threats or attacks.261 President Bush chose Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge to lead the new Office. In March 2002 another executive order created the Homeland Security Advisory Council to advise the President on homeland security matters. The Council, located within the Executive Office of the President, is comprised of leaders from State and local government, first responder communities, the private sector, and academia.

In his 2002 State of the Union address, the President announced the establishment of the USA Freedom Corps to promote a culture of service, citizenship, and responsibility in America. Under the Freedom Corps initiative, the White House established Citizen Corps within FEMA to engage individual citizens through education, training, and volunteer service to make communities better prepared to prevent, protect, respond, and recover from all-hazards. Citizen Corps involved Americans in programs such as Community Emergency Response Teams, Fire Corps, Neighborhood Watch, Medical Reserve Corps, and Volunteers in Police Service.

Then on March 12, 2002, the Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS) was created to communicate with the American public and safety officials using a threat-based, color-coded system, so protective measures can be implemented to reduce the likelihood or impact of an attack on the homeland.262 Because raising the threat condition can have detrimental economic, physical, and psychological effects on the nation, the Federal government can place specific geographic regions or industry sectors on a higher alert status, as the specificity of threat based intelligence permits

The Bush Administration also began to develop a number of strategic documents and statements that outlined the President’s vision for protecting the nation. These included the National Security Strategy, the National Strategy for Homeland Security (NSHS), and the National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction. The NSHS was released by the Office of Homeland Security, and its purpose was “to provide a framework to align the resources of the federal budget directly to the task of securing the homeland” against terrorist attack.264 The NSHS was a comprehensive strategic document that advanced six critical mission areas: intelligence and warning, border and transportation security, domestic counterterrorism, protecting critical infrastructure, defending against catastrophic terrorism, and emergency preparedness and response. Importantly, the NSHS gave the proposed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “a central role” in implementing the NSHS and directed the new department to “serve as the primary federal point of contact for state and local governments, the private sector, and the American people.”

As these strategic plans were being developed, Congress continued to push for more substantial reorganization of the Federal agencies involved in homeland security. A bipartisan group of Senate and House members proposed an ambitious new Department of Homeland Security. The President submitted his own plan for the creation of a homeland security department on June 6, 2002. The Homeland Security Act of 2002 established the new Department on November 25, 2002, and the President named Ridge its first Secretary in January 2003.

As the head of a Cabinet-level department, Ridge obtained increased budgetary authority and control over many of the agencies involved in homeland security. In the largest government reorganization since the creation of DOD in the late 1940s, DHS inherited approximately 200,000 people from 22 Federal agencies, and an initial budget of $37 billion.

One of the first major initiatives of the newly created DHS was the release of its citizen preparedness website,, in February 2003. The Ready Campaign began a national public service advertising campaign produced by The Ad Council in partnership with DHS designed to educate and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks.

DHS also began addressing priority issues of transportation, border, and port security. Steps to bolster aviation security included deploying newly trained federal screeners at airports and placing thousands of federal air marshals on flights to protect passengers and crew.268 Also, Ridge oversaw a significant expansion of the Container Security Initiative. In less than a year, the United States was working with allies in 17 international ports to inspect and secure the thousands of containers of cargo that arrive daily at U.S. shores.

Understandably, much of the Department’s initial work focused on addressing the threat of domestic terrorism. However, the DHS mandate encompassed the full range of disasters and attacks, and all-hazards preparedness soon became a top priority as well. Homeland Security Presidential Directive-8: National Preparedness (HSPD-8), issued in December 2003, defined preparedness as encompassing “threatened or actual domestic terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies.” 270 HSPD8 also spelled out the need for DHS to take a leading role in creating a National Preparedness Goal; coordinating Federal, State, local, and private sector efforts to encourage active citizen participation in preparedness; and developing a comprehensive plan to provide accurate and timely preparedness information to citizens.

The National Preparedness Goal was first released in interim form on March 31, 2005. It presented preparedness as a coordinated, national effort involving every level of government, the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, and individual citizens, and called for the development and strengthening of capabilities that would address the full range of homeland security missions (prevention, protection, response and recovery).

Under Ridge, DHS took a fresh look at the way Federal, State, local, tribal and private sector resources work together to deal with emergencies. A new National Response Plan (NRP) was developed to replace the earlier Federal Response Plan, and the National Incident Management System (NIMS) was introduced to provide a common framework for incident management. A National Strategy for Physical Protection of Critical Infrastructures and Key Assets was also developed, officially recognizing the role of the private sector and the need for partnerships between government and the private sector in protecting the nation. The structure for such partnerships was further detailed in the National Infrastructure Protection Plan, issued in June 2006.

Preparedness took on even greater prominence within the Department under Ridge’s successor, Michael Chertoff. Shortly after taking office in February 2005, Chertoff initiated a Second Stage Review of the Department’s organization, operations, and policies. The following six-point agenda resulted from the review: increase preparedness with a focus on catastrophic events; strengthen border security and interior enforcement and reform immigration processes; harden transportation security without sacrificing mobility; enhance information sharing with our U.S. government and private sector partners; improve DHS financial, human resource, procurement and information technology management; and realign the DHS organization to maximize mission performance.272 The review also resulted in the creation of a new Directorate of Preparedness and further integration of preparedness activities.

The Nation’s preparedness received another serious test when on August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall along the Mississippi and Louisiana coasts. The storm was followed by levee failures in New Orleans, and caused unprecedented devastation. With virtually the entire Mississippi coast leveled by storm surge, and much of the city of New Orleans under water, the Federal, State, and local response proved inadequate to the unprecedented catastrophic challenge. The National Response Plan, aimed at coordinating the response to major disasters, was less than one year old when the hurricane hit. It had not been fully trained across all agencies and levels of government, and had never been tested in a major event. The White House, Senate, and House of Representatives’ investigative reports written in the months following the hurricane’s landfall cited numerous shortcomings in response efforts.

State and local level preparedness for the disaster also proved to be flawed. President Bush, recognizing the importance of having adequate plans in place, demanded a nationwide review of the status of catastrophic planning. DHS and the Department of Transportation were tasked to conduct the review in major urban areas across the country.

The results were released on June 16, 2006. The Review determined that disaster planning for catastrophic events in the United States suffers from failure to account for the full scope of catastrophic events; outmoded planning processes, products, and tools; and inadequate attention to coordination.

While recognizing the importance of Federal leadership and coordination, DHS and the Bush Administration continue to stress that State and local governments must be the first line of defense against disaster and attack. DHS administers grant programs that since 2003 have provided over $2.1 billion to States for interoperable communications equipment, planning, training, and exercises.273 In total, DHS has awarded $18 billion in grants to State and local governments to improve preparedness levels.274 DHS has also provided counterterrorism training to more than 1.2 million emergency response personnel from across the country on a range of incident response issues such as incident management, unified command, and public works protection and response.275 Finally, the Department has conducted more than 400 exercises at the Federal, State, and local level to improve preparedness for and response to terrorist attacks and natural disasters.


The history of civil defense and homeland security in the United States has been one of frequent policy and organizational change. The changes have been driven by many factors including an evolving threat environment, major natural disasters that have resulted in immense destruction, and the specific preferences of presidential administrations. One of the most important recent drivers, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, led directly to increased funding and focus on homeland security, and specifically the creation of DHS. However, just a few years later, the scale of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina showed that the country remains vulnerable to natural disasters, as well as to man made accidents. Civil defense began with the desire to involve Americans in the protection of their fellow citizens and critical infrastructure from destruction at the hands of our enemies, and evolved over time to encompass coordinated, professional efforts, involving all levels of government, the private sector, and citizens, to address a wide range of disaster and attack scenarios. As the nation’s population growth and economic development have put more and more people, property, and infrastructure at risk, and as the political importance of national preparedness has grown, the scope of preparedness efforts is likely to continue to expand.

1 blue devider 800 8 72

This is the UNOFFICIAL History Site of the Baltimore Police Department. It depicts the history of the department as was originally conceived of, and told by Retired Officer, William M. Hackley. Sadly Officer Hackley passed away on 15 March 2012 leaving his site to Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll. It took a month or so to take full responsibility for the site and its content. The thoughts and use of certain items, terms, sounds, and implications are not necessarily those that would be agreed upon by the Baltimore Police Department, as an official Governmental Agency. Likewise, we do not seek their permission or approval to post the things we post, and as such, nothing in these pages should be held against them.

The intent of this site is more than just to tell our history, to have everyone remember our Injured, and Fallen Heroes, those who in the performance of their duties were called upon to make the Ultimate Sacrifice.

So as you surf these pages, you will see the Baltimore Police Department from its infancy, showing the crude methods of policing in the 1700's, through to the 1800's and become the modern highly efficient department that it has become today.

Enjoy the site for what it is, a rendition of the proud history of one of this country’s finest Police Departments, one for which those of us who have worked it, are proud of, and honored to have served. The many men and women that still proudly serve, and those that someday will serve.

Any request for official police information should first be made directly to:

Baltimore Police Department
242 W. 29th St., Baltimore, MD.

Emergencies: 9-1-1  Non-emergencies: 410-396-2037


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

Paypal History Donations

1 blue devider 800 8 72POLICE INFORMATION

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

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

1 blue devider 800 8 72NOTICE

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 


172 Years

172 Years of Policing in Baltimore

1785 to 1957

  police with a drunk lock up

45 Years Older than The London Metropolitan Police Department

Baltimore Police Department, seventh in size in the country is more than 200 years old, and is 45 years older than "The London Metropolitan Police Department" founded by Sir Robert Peel in 1829, and it is among the earliest police forces to be systematically organized in America.  (As a side note, Robert Peel's officers were known as Bobby's Cops, later Bobby Cops, or just Bobbies) Along with those of the other eastern cities Baltimore has done its share of evolving into today’s accepted police methods. The commonly accepted date for the beginning of Baltimore's department is 1784.  It was then that the old corps of unpaid citizen to night watchman, governed by the most casual of regulations, was replaced by the paid watchmen who were required to do their duties of courting to defined rules. It was the start of a long and tumultuous career for Baltimore’s Police Department.  Crime in the thriving young seaport was always a few steps ahead of the police, so many of the criminals, hardened and experienced, came from the slums of big European cities as crew members of merchant ships that brought them here. The result was the successive reorganizations of the department over many years.  The reorganization door often the result of town meetings, was appointed committees to affect their wishes. So in a larger sense, it may be said that the citizens of Baltimore not only supported its police, but took a hand in regulating and expanding them.  For in those days there were no experts in police efficiency. It would be years later when Bobby Kennedy would say something that Baltimore proved true, so many years earlier. Robert F Kennedy said, "Every Society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on." This was true when Bobby said it, it is true now, and it was true before Bobby said it, back in 1784 when the community of Baltimore insisted on more police, better police, and to get it they supported their police. - Perhaps the greatest school in error for the learning policeman in Baltimore was the first ¾ of the last century.  It was a time of riding gangs which gave the city that deserved reputation of "Mob Town" And in the more refined world of crime, forgers, safe crackers and other thieves often working with cunning, and boldness ordering genius, got away with some big hauls, leaving the police dazed and confused as to what they should do. 

A Dramatic Contrast

Yet and those years the department had its hero detectives, clever men pushed to extraordinary efforts by the free footing criminals are around them.  Even then they traced criminals to various parts of the country and to Europe.  And they caught Europeans absconders hiding in Baltimore. In some ways it was an epic record for the police, as well as for the more slick witted the criminals.  Those days when detective methods and police organizations were of evolving, were in rather dramatic contrast to the pre-Revolutionary citizen-night watchman who slogged through the muddy streets, calling the time every fifteen minutes.

On cold winter nights the watchman could take time out to warm up in their little flimsy, sentry like boxes with whale oil lamps burning dimly on top of them.  That is if the town rowdies had not keep them over and rolled them in the mud, as a sometimes did. 

These a citizen-policeman, more absorbed in their private business than in the task immediately at hand, did not realize that their calling the hour notified thieves as to their whereabouts, thus enabling them to gauge the moment of their crimes accordingly.  The custom was discontinued many years later.

Pattern of Commands

This first watch was organized in 1775 as a result of the first town meeting for such a purpose.  In its organization one can see the first of mergers of a pattern of commands in the Baltimore Police Department.  The town was divided into five districts with a captain at the head of each.

Needless to say the watch proved ineffective since the law breakers were more enterprising than the law enforcers.  And it was reported that their most memorable performance was notification, by their cries, the Cornwallis had been defeated at Yorktown in 1781.

So, after nine years of haphazard policing, Baltimore Town decided in 1784, as previously noted, to have a paid watch, where the watchmen could be fired or otherwise penalized from neglect of duty.  And they wanted street lighting as a further crime deterrent.  Both the lights and the paid watch was authorized by State Legislature in that year.

In addition to the captains, the new watch include a number of constables.  Among their duties was supervision of the watchmen.  Forerunners of more recent Sergeants.  They made the rounds of the beats regularly; seeing that each man was at his post.

Debauchery Subsides

The new watchman proved effective for the time.  The "Cursing, Swearing, Debauchery and Drunkenness" long complained of subsided and only fourteen watchmen were needed at night.  But crime picked up again in 1792 and there were complaints about management of the watch force by the town commissioners (at the time there was a panel of Police Commissioners ranging from three to four).  A year later the Legislature took its management from the commissioners and put it in the hands of the justice of the court of Oyer and Terminer, criminal justice.

It was the first instance of taking Baltimore’s police from direct municipal administration. In the up’s and downs of the department it occurred several times later and culminated in the legislative act of 1860 which made the department a state agency.  The idea, of course was to minimize the possibility of the department being made a political football.

In the recognition of 1793 the police took another hitch towards the bigger and better.  There was not enough money to pay for more men, so a tax not to exceed seven shillings, and six pence was put on every dog in town-to help foot the bill. It was the earliest instance of a dog tax in Baltimore. And the justices of Oyer and Terminer inaugurated another practice. They appointed justices to dispose of cases in the station houses-forerunners of today's police magistrates.


policemen were really watchmen

Lighted By Oil Lamps 

By the time Baltimore was incorporated in 1796 it had a watch force of five captains and 45 privates.  And by then it was a dimly-lighted little city with three hundred five smoky whale-oil lamps burning every night in its alleys and streets.

Two years later Baltimore made the first uncertain steps toward creating a chief of police, or marshal as he was later called.  A high constable was appointed and it was his duty to tour the city frequently, bearing a mace, the badge of his authority, and to report on law-breaking of whatever nature.

By the turn of the century Baltimore had again become an "unmanageable" riotous city.  It was now a bustling community of 31,514 population and one historian remarks naively that it was "a rendezvous of a number of evil characters."

More town meetings were held in 1801 and 1810 to reorganize and enlarge the watch force. In the latter years the force was increased to 270 men.  16 years later the police lieutenant came into the Baltimore scene. Two were appointed for the Eastern District, four for the Middle (Central) and two for the Western district.

A corps of 12 other lieutenants was setup and charged with city-wide law enforcement. About this time watchmen were paid $1 a day and the record indicates they got extra pay for attending court

First Detective Squad

The big leap from old to new in the department came in 1857, when the old watch system was abolished and the force became one of policemen as we call them today, with sergeants, lieutenants and captains, and the title of high constable went the way of watchmen.  The force was headed by a marshal and deputy-marshal. The first squad of detectives was appointed by the mayor, for by this time the city’s chief executive again controlled the force.  There were five in the first squad and they wore civilian clothes. Patrolman were compelled to wear uniforms both on, and off duty.  In winter the uniform was a black cap with the policemen’s number on it, a dark blue overcoat and trousers with a patent leather belt and the word police printed on it.  Summer uniforms were the same minus the overcoat policemen were required to wear standing collars.  The badge of their authority was a star three inches high worked in white worsted on the left breast of their coat.  The star was sewed on to avoid all chances of a policeman being without his badge. In the old days may sometimes left them home.  It gave thugs the opportunity of assaulting them in and then pleading that they did know their victim was a policeman. After this big reorganization policemen wore their clubs hanging from their belts much as they do now.  They carried pistols only when their same to be a need for them.

Pension Plan Evolved

Police salaries in those days - about 100 years ago - are among the curios of history.  The marshal received $1500 a year; the captains will pay $13.00 a week; lieutenant $11.50 a week; sergeants $10.50; policemen and detectives $10.00, and then turnkeys at the station houses made $7.00 a week.  And all paid for their own uniform.

In this era the police pension fund began to evolve.  The original fund was made up of gratuities given policeman, who were required by law to turn them in.  Money came from other sources, such as fines, other penalties and the sale of unclaimed property lost or stolen.  At first the fund provided benefits for men killed, or injured in the line of duty, and for awards to those cited for gallantry. In the late 1850s the "Know Nothing Party" became powerful in Baltimore.  It had a strong religious bias and was opposed to all immigration.  The party organized several political-clubs and their tactic was violence rather than persuasion.  Elections of that period were signals for action by the mobs, and riots were the rule.  At first the newly organize police did their best.  But gradually became infected with Know Nothing ideology.  So instead of battling the riot instigators they co-operated through negligence. In the records the Know Nothing stand out prominently for disorder.  Still there were other sources of trouble.  The old volunteer fire companies fought each other in knock-down-drag-out battles.  And many "evil characters" were still in the city. Chief among them were the police magistrates, deeply involved in politics, having intimate connections with thugs and ruffians.  A vivid picture of the times is given by Marshal Herring, years after he left office: “The magistrates were elected by the wards at the time.  Many of the toughest elements in society belonged to the fire companies, and the men seeking magisterial office depending on that class for election.  When the police arrested one of these men he would be released on "Straw Bail," and within 24 hours he would have the same man again to lockup....

We often arrested 40 or 50 persons in a night, every one of them were released the next morning by the magistrates.... 

I was many times out one Baltimore streets with 40 or 50 men all night, just to keep the firemen from fighting.

Never Brought To Trial

On of the worst characters in Baltimore was arrested, his name was Bud Coulston. Bud was arrested for firing two shots in the daytime into the public school at Fayette Holliday streets, and took him before the magistrate who immediately released him one stroll or fictitious bail.  Then there were hundreds of each cases.  Captain Brown’s men of such cases.  Captain Brown’s men of the western district arrested one man, in a little more than a year, 147 times.  But he was never brought before the court for trial. Much has been said about the police and elections days, why the officers made arrests at the polls, took their prisoners to jail and within a few hours would find them back to the polling places.” Again as noted above, Baltimore was aroused and in 1860 the police department, having been blamed for the conditions, was made a state agency, and that has been a status of are sense.  Its management was given to a board of three police commissioners.  Who were elected by the state legislator.  The three commissioner system continued until 1920 when one commissioner, to be appointed by the governor’s, was substituted for it.  So basically we went from a three commissioners system to a one commissioners system.  

April 19 1861 was a fateful day for Baltimore police who had to attack riding citizens to protect union soldiers passing south through the city.

Union Soldiers Attacked

The first months of the civil war or a time sore trial for Baltimore’s police, in a border city of strong Southern sympathy they had the tough job of protecting union soldiers passing through, won their way to the southern battlefields, the soldiers, unlike other passengers were carried slowly to the streets in the course cars. The billing crowds, cheering Jefferson Davis, saw the wrapper tape to attack and they did show in the true riding tradition of all Baltimore.  They threw stones and other missiles at the cars. But on April 19, 1861 the crowds attempted to stop the soldier’s movement and it was a fateful day for the Baltimore police department.  Tamales blocked the track near gay and Pratt streets by piling on it a dray load of sand, a pile of cobble stones and some light anchors.  

Police Heads Imprisoned

220 union soldiers got out and attempted to march to Camden station.  It was the signal for the onslaught.  The rioters attempted to snatch soldier’s muskets and the ensuing fight.  Police went wrong pistols, threatening to suit tried to protect the union soldiers, but to little avail.  Four soldiers were killed, 36 wounded.  12 citizens were killed.  Some weeks later General Banks in command of the union forces in Baltimore, decide to take over the police department.  He arrested Marshal Kane and confined him at fort McHenry.  In the later he arrested the three commissioners.  They were sent to prison and for one Allston harbor; there they were held for more than a year. Commissioners of the police and sympathy with the union were named in the department went one the Federal payroll. In the posts war you’re the department began innovations that have since become the trademarks of American police everywhere.  Among other things the patrol wagon, the helmet and the police telegraph box were introduced. Up to about 1885 again necessary for policemen to Carey very drunk prisoners on their backs to the station house that is when they commandeer a wheelbarrow. Chicago was the first American City to employ patrols and Baltimore is believed to be the second.  It came about this way, one day deputy-marshal Frey was reading an illustrated magazine and a gymnasium of central station and saw how effective wagons were in Chicago.  He brought the idea before the board of police commissioners.  They were mildly interested.  He called the board’s attention to the matter again some weeks later.  They had forgotten about it but promised to look into it.

Telegraph Box System

And this time they did.  And after the legislation failed to act, the board took matters into its own hands.  It sent one of its members and the then Marshal Gray to Chicago to see how the new-fangled patrols worked.  They “were charmed” an old record states.  And while there they saw Chicago’s new police telegraph box system.  (Known as the callbox) Result was both facilities were in Baltimore by the fall of 1885.

The Police Helmet

Already worn in other cities, was made of a rule in Baltimore and 1886.  It was introduced by Commissioner Alford J. Carr.  It took the place of the derby formerly worn by policemen.  Commissioner Carr specified that the helmet the black in the winter and pearl gray and summer.  The helmet at that time was significant of rank, I only patrolman and sergeants and wore it.  The marshal and is deputy and captains and lieutenants were.  It was said at the time that the hygienic the fact of the home and was excellent, giving the policemen’s had a chance to secure proper ventilation.

  constable who tore the city caring a mace his badge of office

Century Boxes in Baltimore

In early days policemen were really watchmen.  On cold nights they would warm themselves in century like boxes atop which oil lamps burned dimly. Two years after its incorporation Baltimore appointed a police chief, and a high constable who toured the city caring a mace, known as his badge of office. A mace is a pole type weapon with a blunt or bladed striking end.   April 19, 1861 was a fateful day for Baltimore police, who had to attack riding citizens to protect union soldiers passing south through the city. Baltimore’s police department, is 45 years older than London’s, is one of the country’s first.  Changes were slow to come about, and for the first hundred years as so, policeman had to either carry drunks back to the station houses or to commandeer wheelbarrows for the purpose, which they often did.



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

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

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How to Dispose of Old Police Items

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

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

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

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

1861 Riots

On April 18, 1861, two companies of US Artillery and four companies of militia arrived from Harrisburg at the Bolton Station, in the northern part of Baltimore. A large crowd assembled at the station, subjecting the militia to abuse and threats. According to the mayor at the time, “An attack would certainly have been made but for the vigilance and determination of the police, under the command of Marshal Kane.”

Bicycle Patrol

Baltimore Police have had Bicycle Patrol Units off and on since the late 1800s early 1900s

Cadet Program

The Cadet program was something that other agencies had done for years, and Baltimore had been trying to establish to help free up patrolman from desk jobs and put them back or the streets. While cadets handled these tasks formerly handled by police, such as answering phones, filing reports, pulling reports, warrants, etc. they were also being groomed to become police, a sort of test drive, for the department to see if the cadet had what it took, and to see if the police work was what the cadet wanted out of life. Likewise, this got the youth a job within the department while they were young and before they were hired by someone else or found a different field to work in.

Child Abuse Unit

The Child Abuse Unit in the Baltimore City Police Department was formed in June 1987. Colonel Pat Mullins oversaw the Community Services Division. Major Ron Collins ran the unit. Lt. George Kibler was the unit supervisor. For the initial makeup of the squads, 2 were assigned to physical complaints, while the other 2 squads did sexual complaints.  That concept only lasted a few weeks because the cases poured in once Child Protective Services started a new reporting system that included police. A daily "Up" routine was developed. Each day, a different squad was "UP.". Within the squad of 4, the calls would be assigned to the last squad member who had taken a case.  Besides Sgt. Jay Baker and John Greybill, Sgt. Celio Oliveras was the other sergeant. Det. Pete Baker was in his squad with Lynette Nevis, Gloria Melvin, and Shawn DeShields. Greybill had Larry Merifield, Jim Wiley, and Chris Steeg. Stein's squad was Cindy Woolford, Gene Fritzel, Harry Richmond, and one more that we can't put a name to. The final squad had Sgt. Jay Baker, Donna Cooper Askew, and others. As time went by, the squads were changed around, and people were retiring. New members arrived with Fred Roussey, Tyrone Francis, George Jones, Jennifer Boyle, Scott Jones, Joe Kleinota, and others.  Those that worked in the unit found it to be the most rewarding position within the department for them, as they were actually able to see the results of their work. By putting a strong case together, they could honestly tell a child that they would be safe.  The unit received unprecedented training at the time in methods of interviewing and interrogations, body language, child interviewing, crime scene processing, law, retrieving DNA, statement analysis, understanding the medical part of cases such as reading x-rays, SIDS, and understanding medial charts.


Baltimore Police CID - Criminal Investigation Division - There was a time when before arriving to the scene of the crime a detective knew what happened, and who did it. Then we started getting better detectives, guys and gals that worked a scene, talked to witnesses, neighbors, those arrested in the area, and anyone they could get information. Like anything, we had good and we had bad, Thank God, we had many many more good, than we had bad.


The Homicide Unit in our department is one of the most prestigious and well-known of the units, right up there with K-9 and the Aviation Unit. You will see our BPD Homicide personnel in action from the past up to the present and see how they have solved some of the worst crimes men can commit. Our own guys who have been able to bring closure to grieving families that have lost a family member

History of Baltimore

Monday, 12 January 1880 was the 150th anniversary of the actual founding of Baltimore- the following pages are from a newspaper article about those 150, now more than 285 years. On January 12, 1730, the first stake was driven into the ground for the survey of the original plats of this great city, which, unlike some of the mushroom cities of the West that presume to be its rivals, has a history as well as a future, a pedigree as well as great expectations. There can be no better guarantee of a glorious future than an honorable and reputable past, and this The Angels of Baltimore present unchallenged to the inspection of the world.

Police History Flag

Baltimore City Police
Historical Society Flag

Before 1970, the Baltimore Police Department didn’t have a police flag. It was rumored that then-Police Commissioner Donald D. Pomerleau wanted an honor guard, having seen other departments with honor guard units carrying American flags, state flags, city or county flags, and their departmental police flags. The commissioner knew that to look our best, we would have to have a police flag of our own. So he had someone work on a Baltimore Police flag, and by the end of 1970, the 3rd of December, to be exact, we had our flag. A little more than a year later. Pomerleau would also have his honor guard. It should be noted that prior to the 1972 Honor Guard, we had a kind of Honor Guard within our Mounted Unit, but the official Departmental Honor Guard wasn't founded until 1972. Mounted has always added a certain touch of class to our department, and their Honor Guard was not lacking. However, this is more about the Baltimore Police Flag, a flag that didn’t have the kind of thought or time put into it that it deserved. The 1970s, much like today in Baltimore, were busy and violent; we had large numbers of losses within our department, and Commissioner Pomerleau felt our fallen should be sent off in honor; he wanted the best Honor Guard he could form; had he put the time into seeking a flag that would represent more than just getting our police? After all, our police represent our city and the people that live, work, and spend their recreational time in it, as well as the tourists that come to visit. Baltimore is a beautiful city with outstandingly dedicated police, and as such, it deserves a well-designed flag.

bpd flagProposed BPD Flag

On December 3, 1970, Commissioner Pomerleau unveiled his flag, a simple light blue field with BALTIMORE in an arched ribbon above our insignia and POLICE in an arched ribbon below our insignia. That's it: light blue, Baltimore Police, and the Maryland Flag embossed in our 4th issue badge. (For FOR MORE INFORMATION - SEE OUR PATCH HISTORY ). The flag had the department’s name embroidered in a ribbon on a light blue hunk of flag-shaped fabric. What our. What the 1970 police flag failed to offer was something other agencies seemed to have overflowing in their departmental flags; cities like New York, Boston, and Chicago, just to name a few, had meaning in their flags. Flags that connect with the police and the community they serve. Our flag was lacking significance, with no ties to the police, the communities, or the people we serve.

We are hoping to correct that with this proposed Baltimore Police Flag, a flag that serves to remember our past, our present, and our future. It will represent our fallen, our injured, our retired, our active, and our future police officers. But not just police officers; this flag represents those we serve, those we protect, and the neighborhoods and communities of Baltimore. It is important that Baltimore's history be represented in our police flag.

First, let's take a look; this is our current flag. As mentioned above, it has a light blue field with no stripes and holds our police emblem, an emblem that has meaning but shouldn't stand alone. Having the shape of our 4th issue Baltimore Police Badge, embossed with our state flag, the state flag holds meaning, as it is a quartered flag that represents the Calvert and Crossland families' coats of arms. Over the badge-flag combo is the Battle Monument, again full of Baltimore City's rich history. Above and beneath this are two simple banners, telling those viewing them that it is our Baltimore Police flag. It could and should say more.

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Looking at the Baltimore Police Flag compared to the NYPD Flag, it is obvious our flag was just slapped together.

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The New York Police Flag and ours—as we already discussed, there is no significance to our flag. But take a look at the New York Police flag. The official flag of the New York City Police Department was created in 1919. It is flown outside precincts and other NYPD buildings. It bears five alternating green and white bars, representing the five boroughs of New York City: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx. There are 24 stars on a field of blue in the left upper corner of the flag. The blue field represents the police department. Twenty-three of the twenty-four stars represent the separate towns and villages that became part of New York City under the Consolidation that took place in 1899. The 24th star represents New York City itself. Of those towns and villages that became part of New York City in 1899, eighteen of them had separate police departments that joined together to become part of the NYPD.

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Let’s take the Baltimore Police flag, strip it down to a blank, and build a flag that has meaning.

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To start, we took a simple white flag, which, by the way, even a simple white flag has meaning, but we are not ready to wave that flag just yet. First, we'll need to include what is called the "HOIST." Normally, the hoist is made of canvas or nylon material doubled or even tripled over and sewn onto itself, with two or more grommets added for strength and as a way to attach it to a flagpole. After the hoist, we’ll add a vertical stripe about the same thickness, maybe a little wider than that of the hoist but not as wide as any of the nine horizontal stripes we'll be adding in a moment. Next to the vertical stripe, we'll add nine horizontal stripes, one for each of our nine districts. Last but not least, we'll add a field in the upper left-hand corner of the flag. We'll also make a vertical flag version for special events and displays.

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Next to the Hoist, we added a Vertical Stripe 

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From there, we included nine Horizontal Stripes 

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Then we added a Field to the upper left corner 14 star slide 5

Then we started adding color and explaining what these colors meant. Let's first talk about something this flag should represent. Since a flag should have meaning, it should tell about our past, our present, and our future. To represent our past, we took the color from the 1970 flag and used it in four of the stripes on our proposed flag.

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The Past: As mentioned, the light blue comes from our old flag and will be used on four of the nine stripes, not just to represent our history, those who have served, those who have retired, and our old flag, but because our department initially had just four districts.

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The Present: The next four stripes alternate between light blue and dark blue, two down from the top and two up from the bottom. The dark blue stripes about the shade of our uniformed pants will represent our active police and the future, or those who will someday wear that Baltimore Police Blue on their trousers.14 star slide 10

After this, we filled in that 9th horizontal stripe with black to
represent, and never let us forget our fallen.

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Now for the vertical stripe that we put next to the hoist,
we colored that one red to represent our injured

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To start work on designing the "Field" in the upper left corner of the horizontal flag, or the top center of our vertical flag, we used the same dark blue that was used for the active officer's in the horizontal stripes. The "Field" will blanket the city with our motto. A motto that we have had since 1880 and whether you knew the words or just what they stood for, our officers since the day they were sworn in have always lived by a code that has had us Ever ReadyEver Faithful and Ever on the Watch

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As important to a flag as the colors and the stripes are the stars. We initially added 14 large stars representing our 14 seats of city council— good or bad, it represents those who took an oath to serve and protect those council districts—past, present, and future.

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Then we added our Baltimore Police patch, a patch that has built-in meaning, with a banner filled in with our 1880 motto, Ever on the Watch. This is so people will recognize right off the bat that this flag is the flag of their Baltimore Police Department Historical Society.

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Now going back to the stars and our Baltimore Police History, the 20-point badge, aka the 3rd ISSUE, was first worn in 1862 and had 20 points to represent the 20 wards our police served and protected. Here we added 14 large stars for the 14 council seats. We want to add smaller stars to represent the people that live in our city, those that lived in the city, or those that someday will. Again, we wanted to focus on the pastpresent, and future. It is not just the past, present, and future of our police; it should also include the past, present, and future of our city's residents, some of whom we had great relations with and others who were not so good. That is not to say that law-abiding people were always good, and criminals were always bad. There were many times when the roles of those who were law-abiding and the roles of those with criminal records were not what one might suspect they would be with their police. 

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Our intent was to offer this to the police department so our police flag might have meaning. But after all the work we put in, we felt it might be better to keep it as our historical society police flag. This will be the perfect flag to represent all that we represent—our past, our present, and our future.

NOTE: When Ken had a meeting with the last commissioner (Michael Harrison), he presented several of his ideas, and the commissioner said, while he liked the ideas, he doesn't make any decisions on his own; instead, he forms a committee, and after some consideration, they take a vote and either vote an idea in or pass on the idea. Needless to say, Ken was not thrilled. Here, the leader of a police department sends his men and women out on the streets to make split-second decisions that could cost them their lives. Men and women who don't have the benefit of a committee to help with lifesaving or life-threatening decisions. So, Ken put all his ideas in a folder and never met with PC Harrison again. He then took his flag design and the service ribbon idea to our committee, a committee of four, and asked what we thought about taking these two ideas and using them for our own. Adopting the flag as our own historical society's BPD flag and using the ribbon to make hat patches for our retired and active members to show their pride in their service to the city. Ken's committee worked differently than the former commissioners; in our case, Ken presented his two ideas and said, "I am going to initate this flag as the Baltimore Police Historical Society official police flag and this ribbon as our served with honor ribbon." Explaining what the stripes, stars, and colors in each meant, he asked if there were any objections. Well, considering that while the patch was being designed, it was discussed, changes were made, and the design was agreed upon, there were no objections there. Seeing as how the flag has so much meaning and is for a historical society, he again received no objections, and both the flag and service ribbon were adopted for our use on that day in 2019.


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Further Flag Research

During our research, we also learned that when hanging a horizontal flag vertically, someone will almost always hang that flag backward, or it will just naturally become backward through a window or door opening. So we made a vertical version of our proposed flag that can be used if needed. We just figured for the sake of completeness that it might be worth presenting, with this design giving us a version of our flag that cannot be hung wrong and would also serve our Honor Guard in a way that other flags have failed.25 star flag v

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Baltimore Police Service Ribbon
BPD Service ribbonBPD Service Ribbon
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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 pictures to 8138 Dundalk Ave., Baltimore, Md. 21222

Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History: Ret Det. Kenny Driscoll