Calvin McCleese

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Calvin McCleese

Calvin McCleese090 class


On 5 March 1989 – Retired Officer Calvin McCleese would die effecting an arrest in his neighborhood - For years the toll bridge at the end of Dundalk Ave in Baltimore County was closed, it sat unused and inoperable. Even longer than that it was under the watchful eye of one of our Department’s finest; Southeast District’s Officer Calvin McCleese lived on the corner of Dundalk Ave and Bullneck Rd. just across the street from the bridge and Watersedge Park, the ladies and gentlemen that collected tolls were safe from anyone trying to bring them harm. Even though its location is in the county, like his family, and his post, Officer McCleese protected his neighborhood. He had two sons Michael, and Jeff that would also grow up to be Police.

Calvin McCleese worked his entire career with the Baltimore Police Department all in the same area since his joining in 1957. He started out in Eastern District's Southeast Substation until 1958/59 when Southeast Station House on Eastern Ave. opened. The kind of police Calvin was; on 22 Jan 1970, while patrolling in Highland town, he grew suspicious of a car parked around the corner from The Chesapeake Federal Savings and Loan. Officer McCleese approached the car just as the car’s tag number was broadcast over his radio in a report about a bank robbery at The Chesapeake S&L. Officer McCleese pulled his handgun and single-handedly captured the two men in the car, one of which was armed with a sawed-off shotgun. But that was 1970, and that was the way Officer McCleese worked.

He retired from the department in 1985 and went on to be the typical retired police… He still looked out for his family and his neighborhood… until this day in 1989 when a vehicle being operated by a drunk driver either not knowing the bridge was closed, or just plain lost control, but it hit the bridge embankments, had an accident and his car burst into flames… Retired Officer McCleese ran to the driver’s aid, after breaking the windows and getting the driver out, the driver woke up. Fearing he would be arrested for DWI, and an out of state warrant he decided he would fight the man that just came to his aid and saved his life. Having just fought his way into a burning car, and getting a man out, then realizing the man was drunk, Officer McCleese wasn’t about to just let him go. So he fought back, subduing the individual until Baltimore County Police would show up on scene, laying on top of him pinning him down when police arrived and took over the arrest. Officer McCleese had had a heart attack which he would succumb to on scene. Officer McCleese had held on for as long as he could. His last action in his life was to first save a life, and then to effect an arrest of a drunk driver and wanted fugitive.

Those that knew him, knew how much he loved being a Baltimore Police Officer, the pride he had in wearing our badge, and while he had already been retired for a few years, he died on this day in 1989 doing what he loved best… serving his community. BTW, one of the ladies P/O McCleese was intent on guarding at that toll booth was his wife, Rebecca McCleese the mother of his two sons.

May he never be forgotten as "His service "Honored" the City of Baltimore and the Police Department" God bless and RIP

#‎BPDNeverForget‬

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Courtesy Jeff McCleese
Santa played by Officer Calvin McCleese

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Santa played by Officer Calvin McCleese with Joseph Avara

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Santa played by Officer Calvin McCleese

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His father Calvin McCleese

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POLICE INFORMATION

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

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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.

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

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

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

Last modified on Sunday, 03 May 2020 23:15
Baltimore Police Historical Society

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

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