Police Collections

Wednesday, 05 August 2020 23:37

From our Private Collections


1 black devider 800 8 72

Baltimore Police History

                                                                           

1 black devider 800 8 72

Donations

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 black devider 800 8 72

POLICE INFORMATION

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

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

Devider color with motto

NOTICE

How to Dispose of Old Police Items

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

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

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

Sleuths Have Masked the System

Monday, 13 July 2020 07:03

Masked Detectives Before the TWO WAY Mirror 1i

Sleuths Have Masked the System

1 red devider 800 8 72 stroke

First Prisoners Subjected to Ordeal Turns Pale

Wednesday, 29 July 1908

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

1 black devider 800 8 72

Police Use Spotlight - Pugilistic Aspirant Plants One Subjected to Ordeal

Friday, 31 July 1908

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

1 black devider 800 8 72

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

Sunday, 6 December 1908

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

1 black devider 800 8 72

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

21 April 1910

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

1 black devider 800 8 72

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

21 April 1910

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

1 black devider 800 8 72

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

Sunday, 13 Aug 1911

Special Dispatch to the Baltimore Sun

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

1 black devider 800 8 72

Alleged Theft Silent

7 December 1913

William Myers Fearless of Masked Detectives

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

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

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

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

1 black devider 800 8 72

For More Detectives

24 February 1919

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

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

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

Would put men on Mattie

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

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

1 black devider 800 8 72

Facing the Mask - Looking for Answers

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

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

detail3 pp8 585

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

detail5 pp8 585

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

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

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

1 black devider 800 8 72

Our Findings

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

1 black devider 800 8 72

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

1 black devider 800 8 72

Donations

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 black devider 800 8 72

POLICE INFORMATION

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

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

1 black devider 800 8 72

NOTICE

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 

Patrolman George Kessler

Saturday, 04 July 2020 04:05

Patrolman George Kessler

SOUTHERN DISTRICT TURNKEY
DIED SUDDENLY YESTERDAY

7 July 1918

George F. Kessler

Patrolman in the Southern District for 28 years and the Turnkey at the Southern Police Station since March of 1914, died about 2 o'clock yesterday [6 July 1918] afternoon. at his home, 1411 Patapsco street, of heart trouble and acute indigestion. He was 64 years old.

He had been in ill health for the past two years, and yesterday, while going home for dinner, he complained of feeling badly and wanting to lay down for a while. A doctor was summoned and after treating him said he would be all right and that he [the doctor] would return in a short time to see him. A few minutes after the doctor left Patrolman Kessler became much worse and died.

Patrolman Kessler was born in Baltimore in December of 1853, the son of Frederick and Elizabeth Kessler. His father Frederick was also member of the Baltimore Police Force and worked the old Southern District. Patrolman Kessler was appointed to the Force in June of 1886. He was a member of the Masons and the Heptasophs. He was survived by one sister [Miss Agnes Kessler] with whom he was living, and a granddaughter, Miss Sadie Kessler. 

No arrangements had been made for the funeral.

 

NOTE: In the line of the second paragraph above, "while going home to dinner" this tells us he was only on his dinner break, and then going back to work, a 10-44 lunch/dinner. Otherwise they would have simply said, he was going home. Never do they tell what someone is going home for, unless it is with the intent to come back. So, for that line alone, I do not believe he was off-duty, or at least completely off-duty, I think he was merely on his lunch/dinner break. To support this as line of duty, it said, "he complained of feeling badly" during the trip, or rather "while going home,and "wanting to lay down for a while" this was said during the trip home, and is an indication that he was feeling sick while on the job. He was going home for dinner and should have gone back, However, he was so sick that he wanted to lay down. A doctor was summoned, responded and gave him a good prognosis. He of course died not long after the doctor left, the wording in the article lets us know the heart attack that took his life began, while he was on his way home for his dinner break started while he was still on the job and in service. Given the, "To and From," for a line of duty, to us it seems he died while on his dinner break during his tour of duty and therefore this should have been listed as a line of duty or, on the Job Death.
  
1 black devider 800 8 72

The Balto Sun Sun Jul 7 1918 72


 To See Full Size Article Click the Pic Above or HERE

1 black devider 800 8 72

More Details

NameDescription
End of Watch 7 July 1918
City, St. 1411 Patapsco street
Panel Number N/A
Cause of Death Heart Attack
District Worked Southern
1 black devider 800 8 72

Donations

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 black devider 800 8 72

POLICE INFORMATION

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

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

Devider color with motto

NOTICE

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 

 

Lieutenant Charles H McClean

Friday, 03 July 2020 03:34

Lieutenant Charles H McClean

Police Force Mourns

9 July 1918

Eight Lieutenants to be Pallbearers for Lieutenant McClean. The Police Force of Baltimore united today in mourning the death of Lieutenant Charles H McClean, of the Northern District who shot and killed himself yesterday [8 July 1918] afternoon at his home, 2018 West Fayette Street. Arrangements for the funeral, to be conducted by the police Department, are being made Captain Hurley, of the Northern District, After a conference with Mrs. McClean, it was arranged that eight lieutenant, one from each district, will form an escort. His body was taken to hi home this morning from Franklin Square Hospital, where he was hurried when found yesterday. A steady stream of callers came to the house expressing sympathy to Mrs. McClean. Members of the family are now positive that mental derangements, caused by fear of another attack of paralysis, was responsible for the suicide.

 The Evening Sun Tue Jul 9 1918 Lt McClean suicide72

 For Full Size Article Click the Above Pic or HERE

1 black devider 800 8 72

More Details

NameDescription
End of Watch 8 July 1918
City, St. 2018 West Fayette St
Panel Number N/A
Cause of Death Suicide
District Worked Northern
 
1 black devider 800 8 72

Donations

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 black devider 800 8 72

POLICE INFORMATION

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

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

Devider color with motto

NOTICE

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 

Sgt. Benjamin Graham

Tuesday, 16 June 2020 06:22

Sgt. Benjamin Graham

Obituaries

The Baltimore Sun - Monday - 17 June 1895

17 June 1895

Sgt. Benjamin Graham, a retired member of the Baltimore Police Department died yesterday [16 June 1895] at his home, located at 2010 Canton Ave. He was in the seventy-sixth year of his life. He had been on the police department's retired list since, 22 April 1880. His death came as the result of a complication caused by troubles, which were brought about by injuries received while he was in active duty. While on duty eleven years earlier Sgt Graham was badly injured after being struck by a coasting sleigh. It was those injuries that caused his retirement from the force and subsequently ended his life. At the time of his service, he was assigned to the Eastern District, of which he had done the last thirteen years of his service.

The Sergeant had an eventful career. He was born in Somerset County, Md. and started out early in his youth to become, a sailor. In his sea-faring years, he was shipwrecked twice, sailed around Cape Horn half a dozen times, and made a circuit of the world once. When eighteen years old he was on the bark Mary Kimball, which was wrecked In mid-ocean and whose crew drifted about for several days in the ship's life boat until rescued by an English bark and landed at Liverpool. He also served on the ships Governor Davis, Mary Anne, Richard Cobden, and the French bark Lillia, of Marseille, between the time of his first wreck and 1845. In that year he went to New Orleans in the transport ship America, from which port she took troops to Vera Cruz for the Mexican War. He was in the Baltimore clipper-ship Republic when she was wrecked, in 1848 off the coast of Ireland. After that, he was in ships in the South American trade, and sailed around to the Pacific, then came back East and entered as second mate vessels that ran in the China trade. Next, he tried his luck in the California gold fields for about eight months and then came back to Baltimore.

In 1857 Sergeant Graham was appointed on The Baltimore Police Department, where he remained until after the April Riots, with the Massachusetts Troops as they were passing through Baltimore on the 19th of April 1861. He was compelled to resign owning to political differences, but in 1867 was reappointed to the force and was made a sergeant, serving until his retirement. Sgt. Graham was married twice, his second wife and seven children survive him. Mr. George W. Graham, an employee of the Baltimore Post Office, is his son.

.1 black devider 800 8 72

 Sergeant Benjamin Graham died from complications of injuries sustained approximately 11 years earlier when he was struck by a coasting sleigh while on duty.

The injuries caused him to medically retire on April 22nd, 1886. He never fully recovered and he died on June 16th, 1895, after developing gangrene and septicemia as a result of the initial injury.

The exact date and location where the injury occurred are not known.

Sergeant Graham had served with the Baltimore City Police Department for a total of 23 years. He was survived by his second wife and seven children.

Prior to joining the police department in 1857, Sergeant Graham served as a sailor and had been shipwrecked twice.

 

1 black devider 800 8 72The Baltimore Sun Mon Jun 17 1895 Line of duty72

Click the Above Pic to See Full Size Article or Click HERE
1 black devider 800 8 72

More Details

NameDescription
End of Watch 16 June 1895
City, St. 2010 Canton Ave
Panel Number N/A
Cause of Death  Complications from LODI
District Worked Eastern
1 black devider 800 8 72

Donations

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 black devider 800 8 72

POLICE INFORMATION

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

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

Devider color with motto

NOTICE

How to Dispose of Old Police Items

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

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

 

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

Baltimore Espantoons

Saturday, 23 May 2020 15:08

Baltimore Protest Painting 72Courtesy Eli Alaman
22 February 1941 Strike, Baltimore Police
Digital Painting by Ken

Espantoon

Espantoon Info/History

Webster's Third Edition: defines an espantoon as follows; "An espantoon In Baltimore, a policeman's club" We would like to start out by saying we collect nightsticks, espantoons, batons, truncheons, billy clubs etc. - If you have one for sale, or that you would like to donate, please, let us know as we are interested.  For what might be obvious reasons we particularly like the Baltimore espantoon. Aside from their being the stick carried by our brothers/sisters in law enforcement, they also show a progression not just in what we carried, or had made, but what the department had made for us and issued to us. That said, while we like Baltimore sticks, we collect all sticks, from any state in the US, to any country in the world.

We have always been serious about the Espantoon, and why Baltimore City Police are the only police department in the world that uses an espantoon? Also, why if a Baltimore County Officer and a Baltimore City Officer both have their sticks made by the same guy (let's say Nightstick Joe) why would one guy's stick is a baton or nightstick, and the other is an Espantoon? We talked to several old-timers over the years asking about the nomenclature of our Espantoon. We were told over and over, that the part that looks like the handle at the top is actually not the handle and is called the, "Barrel Head" next to that is the, "Thong Groove," the "Ring Stop" and the "Shaft." The word, "Barrel Head," might be a mispronunciation that if correctly pronounced, may have solved this riddle much earlier, but we worked with what we had! For years we knew the difference, we just couldn't find the words to explain it. That was until reading a newspaper article one night, when Ken read the question asked  by the reporter, it was a question that flipped the switch in Ken's mind, and once it was, it was like the old saying, "It couldn't be unseen!" Now it seems we had more ways to describe, or answer the question, So what was the 1970's newspaper man's question, he asked, "If a Baltimore City Officer gifts his Espantoon to a Baltimore County Officer, is it still an espantoon?" The answer in Ken's eyes was, No, and as odd as it may sound like so many police issues, it all comes down to training. For years when asked, what makes an Espantoon, an Espantoon, the satisfactory answer was, "Webster's 3rd edition dictionary says it is!" That has not been acceptable to us, so we dug further, reading every newspaper article, every general order and every policy. Doing so gave us what we think is the truest of answers. Baltimore turns a nightstick into an Espantoon because what looks like a "Handle" is the "Barrel Head," (most likely originally pronounced, "Burl Head") whereas everywhere else in the world the part that looks like a handle, is a handle, but in Baltimore City, we turn the stick around, and that handle looking part is the striking end. If a City and County Officer traded sticks, they would each take their new stick and use it according to their training, one having a nightstick with a handle, the other having an espantoon with a burl head. That, is what makes, a Nightstick, an Espantoon. What follows is some supporting documentation on the subject.  

As for the old answer to; What makes an espantoon? A name for a nightstick that is only used by the Baltimore police. — Here, is the old answer, from that pages of Webster's 3rd edition;

Webster

We had a difficult time explaining what made an espantoon an espantoon, until reading that 1970's Sun Paper, newspaper article that asked, "If a Baltimore City officer gave his espantoon to a county officer, would it still be an espantoon?" This single question, sparked the answer. that we've known for years, but had trouble wording our answer into words for a reasonable explanation. By the way, the answer to the Sun paper's question is, No! - If a city officer gave his espantoon to a county officer, his espantoon, would become a nightstick, and would no longer be an espantoon. Here's why. Baltimore Police Department's General Orders, or what today is known as Baltimore Police "Policy," specifically in Policy number 1111, the espantoon is defined as follows; A wooden Baton between 22-25 inches in length, with the striking end of the baton being between 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 inches in diameter, and the grip end being 1-3/8 inches in diameter. For those that might not be too strong in math, 1-1/2 - 1-3/4 inches, is greater than, 1-3/8 inches. Meaning the way we hold and use a baton/nightstick is what makes it an espantoon, other agencies do not hold, or use a baton in this manner, and that is what makes the espantoon unique to a Baltimore Police officer. But, what if the county officer turns it around, won't that make it an espantoon, well in theory it would except, in Baltimore City this can be done and remain within the officer's training, in the county the officer would be going against his, or her training and therefore, not only would it not be an espantoon, but the officer could be charged and lose his or her job. So part of it not just that we turn it around, part of it, is that it is within our agencies rules and our training that we use it this way. Ed Bremer a wood worker that turned espantoons for city police once said, has saved lives, because of the escalation of weapons, the espantoon comes just before the handgun, so by using it it has ended the need to step up to the firearm.  For the record, the espantoon is not just used as a striking weapon, it is also used to jab, and to pry, so one could pry a suspect arms behind their back rather than strike their arms, jabbing in the stomach rather than swinging it like a baseball bat actually works better and ends the need to move up to the firearm, and Mr Bremer said, "this saves lives!"

 

burrell BarrellWoodworkers that Turned Baltimore Espantoons
1939 / 2007

1939 / 1957 – Rev W. Gibbs McKenney - Made BPD Issue - Sold to Howard Uniform - 10,000 hickory 2,000 redwood over 20 yrs

1957 / 1977 – Rev. John D.  Longenecker - Made BPD Issue - Sold to Howard Uniform - 10,000 hickory 2,000 redwood over 20 yrs

1955 / 1979 – Carl Hagen - Made BPD Issue & his own Stick - Sold to Howard Uniform and Officers - 2.000 various wood types over 24 yrs

1974 / 1977 – Edward Bremer - Made his own Stick – Sold to Officers - 300 various wood types over 3 yrs

1977 / 2007 – P/O Joe Hlafka - Made his own Stick - Sold to Officers and Police Supply Shops - 10,000 various wood types over 37 yrs

 

1 black devider 800 8 72

 IMG 6520

Courtesy Robert Oros
Nice espantoon picture showing a nice Baltimore Police Espantoon.
Also notice it is held at the shaft with the Barrel Head / Striking end out

10 July 1979 Espantoon 72

Above is the article that best helped me put my answer into words about what makes an espantoon an espantoon. To read the full article, click on the pic above and it will take you to the article, you can click on it after it opens if you need to zoom in.

1 black devider 800 8 72

Do our sticks measure up?

The Evening Sun Mon Jul 23 1956 espantoon72

1 black devider 800 8 72

ESPANTOON NOMENCLATURE72

The blue portion of the espantoon in the above illustration is most often mistaken as the handle of the stick, but is actually the striking end. It is called a, Barrel Head, this most likely comes as the result of an error in pronunciation, as in many blunt force weapons, the striking end is called a, "Burl Head."  As in the Tomahawk, and other such weapons the blunt end can either be added, or carved into the weapon. But here in Baltimore with years of mispronunciation and a slight southern drawl, Burl sounds more like, Barrel. So Burl Head, became Barrel Head. A funny thing to add to this is that shape of the espantoon's burl head is also kind of shaped like a wine barrel, which added to the error. Now, in the way the JEEP a military vehicle that also has ties to Baltimore has a name that was derived from the letters G.P. for General Purpose. G.P. said often enough, and fast enough took on the sound of JEEP and long before it was manufactured and marketed as the JEEP it became JEEP and would have with or without the JEEP's we know been forever called a Jeep, likewise, the Burl Head on the striking end of our espantoon will now and forever be called a Barrel Head

1 black devider 800 8 72

An illustration with key to show the often mistaken handle, which is in fact the striking end.

Nomenclature to the Espantoon

Nomenclature of the Espantoon

To be clear about the barrel-head and other parts of the espantoon we took a, Joseph "Nightstick Joe" Hlafka, espantoon and painted the various parts using a color key and the nomenclature with color key. Using BLUE for the barrel-head, or burl-head above we can see how the barrel-head could be confused for a handle. We can also see how some old-timers might think it resembles a wine barrel, an believed it could be why it was so named. When I was a young officer being told the parts, the old-timer actually said, "This is called the barrel head, if you look you can see it look like an old wine barrel." If we look at the part painted YELLOW we see what is known as the, "thong groove," this where we weave a leather tong, the groove serves to keep the leather strap/thong from slipping off the stick. Under the, thong groove, we see a part we have painted GREY this aside from being part of the, "thong groove," is known as the, "Ring stop," and is used to prevent the espantoon from sliding through the nightstick ring on an officers belt. Under the, "ring stop," is the "shaft, we left this stained the color of the stick, until we reach the , "Grip" on some sticks the grip, can be turned into the stick, but most often it is just the part of the stick we feel most comfortable catching it at. It could be balanced differently for everyone. In the picture we can see the Thong or strap, this too, is used differently, for me I like to loop it over my ring finger, I have seen some look it over their middle finger, other over their entire hand kind of around all fingers. So we all have to try it different ways to see what is best for us.

Looking at the Pictures below, we can see that by paying attention to what we are doing we can carry an espantoon in a way that keeps the barrel-head at our ready, Tucked under the weak-arm with the grip end extending out toward the officer's back, leaves the grip-end ready for the officer to grab/grip with his/her strong hand in the event that it might be needed. In photo A) we see it is in the officer's strong-hand, with the thong over a finger of the strong hand, if needed, he could turn his hand downward, allowing the stick to slide out under its own weight until it is stopped by the strap. Which would put the stick in his hand by the grip-end with the striking-end out, and at the ready. Picture B) is as described above, tucked under the weak-arm, ready to be grabbed with the strong-hand at the grip-end, which would leave the striking-end again, at the ready. Pictures C) and D) are similar in that the stick is held in the strong-hand, with the thong over a finger, and the stick held at the halfway point, or so, with the striking-end pointing forward, allowing the officer to simply loosen their grip while the stick slides forward until the thong stops it from sliding, and the stick would be ready for use. The important thing about picture D) is that the stick is behind the officer's back, so while he is ready, he is not doing anything that could be seen as a threatening move. We can now see why, these 4 pictures are a nice representation of how an officer can always be ready to protect himself, or the public, but not walk around in a way that might be seen as threatening. 

ESP means to Carry at the ready labled 72i

NOTE; We included a few Non-Baltimore Police pics just to see how other agencies carry their batons/nightsticks, etc. and how when you carry it the way we carry ours, before long when you see others carrying them upside down, and backward, it kinda jumps out to us as odd. This will provide a nice educational moment for those that might be interested and maybe a little humor for those that don't get it or understand.  

 

esp an toon EDITED

 

In the above picture the letter "A" is marking off the portion of the stick known as the barrel-head. Notice how much cleaner the middle of the barrel-head is when compared to the shaft, especially the part of the shaft we have marked with the letter "B." The section we have marked with the letter "C" has a line at the top and a line at the bottom, this area, we marked as area "C" has a lot of dirty hand marks, but it is not as dirty as the section we have marked with the letter "B." To us, this shows the Officer handled it often down around that section marked "B," which could be an indication that this Officer spun this stick as he walked his post. The constant catch and release of a stick while twirling it would put that portion of the stick in the hand most often. A stick with a light stain and no clear coat will absorb oil from the hands, then pick up and retain the most dirt.  Especially when there is no swivel, and the stick has to be caught and released more often to keep it going while preventing it from tangling up onto itself. Then if we look at the stick between the portion marked "C," we can see the stick was carried most likely in the strong-hand. Some guys learned to spin/twirl in their weak-hand, many just use their strong-hand. So this helps us not only date the stick, but also prove how it was handled, and every hand print strengthens our feelings that this was a Baltimore issued espantoon that was spun by a Baltimore officer, because other agencies do not allow an officer to carry and espantoon, the way a Baltimore police officer would.

Taking a look at the photo before this, the one where the Officer is seen in four variations, we'll see his hand is most often held in the center of the shaft. Now we have to add to the holding of the stick, at the shaft, to what happened when the stick is actually used, either to strike someone, to jab someone, or to pry their arm, perhaps, behind their back or from being wrapped around someone's neck or body. It also works to put someone in an Arm bar, and then to either walk them to the wagon, or to cuff them when they are resisting an officer's attempts to subdue them. As long as it is resisting with an intent to flee, rather than resisting while assaulting the Officer, determines how an officer reacts. This means an officer's actions, are often reactions driven by the subject being arrested.

We'll retake a look at these pics and others to see better what is meant by, "carried at the shaft." if we look a the four picture group, in particular, the second picture, the one marked with the letter "B," we'll see how the stick was most often tucked up under the Officer's weak-arm. Unlike the picture most guys saw, including myself, once the stick was tucked under the weak-arm, the strong-hand reaches up and across to hold the stick at that section earlier marked with the letter "C," in the "A, B, C' picture. My favorite picture is below showing an officer getting back into his car, in it we see his hand at the grip end of the shaft, and the barrel-head extended forward.

oros20000260A

Courtesy Eli Alaman
22 February 1941 Strike, Baltimore Police

Looking at the back of the Officer closest to us, we can see where his Espantoon comes from under his arm confirming that even in the 1930s the "barrel head," end was the striking out. Showing that as far back as the 30's Officer held the stick by the shaft, striking with the Barrel Head.

Strike Baltimore 1930s 2

Courtesy Eli Alaman
22 February 1941 Strike, Baltimore Police

If we look closely at the officer furthest to the right, we can see he has his stick with the Barrel head out, this is how Ken carried it when he was at rest. This allowed him to simply tilt his hand forward allowing the stick to slide down until it was where he wanted it in his hand then grip it so it would be ready in the event someone was closing in on him or his partners. Most often the thong/strap would be looped over his ring finger so when it reached the end of the strap, it would stop and he tightened his grip to hold it at the perfect position for him. With the head forward, if he needed to, he could have quickly used it to jab a suspect that is closing in on him. Jabbing was less violent than Striking. But either striking or jabbing was determined by the actions of the suspect advancing in on an officer. They used to teach, "Reasonable and Prudent," what would a reasonable and prudent person do, and if a person decided they could attack and officer, then of course the officer had every right to defend himself. 

Striking street cleaners on West Lexington Street February 22 1941 Photo by Eli AdalmanCourtesy Eli Alaman
22 February 1941 Strike, Baltimore Police

Spinning espantoonCourtesy Eli Alaman
22 February 1941 Strike, Baltimore Police

Take a look at the officer in the bubble, he is spinning his espantoon on the end of the thong/strap, very nice picture giving the year of the pic (1941) it is nice to see it being done so long ago. This pic was taken by Eli Alaman

Strike Baltimore 1930s 3

Courtesy Eli Alaman
22 February 1941 Strike, Baltimore Police

Taking a look at the motor's officer walking toward the right side of the pic, he is holding the stick at the bottom of the shaft, with the barrel head out front and away from his hand, looking close you can see, he is one of the guys that carved the barrel head so it was no longer convex, a lot of guys would reshape their espantoon to make it unique to them.

oros20000260A

Courtesy Robert Oros
Nice espantoon picture showing a nice Baltimore Police issued espantoon.
Looking more closely we can also see he had a swivel added to the thong.

1 black devider 800 8 72

ESP held in check dropped shadow 72

This is a most commonly used "Striking-position," it is also a catch, and or release position of holding the stick when spinning/twirling the espantoon.

The Evening Sun Wed Jul 5 1961 pink ribbons and Espantoons 72

1861 Baltimore Police dressed in plain clothes and were distinguished by 
a pink ribbon on their left lapel, and an espantoon in their hands 

CLICK HERE OR ON PIC ABOVE FOR FULL SIZE ARTICLE

The Baltimore Sun Fri Jun 28 1861

This clipping was taken from a 28 June 1861 Sun paper. Notice it says
"New Police force was appointed in the several districts, under military authority..."  
"Newly appointed policemen were designated by a Pink Ribbon, and
they carried the usual Police Club" which in 
Baltimore is the Espantoon

TO SEE FULL PAGE CLICK HERE OR ON THE ABOVE ARTICLE 

1 black devider 800 8 72

 DSC5193

Reverend McKenney and Reverend Longenecker

This is one of the old Baltimore Police Department issued espantoons made between 1937 and 1977 by either Rev W. Gibbs McKenney or the Rev. John D. Longenecker an interesting meeting occurred when after years of the elder reverend [McKenney] turned police sticks for Howard Uniform to be distributed to men of the Baltimore Police, the reverend was set to retire, As such he listed his tools for sale. By the time the second reverend [Longenecker] saw the listing the tools were gone, Reverend McKenney had decided to and already given his tools to a boys school, but he told the second reverend, if he was interested and could gather the necessary tools, he would help get him the Howard Uniform Espantoon Contract, not long after that the two reverends were together with the senior reverend teaching the junior reverend his tricks for turning the Baltimore Espantoon. The younger reverend had been turning chair parts on a lathe since he was a small boy working at his family's furniture-making business in PA (it was his job to turn the rails for the chairs his father, and older brothers were making.) So, he picked up the pattern fast, and best of all he was able to turn them from memory. Well, I am told by a family member that he didn't use a pattern, he just hung the one stick he got from Reverend McKenney on a wall not far from his lathe and they were all pretty close to the same. If I remember correctly the second Reverend said it took him 1 hour to do a stick at first but by the time, he was ready to start, he was able to turn them at the much faster rate of 3 to 4 of them in that same hour.

1 black devider 800 8 72

ESP means to Carry at the ready labled 72i

We have and will continue to see this picture on the site, look where the stick is most often held, and we'll see why the hand-prints are where they are, and how this is a Baltimore thing. Obviously this doesn't just go for this stick, go get your stick, or the next time you pick up a stick, at a flea market, or antique store, pick it up and look for these tell tail signs. After all no other agency, not only had their officers turn a nightstick around and use the handle as the business end, but if we read our general orders we see several lines describing the various batons allowed in use by the department, when they describe the espantoon it is described as follows. espantoon — wooden baton between 22-25 inches in length, with the striking end of the baton being between 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 inches in diameter, and the grip end being 1-3/8 inches in diameter. This baton has color restrictions and shall only be coated in an Oak, Ash, Maple, Hickory or Rosewood finish. Decorations are prohibited.

NOTE: We are not saying we won't find marks where officers from other agencies didn't carry their batons at the shaft, what we are saying is, in most cases where the stick is not a straight stick, and does have a handle, the handle will not be as clean as the Baltimore espantoon's barrel-head.

To better understand what makes an Espantoon, an Espantoon, we have to take into consideration, what is the different between, a nightstick carried in New York, Chicago, Philly or by any other police officer in any other police department anywhere in this country. Basically, other than Chicago that had a unique turning pattern to their baton’s handle, that could help identify it as a Chicago stick. Baltimore may not have a pattern for optional officer self purchased sticks, the issued sticks were the same design from 1937 to 1992. Before 1937, the sticks were not much different, the craftsmanship was slightly better looking. Put either the older versions or the more modern version on a table with other batons from around the world, and a Baltimore baton could easily be picked from the crowd of sticks.

1 black devider 800 8 72

Below are Some Baltimore Police Issued Espantoons

 DSC5218

1920's Baltimore Police Issue

21317920 10211220883901382 1881911624495296007 n

Issued Stick 1937 - 1977
Rev. W. Gibbs McKenney & Rev. John D. Longenecker

Stick 1

Issued Stick 1937 - 1977
Rev. W. Gibbs McKenney & Rev. John D. Longenecker

 DSC5193

Issued Stick 1937 - 1977
Rev. W. Gibbs McKenney & Rev. John D. Longenecker

 DSC5119

Issued Stick 1937 - 1977
Rev. W. Gibbs McKenney & Rev. John D. Longenecker 

 DSC5179

Issued Stick 1937 - 1977
Rev. W. Gibbs McKenney & Rev. John D. Longenecker 

Espantoon

Courtesy David Eastman

Look at the officer's espantoon seen on the right side of this pic, and notice how it is carried, held in his right hand with the thong ran through his fingers, and the barrel head out as he is gripping it by the shaft of the espantoon. This pic is taken in the early 1900's but we can clearly see he carries it the way it is carried today, indicating the striking end back then, was as it was in the 1960's and 1970's when Ken's uncles walked a beat in Baltimore, and the 1980/90's when Ken walked a beat in Baltimore. The striking end in Baltimore would be considered the handle to all other jurisdictions, and if other departments used it the way Baltimore did, it was only Baltimore that had it in the officer's general orders that the striking end was the wider end of the baton, the handle in Baltimore is the thinner end, the end known here as the "Shaft."

 DSC5172

Issued Stick 1937 - 1977
Rev. W. Gibbs McKenney & Rev. John D. Longenecker 
This has one edge shaved flat so it would stay in place without popping out every time we turn a sharp corner or hit a pothole. The flat spot helps keep it in place when it's forced between the dashboard padding and the transmission hump.

 DSC5181

Issued Stick 1937 - 1977
Rev. W. Gibbs McKenney & Rev. John D. Longenecker
There was a time in the mid 50's that officers would shave the Barrel Head of their Espantoon
Taking it from convex to flat/straight then add or re-cut grooves in the new Barrelhead 

72 DSC5243

Issued Stick 1937 - 1977
Rev. W. Gibbs McKenney & Rev. John D. Longenecker 
 This is another case of someone attempting to straighten the convex, "Barrel-Head" 

 DSC6171987

Issued Stick 1987 

This was issued to me on 17 June 1987 when I was hired and sworn in

 DSC5119

 Issued Stick 1937 - 1977
Rev. W. Gibbs McKenney & Rev. John D. Longenecker 

 DSC5140

Issued Stick 1937 - 1977
Rev. W. Gibbs McKenney & Rev. John D. Longenecker 

 DSC5131

Jim Brock
Perfection Collection
Rev. W. Gibbs McKenney & Rev. John D. Longenecker Model
Circa 2015 

 DSC5183 Non-Issue Stick 1937 - 1977
Rev. W. Gibbs McKenney & Rev. John D. Longenecker

Stick 2

Non-Issued Stick 1937 - 1977
Rev. W. Gibbs McKenney & Rev. John D. Longenecker

 DSC5138

Carl Hagen turned sold through Howard Uniform
circa 1965

 DSC5203

Carl Hagen

This is an early Carl Hagen Stick, it came while he was still turning them to the size of an issue stick, and isn't too far off of the standard issue stick, he just added a few things to make it stand out from the issue stick, the barrel-head is a little over sized and it is turned from an oak. 

1img169

P/O Raymond Wheatley holding a Carl Hagen stick, notice how Carl rounded the tops of his sticks, this is a nice old stick. Also, notice how Officer Wheatley picked up a small child to help him better see a parade that he had attended, but couldn't enjoy over the crowd. Officer Wheatley not only gave the kid a lift, bought him a cup of soda too. 

 DSC5137

Carl Hagen
1955 - 1979

This is one of Carl's first unique designs, it was done solely by him and became a popular design from his sticks. In the next pic, we'll see Officer Ray Wheatley holding a Carl Hagen Espantoon, it is more of an issue cut, but with a modern (at the time) cut, the cut that ended up being refined into the sticks we saw turned by Ed Bremer and Joe Hlafka.

 DSC5136

Jim Brock
Perfection Collection
Carl Hagen Model
Circa 2015

 DSC5127

Jim Brock
Perfection Collection Thin Blue Line Stick
Carl Hagen Model
Circa 2015 

 DSC5206

Prior to Issued Sticks 1954 - 1960
Rev. W. Gibbs McKenney & Carl Hagen

At some point when McKenney had retired from turning sticks, he had donated his lathe and tools to a boy's school out west, and before meeting Reverend Longenecker, McKenney he had met Carl Hagen and showed him how to turn sticks, for whatever reason, Carl turned some sticks for Howard Uniform, he just didn't get the 500+ stick a year contracts from Howard Uniform that the Reverends McKenney & Longenecker received.

 DSC5117

Carl Hagen
1955 - 1979 

 DSC5112

Jim Brock
Perfection Collection Lignum vitae #001 Stick
Lignum vitae is on top 10 lists of hardest woods

depending on the list it is either 2nd or 4th
One might be how dense the wood is, while the other might be
how dense the guy/gal is that is trying to spelling Lignum Vitae
Joe Hlafka Model
Circa 2015 

 DSC5130

Ed Bremer
1974 - 1977

 DSC5106

Jim Brock
Edward Bremer Model
Circa 2015  

 DSC5111

1977 - 2007
P/O Joe Hlafka 

 DSC5129

Joe Hlafka

1987 - I bought this from Joe Hlafka direct, apparently someone ordered it, paid half down and before it was done they found their stick and told Joe, they didn't need it anymore, could he sell it to someone for the remainder of the balance, I was the lucky guy that talked to Joe about a stick, and he gave me the stick for $12.00. I have replaced the thong twice, had it, "I say" stolen once, the guy that took it, called it, "found". How you can find an espantoon in the trunk of a patrol car, and not think it must belong to someone. Not to mention DRISCOLL is written around the stick in blue sharpie by the Ring Stop - Anyway, it is a 30 plus-year-old stick. BTW I stopped the kid as he was going out to his post, so I loan it to him for the shift, and told him to get it back to me, "in my hand," the next day. I couldn't send him on the streets without a stick.

 DSC5169

I Turned this Myself 

1990 - I put the extra groove on the shaft because after carrying it for a day or two I realized the stick felt good, weight was nice, but the shaft was too think to hold on while swinging it, So I taped the thong to the barrel-head with Duct tape, and put the stick back on the lathe and shaved a hand-grip in the shaft. After shaving the shaft to a comfortable grip, I was done, pulled the tape, and it was a spinner, or umm, I mean a winner, 

72 irish DSC5119

Irish Shillelagh

This is to point out the striking part of this weapon, that blunt looking rock, or fist shaped portion at the end of this weapon, and any blunt force weapon is called the "Burl-Head". On the Espantoon the blunt striking end resembles, and is often mistaken for the weapon's handle is called the "Barrel-Head." Most likely stemming from a misunderstanding caused by Baltimore's southern drawl, or bad "accent," causing a listener to misunderstand what a speaker may have said, Burl-head to thinking the speaker said, "Barrel-head." In 1987 when an old timer told me, he even pointed to the shape and, said, this is because this looks like an old wine barrel. Truth be told, it wasn't a barrel at all, it's a burl.

Carl Hagen 1957 77s

Barrel Head

This is the Barrel-head of one of Carl Hagen's early sticks - This Rounded off top end was exclusive to Carl Hagen, and was found more on the West side of Baltimore than the East. The East-side Espantoons saw more of a two or three tiered layers each with a hard edge that sat atop the espantoon like a crown on top the barrel head end of the stick. If we look at Carl's earlier stuff, he had a two or three-tiered top edge also, but it wasn't a hard edge. Carl had a super soft, smooth transition going tier to tier on the barrel head.

Ed Bremer 1974 77s

Barrel Head

This is the Barrel-head from one of Ed Bremer's early sticks, he put what he called a "Nib" on the top of all his Barrel head. Mr. Bremer felt he saved lives, both of Officers and Suspects because as he once said, "Nightsticks Save Lives, Preventing Officers from a need to escalate from hand-to-hand combat to the use of a firearm." The faster we can get a suspect into cuffs the safer it is for both the officer and the suspect. This stick is turned from Lignum vitae, a wood that was banned by the department as it was too heavy, hard and they felt could cause serious injury or death.

 7 grooves Espantoon

The Barrel-head of Baltimore's Issued Espantoon 

Interesting Theory, The last design of Baltimore's issued espantoon came when Reverend John D. Longenecker started turning them for Howard Uniform in 1957. If we look. we'll see the Reverend turned seven grooves in the barrel-head of his version of our espantoon. Some officers at the time of the change took notice and while there is no proof, and it can not be verified, they felt it was because we only had seven districts at the time. In 1957 we only had seven districts as we didn't get the Southeastern District until 1959, and the Western district was shut down in 1951 and didn't reopen until around the same time Southeast District opened. So for many years we only had 7 districts. If we go back far enough we'll see we started with just 4 districts, and that number fluctuated several times over the years. So the number of districts we have had throughout our department's history has been fluid. But at the time Reverend Longenecker started turning the espantoon, we had just seven districts. Could that be the reason he turned the seven grooves into the barrel-head of his version of Baltimore's espantoon, or was it just coincidence?

 

Our Espantoon Collection

 

1 black devider 800 8 72

BALTIMORE POLICE DEPARTMENT TRAINING BULLETIN

Guidelines EDWARD T. NORRIS POLICE COMMISSIONER

December 12, 1987

Revised / Reviewed - August 2002 Vol. 12, No. 10

ESPANTOON HISTORY The espantoon according to Webster’s Dictionary is: “in Baltimore; a policeman’s nightstick.” The term is a derivative of the word “Spontoon” that dates back to the weapon and symbol of authority the Officers of the Roman Legions carried.. In 1784 Baltimore appointed paid police officers. From that time until the middle 1960's when the department switched to motorized patrol units the sight of the officer “walking the beat” was a commonplace reassurance. One of the most unique elements of a foot patrol officer in any large East Coast American City was their ability to twirl the “nightstick” until it literally danced. Obviously then, as now, the espantoon is a defensive weapon. The purpose of twirling the espantoon was multifold. The days before the portable two-way radio, the officer was alone and the “twirling” created and protected a “personal zone.” Another benefit of twirling the espantoon was that a familiarity was gained with the “stick” that developed confidence carrying the espantoon. The espantoon was also used for communications. A rapid tapping of the espantoon signaled a warning to others or a call for help. A flip of the espantoon, falling free of the hand striking the concrete, created a unique “ring.” Even today foot patrol officers use this technique to signal each other. It is extremely effective on quiet nights. Even when “tapped” in a large crowd, usually another officer is the only one to notice. Training Guideline Vol. 12, No. 10 Page - 2 - Departmental regulations allow an officer to substitute a personally purchased espantoon for the one issued by the department, provided the substitute is similar in size, composition and design to the issued equipment. The departmental issued espantoon is 22" long by 1 1/4" in diameter and is solid wood. There is a handle on one end with a groove to attach a leather strap or thong. The thong extends from the groove to the bottom of the espantoon.

COME-ALONG AND HANDCUFFING ASSIST TECHNIQUE There are a variety of uses for the espantoon as a come-along or to assist in the handcuffing of an arrestee. Most are too complicated to describe briefly here. A key element to all of these techniques is for the officer to retain control of the espantoon at all times. The espantoon is primarily used as a lever to add power (torque) to the officers hand and arm movement. The speed of the top of the espantoon is essential. Bring the espantoon (with one hand) in a cocked position and strike forward in a slashing move. Make sure the wrist is snapped forward to accelerate the top two inches of the espantoon for maximum power. Do not snap back after impact. Follow through across your body. If a second immediate strike is required, deliver it in a back hand method, again snapping the wrist for maximum power.

JABBING AREAS AND TECHNIQUE To jab an assailant with the espantoon is an alternative method of stopping an assault to gain control. Jabbing is especially effective in close quarter confrontations such as a small hallway or in a large crowd. This would include any situation where “swinging” the espantoon would not be effective and/or would endanger others. The most effective target area for using a jab is the stomach area. A jab with the espantoon when carried in a single hand short reach position, is very effective against a sudden assault. A jab in the single hand long reach position has limited applications, such as keeping a subject or assailant at bay. The most effective jabbing technique is utilizing both hands. One hand close to the top of the espantoon while having the other hand at the bottom; gun away from the assailant. The technique is identical to using a bayonet on a rifle. Step forward to the assailant thrusting the end of the espantoon in the stomach area while lifting upwards. Both maneuvers are done with power. Training Guideline Vol. 12, No. 7 Page - 3 - Historically, most officers have made or purchased their own espantoons. While all are required to be made entirely of wood and similar to the size of the issued model, each one is unique. The variations of wood tones, size and shapes make them very personal. Often the same espantoon is carried for an entire career regardless of rank attained or duty assignments. The espantoon has sometimes become a family heirloom and passed on to younger generations of officers. The term “nightstick” was derived from the fact that officers were required to carry the espantoon during the “night-time” hours i.e.:4 x 12 and 12 x 8 shifts. It was optional during daylight hours. Police Officers are encouraged to have their espantoons with them whenever on duty. In the escalation of force, the use of espantoon is a step below the service revolver. The espantoon gives the officer the option and a greater degree of safety in the use of force. If the assailant is overpowering the officer’s attempt to defend himself, the espantoon can be utilized effectively to gain control. If the espantoon is left in the car or has otherwise been disregarded, the options for self-defense are severely limited..

DEFENSIVE USE The proper method for carrying the espantoon is in a “short reach” position in the weak (non gun) hand with the index or middle finger through the leather thong. When interviewing one or more potentially hostile suspects, the espantoon may be placed under one arm. This enables the officer to utilize both hands to write information.

STRIKING AREAS AND TECHNIQUES Often the question is asked, “Do I strike with my strong hand?” Most officers will use their strong hand because it is a natural tendency in high stress situations, but your weak hand is also acceptable. If you spin or twirl your espantoon, use the hand that will be utilized for striking. The twirling of the espantoon will enable you to learn its exact length. This knowledge will increase familiarity and confidence as an extension of your arm. Care and consideration should be given when and where you should “twirl the stick.” The espantoon should not be spun in close areas to avoid the possibility of injury to others or property damage. In some situations the espantoon may appear better left in the ring. If the espantoon is too heavy or feels uncomfortable, the officer should obtain a lighter espantoon. The power of the espantoon is developed by the speed not the mass. An espantoon that is too heavy for the officer will be ineffective. Whenever an officer is forced to strike a person, he must only hit as hard as necessary to stop an assailant in an effort to gain control to effect an arrest.

Training Guideline Vol. 12, No. 7 Page - 4 - The best target areas are the legs. The point of impact should be on the outside rear quadrant of the upper leg about four inches above the knee. That is where the common peroneal nerve branches off from the sciatic nerve. Striking this area will cause an involuntary bending reflex action of the leg. In a sympathetic nerve reaction the other leg will also “buckle” causing the assailant to fall to the ground. On top of the calf has the same stunning effect. Do not strike for the knee joint which can cause permanent damage to bones, tendons and muscles. While the legs are the best target areas, an officer is not limited to the legs. Any strike to the head must be avoided. Courts have held that a strike to the head with an impact weapon is tantamount to using deadly force. To strike with the espantoon an officer should hold same in the “long reach” position. The hand should be at the base with the index finger through the leather thong. The striking point should be the top two inches of the upper section. These methods leave the hands free and gives immediate access to the espantoon. These techniques are not offensive but helps the officer to control a situation better and with more confidence. If the officer is in a situation where the escalation of force seems imminent; drawing the espantoon from the ring tends to be offensive and aggravates the situation. When attempting to control a person or a situation, neither “slapping” the free end of the “stick” into an open hand nor pointing the espantoon in a threatening manner is advisable. These actions provoke people and place the officer in greater peril.

 

 

1 black devider 800 8 72

 

 

1111 Batons and Impact Weapons 1 721111 Batons and Impact Weapons 2 721111 Batons and Impact Weapons 3 72

 

1 black devider 800 8 72

Donations

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 black devider 800 8 72

POLICE INFORMATION

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

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

Devider color with motto

NOTICE

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 

The History of our Baltimore Row-Homes

 Updated on January 13, 2017

This is an unofficial page, we are trying to get permission from the author and if not given soon this page will be removed.. we are thankful for the information gathered, and wanted to share it. But it is important to give credit where credit is due and let people know we did not write this it was brought to our attention by another reader of this page who thought we would be interested as he knows just how much we love the City of Baltimore

Dolores Monet

A lifelong resident of Baltimore, Dolores shares her interest in the historic spots of her beautiful and quirky home town.

 
 
Row House Style
Bill Bolten
Look at the varied facades, the arched window embellishments, and balconies. | Source

Baltimore has more rowhouses than any other city in the United States. The long rows of brick catch the sun and seem to glow with that warmth we associate with home. Basement windows hold little dioramas with personal or religious themes, and painted screens turn narrow streets into outdoor art galleries.

A row house is much more than a line of attached homes. Before the advent of real estate speculation and planned developments, many homes were attached, forming rows. But a real rowhouse describes a large group of similar homes built at the same time by the same builder. The early 1900s saw large developments of these homes when builders created entire new neighborhoods.

The proliferation of these dwelling made Baltimore a city of homeowners. In the late 19th century, 70% of the population of the city-owned their own homes. Practical, cozy, and attractive, these old homes are fuel-efficient.

When I was a girl growing up in the late 1950s, my auntie's row house still had a coal bin and a basement kitchen that was warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The large end group house had a corner store in its high basement. Step over the marble lintel and into a small shop where the owner knows the names of all his costumers, and the favorite ice cream flavors of the children.

Listen to the twitter of sparrows and the call of the grabber, the fruit seller with his horse and cart clattering up the alley, bells tinkling, the soft chatter of neighbors out on their stoops, the laughter of children as they run up the alley. You're in Bawlmer, hon!

 
 
Dream homes
Painted Screens


Painted screens helped homeowners to see out while passersby couldn't see in. | Source

In the summer of 1913, the corner grocer at Collington and Ashland Avenues in the heart of Northeast Baltimore's Bohemian (Czech) community, was the first person to introduce colorful scenes on the woven wire. William Oktavec painted the front doors of his shop with images of the meat and produce he sold inside. 

A neighbor admired his artwork and its practical bonus of preventing passersby from seeing inside his store, while she could see outside. Wishing to maintain privacy in her rowhouse, she asked Oktavec to paint a screen for her front window and presented him with a colorful scene from a calendar. Each of her neighbors demanded their own - for every window and door of the house. Adjacent communities, in turn, had at least one enterprising painter eager to imitate the new trend, accommodate clamoring residents, and make some easy cash.Artists and dabblers have continued the tradition ever since. 

In 1922, Oktavec opened The Art Shop at 2409 East Monument Street where he sold painted screens by the thousands and taught art classes to neighbors of all ages. This was in addition to his church restoration and retail framing and art supply businesses. One of his students, Johnny Eck assisted three generations of Oktavecs when business was especially brisk. In the heyday of painted screens in the 1940s and 50s, resourceful men and women plied the streets of Baltimore by foot, by car, and from modest storefronts, supplying as many as 100,000 screens to eager homeowners. Over the years the popularity of painted screens ebbed and flowed. First, the World Wars dealt a blow, then air conditioners, then changing demographics and changing definitions of modernity. Today, renovation, replacement windows and the rising costs of custom art work add to the toll. At the same time, a revolution in crafting and entrepreneurship has found an eager audience of artists and admirers to take the art form into the 21st century as its popularity spreads far beyond Baltimore. 

Screen Painting Pioneers - Johnny Eck, Alonzo Parks, Ben Richardson, Ted Richardson, Richard Oktavec, Al Oktavec, Frank Cipolloni, Leroy Bennett, Greg Reillo, Charles Bowman, and my grandfather Leo Smith, My grandfather used to take a blank window screen sit up on an easel and sketch what he saw through the screen, then paint the screen in bright colors. Years after he stopped doing house screens, he bought an old Green Hornet an ugly little car, but he used to set up at flea markets and sell antiques and junk, not wanting to have to unload his car after each show, (we called them shows LOL I guess because we showed our junk) anyway, getting up in years he was tired of unloading after each show, so he painted the side windows from inside the car and painted a screen for the back window, he could see through to use his rearview mirror, but no one could see all the valuable antiques he left in that old Hornet between "shows!" During that time his house had a screen that matched views from his own property out in the county, and his car had a picture of his dog, "Poncho," a grouchy little Chihuahua.  

Stained glassAffordable Housing-Ground Rent

Baltimore was laid out in 1729 as a shipping point for tobacco, and later grain products. Shipbuilding, grain mills, and associated mercantile attracted ship builders, carpenters, sea captains, sailors, and craftsmen. Those industries later brought in workers for packing houses, iron and steel works, and factories. Everyone needed housing. The wealthy, the middle class, and the working class all lived in rowhouses.

Some were elegant large homes with fan lighted doorways and elaborate interior details, while others were simple 4 room, two bay wide homes.

A system called ground rent made home ownership affordable. The concept of ground rent (as well as the row house style itself) came from England. When the eldest son of a noble class family inherited his father's land, they could not, by law, sell the property. The estate earned income from tenant farmers. As cities grew larger, land owners realized they could make more money by building and selling homes, but renting the land under the homes.

Today, the arcane system is still in place. Ground rents earned land owners a dependable 6% on their investment. The low annual payments were (and still are) easily affordable for homeowners.

Bowed front row house with columns | Source These simple homes are on a very narrow street, once an alley. | Source
Mini Masions
1790-1800

In 1796, flour merchants Thomas McElderry and Cumberland Dugan built long wharves in the area now known as the Inner Harbor. Row houses built right on the wharves stood 3 1/2 stories and featured hip roofs, dormer windows, and high English basements. The upper stories were residential while the high basement provided commercial space.

Builders and speculators began to erect similar rows of elegant homes with commercial space below and residential space in the upper stories. Many of these homes were quite grand, three bays wide with an entry hall, and two rooms deep with a kitchen wing or back building and pantry.

Up until 1799, nearly half of these buildings were made of wood until brick was stipulated by law. Very few of the old wooden homes survive.

From 1790-1800, the population of Baltimore doubled. Housing was needed for new arrivals in the prosperous shipping town. Houses built for workers and the lower classes rose to 2 1/2 stories and were 2 bays wide without the side hall featured in more upscale housing.

Grand homes were built along main thoroughfares while middle-class homes were built on side streets. The smallest houses were built on alleys with fanciful names like Happy Alley, Strawberry Alley, and Whiskey Alley. These smaller units were 17' wide with basement kitchens. Some 1 1/2 story houses were as small as 10 1/2' to 12' wide.

The smaller houses were often homes for Baltimore's large African American population which included freemen and slaves. At the time, rural slave owners hired out slaves to businessmen. Urban slaves had greater freedom than their rural counterparts as they lived without a master. Frederick Douglas claimed that the density of population prevented the abuse that rural isolation made more possible. Freemen hired out slaves, and white laborers of similar professions and economic station lived on the small integrated blocks or alleys. Simple yet attractive 3 bay wide, 2 story row-houses Double basements

 
Kitchen Extension in Back
Utilities in Early Dwellings

Fireplaces stood in most rooms of the grander row houses. It was not until the late 18th century that cast iron stoves provided heat. The large heating surface of stoves provided greater warmth than fireplaces. Coal replaced wood as an economical and efficient fuel.

Water came from hand pumps stationed along the streets. Upscale rows featured hand pumps in the back yards, thanks to a new reservoir created in 1807.

Before 1840, indoor plumbing was nonexistent. People used chamber pots. Night soil carters carried off the waste. Foul odors and disease, including typhoid and cholera, were common. In the mid-1800s, piped water became available by subscription, and water closets (a small room with a toilet) flushed into the harbor.

front of backs

Mount Vernon Greek Revival Row Houses

Greek Revival and Neoclassical

After the War of 1812, a new prosperity encouraged a building boom. The city became a manufacturing center and in 1827, the Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road created new markets for manufacturers. Baltimore became a city of foundries, lumber mills, glass makers, machine works, and by the 1840s, steam engine manufacturers.

Mount Vernon Place was built around the Washington Monument, built to memorialize George Washington. The beautiful monument based on a Greek Doric column design influenced the construction of homes in the area.

Fashionable row houses built around small parks reflected simple, elegant Greek and neoclassical designs.

These beautiful old tiles once lined a row house entryway or vestibule. | Source
 
Italianate
Back of fronts

After the plain facades of neoclassical designs, a new interest in ornamentation followed Victorian styles. Rowhouses in the mid-1800s featured elaborate designs including bold projecting cornices, tall narrow windows, and exterior ornamentation.

Romantic sensibilities and new building technologies introduced beautiful new designs. Cast iron structured frames allowed for taller buildings. Decorative cast iron embellishments including columns, capitals, and window treatments could be assembled at a factory and carted to the construction site.

Even smaller ones employed the newer, more fashionable styles with tiled entry halls and vestibules. Average row houses featured stained glass door surrounds and transoms, stamped metal cornices, and tin ceilings in the kitchen. Edward Gallagher built modest versions of the finer Italianate homes in brown or red brick. The flat-roofed homes featured stamped designs on cornices.

 

Italianate Circa 1875

Center and left of CenterEdward Gallagher built these modest versions of Italianate style homes so that people of average means could afford to live in style. | Source

Queen Ann

Queen Anne style mixed architectural styles of the past and incorporated ideals of the Aesthetic Movement, a concept that rejected the mass production of the Industrial Revolution and Victorian tastes. From 16th and 17th century English styles, builders borrowed cottage style forms including partial stucco, 1/2 timbering along with red brick.

The picturesque Gothic style featured asymmetrical facades and windows, along with natural trim or first-floor facades made of rock.

Belvedere Terrace and Eutaw Place employed the concepts of craftsmanship and an appreciation of nature by using molded brick, colored glass, terra-cotta panels, brownstone trim, and arched windows and doors. Undulating bow fronts and turrets reflected the aesthetics interest in medieval history. 

Large homes offered a back garden that could be seen from a large dining room window.

The mixing of styles - Queen Anne Style
 
A picturesque look at the varied roof line, windows, and facade of these beautiful homes. | SourceTiles and Grouts
Large porches and second story bow front windows make these row homes very attractive.Source

Renaissance Revival

The Renaissance Revival of the late 19th century saw row houses with flat roof lines and white marble lintels and sills. Iron cornices decorated the roofs with swags of leaves and rosettes. Some swell fronts were interspersed with flat fronts, all with white marble steps from a nearby quarry.

In 1905, open porches were added to the front of the better row homes. As the elite moved out to single homes in suburban areas, builders attempted to offer owners similar options like the large, columned front porch with small front yards. Second story bay windows with swags and decorated cornices made these homes beautiful.

 

English Cottage Style Grate and RailsSlate roofs and varied building materials including half timbering in a beautifully landscaped setting. | Ednor Gardens all stone row houses with slate roof and sun porch. | Source

Early 20th Century

In the early 20th century, daylight row houses were 2 rooms wide so that all rooms but the bathroom had windows. As the middle and upper classes left the congestion of the city for suburban cottages, a new interest in natural beauty encouraged builders to compete by creating new styles.

English style groups of row houses offered to landscape, wide covered porches, steep slate roofs, Tudor half-timbered stucco second stories, dormers, and varied entryways. Some of the cottage styles offered houses built out of several materials and included stucco, brick, and rock.

Edward Gallagher Jr opened his new development called Ednor Gardens and used rock blasted from the building site in house designs. Picturesque roof lines, sun porches, and varied windows gave each home an individual look. During the housing boom of the 1920s, Gallagher and his sons offered homes with built-in garages.

Unlike row house developments of the past, corner houses no longer featured commercial space for a store or bar. New zoning regulations and development covenants ruled against commerce, additions, or changes made to outdoor trim color. Some covenants had racial restrictions in the deeds.

The Great Depression of the 1930s created a decline in-home sales. Real estate values and housing development plummeted.

By the early 1940s, World War II brought new jobs to large Baltimore employers like Bethlehem Steel and Glenn L. Martin. A new American neoclassical style based on colonial Williamsburg offered simple, inexpensive home designs with bay windows and wide end units.

After World War II, the housing demand and the GI Bill's home loan program encouraged large-scale row house building in the suburbs in places like Loch Raven Village and Edmonson Avenue.

The middle class moved to single homes outside the city while inner city high-rise housing projects crowded low-income people into large prison-like structures that warehoused the poor. A declining industrial base caused large-scale job loss for the working class in Baltimore.

Baltimore Rowhouse in Ednor Gardens

Ed Gallager

 
 
Late 20th Century Re-Hab

As Baltimore's oldest neighborhoods deteriorated due to age, overcrowding, and absentee landlords who neglected their properties, large areas of the city became derelict. The oldest neighborhoods, like the 120-170-year-old row houses in Federal Hill and Fells Point, became slums. By the late 1960s, some of the oldest houses near the waterfront were condemned in order to provide space for an extension to I-95. But a visionary group of preservationists petitioned the government for historical status and, in 1967, had Federal Hill and Fells Point listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It took 10 years to dissuade the government to move the path of the highway, but the movement drew attention to the historic Baltimore water-front and sparked an urban renaissance for older city row homes.

Mayor William Donald Shaefer and Housing Commissioner Robert C. Embry offered up 5,000 abandoned houses for $1.00 a piece. A city development office offered technical and financial help with a city backed loan program for the restoration of older homes.

Today, many of Baltimore's historic row house neighborhoods have become enclaves of young professionals. Real estate values in areas close to the water escalated and have remained high, even during the recent economic downturn. Other row house neighborhoods around the city remain affordable, comfortable, and efficient choices in a variety of communities.

Parker Edwards

Bob Bows

Edner Gardenfront of backsMini MasionsParker EdwardsPaul ManningSam SladeStained glassUncle Leo

© 2012 Dolores Monet

Broken Windows Theory

Thursday, 14 May 2020 05:48

Baltimore Police Department
Broken Windows Theory

The Broken Windows Theory, is an academic theory proposed by James Q. Wilson and George Kelling in 1982 that used broken windows as a metaphor for disorder within neighborhoods. Their theory links disorder and rudeness within a community to subsequent occurrences of crime. First small nuisances that will become small crimes, and small crimes become big crimes.

1 black devider 800 8 72

Broken windows was developed by two academics, but it was never offered as an academic theory in the peer-reviewed journals.  It emerged as a piece in Atlantic Monthly, a somewhat sophisticated magazine.  The theory is been much maligned in the media of late because it has been conflated with some terrible ideas and racist practices such as “zero tolerance policing” and “stop and frisk” tactics.  The actual application of the theory to neighborhood policing dictates a specific type of partnership between police and citizens that would, if implemented properly, improve relationships between citizens and police.  The major flaw of the theory seems to be that it is an oversimplification of a complex set of social phenomena, and thus lacks much empirical support.

Since criminologist George L. Kelling and his coauthor James Q. Wilson published their “broken windows” more than 30 years ago, it has become a sort of “standard” theoretical explanation of why community policing is a good idea.  It was quickly taken up by several major police departments, including the LAPD, as part of community policing. It called for the building of police and community partnerships that would seek to prevent local crime and to create order. The basic logic was the simple premise that interrupting minor offenses before they could snowball and open the door to serious crimes, including violent crimes. 

At the core of the Broken Windows thesis is that incivilities beget further incivilities, and the severity of the incivilities gets worse over time.  At some point, the mere incivilities evolve into serious crime if the causal chain is not broken. It is important to note that Broken Windows does not suggest how problems should be solved, and it certainly never specifies that arrest is always the most appropriate tool.  Heavy-handed tactics like New York’s “stop and frisk” program cannot be reconciled with Broken Windows, nor with the problem-oriented approach that is often found in conjunction with it.

Prior to the advancement of various incivility theories such as broken windows, policing scholars and the police themselves tended to focus on serious crime.  The major concern was always with crimes that were perceived to be the most serious and consequential for the victim, such as rape, robbery, and murder. Wilson and Kelling viewed the crime problem from a different, more holistic vantage point. They saw “serious crime” as the ultimate outcome of a much longer chain of neighborhood phenomena, theorizing that crime stemmed from “disorder,” and that if disorder dissipated, then serious crimes would not occur.

The link between disorder and crime was theorized to be mediated by fear of crime, an important social variable in its own right.  Wilson and Kelling’s theory further postulates that the proliferation of disorder creates fear in the minds of citizens who are persuaded that the neighborhood is unsafe.  The fear of crime, which can range in intensity from a slight unease to a debilitating fear of victimization, causes residents to withdraw behind closed doors in order to remain safe. This withdrawal from the community weakens social controls that previously kept criminals in check. Once this process begins, the theory suggests, it tends to start a destructive feedback loop. Neighborhood disorder causes crime, and crime encourages yet more disorder and crime.  

A major aspect of the popularity of Broken Windows is the fact that it creates a theoretical framework for police practice.  Most criminological theories support changes in macro-level social policy rather than police policy within the framework of community policing. Earlier social disorganization theories offered solutions that were highly political, costly to develop and implement, and would take a long time to demonstrate any effectiveness.  These theoretical causes of neighborhood problems and crime are more appropriate to legislatures than they are to police departments. Broken Windows theory is seen by many as a way to institute rapid neighborhood-level change with minimal expense by simply altering the police crime-control strategy. It is far easier and less costly to attack “disorder” than it is to assail such daunting social ills as poverty and deficient education.  

References

Kelling, G. L. & Wilson, J. Q. (1982). Broken Windows:  The police and neighborhood safety.  The Atlantic.

Credit to author Adam J. McKee, Ph.D.

From <https://www.docmckee.com/WP/oer/criminology/criminology-section-6-4/

 

 
1 black devider 800 8 72

Donations

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 black devider 800 8 72

POLICE INFORMATION

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

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

Devider color with motto

NOTICE

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 

Page 1 of 52