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EVER EVER EVER Motto Divder

Baltimore City Police
Departmentals


'CRASH SQUAD' CARS ARRIVE FOR POLICE

2 February 1938

The Sun (1837-1989); Feb 2, 1938; pg. 7

'CRASH SQUAD' CARS!

Arrive for Police!

New Autos, To Probe All Accidents,

To Go Into Service When Equipped

Crews Will Test Brakes of Machines Involved and Photograph Scene Three automobiles for the "crash squad" of the Police Deportment have arrived and will be placed in service as soon as they are equipped, Capt. Henry C. Kaste, head of the Traffic Division, announced yesterday. The machines will investigate all automobile accidents and will have decelerometers for testing the brakes of cars involved in crashes, as well as photographic equipment for recording the actual conditions after the accident

Two-Way Radios

They will have two-way radios, sirens and blinking red lights to enable them to get to the scene before the positions of the cars have been altered. The crews, graduates of the University of Maryland's Traffic School, will render aid to the injured and will reroute all traffic until the conditions have been photographed and measured.

Officials hope to relieve the foot patrolmen of responsibility for traffic accidents. Members of the "Crash Squad" will be given two days, A month in Traffic Court to handle their cases, and the new manner of collecting evidence is expected to result In more convictions, particularly in fatal accidents.

Squad Still Nameless

Serge. Clarence O. Forrester is head of the squad, which is still officially nameless. Other cities having similar departments have decided upon "Accident Investigation Department" for a title, and it is expected that this choice will be made here also.

The "crash squad" was organized alter a report from the Baltimore Safety Council in April, 1937, which recommended it as "a vital need for the securing of evidence." Coincident with the council's report, the grand jury urged the squad's creation as a means of reducing accident fatalities and injuries.

Nice Committee Calls Three Traffic Experts

Three traffic experts will appear before Governor Nice's automobile insurance committee at a meeting to be held at 8 P. M. Tuesday at the Emerson Hotel. They are: Dr. S. S. Stineberg, Dean of the College of Engineering of the University of Maryland, who is conducting the traffic school there. John P. Rostmeyer, director of the Baltimore Safety Council. Preston D. Callum, chairman of the Baltimore Traffic Committee. The committee was named by the Governor shortly after the first of the Year to make a study of automobile Insurance in the State, and to make Recommendations to him and the next General Assembly.

Members of the committee are:

George W. Baulk, chairman, and W. Harry Haller, of Frederick, representing - The insurance companies. John T. Shipway, of Flintstone; Jos. Eph S. Bigelow, of Annapolis, and J. Francis Rahlke, of Westminster, representing business men. Max Sokol, secretary, and Robert R. Carmen, representing the legal profession. The last Legislature passed a resolution calling for the appointment of the committee.

Devider

KSCN0010-SMSun Paper PicKSCN0013-SMSun Paper PicKSCN0018-SMSun Paper PicKSCN0022-SMSun Paper Pic
Rice Joseph Robert newpaper article 1938 72Radio Policeman Hurt In 70-Mile an Hour chase Car Skids Crashes 

Into Speeder On Hanover Street A radio car patrolman is recovering today from serious injuries received when his scout car crashed into a machine on the Hanover street bridge during a seventy-miles an hour: chase after a speeding driver. The policeman, Robert Rice Thirty-eight, and Gardner Sparhawk, first block of Wheeler street, driver of the other machine, are under treatment in the South Baltimore General Hospital. 

CAR SKIDDED

Patrolman Rice said that he was alone in the radio car when he saw a car speeding past the intersection of Hanover street and Reedbird avenue. He gave chase and had nearly caught up with the car when his car skidded on the bridge and crashed into Sparhawk's machine. 

HEAD INJURIES

Patrolman Edward L. Sewyer had left the scout car a moment before the chase started. Had he been in the car, he probably would have been killed, for the right side of the car was demolished. Rice and Sparhawk received head wounds and the patrolman is also suffering from internal injuries. This is what happened to the scout car driven by Patrolman Robert Rice when it skidded into another machine on Hanover street bridge last night. Patrolman Rice was pursuing a speeding· motorist at 70 miles an hour. The patrolman was seriously injured. Photograph copyright, 1938, by The Baltimore New-Post. All Rights reserved. 

 

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Sunpaper pic

Baltimore police
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12 O'Clock Boys
Three officers seriously wounded
Officer 'fighting for his life' after pursuit police said should have stopped

Baltimore police crash
Highway and Road Disasters
 
Police investigating pursuit called off that resulted in a crash that left an officer in grave condition
A patrol car chasing a moped Sunday resulted in a crash that seriously injured officers and the rider

One Baltimore police officer remained in grave condition Monday after the patrol car he was in slammed into a telephone pole Sunday afternoon after continuing a pursuit his commanding officer had called off.

A female officer, who also was in the car, remained in critical but stable condition with broken bones. The crash also involved the driver of a moped police said the officers had pursued, who was also injured and is hospitalized.

"One officer at this moment is fighting for his life at [Maryland] Shock Trauma [Center]," Baltimore police Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez said.

The crash occurred about 1 p.m. Sunday in Northwest Baltimore. The incident began after an officer saw a group of dirt bikers assembling in an alley, police said. Upon being spotted by police, the riders fled on their bikes, except one man who ran. The officer followed in his marked patrol car and saw the man hop on the back of a moped that stopped to pick him up.

Patrol officers in the area caught and lost sight of the pair on the scooter at various times, Rodriguez said. Spotting it, three officers in a patrol car gave chase, Rodriguez said. The scooter at that time was only carrying a driver.

Baltimore police have a strict policy that allows officers to pursue if the vehicles they are chasing carry suspects who pose immediate and serious threats to the public. Officers must get permission from a shift commander to pursue.

In this case, a sergeant told the three officers to discontinue the chase, Rodriguez said. Fifteen minutes later, officers called for paramedics, he said.

The patrol car had continued the pursuit and crashed into a telephone pole in the 2200 block of Kirk Ave. after the scooter made a hard turn into an alley, police said.

Rodriguez said police don't know why the officers disobeyed an order to stop.

"We want to know why," Rodriguez said. "We have more questions than answers, but we are attempting to get those answers."

Rodriguez said forensics investigators and members of police's CRASH team were called to retrace the moments preceding the crash. A police helicopter was also used to survey the crash site and map the route the pursuit had taken.

The third officer in the patrol car, a man, was not hurt. Rodriguez said investigators want to know why three police officers were in the patrol car. Marked cars are meant to carry no more than two officers.

While dirt bikes are illegal in the city, the moped was a licensed city vehicle, Rodriguez said. Fleeing police was the only violation the driver could be cited for, he added. No charges have been filed against the rider.

Baltimore police's Force Investigation Team, which reviews shootings and other serious incidents in which police force is used, is investigating.

Police did not release the name of the moped driver or the three officers, who Rodriguez said ranged in experience from a few years to about a decade on the job.

Police said the dirt bikers had assembled in the alley to attend a large motorcycle rally that was held a few hours later.

Scores of dirt bikers and spectators took to the streets around Druid Hill Park on Sunday afternoon for a memorial ride in honor of Devin Rankin, known among riders as "Lor Dev." Rankin was shot to death Thursday in the 4600 block of Mannasota Ave. in a killing that remains unsolved.

Some on social media referred to him as the "No-hands king" because of his ability to ride on one wheel without steering. Copyright © 2014,


2964039573 28a6d8e0e8 o-EditCourtesy Officer Howard Smith
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2964041283 77b777623e o-EditCourtesy Officer Howard Smith
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1948buick1

COURTESY SGT. ROBERT FISCHER

1948buick2
COURTESY SGT. ROBERT FISCHER
1950chev cp10
COURTESY SGT. ROBERT FISCHER
1955 ford a.i.d
COURTESY SGT. ROBERT FISCHER
1960 steudbaker
COURTESY SGT. ROBERT FISCHER
1960 studebaker
COURTESY SGT. ROBERT FISCHER
 Devider

May 26, 1965 at 10:30 AM, Northern District Radio Car #502, manned by Officer Robert DiStefano driving and Officer Robert Michael were responding to a Signal 13 (Assist an Officer) call when at the intersection of 29th and Remington, they were cut off by a truck that had gone through a RED light. RC 502 was being operated with “lights and siren” struck the truck and turned it over on its roof. The truck then hit a utility pole that prevented it from breaking through the show window of Jarman Pontiac. Notice the indentation on the side of the truck. Joe deCarlo was the Sergeant and responded to the accident scene.

DISTEFANO ACCIDENT1

PHOTO COURTESY MAJOR ROBERT DiSTEFANO

DISTEFANO ACCIDENT2

PHOTO COURTESY MAJOR ROBERT DiSTEFANO

DIsTEFANO ACCIDENT3

PHOTO COURTESY MAJOR ROBERT DiSTEFANO

In the photo showing the front of the totaled (the engine was partially in the front seat) police car, that Officer Bob Michael, was talking to the T.I.S. Investigator. Please note the price of regular gas in the photo, 28.9 cents per gallon! Miraculously, no one was hurt in this accident!

DIsTEFANO ACCIDENT4PHOTO COURTESY MAJOR ROBERT DiSTEFANO

Leon Tomlin, a patrolman, at that time, was assigned to RC 502 car, on the relieving shift, thanked Officer DiStefano and Officer Michael for "expediting" the replacement process of the old unit. Ironically, the driver of the truck named John Brennan later joined the Baltimore Police Department. While in the academy he avoided his firearm and defense tactic instructors who were none the less, Officer Robert DiStefano and Officer Bob Michael. John Brennan later attained the rank of Sergeant. Sergeant Pattinson of the "I can teach a monkey how to drive, fame", informed Officer DiStefano that it was the worst accident that he had seen for a long time!
accident report1

PHOTO COURTESY MAJOR ROBERT DiSTEFANO
 A.I.D. accident report detailing the accident investigation

accident report2PHOTO COURTESY MAJOR ROBERT DiSTEFANO

1967chev accident with house
1967chev accident1

1968-Chev-wrecked-March-1971

BPD NEWSLETTER

The Departmental vehicle pictured above was the victim of a frequently occurring set of circumstances. The driver of this vehicle stopped behind the Departmental vehicle and the civilian auto it is assisting. Three warning devices should be employed by members of the Department while rendering this type of assistance; the emergency dome light should be operating, the four-way emergency flashers should be employed, and flares should be set out between 100 and 200 feet to the rear of the stopped vehicles. When stopped for a disabled motorist the police officer should take care to stay outside of his vehicle where practical and take a position of safety with the motorist. Officers should stop far enough behind the disabled vehicle, so that the vehicle will not cause damage to the departmental vehicle when it is being moved.disabled civilian vehicle in order to render assistance. While stopped, serving as protection to one civilian vehicle another struck the police vehicle from the rear. Accidents of the type just described need not happen with such alarming frequency. Some initial precautions will serve to protect both the Departmental vehicle and the civilian auto it is assisting. Three warning devices should be employed by members of the Department while rendering this type of assistance; the emergency dome light should be operating, the four-way emergency flashers should be employed, and flares should be set out between 100 and 200 feet to the rear of the stopped vehicles. When stopped for a disabled motorist the police officer should take care to stay outside of his vehicle where practical and take a position of safety with the motorist. Officers should stop far enough behind the disabled vehicle, so that the vehicle will not cause damage to the departmental vehicle when it is being moved.
 
last-run-for-the-wagon

 CRUISING PATROL 10-7
PADDY WAGON MAKES IT'S LAST 10-14 RUN

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departmental-accident-12-19-2005

wrecked Baltimore Police Car

Photo courtesy Officer Bill Edgar

wrecked Baltimore Police Car2
Photo courtesy Officer Bill Edgar

Several wrecked Baltimore Police vehicles sit on a storage lot at the Dickman Street garage

Devider

NOTICE

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

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

DeviderAnyone 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 by clicking HERE pics can be mailed to Baltimore City Police History - 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222

 

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

Last modified on Thursday, 23 April 2020 04:44
Baltimore Police Historical Society

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

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