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Maintaining our History

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Baltimore's 1st Recorded Attempt at Maintaining Our History 

On 16 January 1905, in Police History we remember what might well be the department's first recorded attempt at maintaining our agency's history. It occurred when Patrolman William Burgess of the Central District began his new job in his new office as, "Librarian and Keeper of the Archives of the Central District."  This is all being based on the following as we can see from the following Sun paper report:

baltoPolice Lamp72 Rearranging old police records 
Baltimore Sun 16 January 1905

Rearranging old police records

Patrolman William Burgess, of the Central District, is now busy with his new office of librarian and keeper of the archives of the Central Police Station. All of the musty old records of the police station, dating back to before the Civil War, are being resurrected from the dark, dusty closet in the rear of the Capt.’s office and arranged in their proper order on neat shelves in a little room on the second floor.

Patrolman Burgess, who was an expert stage carpenter before he laid aside the saw and hammer for the Espantoon and “Billy,” erected the shelves and is now busy arranging the record books in rows upon them. A single glance along the long row of frayed and weak back books is interesting, as it showed exactly when the old Middle District changed its name to a more dignified title of Central District. The record for 1884 is the first book bearing the name Central District.

Held together by their fellows supporting them on either side, the worn and dilapidated volumes present a pitiable spectacle of a departed usefulness. Could they but speak to stories of crime, and blood, and misery, and man’s inhumanity to man, that be hidden within their musty pages, they would a tale unfold that would make a weird offspring of Poe’s eccentric genius seems commonplace.

There are books dated prior to this 1905 date, in fact, 1888 Our Police is an outstanding record of our past, and later 1907/09 the Blue-book that covers our history. But those books and many since have been written from outside the department. This 1905 date with P/O Burgess is the first known attempt from within the agency to keep and maintain our history. 

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Some of the Better History Books that Cover our Agency

Our Police - 1888
The History Of The Baltimore Police Department -  1907
How to Use Dogs Effectively in Modern Police Work - 1960
Baltimore Police Year Book - 1797 - 1997 
Some Gave All: A History of Baltimore Police Officers Killed in the Line of Duty - 2007
Baltimore City Police History - A Historical Timeline - A Day-By-Day Look Through Our Past - 2016

  


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

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

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

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Wanted

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 Retired or Deceased Officers and anything that may help us to Preserve the History and Proud Traditions of this agency.
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