1940 - 1960
|COURTESY JOSEPH PEIGHTEL|
Bud earned a Purple Heart fighting in the Philippines during WWII but managed to make his way home. He went on to become a Baltimore City Police Officer, and you can see in the picture, that he towered over his wife. Bud was over 6 feet tall. Bud was a huge tease and loved to laugh and make people laugh. He was incredibly detail oriented and organized as you might expect in a Police Officer.
Officer Ernest was struck on Saturday, June 13, 1964, and succumbed to injuries on Wednesday, January 20, 1965. He was crushed between two cars while directing traffic at the scene of an accident at the intersection of Pearl Street and Saratoga Street. Officer Ernest's partner was interviewing the drivers involved in the accident as Officer Ernest was directing traffic around the two vehicles. His partner requested that one of the drivers move his vehicle out of the travel lane. As the man attempted to do so, he inadvertently put the car in drive instead of the reverse. The car lurched forward and pinned Officer Ernest and a citizen between the two cars. Both men sustained broken hips and other injuries. Officer Ernest remained at home on sick leave as a result of his injuries for 221 days. A blood clot, which had formed as a result of the injuries, moved to his heart, causing him to go into cardiac arrest. He was transported to a local hospital where he died a short time later.
|Photo courtesy Norma Spencer Johnson|
COURTESY OFFICER JAMES McCARTIN
Officer John Smith Southern District
COURTESY OFFICER JAMES McCARTIN
Officer Barton Rictor and Officer Sherman Riggin
POLICEMAN STABBED ON STREET, DIES
William L. Ryan, Dying, Fires At Assailant But Misses
Witnesses Capture Man, Who Shouts For "Liberty and Peace”
COURTESY OFFICER JAMES McCARTIN
STABBING-Patrolman Ryan was fatally stabbed today in the first block South Gay Street. Wilcox, an engineer, brought down his assailant with a flying tackle and helped to hold him until other police arrived. Patrolman William L. Ryan, a member of the Police Department since 1921, was fatally stabbed on Gay Street, near Baltimore, today by a man who was taken to the Central Police Station alternately fighting furiously and praying, "O Lord God, give me liberty and peace." Ryan, lying on the sidewalk, had fired two shots at his assailant, but both missed. The man was brought down with a flying tackle by Perry Wilcox, an engineer, and was held by Wilcox, other civilians and two firemen from No. 1 engine house until several policemen arrived and disarmed him. Butcher Knife Used His weapon. they said, was a butcher knife with a ten-inch blade. At Mercy Hospital, where Ryan was pronounced dead on arrival, it was stated that the blade had pierced his heart. He had suffered three puncture wounds to the chest and abdomen, the hospital report said, in the region of the heart and liver. It was Wilcox who called the officer's attention to the man and the knife. The engineer, who lives at 3303 Northern Parkway, said he had made some purchases at an electrical supply shop at 5 South Gay Street and that as he emerged and crossed the street he passed the man, lounging against the front of Grace and Hope Mission next door to the engine house. "Stabbed Without A Word,"He noticed, that the man had the knife in his hand. "Just as I got to him," said Wilcox, "he asked me, what do you want?' I told him, I didn't want anything and went on down the street. "A little farther, on I met Officer Ryan walking north, and told him about the fellow. Ryan started up to him and I followed. "As Ryan reached him he said, 'What's the matter, and without saying anything in reply the other drew back and plunged the knife into the officer's breast. Then he broke into a run. Shots Went Wide As Ryan lay on the sidewalk with a bloodstain spreading over the front of his clothes, he managed to get his gun out and fired, but the shots went wild. "I ran after the fellow and got him around the knees." Wilcox was having considerable trouble holding his captive and George W. Green, of 4917 Midwood Avenue, several other civilians, and Henry Fidler and Joseph Paulus, firemen from the engine house went to his aid. They said that although their prisoner was a man of only about 140 pounds, he "fought like a maniac and they were unable to get the knife away from him. It was not wrested from him until Detective Lieutenant Louis Kotmair, Sergeant Donald Madigan and Patrolmen Walter Geraghty and John Fox arrived. The officers handcuffed the man and he was carried through a large crowd that had been attracted by the shots and lifted yelling and screaming, into the Central district patrol. Ryan was put into a city ambulance and hurried to the hospital. At the station the prisoner first refused to answer any questions, even to state his name. The police said that in his pockets, however, they found a Social Security card bearing the name Joseph Abato and the address 1427 Gough street. Officers were sent to that address to inquire about him.
Man, Shouts, And Screams
Meanwhile, the police said, he continued to shout and scream incoherently, throwing himself on his knees to pray for "liberty, peace, and life" and begging that his handcuffs and leg irons be removed. Whenever the cuffs and irons were removed the officers said, the man renewed his fight. He is sharp-faced, with brown eyes and black hair, and was wearing a black shirt, dark trousers, and black shoes. "His forehead was cut from his fall when Wilcox tackled him. Talks For Sodaro State's Attorney J. Bernard Wells and Assistant State's Attorney Anselm Sodaro went to the station to question the man and when Sodaro addressed him in Italian, the police said his manner calmed almost instantly and he talked readily about himself. ''He said his name is Joseph Abato and that he has been living in a building in the rear of the Gough street address, working at odd jobs when he could get them and spending much of his time at the Grace and Hope Mission, especially during the evening meetings. Tells His Life Story He was born in Sicily, he said, and was brought to the United States when 2 years old. When he was 4 he went on, his parents disappeared and he was reared in a New York orphanage. During the World War he was too young to fight, he stated but served an army enlistment after the conflict. He is married and has a wife, whom he has not seen for several years, and a 4year old son, in New York. He said. his last regular job was on a tunnel project, on the new Harrisburg-Pittsburgh super-highway, near Chambersburg, Pa. It ended last September, he said and it was then that he came to Baltimore. Patrolman Ryan was 44 years old and lived at 3204 Kenyon Avenue. He was a popular officer and was known to "his acquaintances as "Larry." He was' married five years ago and his survivors, besides his widow, Margaret, are a son, "Larry" Jr. 4 years old and a daughter, Patricia Margaret, 18 months.
Southwestern District Radio Car Number 72 on 8 April 1949
North Ave and Charles Street
Police Give “Royal Suite“
To Frolicsome Great Danes
The above suspect James Smiley (15 Years Old) was arrested and held in Baltimore
He is wanted in Michigan for the Murder of his Foster-Mother Mrs. Edna Smiley
She adopted him as a child, they recently argued and he killed her with a .22 Cal. Rifle
Don New Chapeau
It may not have been designed by Schiaparelli, but Patrolman Paul E. Harman of the Central District Police Station likes his new chapeau. The dark blue octagonal cap which Patrolman Harman and all-district men on the Baltimore Police force donned at 4 pm on 7 Oct 1944, that replaces the oval-topped cap which has been the style here for a little more than 30 years. “all the men like’em” Patrolman Harman, a native Baltimorean who lives at 3212 Matson street, said, “They’re neater, lighter and they won’t blow off as easily as the old ones.” “Besides, my wife likes mine. She says it’s more becoming, and brother, that’s good enough for me. That a woman ought to know about hat’s she buys enough!” NOTE: In 1886 they went from the "Derby type hat" to the Bobby/Helmet cap, wearing a black bobby/helmet in the winter, and a grey/silver bobby/helmet in the summer. The Bobby/Helmet was worn for approx 28 years from 1886 until 1914, when they switched to the cap just before the above (current cap) it looked similar to today's cap; but was round/oval, that cap was worn from 1914 until 1944 (7 Oct 44) when they switched to the 8 point cap... the current cap of today has been worn since 1944.
|COURTESY OFFICER JAMES McCARTIN|
19 April 1950 Dukeland Wilkins Ave
Officer Richard Klima, Northwest District, July 4, 1940
Sergeant Examination September 28, 1940
Officer George Waldhauser, Officer R.J. Matter, Officer H.C. Beyer, Officer A.J. Schoenhoff, Officer Walter Kuzmaul, Officer Joseph Rehak, Officer John Thierauf
COURTESY OFFICER JAMES McCARTIN
Officer Edward Poist
An Instructive Address to the Assistant Buyers Club
By Inspector Joseph H. Itzel
A particularly instructive and factual address carrying many little-known facts having to do with the activities of the Baltimore Police Department was delivered on November 30 by Inspector Joseph H. Itzel before the Assistant Buyers Club. A digest of his remarks is given herewith It is a privilege and pleasure indeed to address the members and friends of the Assistant Buyers Club of Baltimore's Retail Stores, in representing your law enforcement agency. In these critical days when the question of law enforcement on the home front is of such major importance, may I take this opportunity to thank you and express my appreciation for the spirit of friendship, cooperation and your interest in your Police Force? We hope you will know us better and become more intimately acquainted with our problems and activities. While it has not been my good fortune to meet you all personally, nevertheless I do feel intimately associated with you through my acquaintance and friendship with my good friend Mr. James P. Burnside, your president. The Police Force is maintained by municipal funds and under the control of the State. This system is in force in only three of the ten largest cities in the country-Boston, St. Louis and Baltimore. The first (non-paid) "VOLUNTEER CONSTABULARY" of Baltimore was created in 1729, the citizens having been driven to this exigency by the alarming depredations of a swelling lawless element. The first "SALARIED WATCH AND PATROL" was created by the Maryland Legislature in 1784. From 1784 to 1860 the Force had been under the control of local officials. In 1860 the Legislature enacted a law placing the department under State control. Today, for the first time, we have a man from the ranks-Honorable Hamilton R. Atkinson, a former Police Inspector. You must remember that police work today covers a broad field of highly specialized pursuits, and to direct as a Police Commissioner must, he must understand them. He must have special qualifications. He must have developed a broad concept of police work, must have an administrative ability, foresight, integrity and physical vigor, professional training and show leadership over a large group of subordinates. The Commissioner has demonstrated successfully this responsibility. It is impossible to encompass within the scope of this summary all of his achievements since taking over command of the Police Department fifteen months ago. Reference, however, is made to several outstanding improvements which are characteristic of Commissioner Atkinson's administration.
JUVENILE PROTECTIVE BUREAU
On January 17, 1944, the Commissioner established the Juvenile Protective Bureau for the purpose of attempting to curb juvenile delinquency and to exert a measure of protective influence in preventing delinquents acquiring court records. Through its instrumentality, the juvenile case is placed in the proper channel for adjustment when necessary and both child and parent are counseled along corrective lines to prevent a repetition of the complaint.
The following is a breakdown of cases showing the activities of the Juvenile Protective Bureau from the Bureau's inception to September 30, 1944:
Involving adults ………………….....14
White Males ..………………….. ..428
Colored Males………………….. .301
Under 10 years…………………...256
10 to 15 yrs. Inclusive……………686
16 to 20 yrs. Inclusive……………..33
During 1943 throughout this nation 3,785 serious crimes were committed each day-this meant that one out of every twenty-one American homes was a victim of the crime toll. But tragic as that is, it is not our greatest tragedy. The real tragedy in these figures is found in the rising number of youthful offenders. Arrests of boys under seventeen years of age have increased thirty percent since the outbreak of the war. All of our war casualties are plainly not battle casualties. The most positive view is, that we should quit trying to cure juvenile, delinquency by correction and begin curing it by prevention. Prevention means giving juvenile wholesome things with which to occupy his or her time. The seriousness of the problem of juvenile delinquency is more clearly seen when it is noted that compared with arrests in 1941, the figures for 1943 throughout the United States show that arrests of girls under 21 years of age increased 130.4 percent. Juvenile delinquents have created the greatest problem. In 1943 over two thousand persons. under seventeen years of age were sentenced in this nation and the greatest part of these were boys. These figures indicate that the factors contributing to delinquency are still very powerful and point to the need for each community to intensify its efforts to stop the rising tide of delinquency and juvenile crime. All of the constructive influence which an aroused community can provide are urgently needed to combat this menace to our internal strength. Youth today is seeking sympathetic response, recognition, security and new experiences. Any worthwhile youth program cannot overlook the fundamental human desires, for our failure to satisfy all or any of them is a barrier to the development of good citizens. Young people know what they like and the great majority of them adhere to decent things. We must strengthen the "HOME" in every way possible for the primary responsibility for the care and protection of our boys and girls and this must rest within its four walls. Youth is our greatest national asset. We dare not waste it. The watchword should be that of ALERTNESS AND CONTINUOUS UNITY OF ACTION
Too many American communities and fathers and mothers are trying to blame the war for the prevailing, growing and menacing wave of juvenile delinquency. Parents concentrate altogether too much energy and thought on making money. They have no time for their children and little influence over them. It is adults who raise or lower moral standards-children merely reflect the change. After the war, all that can be shown for the big paychecks will be a wrecked home. A sympathetic understanding of the problems confronting these children is necessary. This protective element is paramount in our Juvenile Protective Bureau. Our mission will be fulfilled. No father or, a mother has a right to evade their responsibilities.
This department is keenly aware of the great responsibility which, by law, rests upon it to protect from harm the lives, liberty and property, day and night, of more than one million persons in their homes and their livelihood. We are severely taxed with many burdens, and one of the principal problems is a crime. In the face of a considerable influx of people and an acute housing shortage, it would seem to be especially gratifying, and indeed, incredible that decrease of 8.09% (796 cases) serious crimes was reported in 1943 as compared with 1942. Arrests in 1943 show a percentage of 50.8%.
I respectfully submit statistics of serious offenses reported in 1943 as compared with the number in 1942.
Offense 1942 1943
Aggravated assault…… 165 179
Manslaughter………… ... 8 6
Murder………………… 108 96
Rape…………………… 79 95
Carnal knowledge……...13 14
False pretense……..... 339 325
RADIO CARS IN 1943
The radio cars (patrol service) covered 2,479,106 miles during the year and responded to 112,558 calls, as compared with 118,454 in 1942. Members of this division made 10,356 arrests for various offenses including 19 murder; 1,308 for common assault; 153 for assault and cutting; 84 for assault and shooting; 18 for assaulting officers in the performance of duty; 155 burglars; 5,468 cases involving breach of peace; 130 for carrying deadly weapons; 440 for larceny; 106 drunken drivers and 25 for purse snatching. The cars responded to 4,415 accident calls, 3,230 alarms of fire, recovered 386 stolen automobiles and 62 bicycles; removed 454 persons to hospitals and rendered first aid to 25 victims of gas and other poisons.
On June 22d, 1944, one of the achievements of our Police Commissioner Hamilton R. Atkinson, as the dedication of the first Police Boys' Club at the Southwestern Police Station. Some 425 youngsters ranging from 8 to 18 years of age had signed up for membership when the new clubrooms were opened by the Police Commissioner, State and City officials. The club is open five days a week from 4 to 9 p.m. The membership is divided into groups competing against one another in athletic contests. They have a program of self-government and select their own representatives to enforce the club rules. There is a library, a completely equipped machine shop for woodwork with metal work equipment to follow. Another club is now being established in the Eastern Police Station.
In December 1941, our Police Commissioner organized an "Auxiliary Police Force," a unit of Civilian Defense Organization, to help make up for the number of active police that would be drawn off to assist in the war effort. More can be found HERE
Courtesy Mike O'Hara (Grandson)
P/O Eugene "Mike" O'Hara
Served with Baltimore Police Department for 30 years
|Photo courtesy Tom Bolvari|
|Photo courtesy Tom Bolvari|
|Photo courtesy Tom Bolvari|
Photograph of President LBJ that was personally autographed to Thomas Keyes with best wishes and signed by the President of the United States.
|Officer Julius Richburg 1950's|
Photo courtesy Lt. William Bowen
Captain Elmer Z. Bowen (1954)
Photo courtesy Officer Melvin Howell
Courtesy Bernie Wehage
|Officer Melvin Howell|
|Photo courtesy Office Melvin Howell|
Above Officer Melvin Howell is seen investigating a motor vehicle accident involving a train and below he is assisting with the roundup of some cattle that had escaped from a slaughterhouse.
|Photo courtesy of Officer Melvin Howell|
Strip-Tease Act Lands Dancer In Police Court
December 1952 It was just a "run-of-the-mine strip-tease act," according to Defense Attorney Joseph F. DiDomenico.But to a policewoman and four policemen it was something more than that--enough, in fact, to justify a charge of presenting an indecent show against Mrs. Carmen Benton, thirty-three, Mrs. Benton, who lives in the 700 block Reservoir street, was arraigned Wednesday before Magistrate William F. Laukaitis in Central Police Court. She let Attorney DiDomenico do the talking for her.THE VARIOUS policemen did some talking too. Patrolman George Fink of the police vice squad testified that Policewoman Miss Betty Riha and Patrolman Kenneth Runge dropped in at a cabaret In the 600 block East Baltimore street Tuesday night and were much intrigued by a dance presented by Mrs. Benton. They were so interested, in fact, that after seeing only part of the show they phoned for Patrolmen Fink, John Livesey, and Melvin Howell to join them. The three vice squad men lost no time in hurrying over from headquarters.AFTER THE dance, Mrs. Benton was arrested, and Mrs. Catherine Darrell, forty-six, one of the proprietors of the club, also was charged with permitting an indecent show to be presented. There was some testimony about a brassiere Mrs. Benton wore or didn't wear, but Defense Attorney DiDomenico denied it had been removed. Magistrate Laukaitis postponed the case until Saturday morning to permit the defendants to produce witnesses who would say Mrs. Benton's dance wasn't indecent----that it was just of run-of- the mine strip act, as Mr. DiDomenico.
September 29, 1964
Authorities are considering escape charges against a Patuxent Institute inmate who broke from custody and threw the courthouse into an uproar yesterday. Bullets ricocheted in the marble halls as a guard fired three warning shots into the ceiling when the prisoner broke away from him on the fourth floor and ran down the stairs toward the building's exit. Osborne Eberhart Hedges, 22, of Glen Burnie, was captured by guards and city police after he tripped and fell at the northwest corner of St. Paul and Fayette Sts.HEDGES had just heard himself pronounced a defective delinquent by Judge Michael J. Manley and was committed to Patuxent, where he had previously been for examination. As the gunfire reverberated through the building, judges locked themselves in their chambers; an assistant state's attorney grabbed a gun exhibit and ducked under a trial table; a stenographer fell down a flight of wooden stairs; people in corridors ran for the nearest cover, and women screamed. Hedges was taken to Mercy Hospital for treatment of injuries received when he was overpowered by his guard, Thomas S. Henderson, and Patrolman Melvin Howell.
|Officer Melvin Howell|
|Courtesy Officer John Brazil|
|Courtesy Officer John Brazil|
JULY 6, 1955
|Courtesy Officer John Brazil|
Officer John Bazil
Officer John Brazil's display of his dad's police equipment.
|Photo courtesy James Robertson|
|Photo courtesy James Robertson|
Officer Archie Roger's certificate of completion of the police academy March 15, 1957
|COURTESY OFFICER WILBUR BARTELS|
Sergeant Milton Kniese making a phone call to his station from the call box located at Morton and Oliver Sts., around 1957
|COURTESY RET. SERGEANT NICK CAPRINOLO|
Courtesy Bernie Wehage
|Photo courtesy Officer Jim Mitchell|
|Photo courtesy Officer Jim Mitchell|
Photo Courtesy James Redding
Officer Clyde Redding escorting a prisoner
Officer John W. Franks, Northern District
|Officer U.B. Huff Traffic Division|
|PHOTO COURTESY OF HIS DAUGHTER BARB (WOLFE) BUSSELLS|
Baltimore Police History
1941 - 11 January 1941 - We lost our Brother Capt. Havey Von Harten
1940's - In the 1940's the Police school, the predecessor to the Police Academy started using the motto "SERVICE WITH HOPE OF HONOR AS REWARD" This was seen on a banner in several class pictures, and when speaking to the son of one of the class members from those days his father told him it was the police school motto, and one that had stuck with him his entire career. In learning of the motto, one can't help but think of how impactful, the motto is and just how strong it is. After all, what more could any of us want than honor. So we adapted it along with the departmental motto, "Every Ready - Ever Faithful - Ever on the Watch" as our motto's for the Baltimore Police Historical Society. But both got their start elsewhere in the department through our past.
1941 - Auxiliary Police Force Est. In December 1941, after Pearl Harbor our Police Commissioner (Robert F. Stanton) realized he would be losing a lot of his men to the war effort, so he quickly organized an "Auxiliary Police Force" a unit of Civilian Defense Organization, which now has a membership of approximately two thousand persons, whose services are on a strictly voluntary basis without remuneration of any character. These men are selected from owners of big business, and executives-men in all walks of life including laborers and the unemployed (if you meet the requirements it doesn't matter what you do for a living, your help is welcome). In 1941 they originally provided at their own expense, uniforms and patrol box keys etc. The department furnished badges, whistles and nightsticks. They receive ten hours training in first-aid, two hours instructions in handling of bombs, and at least six hours instruction in police work, during which period they are assigned to work with the regular uniformed patrolmen. They were required to report to various districts and to perform two hours actual police duty assigned them by our District Captains. The purpose which the Auxiliary Police was serving and the manner in which its members have discharged its duties are worthy of the highest commendation, for it has been a most effective instrument in aiding in the preservation of law and order. Cooperation between this unit and the regular uniform force are. Basis for the progress made in combating crime. After the war there was a bit of dissension among the Auxiliary Police Force and the regular force
1942 - Oct 1942 - Baltimore's Ballistic/Brass Button Ban - Needing all the "Brass" our country could get it's hands on for use in our ammunition during the War efforts the WPB [War Production Board]. Takes a certain kind of Twinkling from the coats of our handsome agencies young officers during their first few months on the streets as they will be using black buttons instead of the polished shiny look of a young officer as he first works Baltimore's st, the way one might think of a Navy Pea Coat. This says more about times in America than it does the Police Department, obviously, our police can enforce the laws regardless of what they wear, but it is nice to see them in full Class A, and other uniforms.
1943 - 13 June 1943 - We lost our Brother Police Officer William J. Woodcock
1943 - 12 Aug 1943 - Baltimore Police Department's Taxicab Bureau began late in the week of 12 Aug 1943, with the issuance of a new type of badge and identification card. William Monaghan, became the supervisor to this newly organized branch within Baltimore City's Police Department. This unit was the brainchild of Police Commissioner Hamilton Atkinson. Of the 1450 Cab drivers in Baltimore during the year 1943, only 990 had applied for a license, due to their past criminal records 45 of the 990 were denied the right to a Baltimore Police Taxicab License. The Identification Cards and Badges issued at the time were described as having been, "Hermetically" sealed between two transparent sheets of plastic to prevent their having being tampered with.
1943 - 7 November 1943 - We lost our Brother Police Officer William S. Knight
1943 - 16 November 1943 - We lost our Brother Detective Patrolman Charles H. Reid
1943 - African American officers were finally allowed to wear police uniforms, and by 1950, there were fifty African American officers in the department.
1943 - Hamilton R. Atkinson, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1943-1949
1944 - 29 January 1944 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Joseph Waldsachs * (9)
1944 - 19 July 1944 - Radio cars are marked for the first time departmental history. The Commissioner at the time Hamilton Atkinson said the cars could not be missed as they will have 12" letters running down both sides of the cars that simply reads "POLICE" NOTE - Accident investigation vehicles were marked prior to the 1944 radio cars
1944 - 7 October 1944 - The Baltimore police switches from the round, or oval top police caps that were worn for a little more than 30 years after the "Bobby Cap" type helmet, to the current "Octagonal" or "Eight point" hat we wear today.
1945 - 2 June 1945 – Policewoman Ada F Bresnan of the Baltimore Police Department, became the first woman elevated to the rank of Sergeant. Sgt. Bresnan was appointed to the department in November of 1929.
1945 - 17 August 1945 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John J. Burns
1945 - 10 September 1945 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John B. Bealefeld
1946 - 1 March 1946, we lost our Brother Patrolman George H. Weichert *
1946 - 27 June 1946 - We lost our Brother Patrolman James M Shamer *
1946 - 20 November 1946 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Elmer A. Noon
1947 - 13 January 1947 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Fred R. Unger
1947 - 13 October 1947 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Charles Hart *
1947 - 25 January 1947, The Baltimore Police Department promotes one of the Department's First African American Officers to the Department's first African American Police Sergeant. Patrolman James H. Butler Jr. now Sergeant Butler was formerly a College Football Player until hired by Commissioner William P Lawson, on 28 July 1938, as he was among the first three African American males hired by the Department.
1948 - 13 February 1948 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Joseph Daniel Benedict
1948 - 1 October 1948 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Thomas J. Burns
1948 - 30 December 1948 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John W. Arnold
1948 - Crime Lab Est. The Baltimore Police Department’s 1st Crime Lab
1949 - 4 April 1949 - We lost our Brother Police Officer James L. Joyce
1949 - 16 October 1949 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Thomas J. O'Neill
1949 - Beverly Ober, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioner from 1949-1955
1950 - 4 August 1950 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Charles M. Hilbert
1951 - 6 January 1951 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Roland W. Morgan
1951 - 23 June 1951 - We lost our Brother Patrolman Arthur Weiss
1951 - 7 April 1951 - Central Records was established and Central Records Bureau was created
1951 - 19 April 1951 - Meritorious Service Board created
1951 - 1 June 1951 - Medical [Section] Bureau Established
1951 - 5 Sept 1951 - Marks the end of the Police Department’s 110-year-old system of using docket books to log prisoners at district station houses. The bound books, which have been used since before the Civil War to record the vital statistics of those arrested in Baltimore were being replaced with loose-leaf dockets. The change, ordered by Commissioner Beverly Ober, began on 5 September 1951 in the Central District. Under the new setup, as many as 24 additional clerks would be needed to type the information now entered in longhand on old style the docket books.
1952 - June 1952 - Crossing Guards added, hired in June of 1952, trained and ready to take their posts in September at the start of the new school session. Guards made $25 a week to be paid bi-weekly during school sessions.
1952 - Armory Est. in 1952 the Gun-shop (now called the Armory) was established
1952 - 28 June 1952 - The department started using a Single Rocker type shoulder patch, it was black with yellow/orange trim, and lettering that read, "Baltimore City Police." This was to be worn on the left shoulder of the officers coat, or blouse (jacket). The original concept was to also have a second patch similar to this but for the shirt. The shirt version was being studied and would have had a Blue background with White lettering/outline. On the 28th of June 1952 these patches were issued to Officers in training, Officers on the street would get them not long after at a cost of 30 cents each.
1953 - Mrs. Mary E. Hoy, Baltimore City Police Crossing Guard received the department's highest award “The Medal of Honor.” During that time School, Crossing Guards were employees of the Baltimore Police Department.
1953 - 1 August 1953 - We lost our Brother Police Officer James L. Scholl
1954 - 15 Jan 1954 - Fallen Officer Plaque First Issued/Presented - Police Commissioner Beverly R. Ober holding plaque which he will be presenting to Mrs. Margret A. Scholl, widow of the Eastern District Sergeant James L. Scholl, who died from a gunshot wound last Aug 1st . The plaque carries Sergeant Scholl's badge, Baltimore Police Sergeant's Badge Number 118, and an inscription reading; "Baltimore Police Department, Medal of Honor. Sergeant James L. Scholl. Appointed 1 June 1942, Died in the Discharge of His Duty 1 Aug 1953. His Service Honored the Department." The Commissioner said, this is the first such plaque to be made in Honor of a Fallen Officer in this agency, but that Similar Plaques will now be Awarded in all such cases. Sergeant Scholl's was the first award of its kind within the Baltimore Police Department.
1954 - 14 February 1954 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Alfred P. Bobelis
1954 - 19 April 1954 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Aubrey L. Lowman
1954 - 1 July 1954 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Walter D. Davis
1954 - Mobile Crime Lab Est. May of 1954 The Mobile Crime Lab Unit was established.
1954 - 1 July 1954 - Radar Unit Began it consisted of 2 cars 3 officers. Warnings were given for the first several weeks after that summons were issued.
1954 - July. 1954 - The practice of paying salaried in cash was stopped and paying by check began
1955 - 24 October 1955 - We lost our Brother Sergeant James J. Purcell
1955 - 1 November 1955 - After nearly 20 years and four police commissioners arguing for and against Parking meters; Parking meters are finally signed into law and on 1 Nov 1955 the first parking meter was installed and went into use on North Ave in Baltimore City. These meters were enforced by Baltimore Police department's Traffic Enforcement Section.
1955 - 28 November 1955 - Polygraph Unit Est. First in the State Commissioner Hepbron brings the machine to help build a polygraph unit within the Rackets Division of the department. (In 1966 this unit would be transferred to the Crime Lab unit - Before the move to Crime Lab this little machine will cause headaches for the commissioner that brings it to Baltimore)
1955 - James M. Hepbron, was one of our Baltimore City Police Commissioners from 1955-1961
1956 - 27 May 1956 - We lost our Brother Police Lieutenant William P. Thompson
1956 - 29 September 1956 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John R. Phelan
1956 - 17 October 1956 - The word "POLICE" was added in reflected tape to the rear of 200 departmental police vehicles. The idea was to both mark the vehicles, and to make them less likely to be struck from behind. When Commissioner Hepbron noticed an unusual number of parked patrol cars being rear-ended, he asked for suggestion to stop or reduce theses numbers. Inspector Leo T. Kelly, came up with the idea of adding 5" reflective letters rubber cemented to the rear of our cars make them more visible. The same week, for the first time police vehicles were equipped with the same kind of flashing red roof lights, as those that were in use by our Fire Department.
1956 - Baltimore’s K9 Unit was initiated - On Tuesday, December 11, 1956, an article was published in one of our local newspapers which was one of a series of articles written by one Martin Millspaugh pertaining to Scotland Yard. This article the last of a series was devoted to the use of police dogs in London. As a result of the letters and inquiries received by Commissioner James M. Hepbron, an article appeared in the Morning Sun on December 17, 1956 which briefly stated that Commissioner Hepbron was interested and saw the possibilities of using dogs in the Baltimore City Police Department. On December 18, 1956, two dogs (Turk & Major Gruntz) that had had previous training were offered to the Baltimore City Police Department and, with two officers (Patrolman Thomas McGinn and Irvan Marders) also with previous dog experience, the program was put into effect on an “experimental basis”. By the middle of January 1957, fourteen dogs had been acquired as potential candidates and fourteen men were selected and assigned to the K~9 Corps. These men were chosen as a result of a questionnaire which was sent to all members of the department asking for volunteers. These men and dogs were trained daily until March 1, 1957. At that time, they were put on the street on Friday and Saturday nights, working the areas where crime was most prevalent. Shortly after this, actually on April 17, 1957~ Commissioner Hepbron, considering the experiment a success, went before the Mayor and City Council and appropriations were made through the Board of Estimates which resulted in the K-9 Corps becoming a permanent part of the Baltimore City Police. (NOTE - 1914 - Baltimore was using private dogs, one such dog, the first ever recorded was "Luxe" privately owned but protecting Baltimore's citizens through canine power)
1956 - 30 December 1956 - K9 makes their first arrests, James Diggs, B/M 23. Major and Turk apprehend a suspect for breaking into a motor vehicle, and stealing contents. James Diggs, thought briefly about fleeing but quickly changed his mind while in the 400 Blk. of W. Franklin St. as he saw the sharp teeth, and fast legs of Turk, and Major Von-Gruntz (aka Major) Diggs changed his mind, giving the dogs their first arrest. The handlers at the time were Officers, Irvin Marders, William Kerbe, and Robert Johnson. Diggs was sentenced to 30 days, in Central Court for theft from a parked Motor Vehicle.
1957 - 9 October 1957 - We lost our Brother Police Officer John F. Andrews
1958 - 19 September 1958 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Robert K. Nelson
1959 - 1 Aug 1959 - Southeastern District Opens - The Southeastern District is the youngest of all of our districts, it was built in 1958/59 at its present location of 5710 Eastern Ave
1959 - 11 January 1959 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Richard H. Duvall, Jr.
1959 - Baltimore's Park Police would disband, most members go to Baltimore Police Department where they retained their rank, their time, and their pension. Originally founded in 1862 to cover parks that fell outside Baltimore Police Jurisdiction.
1960 - January 1960 - Baltimore Police along with Maryland State Police would introduce the Breathalyzer into Maryland's fight against Drunk Driving. It would be used up until 1993 when it was replaced with the a unit called "The Intoximeter".
1960 - 16 November 1960 - We lost our Brother Police Officer Warren V. Eckert
Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll