Baltimore Police Patrol



The Baltimore Police Department uses "Districts", Sectors and Posts to form what is known as Patrol. Where many departments use "Precincts," our department uses Districts, Districts numbered 1, thru 9. Starting with Central District (#1) from there we go to Southeast District (#2), and then going counter clockwise around the cities districts to Eastern (#3), Northeast (#4), Northern (#5), Northwestern (#6), Western (#7), Southwestern (#8) and finally Southern (#9). Their phone numbers by the way also use the numbers 1 thru 9, CD being 396-2411, SE 396-2422, E 396-2433, NE 396-2444, N 396-2455, NW 396-2466, W 396-2477 SW 396-2488 and S 396-2499.
Reports also go by these numbers, all Central District reports start with the number 1 followed by a letter indicating the month 1 thru 12 Jan thru Dec, and then the number sequentially of the report so the first report would be 1A0001, and so on, making it easy to file and find reports based on District and Date of occurrence.


The following are links to the district pages on this site

 

1. Central

1826 -  Central/Middle District History - 03-09-1826  Central District was first known as the Middle District and was first located at Holiday and Saratoga Streets, it was established on 03-09-1826, the building that housed Central was built in 1802 and was in use by the police until 1870. From there they moved to 202 N. Guilford Avenue, (North Street) that building was brand new built in 1870 and used until 1908. On March 4 1908 Central moved to Saratoga and St. Paul Streets, a renovated school house. That location was used until 09-12-1926 when they went to Fallsway and Fayette St. sharing the Headquarters building built in 1926 and used until 09-12-1977 when they moved to 500 E. Baltimore St.

2. Southeast

1858/59 - Southeastern District History - 1958/59 - The Southeastern District is the youngest of all of our districts, it was first built in 1958/59 at it's present location of 5710 Eastern Ave


3. Eastern

1826 - Eastern District History - 03-09-1826 - The Eastern District was first located at 1621 Bank Street a building that was built around 1822, and still stands to this day. It remained at the Bank Street location until the summer of 1959, when the station was moved to the old Northeastern station at Ashland and Chew St. (Durham) in the Summer of 1959 where they stayed until 1960. In December 1960 they moved to their current location at 1620 Edison Highway.

4. Northeast
1874 - Northeasten District History - 1874 - The Northeastern Distirct was first opened at Ashland and Chew Streets (Durham) in 1874 where it remained until 1958/9 when they moved to their present district at 1900 Argonne Drive.

5. Northern

1900 - Northern District History - 1900 The Northern District was first opened at Keswick and 34th Street (Cedar & Second Streets) on 1 Feb 1900 at 8am ran by Capt. Gittings, Lieutenants Henry and Dempsey; Round Sergeants will be, Warden for Day Duty, and Moxley for Night Duty. At the time they began with 50 officers. It remained at the Keswick location until 2001 when it moved to it's current location at 2201 W Coldspring Lane.

6. Northwest

1874 - Northwestern District History - 1874 - The Northwestern District was first opened at Pennsylvania Ave and Lambert Street in 1874 where it remained until 1958/9 when they moved to their present district on Reisterstown Rd. 

7. Western

1826 - Western District History - The Western District was first located at Green St between Baltimore St, and Belvidere St. Used from 1826 until 1876 when they moved to their new location, Pine Street, (still stands to day and is used by the Maryland University Police) Baltimore Police used it from 1876 until 1958/9 when they built their new station house at 1034 N Mount St, which is the current site on the Western District. 

8. Southwest

1884 - Southwestern District History - 17 July 1884  The Southwestern District was first opened at Calhoun and Pratt Streets (200 S Calhoun St) where it remained until 11 July 1958 when they moved to their present location at 424 Font Hill Ave. 

9. Southern 

1845 - Southern District History - The Southern District was first located at Montgomery and Sharp Streets, wgere it sat from 1845 until 1896 when they moved to Ostend Street. Ostend Street and Patapsco Street, remained in use from 1896 until 1985/86, when it moved to 10 Cherry Hill Road where it remains in use to present.

 

Patrol Vehicles had an Interesting History of Their Own,

Police Limit Car Sirens

The Sun (1837-1987); Nov 17, 1968;

pg. 17

Police Limit 

Car Sirens

Action Taken To Eliminate - False Sense Of Security

The city's Police Department is putting sirens on fewer and fewer of its cars. The number of cars bearing sirens is being reduced in an effort to eliminate a false sense of security which they tend to give patrolmen who are racing to answer a call, William R. Morrissey, the department's public relations man, said yesterday.

 

Mr. Morrissey acknowledged that "there is no solid, professional thinking ... as to whether police vehicles should or should not be equipped with sirens" but he pointed to experiences several years ago when all cruisers had sirens and the accident rate among police cars was so high that use of sirens was curtailed.

 

Report Asked

Currently, Mr. Morrissey said, sirens are installed on several cars in each of the nine police districts, some cars used by detectives, traffic patrol cars and some specialized vehicles. The lack of sirens on police cars has prompted city Councilman Emerson R. Julian D., 4th) to ask the department for a report on the use of sirens on police vehicles. If that information shows that sirens are needed, to help protect the public, Dr. Julian said, he will introduce a bill to require sirens on all police vehicles.

Mr. Morrissey pointed out that in some emergency situations, use of a siren could alert a criminal that the police are coming. And, he said, the driver or an emergency vehicle is still required to drive "with due regard for the safety of all persons using a public street." Even if he has both his siren and his flashing light in operation.

Dr. Julian said that he became interested in the siren question after several near-collisions with police cars and a minor collision involving a patrol car on an emergency call and a car in which he was a passenger.



Police Department driving failed to improve in 71 – 72

21 February 1972 – page C16

The Baltimore city Police Department driving record showed little improvement last year over its performance in 1970 – department statistics show.

City policeman were involved in 922 traffic mishaps while on duty last year – only one less than the number of accidents in 1970.

The department’s problem is not new. Donald D Pomerleau the police Commissioner, angered by the high accident rate two years ago – then nearly double the nation average – said in a departmental publication that the driving record was nothing short of “horrendous.”

For every million miles of driving by policeman last year, there were 55.35 accidents, according to departmental statistics.

Of the 922 mishaps last year, policeman were found at fault in 400 – including 315 accidents the department felt were “preventable.”

Disciplinary measures were taken again 334 policemen involved in accidents last year depriving the men of the total of 709 leave days

the department in the past was resorted to placing poor drivers on permit for patrol, suspending their police driving licenses and giving them oral reprimands.

A requirement that policeman contribute part of the cost of repairs to mangle patrol cars was eliminated several years ago when the city assumed care of the fleet.

Particularly alarming to the department is the number of policeman injured in traffic accidents. The 146 injured policeman were on medical leave for over 1500 days because of the mishaps.

In 1970, a driver – research firm spent several months studying the driving characteristics of city policeman, but failed to find and the explanation for the high rate of accidents.

Policeman as a group are somehow “unique” and that they “do not match any known driving population on record,” a spokesman for the firm reported.


Removed Sirens

a few years back, the department remove the sirens from most patrol cars in an attempt to reduce accidents. A department spokesman said the sirens were “distracting” and made the drivers reckless and overconfident.

The sirens were believed partially responsible for the police men crashing into each other’s patrol cars while answering the same calls.

But department records show most accidents – more than 430 last year – occurred while policeman were on routine patrol. A majority also occurred during peak traffic hours in the morning and evening.


Ran Into Pedestrians

Department taxes last year included 30 in which policeman ran into pedestrians and nearly 200 and which police vehicles were struck by civilian cars.

Other’s happened in police parking lots and garages.

Lieut. Col. William Harris, chief of the traffic division, has proposed a defensive driving program that would be required for policeman involved in accidents.

The program would include movies of other traffic accidents – film similar to those used by the motor vehicle administration and its driver rehab program.

State Agency Faults City for Lack of Police Sirens

The Sun (1837-1987); Jun 29, 1972;

pg. D24

State Agency Faults City for Lack of Police Sirens

The city Police Department is violating state law by not equipping two thirds of its vehicles with sirens, whistles or bells, a motor vehicle administration official said yesterday

William T. S. Bricker, deputy administrator for the agency. Said Donald Pomerleau the police Commissioner, was “clearly wrong” to ordered audible signal devices removed from most departmental vehicles several years ago.

It was done because Mr. Pomerleau “didn’t want to let the bank robbers know the police were coming.” Said Mr. Bricker. Formerly an assistant state’s attorney general and an assistant state attorney.

But the consequence is that ordinary citizens receive inadequate warning of approaching police cars. Mr. Bricker added.

The motor vehicle administration has no plans, however, to make the Police Department comply with the law. Spokesman said they wanted to avoid a “hassle” with the police.

The police spokesman said the department was aware of what the law calls for, but has made a “judgment not to equip more cars with sirens at this time.”

300 of 900 department vehicles have sirens, said Dennis S Hill, the police departments public information director. And the 300 can handle the volume of emergency calls, he said.

“There is no question in my mind that the Baltimore city Police Department is in violation of the motor vehicle code,” contended Mr. Bricker.

In the event of a collision involving a police vehicle not equipped with a warning device, “the city is liable,” he said.

A section of the vehicle code covering the “rights and liability” of drivers says that emergency vehicles are not entitled to automatic right-of-way unless they are equipped with “audible warning” devices.

The law on this point is “overwhelming,” Mr. Bricker proclaimed.

Another section of the code says that drivers of emergency vehicles may disregard “traffic signals and speed limits” only if their vehicles are equipped with sirens.

Police officials said that they removed audible warning devices for most of their vehicles to reduce department accidents. Sirens allegedly were “distracting” and may drivers reckless and overconfident. In some instances, police cars with blaring sirens were said to have collided with each other.

But department records show that most police accidents more than 430 last year – occur while policeman are one routine patrol – not on emergency runs. Also, there were 922 traffic mishaps involving policeman last year, only one less than the number of accidents in 1970.

City police cars and trucks were involved in 168 accidents during the first quarter of 1972. In only five other cities – of 54 surveyed recently by the national safety Council – the police cars and trucks have higher accident rates during the four-month period.

During the same time span, the Baltimore department ranked the fourth highest among 21 city police departments survived by the safety Council for frequency of accidents among two wheeled police motorcycles.

But for three wheelers, the local department had no accident – ranking it first among 13 city department surveyed during the quarter, the safety Council reported.


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Brian Kuebler wrote BALTIMORE - Citing efficiency and safety, the Baltimore Police Department is making yet another visible change in its patrol division by eventually decreasing the use of prisoner transport vans. This information comes as a surprise to many of the members of Baltimore’s Patrol division, as they fear the safety issues are not at the root of this change. Having worked patrol myself, I happen to know if ever there was a concern for officer safety it is not while the prisoner is in a wagon behind, or in front of an officer's vehicle, so much as it is with the prisoner in the vehicle a little less than 2ft behind the officer. There are instances of prisoners vomiting, urinating, and or defecating on themselves in the vehicle, or having concealed weapons that could be used to stab, or shoot the officer from behind. So this could be, and most likely is more than an officer safety issue, and is most likely an issue of budget. Either way, safety or budget, it is not about, nor will it affect (in a positive light) officer morale. He went to say The cage equipped vans, or wagons as they are commonly referred, are used to transport suspects from the scene of a crime or an arrest. Often Baltimore Police would process and handcuff suspects before calling and waiting on a transport vehicle. They are more commonly known as “paddy wagons” by the public, a derogatory term aimed at the Irish dating back to the 1800s in New York. While there is some truth to this, in that is was aimed at the police most of whom were Irish, and from the time period of the 1800's, but the location is off, it was Boston, not New York, and at the time we pretty much all used "Horse Drawn Wagons", hence the term "Wagon" of course the police at the times were mostly Irish, so yes, it was a "Paddy Wagon". When I was on in the late 80's to early 2000, we still called it a "Wagon", we used a box truck type wagon, muck like an ambo, and we called it Wagon, short for "Paddy Wagon" also as an Irishman, I don't think it is derogatory, in fact as a retired Officer, of Irish decent, I am proud to have come from a background of Strong Irish Law enforcement officers, known for fighting crime. The article continued with - But that is not why modern day Baltimore Police are doing away with their frequent use. In Brian's investigation into this story he learned from Lt. Eric Kowolczyk the patrol cars, will all become PTV's (Prisoner Transport Vehicles) something we used to call "Cage Cars" talk about derogatory, it was called this because the first cage cars, were made up simply by putting a thin cage between the officer's and their prisoners. Often spit would fly between the cage, and toward the officers, so the cage was replaced with Plexiglas to prevent anything, spit, blood or other bodily fluids from being thrown at, or on the police. So when Lt. Kowolczyk said, “In our new vehicles we have made a number of changes and upgrades regarding equipment and tools that will assist our officers in the crime fight. One of those changes will be partitions in the vehicles.  These partitions will assist in ensuring the safety of those involved in the arrest, as well in expediting the event itself. They will still allow for complete mobility within the vehicle,”  We learn this is more about economics than safety, this is nothing new, it is more of the same old "Cage Car" prisoner transport of the late 80's early 90's - Which is confirmed with the final line - Prisoner transport instead will be done more with individual patrol cars.

 

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Each of our Districts have a rich history in the number of sacrifices made by our police for the citizens of Baltimore. Throughout this site you will find some amazing stories of the men and women that have served this city. If you know anyone that has, you should thank them for their service. 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.">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


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POLICE INFORMATION

 

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

 

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NOTICE

 

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.

 

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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