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Southern District


Street Address: 10 Cherry Hill Road
Baltimore, Maryland 21225
Mailing Address: Click for mailing address
Phone: 410-396-2499
E-mail: E-mail the Southern District

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.

The Southern District is comprised of 12.79 square miles and approximately 61,000 residents. It is home to M&T Bank stadium, home of the Ravens, and Camden Yards, home of the Orioles. The district borders Anne Arundel County and Baltimore County, as well as the Southwest, Western and Central Districts. The district extends south from the Inner Harbor along the water front to Hawkins point, west to the Lakeland community, north to Baltimore St. and Payson St. and east back to the Harbor.

The officers of the Southern District are proud to serve many diverse and active neighborhoods, which are the fabric of the district. By working with the citizens, it is the goal of the Southern District to improve the quality of life for all residents and visitors.


Barre Circle, Bay Brook Park, Brooklyn, Carroll Park, Carroll – Camden Industrial Area, Carrollton Ridge, Cherry Hill, Cherry Hill Park, Curtis Bay, Downtown Industrial Area, Fairfield, Federal Hill Park, Federal Hill – Montgomery, Fort Armistead Park, Fort McHenry, Hawkins Point, Hollins Market, Hollins Park, Lakeland, Latrobe Park, Locust Point, Locust Point Industrial Area, Middle Branch/Reedbird Park, Mount Clare, Mount Winans, New Southwest – Mount Clare, Otterbein, Port Covington, Pratt Monroe, Reed Bird Island, Ridgely’s Delight, Riverside, Riverside Park, Saint Paul, SBIC/West Federal Hill, Sharp – Leadenhall, Shoreline, Silo Point, South Baltimore, Spring Garden Industrial Area, Stadium Area, Swann Park, Union Square, Wagner’s Point, Washington Village/Pigtown, Wegworth Park, West Pratt, Westport

Neighborhood Resources

The Southern District Police Community Relations CouncilSouth Baltimore Business AssociationSouth Baltimore Improvement CommitteeUnion SquareBrooklynBrooklyn and Curtis Bay CoalitionCarrollton RidgeCurtis BayFederal HillFederal Hill SouthRiversideChesapeake Center for Youth DevelopmentHistoric Federal Hill Main Street

The Southern District borders three other Patrol Districts – Central, Western and Southwestern Districts, and consists of a land area of approximately 12.79 square miles. Much of the district borders on the Inner, Middle and Outer branches of the Patapsco River, which eventually enters the Chesapeake Bay in Anne Arundel County. The District has a population of about 61,000 people and consists of numerous industrial and manufacturing plants.

Entries made in a 1848 SD ledger book

Feb. 9, 1848 Officer Dreck lost espantoon, rattle and badge

Sept.20, 1848 Night watchman was found drunk lost hat & badge.

Dec.24, 1848 Watchman John Rose was shot.

March 6, 18481st. Mention of watchmen returning badges to watch house after their watch was over. Prior entries only mention return of tikes & rattles.

July 5, 1848Threat to shoot a Night Watchman was made.

Aug. 26,1848Watchman saves 2 horses


Officer standing in front of The Mansion House at Carroll Park in South Baltimore.

Light Street 1907



Patrolman Thomas Norton, of the Southern District, played the role of a hero yesterday at Ferry Bay by diving into the water in full uniform and saving the life of Adolph Pfeffer, 16 years old, of 14 Patapsco Street.

Young Pfeffer, who had been crabbing, was seized with a fit and fell into the water. Sergeant Flood and Patrolman Norton were nearby, and the patrolman jumped in the water and with the assistance of Sergeant Flood, got the boy out. He was sent to his home in the Southern patrol wagon, and Patrolman Norton went home and changed his clothing.

Article from The Sun published on 31 Aug 1901, page 12.


Sent to Patrolman Norton’s Granddaughter, Linda Norton Thomas, in November 2010.



Four patrolmen were retired on half pay by the Police Board yesterday. They were Thomas Norton, of the Southern district; George E. Myers, of the Northwestern district; Edward B. Todd, turnkey, of the Northwestern police station; and Frank Schaefer, of the Northeastern district.

Schaefer is suffering from a disease of the spine and for two months was a patient at the University Hospital.

It is reported that other retirements are in contemplation.

Article from The Sun published on 26 Feb 1914.


Sent to Patrolman Norton’s Granddaughter, Linda Norton Thomas, in November 2010

Note: Both of ther aformentioned articles were taken from ProQuest Historical Newspapers (1835-1985)


Police Officer Thomas Norton, great-great grandfather to Retired Detective Brian D. Schwaab and Retired Sergeant Douglas W. Schwaab, family indicates that he worked Southern district
Brian Schwaab

Photos (above) is SD Sgt Phillip Flood at a call box
(below) is a news article about the Great Great Grandfather of Retired Detective Brian D. Schwaab sent to him by Kim Kurth Gray (Daughter of the late Retired BPD Detective Charles Kurth).
news article


Southern District, 1950’s


Southern District
Captain Lindung
September, 1930


Southern District
Captain Lindung
September, 1930


Southern District
Captain Lindung
September, 1930
Police Protection for a Young Student
Leon Thompson is given a police escort home from Southern High School in Baltimore, Maryland. While white northerners did not mount the South’s “massive resistance”, they did not readily accept school integration. Baltimore initially followed the Brown decision, integrating 34 blacks with 1758 whites at Southern High, but pro-segregationists soon rallied a mob of 800 people around the school to halt desegregation. Source: Life Magazine, 10-11-1954.


Baltimore City Police provide escort for negro students at Southern High School 1954

1955 segregation demonstration at Southern High School


Baltimore City Police officer seperates whites and negro students at Southern High School to prevent fighting.

October 1, 1954

Man charged

Bribe Attempt 1959

Bribe attempt Oct 1959

Hand Grenade 1960

Hand Grenade April 23 1960
Woman Abducted 1968Woman Abducted Aug 2 1968Policeman Wounded 1969

Policeman wounded May 9 1969


OFFICER JULES DENITO Southern District 1967
OFFICER JULES DENITO Southern District 1967
Lewis Southern
Photo Courtesy of Michael Lewis
Officer Edward D. Lewis
Officer Tom Douglas 1970
Courtesy Thomas Douglas
Courtesy Thomas Douglas
Officer Al Pelzinski 1971


Officer Albert Yox 1971


Lieutenant William Eusini 1972

Mike Caplan Jack of all trades


(L-R) Officer Jack Langan,Officer James Segeda and Officer Don Chase @ Union Square Park at Stricker and Lombard Sts. this was around Halloween, as Don Chase always put a “dummy” in the front passenger seat of his radio car, and told everyone that was his partner! 1981-1982


Officer Fred Rose 1972
Best OIC & report writer in Sector 3, a real cop’s cop.

Lt. Tom Douglas relates that Fred Rose was most exceptional Officer he worked with in the Southern District. He had about 18 years on when he met him in 1970. He took him under his wing and taught him to write, know GO’s better than supervisors and how to patrol. Fred was hurt and took a medical retirement, moved to Florida after having a stroke. In the ’80’s, he returned to Maryland and stayed with his granddaughter but died shortly there after. He taught more officers in sector 3 how to do their job, stay straight and maintain integrity. He was missed when he left the department then more so with his passing.


Officer Fred Rose seen here in a 1991 photo where he retired in Steinhatchee, Fla.
(Below) Fred is seen with Doris Larkin, Ray Burkentine and Officer John Ruppertus


Sgt Richard Byrd Martin

Sergeant Richard Byrd Martin was a tough Baltimore street cop and enjoyed writing satirical poetry about departmental policies. He retired from the Southern District in 1974 and passed away in 2004. He was highly revered by members of the department and surely missed by his many friends.

Hollywood comes to the Department

Hollywood 1

Richard Dreyfuss takes a break and chats with Southern District Commander Joseph H. Cooke and Captain Howard F. Parrott (white shirt) (above)

Actors, Richard Dreyfuss and Michael Tucker (at right) are part of this action filmed at the Southern District. (below

Hollywood 2

. . Lights . . . camera . . . action cut “Tin Men,” Barry Levinson’s latest comedy filmed in Baltimore City, cut away to Southern District Police Station to shoot one of the movie’s more hilarious scenes. The film is about two Baltimore aluminum siding salesmen bent on wrecking each other’s businesses and personal lives. The film stars are “Taxi’s” Danny DeVito and “Jaws'” Richard Dreyfuss, “Tin Men,” Levinson’s third film set in Baltimore, promises lots of fun and laughs. Levinson, a native Baltimorean, wrote and directed “Diner” filmed in Baltimore in 1980. His film “Justice for All” includes several scenes filmed also in Baltimore. The scene shot at Southern District captures BB (Richard Dreyfuss) coming from the police station to swear out a warrant for Tilly’s (Danny DeVito arrest. Although the film shot at Southern District constituted some 6 hours, after editing, the scene could be reduced to 2 or 3 minutes, if not cut completely. At least 3 Hollywood hopefuls hope not. Sergeant Robert Wolfe of the Education and Training Division was cast as an extra in the station scene where he plays the role of a detective involved in a telephone conversation while Tilly ( DeVito) is being booked on an arrest warrant. Sergeant Wolfe, a 33 year veteran of the police department, who was actually a detective in 1963 investigating property crimes, found himself providing valuable technical advice concerning the general overall appearance of the station house. Sergeant Wolfe would quickly peruse the scene and advise, “You need lots of coffee cups and cigarette butts, a real part of police work.” Wolfe said that within seconds Directors responded providing dingy coffee cups and mounds of cigarette butts. It appears that Sergeant Wolfe is not only a veteran to the Department, but also to the silver screen. Wolfe, in 1951, played a three minute background part in “Flying Leathernecks,” starring John Wayne. Wolfe comments that, “An acting career is a lot of fun, but a lot of hard work.” The directors were quite pleased to have real officers playing some of the parts. It gave the scene, 1963, authenticity. Sergeant Hessie T. Sessomes Jr., Ill, Crime Resistance Unit, also had a role in the movie. He played the part of a court clerk who calls the court to order and ask that Ernest Tilly come to the hearing room. Sergeant Sessomes auditioned for the part with 20 professional actors before he was selected. “Tin Men” is not his first try as an actor. He appeared in the Hollywood film “Bedroom Window,” filmed last spring. Sergeant Robert F. Fischer. of the Education and Training Division may also be headed for Hollywood stardom. In addition to acting in a small background part, Sergeant Fischer assisted the directors in collecting authentic 1963 objects required in the station house scene. Fischer loaned his 1963 badge, he shared photographs from his personal collection, and generally tried to relocate the past for the directors. While fame and glory have touched but 3 in the ranks, the Department has played a supportive role in the production of the film. Sergeant Robert C. Novak, Community Relations Section, supervised security, making certain that expensive equipment was not stolen. Because of the crowds and excitement that always accompany movie-making, the Department was on call during filming for parking, crowd and traffic control. Members of the Department are to be on the lookout for the 3 actor’s debut when the film “Tin Men” is released in 1987.


Officer Brian Schwaab ( Southern District) assisting a young boy who was involved in an accident on Washington Blvd. 1991


Officer Brian Schwaab teaching a crime prevention class at Our Lady of Victory grade school


Last day the old SOUTHERN DISTRICT was in service

Sergeant Douglas Schwaab
October 2005



Officer Freddie Baker (left), Officer Lloyd (center), and Officer Cory Britton (right)

Officer Baker currently still assigned Southern District, the others have left for another agency.


Officer James & Officer Moody


Officer Rodney & Officer Frank


James “Bob” Morsell is seated in the first row and he is the second one in from the right (glasses and baseball cap).


The last Patrol is a monthly meeting of retired Baltimore Police Officers who served in the Southern District during their careers.
Dad Pat elmer bowen
Courtesy William Bowen
P/O Elmer Bowen
elmer bowen
Courtesy William Bowen
Capt Elmer Bowen
Bill Bowen 1
Courtesy William Bowen
P/O Bill Bowen
Bill Lieut bowen 2
Courtesy William Bowen
Lt Bill Bowen

The History of the Southern District Police Station

28 East Ostend Street

The Southern District Police Station at the corner of East Ostend and Patapsco Streets,

in a residential section of South Baltimore. The building has an imposing presence in an area characterized by modest two and three-story row houses between Light and South Charles Streets, the primary commercial streets that run parallel through the Federal Hill and South Baltimore neighborhoods.

The Southern District Police Station, constructed in 1896, is a Romanesque Revival style steel frame building faced in stone and brick. The style was clearly perceived as appropriate for the South Baltimore Police Station, where the balance of substance and enrichment was important to public perception of the Baltimore Police Department. The station comprised of a three story cubic main block, a two-story rear addition, and two 1950’s additions that fill most of the remainder of the lot. The organization of the building reflects its original function as a Baltimore Police Department station house. The architectural design incorporates a rich vocabulary of round-arched openings and carved surfaces.

The clarity of the architectural design has survived many changes over the years but the building retains sufficient integrity to convey the architectural image employed by the Baltimore Police Department at the end of the 19th century. The building name, “Southern District Police Station,” and date of construction, “1896”, are carved over the center bay of the front (south) façade.

Originally, the floor plan of the Southern District Police Station was arranged with large public, administration, and training spaces on the first floor and in the front of the building and additional administrative spaces on upper floors of the main block with 24 cells contained in an adjoining addition. The fourth floor was used as a police shooting gallery.

Jackson Coale Gott designed the Southern District Police Station. A Baltimore native, Gott was born in 1829 on the Coale estate near Lake Roland. Gott initially apprenticed carpentry and following private study of architecture and a brief apprenticeship in an architectural office he established his own firm in 1863. His commission for the Southern District Police Station is typical of his body of work, which includes institutional, commercial, and industrial buildings such as the Maryland Penitentiary (1894), stations for the Western Maryland Railroad at Glyndon and Union Bridge (1894), and the Johnston and Rombro loft buildings (26-30 and 22-24 South Howard Street, (1880 and 1881). At the time of his death, he was recognized as the “dean of Baltimorearchitects.”

The Southern District Police Station is a physical manifestation of the turn-of-the-century revolution in police work that was coupled with the need for a larger police force. The Southern District Police Station was a monumental building denoting a police presence and housing specialized spaces for police work. The main goal of police department reformers in 1896 was to bolster the legitimacy of the police by distinguishing them from the population they were monitoring. Reformers worked to limit the societal role of the police to crime prevention and detection, eliminate the influence of politics in creating a police force, integrate new technology in police work and officer supervision, and professionalize the police force through hiring and training practices.

In 19th century cities, prior to institutionalized social services, police were a crucial social welfare institution. As Baltimore grew, the police provided overnight lodging in the station houses for a growing indigent population. The reformers worked to eliminate housing of homeless people in police stations because they felt that it was an impediment to police focus on scientific crime prevention, an in appropriate environment for policemen where they closely associated with an undesirable population, and a breeding ground for disease that would infect the officers. In 1870, Baltimore’s Station Houses lodged 14,532 people overnight; male and female, black and white, in addition to prisoners; by 1893 this number had grown to 39,976. This shift is visible in the Southern District Police Station, which housed the cellblock in a separate annex. In 1897, the year the Southern District Police Station opened, the police, citywide, provided overnight lodging for only 54 indigent people.

The Southern District Police Station survives as an important physical reminder of municipal expansion and police reform ideals in Baltimore at the turn of the 19th century. Despite alterations, the Southern District Police Station retains its distinctive form, recognizable as a turn of the century police station.