• agencyname = Baltimore Police Department
  • abbreviation = BPD
  • logo = Baltimore Police Department logo patch.png
  • logocaption = Patch of the Baltimore Police Department
  • formed = 1845
  • employees = 4,000
  • country = United States
  • divtype = State
  • divname = Maryland
  • subdivtype = City
  • subdivname = Baltimore
  • map = Districts.jpg*100px
  • mapcaption = Baltimore Police Districts
  • sizearea = 238.5 km²
  • sizepopulation = 650,000
  • police = Yes
  • local = Yes
  • headquarters = Baltimore, Maryland
  • sworntype = Officer
  • sworn = 3,100
  • unsworn = 900
  • chief1name = Frederick H. Bealefeld III
  • chief1position = Commissioner
  • stationtype = District
  • stations = 10
  • lockuptype = Jail

The Baltimore Police Department, or BPD, provides police services to the city of Baltimore, Maryland and was officially established by the Maryland Legislature on March 16, 1845. It is organized into ten districts, nine based on geographical areas and the Public Housing Section, and is responsible for policing 79 square miles of land and 13 square miles of waterways.


The first attempt to establish a police department in Baltimore occurred in 1784, nearly 60 years after the founding of the original town, when a guard force of constables were authorized to enforce town laws and arrest those in violation. In 1845 the current Baltimore Police Department was founded by the state legislature “to provide for a better security for life and property in the City of Baltimore". In 1861, during the U.S. Civil War, the police department was taken over by the federal government and run by the U.S. Military until it was turned back over to the legislature in 1862.

BPD has evolved its crime fighting technology and techniques over the years beginning with the introduction of call boxes in 1885. Other major technological upgrades include the introduction of the Bertillion system in 1896, police radio communications in 1933, a police laboratory in 1950, computerized booking procedures and 911 emergency systems in 1985, the first ever 311 non emergency system and CCTV cameras (like those in the United Kingdom) in 1996, and the CitiStat system in 2000.

In July 1974 officers joined other striking municipal workers for five days during the Baltimore police strike.

As of a 2000 survey published by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2003, BPD is the 8th largest municipal police department in the United States with a total of 3,034 police officers. Comparatively as of the 2000 U.S. census Baltimore ranked as the 17th largest city in the United States with a population of 651,154.

The first BPD officer to die in the line of duty occurred when Sergeant William Jourdan was shot and killed by an unknown gunman during the first city council elections on October 14 1857. Night Watchman George Workner was the first law enforcement officer to be killed in the city when he was stabbed during an escape attempt by nine inmates in the Baltimore Jail on March 14 1808, but his death predates the founding of the department. As of 2006 there have been 118 police officers killed in the line of duty, which is by far the largest total in Maryland. The next largest total belongs to the Maryland State Police, with 39 troopers killed in the line of duty as of 2005.


In the early 1960s the Baltimore City Park Police were absorbed into the Baltimore Police Department. In 2005, the Housing Authority of Baltimore City Police were disbanded and operations taken over by the Baltimore Police Department. Housing Authority officers, if they desired, had to apply for jobs with the city police losing their time and seniority they had from previous employment with the Housing Authority of Baltimore City. There is current talk of merging the Baltimore Schools Police into the department as well though it is unclear if those officers would have to reapply for positions within the Baltimore Police Department and what if any job benefits such as seniority and pension they might be able to bring with them in the new position.


The Baltimore Police Department is staffed by nearly 4000 civilian and sworn personnel. These include dispatchers, crime lab technicians, chaplains and unarmed auxiliary police.

Rank structure and insignia

The Baltimore Police Department uses these sworn personnel ranks:

Title Insignia
Police Commissioner
US-O10 insignia.svg
Deputy Police Commissioner
US-O8 insignia.svg
US-O6 insignia.svg
Lt. Colonel
US-O5 insignia.svg
US-O4 insignia.svg
US-O3 insignia.svg
Police Officer

Police Commissioners


Commissioner Bealefeld

  • Charles Howard, 1850-61
  • Nicholas L.Wood, 1862-64
  • Samuel Hindes, 1864-66
  • James Young, 1866-67
  • LeFevre Jarrett, 1867-70
  • John W. Davis, 1870-71
  • William H.B. Fusselbaugh, 1871-81
  • George Colton, 1881-87
  • Edson M. Schryver, 1887-97
  • Daniel C. Heddinger, 1897-1900
  • George M. Upsher, 1900-04
  • George R. Willis, 1904-08
  • Sherlock Swann, 1908-10
  • John B.A. Wheltle, 1910-12
  • Morris A. Soper, 1912-13
  • James McEvoy, 1913-14
  • Daniel C. Ammidon, 1914-16
  • Lawrason Riggs, 1916-20
  • Charles D. Gaither, 1920-37
  • William Lawson, 1937-38
  • Robert F. Stanton, 1938-43
  • Hamilton R. Atkinson, 1943-49
  • Beverly Ober, 1949-55
  • James M. Hepbron, 1955-61
  • Bernard Schmidt, 1961-66
  • Donald D. Pomerleau, 1966-81
  • Frank J. Battaglia, 1981-84
  • Bishop L. Robinson, 1984-87 (first African American commissioner)
  • Edward J. Tilghman, 1987-89
  • Edward V. Woods, 1989-93
  • Thomas C. Frazier, 1994-99
  • Ronald L.Daniel, 2000
  • Edward T. Norris, 2000-02
  • Kevin P. Clark, 2003-04
  • Leonard Hamm|Leonard D. Hamm, 2004-2007
  • Frederick H. Bealefeld III, 2007-Present

Operations Bureau

The Operations Bureau is headed by the Deputy Commissioner of Operations and is divided into the following divisions:

Patrol Division

Chief of Patrol

Eastern Area

  • Southeastern District
  • Eastern District
  • Northeastern District
  • Northern District

Western Area

  • Central District
  • Northwestern District
  • Western District
  • Southwestern District
  • Southern District

Criminal Investigation Division (CID)

Chief of CID (Referred to as the "Chief of Detectives")

District Investigation Section (DIS)

  • Central District Detective Unit (DDU)
  • Southeast District DDU
  • Eastern District DDU
  • Northeast District DDU
  • Northern District DDU
  • Northwest District DDU
  • Western District DDU
  • Southwest District DDU
  • Southern District DDU

Special Investigation Section (SIS)

  • Commercial Robbery Unit (City Wide Robbery)
  • Arson Unit
  • Missing Persons Unit
  • Sex Offense Unit
  • Child Abuse Unit
  • Pawn Shop Unit
  • Check and Fraud Unit
  • Environmental Crimes Unit

Escape and Apprehension Section

  • Warrant Apprehension Task Force (WATF)

Homicide Section

  • Homicide Investigation Unit
  • Homicide Cold Case Unit
  • Homicide Operations Unit

Violent Crime Impact Division (VCID)

Chief of VCID

  • Narcotics Unit
  • Vice Unit
  • Gun Task Force
  • Western Module
  • Eastern Module
  • Northwest Module

Homeland Security Division

Chief of Homeland Security

Tactical Section

  • Quick Response Team (QRT)
  • K9 Unit
  • Mounted Unit
  • Traffic Unit
  • Marine/Emergency Service Units
  • Aviation Unit

Intelligence Section

  • Gang Unit
  • Cyber Crimes Unit
  • Computer Crimes Unit



The Baltimore Police Department fleet consists of primarily the Ford Crown Victoria and Chevrolet Impala. Some older Chevrolet Caprices may be seen as some are still in service. Motorcycles are Harley Davidson. Vehicles are white with blue and silver striping. A replica of an officer's badge is on the driver's and front passenger door.


The primary service weapon is the Glock 22 .40 calibre pistol. Officers are also issued a Monadnock expandable baton, koga stick and OC spray. Remington 870 shotguns are available as well as a less lethal model of the 870. In heavy situations, officers may employ the use of the G36, which fires the 5.56 NATO round.

See also


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