Baltimore City Police Department
The first police force for Baltimore Town was created in 1784. Constables were appointed and given police powers to keep the peace. The State Legislature on March 16, 1853, passed a bill, "to provide for the better security ... in the City of Baltimore." This statute provided that police officers should be armed and that a badge and commission be furnished each member.
In March of 1862, the Federal military authorities who had taken control of the Baltimore City police on June 27, 1861, turned over the Police Department to the authority of the state. In 1867 the State established a Board of Police Commissioners (Chapter 367, Acts of 1867). Fom 1867 until 1920, the Board of Police Commissioners was appointed by the Governor. After 1920, a single Police Commissioner of Baltimore City was chosen and also served on the Governor's Advisory Council. The Baltimore City Police Department remained a State agency until 1978, when the Mayor appointed the Police Commissioner, subject to confirmation by the City Council (Chapter 920, Acts of 1976). A Charity organization map ca. 1880
shows the boundaries of the police districts. [description adapted from the official Baltimore City Police Department web site
and William Hackley
, ecp 2012/02/12. William M. Hackley (d. 3/15/2012) maintained an indpendent website devoted to the history of the Baltimore City Police Department which is available as a slice in time from the Maryland State Archives electronic archives at: http://wayback.archive-it.org/2504/20120817114005/http://mysite.verizon.net/vzesdp09/baltimorepolicehistorybywmhackley2/
The Baltimore City Police published two illustrated official histories that contain images of officers and the chief police matron, Our Police...
, 1888, and History of the Baltimore Police Department, 1774 - 1907