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Baltimore County Now

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Keyword: bcps

POlice logoNew Approach Emphasizes that Community Relations is Every Officer's Responsibility

Crime prevention, police partnerships, outreach and public safety education to schools, communities and all segments of our society are the responsibility of every single Baltimore County police officer, said Chief Jim Johnson in announcing a departmental reorganization. The reorganization will further enhance and build upon the agency’s long-standing and a very successful community policing program.

In the past, Johnson said the department’s Community Resources Bureau was separate from the Operations Bureau, leading some officers to feel that building community relationships and working with young people was the primary responsibility of the Community Resources Bureau, or the work of outreach teams in individual precincts.

“Especially in today’s environment, this mind set must change in public safety”, Johnson said. “Our effectiveness rests on the confidence of people we serve. It is critical that we enhance programming and build confidence and relationships with our younger citizens, organizations and all communities in our great County. This is every officer’s business. This is every officer’s role and responsibility – from the Chief all the way to the officers and professional staff members of what I believe is the finest police department in America.”

Effective immediately, the Safe Schools Section, which manages the School Resource Officer program and is liaison to Baltimore County Public Schools, will report to the Operations Bureau, Patrol Division. This will provide better clarity of communication, and coordination of investigations, tactics and procedures to further enhance the safety of our students, faculty and staff that work in our exceptional school system.

A new Youth & Community Resources Section will comprise a Counseling Team, Youth Initiatives and a new Community Partnership Team. This Section will become part of the Operations Bureau reporting to the Operations Commander.

Ten officers assigned to the Juvenile Offenders in Need of Supervision (J.O.I.N.S.) will be reassigned from Police Headquarters to the ten precincts county -wide, allowing families and children in the J.O.I.N.S. Program more convenient, closer to home, police visits and interaction, as well as counseling.

Baltimore County’s very successful and valued Auxiliary Police Program, in which volunteers provide traffic control and other basic operational support to sworn officers, will become part of the Operations Bureau, Support Operations Division.

With this reorganization, the agency will operate under two Bureaus, which will no doubt enhance communications, expedite police response and coordination of crime prevention, community policing and outreach, investigation and patrol services, as well as provide the most robust youth, crime prevention, counseling, and education resources available.


Daisha Smith, BCPL Marketing Assistant

The Baltimore County Public Library’s annual Summer Reading Club (SRC) for all ages, is a great initiative that offers students a chance to earn exciting prizes all while improving their reading skills. It is designed to prevent achievement loss and encourage early literacy.

Each year, more than 50,000 Baltimore County children participate. Studies show that kids who do not read over the summer fall behind in school. Studies also show that children who participate improve their reading skills by a third of a grade, show more of a desire for school and are empowered to face their challenges.

The Summer Reading Club offers individual activities set to match the needs for all ages. This year’s theme is Every Hero Has a Story! This theme motivates readers to be as confident as a superhero and take on everyday challenges.

SRC features the Read-to-Me Club, for newborns to 5-year-olds; the Elementary Reading Club for students in kindergarten through the Fifth Grade; Middle School Reading Club for students in the sixth grade through the eighth grade; and the High School and Adult Reading Club for high school students and up.

Registration is quick and simple. First, visit the SRC BCPL website (http://www.bcpl.info/summerreading) and select the “Sign Me Up Button.” Next, visit your respective branch to receive a game board to start reading.

Once you’ve registered, the Summer Reading Club asks students to read for one hour or read one book until they’ve reached four books or four hours of reading time. Once completed, visit your local branch for a sticker. Once you have read sixteen books or read for a grand total of sixteen hours, visit your branch to pick up your prize!

So what are you waiting for? Visit your local BCPL branch today and start reading!


montage of imagesTeri Rising, Historic Preservation Planner
Department of Planning

While it is hard to believe today, educational opportunities for young women were not readily available during the mid-19th century in the United States.  In Baltimore County, we are fortunate to have several historic schools that were founded for the primary purpose of educating young women.  These institutions were made possible by the shared vision of women and religious organizations who provided the resources necessary for their establishment.  While their historic campuses feature a variety of 19th century architectural styles, together they tell a story of those who dedicated their lives to the mission of educating young women.  In honor of Women’s History Month, let’s learn about some of these historically significant schools. 

Just outside of historic Reisterstown is the former Hannah More Academy campus which was established in 1832.  Built on land donated by Mrs. Ann Neilson, the former girls’ Episcopal boarding and day school provided education to young women until it merged with Saint Timothy’s School in Greenspring Valley in 1974.  While the original school buildings were lost to fire in 1857, the school was rebuilt and today houses various nonprofit offices and recreational space.  Located on the campus is the Gothic Revival board and batten Saint Michael’s Chapel, a National Register property and Baltimore County Landmark. 

photo of Mount de SalesThe Mount de Sales Academy has been educating young women within the walls of its historic campus in Catonsville since 1852.  Organized by the Sisters of the Visitation, this was the first Catholic institution in Baltimore County to provide educational opportunities to young women of all religions and backgrounds.  The school is also significant as the oldest educational facility in the County still actively in use for its original purpose.  The 19th century collection of campus buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places and the Baltimore County Landmarks List.

photo of Oldfields SchoolOldfields School is situated in the former village of Glencoe that grew with the arrival of the railroad in 1838.  Located near the Gunpowder River, Oldfields School was founded by Mrs. Anna Austen McCulloch in 1867.  The school began in her mid-19th century double tenant house, now a Baltimore County Landmark, and referred to on campus as the “Old House”. Unlike many early schools for young women, Oldfields was not affiliated with any particular denomination and was known for its progressive curriculum which featured subjects and activities not easily found in other institutions of the time. 

Further Reading-

To learn more about the history of women’s education along with these historic schools:

National Women’s History Museum – The History of Women and Education

Baltimore County’s National Register properties

Baltimore County’s Final Landmarks

Mount De Sales Academy

Oldfields School


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