Skip Navigation

Baltimore County iWatch Logo

Public Safety News


Baltimore County Police and Fire News

Official News Blog of Baltimore County police, fire, homeland security and emergency management. Call 911 to report crimes in progress and emergencies.
Keyword: retirement

Baltimore County Crossing Guard Retires After Nearly 55 Years
Helped Children at Arbutus Elementary School Stay Safe

Nearly 55 years ago, Catherine Drenner joined the Police Department as a Traffic Crossing Guard, and now she has decided it is time to move on.

Mrs. Drenner spent a portion of those years taking care of the children who attended the Arbutus Elementary School as they went to and from school.

Little did the mother of five know on March 14, 1961, that she would be a part of the lives of many children over the next 54 plus years.

According to Mrs. Drenner, this was the perfect part-time job for her as she raised her children. However, she never thought she would stay so long at the job. As she said in her letter to Officer Linda Mabry “Time flies when you’re having fun.”

Police Chief Jim Johnson remarked that “We are fortunate here in Baltimore County to have dedicated people like Catherine, to watch over our greatest asset, our children.”

Mrs. Drenner and her dedication to the children of Baltimore County will be missed. We wish her a happy “retirement” and thank you.

Police Chief Jim Johnson presenting Catherine Drenner a certificate of
appreciation for her nearly 55 years of service as a Baltimore County School Crossing Guard

Thursday morning, members of the Baltimore County Police Department honored Major Karen Johnson, who is retiring after 25 years.

Karen Johnson started her career with the Baltimore County Police Department in 1989. Over the years she worked her way up in rank and was promoted to Lieutenant in 1998.  While a Lieutenant, she became the assistant commander of the Internal Affairs Section and graduated from the FBI National Academy.

In 2004, Karen Johnson was promoted to the rank of Captain. During her tenure as a Captain, she commanded the Towson Precinct, as well as the Personnel and Training Sections. She attended Johns Hopkins University where in 2006 she received a Masters Degree in the Police Executive Leadership Program.

In 2011, Karen Johnson received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Mid-Atlantic Association of Women in Law Enforcement. Later that year, she was promoted to the rank of Major.

As a Major, Karen Johnson commanded the Technical Services Division and supervised some of the most significant advances in the use of technology in the history of the Baltimore County Police Department. The most notable of these advances was the conversion to an electronic reporting system known as Field Based Reporting (FBR). Major Johnson was dedicated to the successful completion of this project managing many requirements with limited resources. In early February the training of officers was completed and FBR is now used department wide. Officers now write reports on computers instead of paper.

Several people spoke at the gathering. All who spoke talked about the dedication that Karen Johnson had to the law enforcement profession.  She received several congratulatory certificates signed by Police Chief James Johnson, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and the FBI.

The members of the Baltimore County Police Department wish Karen Johnson success in her future endeavors.

Major Karen Johnson and Colonel Joseph Burris
Colonel Joseph Burris presenting Major Karen Johnson with a certificate

Colonel Kim Ward, Major Karen Johnson, Colonel Joseph Burris (left to right)

Colonel Kim Ward, Major Karen Johnson, and Colonel Joseph Burris (left to right)

Revised June 27, 2017