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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.
Date: Apr 11, 2018

The Baltimore County Fire Department's annual Commendations Ceremony will be held tomorrow, 7 p.m., at Loch Raven High School, 1212 Cowpens Ave., Towson. The ceremony honors first responders and civilians who have performed exceptionally over the past 12 months.

Six civilians will receive the Department's second-highest civilian award, the Citizen's Commendation Award. They are three men who rescued a person trapped in a Fullerton house fire; two men who pulled an injured patient from Frog Mortar Creek after a Jet Ski collision; and a woman who risked her safety to provide care to an unconscious motorist whose car went over an embankment in Freeland.

The highest award given tonight to Fire personnel is the Departmental Commendation, presented to two members who rescued a person trapped in a burning house in Lansdowne.

The Departmental Purple Heart will be awarded to an officer seriously injured last summer while fighting a fatal apartment fire in the Towson area.

Fire Chief Kyrle W. Preis III will attend.

The Fire Department Commendations Board, comprised of career and volunteer personnel, considers nominations for awards based on specific criteria including intelligent decision making, skill, bravery and risk.

On this date in 1874, 144 years ago, the Maryland Legislature approved what became Chapter 374 of the Laws of Maryland, authorizing the Baltimore County Commissioners to "appoint such number of policemen as they may deem advisable...," thus establishing the Baltimore County Police Department.

That number was not to exceed thirty officers. Starting pay was two dollars per day, with the exception of mounted police officers, who received three dollars per day but had to supply and sustain their own horse and riding equipment. They were expected to work seven days a week until 1912 when officers were finally given 12 days off per year. There was no formal training for police officers until 1939 when a one week training program was instituted. According to historical census data from the Maryland State Department of Planning the population of Baltimore County was around 25,000 in 1870.

Today, Baltimore County Police Department is the 18th largest police agency in the nation with more than 1900 sworn officers serving a population of over 831,000 and growing (per 2016 estimated census data). Starting pay for a sworn officer is $50,043 or about $137 per day. Officers must pass a rigorous 27-week training program. They've also been given a couple extra days off.

To learn more about the history of the Baltimore County Police Department view the history page on our website.

To learn more about becoming a Baltimore County Police Officer or to apply click here.

To learn about the Baltimore County Police Cadet program or to apply click here.

Revised October 16, 2020               
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