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Francis Scott Key Bridge Incident Updates
Watch the Recording of County Executive John A. Olszewski Jr. delivering the Proposed FY25 Budget Message

The Police Department strives to provide service to everyone in the community fairly and equally.

What to Do if You Are Stopped by a Police Officer

In the course of carrying out their duties in law enforcement, it frequently becomes necessary for police officers to stop a person and inquire about their name, address and identification. Sometimes a very routine encounter might cause a person to feel intimidated or respond in a manner that gives rise to conflict or suspicion. 

Generally, police officers will:

  • Provide their name upon request
  • If in plain clothes, identify themselves when taking action
  • Inform a person about the reason for being stopped or questioned
  • Only use the amount of force necessary to effect the arrest of a suspect. Excessive force is not tolerated by the department.

The following information will explain what to expect if a police officer stops you for questioning or comes to your home, as well as provide guidelines on how to respond to the questioning process. This is not a legal advisory.


Call 911 to:

  • Receive immediate police assistance
  • Report an emergency involving child safety or an abandoned child
  • Initiate an investigation of the suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation of a vulnerable adult, including the elderly and younger disabled adults (with a physical or mental disability or both)

Find local organizations and resources for victims of abuse.

Family Abuse

If you are a victim of family violence, the first thing to consider is your safety and getting to a safe place.

  1. Once you are safe, call the police immediately. 
  2. The police will respond to your call and take the necessary actions to ensure your safety.
  3. The police will provide you with information concerning what you can do to further your right to safety from violence.
  4. The police will fill out a report. Be sure you obtain a copy, which contains important information and may be needed later.
  5. The police will assist victims of family violence in pursuing legal options, safe shelter and counseling services.

The Baltimore County Domestic Violence Coordinating Committee urges victims of abuse to:

  1. File a temporary protective order
  2. File a police report
  3. Visit your local district's Court Commissioner to issue a summons or warrant

Fraudulent Internet Purchases

If you have purchased something over the Internet, haven't received it and feel that you are a victim of a theft (not just a business dispute), you must report this to the law enforcement agency where the suspect resides. You may also file a report to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

Neighborhood Safety

The placement of portable basketball goals on any of the public highways, roads, bridges, streets, avenues, lanes or alleys located in Baltimore County is against the law. Per Baltimore County Code, Section 18-2-602 Obstruction of Streets, any person placing any obstruction upon any of the public highways, roads, bridges, streets, avenues, lanes, or alleys of the County or interfering or obstructing the side ditches or drains thereof or encroaching upon the same with fences or other obstructions or in any other manner, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $100 for each offense. To report these violations, call 911 or your local COT.

Unlocked or Unattended Vehicles

Help prevent vehicle theft and residential burglaries in your neighborhood by locking your vehicle and making sure and that all keys have been removed before you walk away.

Maryland Annotated Vehicle Code prohibits an operator of a vehicle to leave a vehicle running and unattended unless the operator:

  • Is in charge of a motor vehicle that has had the engine started using a remote keyless ignition system and has been operating unattended for up to five consecutive minutes when the vehicle is not in motion
  • Allows a motor vehicle that is locked and on private property, not open to the public, to operate unattended for up to five consecutive minutes when the vehicle is not in motion

Leaving a vehicle alone with the engine running is against the law. Officers can issue a ticket that is accompanied by a $70 fine and one point against your driving record. Unattended, running vehicles also pose a safety hazard—if the vehicle slips out of gear and causes an accident, you could be issued a ticket with a $110 fine and three points against your driving record.

Laws Involving Motorized ATVs, Bikes, Scooters and Mopeds

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Youth and Community Services

Public Safety Building
700 East Joppa Road
Towson, Maryland 21286


Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Commanding Officer

Captain J. Shanks