© 2014 Howard County Police Foundation.

Former HCPD Chiefs, 1951-1969

by Pfc. Allen Hafner (Retired)


Chief of Police, 1951 - 1959


E. Russell Moxley was appointed Chief of Second District Police on June 1, 1951 and given the job of organizing a county police department. The first police car, a 1951 Ford, was delivered in August 1951.


The new county Department continued to work out of the old Second District police station in Ellicott City. By 1956 they had expanded to six officers and two patrol cars. Their radios were on the state police frequency.

There was no merit system at the time; all officers were subject to annual appointment. Three additional officers were hired in 1957, the start of slow but steady growth. The Department's first firearms range was set up at the county landfill on New Cut Road in June 1957. This range remained in operation until maintenance funding was cut in 1964.


In March 1959, Chief Moxley received notification from the Board of County Commissioners that he would not be reappointed as Chief when the annual appointments were made on May 1.


Moxley filed suit to retain his job, stating that he was being fired without just cause.  The court refused to hear the suit, stating that the job of a chief was not specified in any state law that applied to Howard County. The Board could not give someone a title that the court just ruled did not exist, so they appointed Lieutenant Harry Harrison "Officer Superior" of the Police Department.  Harrison adopted the title of Acting Chief.


Acting Chief of Police, 1959 - 1961

Acting Chief Harrison created the county's first K-9 Unit in 1959. Training was conducted by Baltimore City Sergeant Bill Kerbe, who lived in Ellicott City.


Other changes in 1959 included the color of the patrol cars (white body with light blue roof and hood) and the decision to hire a female officer. Officer Betty Maris was hired in 1960 and trained at the Baltimore City Police Academy, but was not issued a uniform and did not go on patrol.  

1961 marked the introduction of the eagle style door shield and shoulder patch. Leather Jackets were first issued for patrol use.


The General Assembly passed an act which officially created the office of Chief of Police, with a term of one year.


Chief of Police, 1961 - 1963

Chief Fred L. Ford was sworn in on June 6, 1961. Chief Ford was a retired Chief Inspector from Baltimore City Police.  During his brief tenure, HCPD hired more officers and a records-keeping section was established.


The magistrate's courtroom was moved from the police station to an annex at the courthouse, providing more office space for the Police Department. The Chief was no longer required to live in the second floor apartment.

Immediately after the 1962 election, Chief Ford submitted his resignation, clearing the way for the new Board of County Commissioners to choose someone else as Chief.  


They chose Jack L. Larrimore, who was sworn in on January 2, 1963. Larrimore had held various law enforcement jobs since 1947.


Chief of Police, 1963 - 1969

Chief Larrimore strove to make the Police Department more professional, better trained, and better educated.


The most visible change was in the uniforms. Helmets replaced the traditional hat, leather jackets became standard issue, and combat boots with bloused trousers were required for patrol.  The uniform shirts were changed from gray to navy blue.

In September 1964, the Department moved from the cramped old building on Main Street to a small renovated school building on Fels Lane. The new station provided space for cells and a new radio room, both luxuries that the previous police buildings did not provide.


Emergency call boxes were installed in several locations in Ellicott City.  These phones connected directly to Central Alarm and were often used by officers on foot patrol.  They remained in use until 1980, when the 911 telephone system was established.


A Community Service Officer program was begun in June 1968, the predecessor of the current police cadet program.  These first CSOs all became police officers after they reached age 21.  One of the first CSOs was Herman Charity, who later became the county's first African American police officer.


During the 1968 election, the voters approved a switch from the old government model—the Board of County Commissioners—to  a Charter form of home-rule government, which called for a County Executive and a legislative County Council.  Although Chief Larrimore announced his candidacy for County Executive, he lost the election.  


In January of 1969, Officer Leila Makowski was sworn in as the first full-time female officer. Nine other officers joined the Department at this time, raising the number of officers on the force to 52.  By this time, the county's population had grown to over 56,000, and calls for police service exceeded 10,000 for the first time.



8267 Main Street
Ellicott City, MD 21043



(410) 313-1447


April thru September

Saturday 11 AM - 6 PM

Sunday 11 AM - 4 PM


October thru March

 Saturday & Sunday

11 AM - 4 PM

*Group tours and special visits can be arranged upon request.


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