Fred Ford's tenure as Chief of Police lasted from 1961 until 1962.

In 1963, Chief Jack Larrimore was appointed to serve a four-year term.

In 1969, G. Russell Walters was appointed to serve as Chief of Police.

© 2014 Howard County Police Foundation.

A Brief History of the Howard County Police Department: 1962–1974

by Pfc. Allen Hafner (Retired)

On June 6, 1961, only a few days after Officer Brightwell's murder, Fred L. Ford was sworn in as Howard County's new Chief of Police.  Chief Ford was a retired Chief Inspector from Baltimore City Police. During his brief tenure as Chief, the Department 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.

By 1961, the magistrate's courtroom was moved out of the increasingly crowded Main Street police station.

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

 

The Board selected Jack L. Larrimore, who was sworn in on January 2, 1963. That same year, the General Assembly extended the Chief's term of office to four years. Chief Larrimore was reappointed for the new four-year term.

This 1963 class was typical of the training provided for new officers and as an in-service refresher for experienced officers.

Chief Larrimore strove to make the Police Department more professional and better trained. Under his leadership helmets replaced the traditional hat, leather jackets became standard issues, and combat boots with bloused trousers were required for patrol. The color of the patrol cars was changed as well: they were painted white with a glare-resistant black front hood.

Under Larrimore's leadership, the police uniforms were changed in order to make the officers look more professional.

Plans for the new city of Columbia were announced in 1964, and would mark the beginning of several years of rapid population growth in Howard County. It became abundantly clear that the old police station on Main Street was too small for the growing Police Department, which would need to expand to keep up with the growing demand for services.

The March 26, 1964 edition of The Central Maryland News announced the plans for the new city of Columbia.

In 1964 the county remodeled a former four-classroom school on Fels Lane and the Police Department moved into the building in the fall. Dedication ceremonies were held on November 11, 1964.

 

The new station provided space for cells and a new radio room. Previous police buildings in the county did not have holding cells.

In 1964, the Department moved its operations to a small renovated school building on Fels Lane.

Emergency call boxes were located in several locations in Ellicott City around this time. These phone 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.

 

The Department's first in-house academy class was trained at the Fels Lane station in 1965. This class nearly doubled the size of the police Department.

HCPD's first in-house academy class consisted of twelve new officers, nearly doubling the Department's strength.

The 1966 squad photo at right was one shift that was responsible for covering the entire county. The patrol sectors are marked on the map below.

1968 marked the start of the Community Service Officer (CSO) program, which was the predecessor of the current police cadet program. These first CSOs all became police officers after they reached age 21. Among them was Herman Charity, who later went on to become the county’s first African American police officer. 

The first group of Community Service Officers all became county police officers when they came of age. This was the predecessor to the present-day Police Cadet program.

 

Pictured, from left to right: Herman Charity, Steve Greisz, Sheldon Greenberg

During the 1968 election, the citizens of Howard County voted to abandon the Board of County Commissioners in favor of a Charter form of government with a County Executive and a legislative County Council. Chief Larrimore ran for the newly established role of County Executive, but lost to Omar Jones, who was sworn in in January of 1969.

 

Also in January 1969, Officer Leila Makowski (now Hajek) was sworn in as the Department's first full-time female police officer. Although Leila—who is known as Lee—did not go out on patrol, she would go on to play an important role in departmental youth programs, ultimately earning the rank of Sergeant during her tenure in the Department.

 

The additional officers increased the size of the force to 52 sworn officers.

In January 1969, Officer Leila Makowski was sworn in as HCPD's first full-time female officer. The uniform shown above, a modified airline stewardess uniform, was worn only for ceremonial purposes, not for patrol use.

G. Russell Walters, a retired First Sergeant from Maryland State Police, was sworn in as Chief of Police on February 5, 1969.

G. Russell Walters was sworn in as Chief in 1969.  He would serve in that capacity until 1975.

That same year, the emergency light systems on the patrol cars were changed. Instead of a single rotating red light, a roof rack with rotating red and blue lights was adopted. Chief Walters also changed the uniforms, adopting campaign hats, blue shirts, and short Eisenhower-style jackets.  

This October 1969 photo displays officers in the newly adopted uniforms.

Early attempts to organize police officers into a union failed. Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 29 was organized in 1970; however, county officials refused to recognize the organization as a bargaining agent.

 

In 1973, robin's egg blue patrol cars were introduced. Variations of this color remained in use until 1982.

This 1975 Ford is painted the robin's egg blue color that marked the Howard County police fleet in the 1970s and early 1980s.

June 1974 saw the addition of female officers to the Patrol Division. The skirts worn in the photo below were not regular issue; they were worn only this once, because the uniform trousers were not ready in time for academy graduation.

Starting in 1974, women were allowed to join the patrol division.

During this period the Department continued to grow, reaching just over 100 officers by the end of Chief Walters' term. This growth meant overcrowding at the small police station. Plans were made for a new building and ground was broken in 1973.

 

The new police headquarters building was dedicated in October 1974. The Maryland Police Training Commission approved plans for an HCPD training academy that same year.

The new police headquarters was dedicated in October 1974.

LOCATION

 

8267 Main Street
Ellicott City, MD 21043

CONTACT US

 

(410) 313-1447
hcpdmuseum@howardcountymd.gov

MUSEUM HOURS

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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