History of the Department

Old OfficersLaw enforcement in the City of Annapolis dates back to the granting of the City Charter in 1708. This document provided for the appointment of "constables and other necessary officers" by the Mayor. The Charter also carried a provision for the Sheriff of Anne Arundel County to exercise jurisdiction within the City which would end after in 1714 when the City elected its own sheriff. In 1746, the first City Code was effected and one of the fourteen by-laws provided for the "security and peace" of the City.

Riley’s "Ancient City" makes mention of the fact that in 1854 there were only two watchmen employed to patrol the City streets at night. The earliest official records show that on April 21, 1854, Andrew Denver and Benjamin Shipley were sworn in as "City Watchmen". In 1856 Edward Hollidayoke, Thomas Denver, John Miller, and John Lamb were sworn in as "Constables and Watchmen". As far as can be determined, their duties were to patrol the streets at night and maintain a fire watch along with preserving the peace and order. A by-law in 1860 provided for a salary of $400 per year for each watchman. The records further indicate that the term "Police Officer" was first used in 1861 when William Hubbard Jr., took the oath as "City Watchman and Police Officer". William H. Burtis and one "Smith" were appointed as constables along with Hubbard. These three men were, in effect, the forerunners of an organized City Police Department. While there was no organization structure, these officers were responsible directly to the Mayor.

On June 17, 1867, Thomas Basil was appointed "Commissioner and Chief of Police" with a force of four officers: Nicholas Deal, C. Lamb, B. Esmond, and James Hurley. This group constituted the first actual Police Department in the City of Annapolis. The City Code at this time provided for the annual election of the Chief and Police Officers. In 1869, Nicholas Deal was elected Chief of Police, and he had under his command two police officers named Barber and Mace. In May of 1869, a standing order of the City Council provided for the use of a room for the Police at City Hall as their headquarters. Shortly before this time all city offices were located in a building in the vicinity of 195 Main Street. It was during this period that the seat of City Government was moved from this site to its present location on Duke of Gloucester Street, into the building which was known as the Colonial Ballroom.

In 1871-1872, Elijah J. Russell was Chief of Police, and his officers were J.W. LeTourneau, George Barber, and B.F. Cadell. Some of the arrests made by this hardy force included; Smoking in the Market, Indecent Language, Disorderly Conduct, Playing Cards on Sunday, and Discharging Pistols on Sunday Night.

In 1873-1874, Benjamin F. Cadell was Chief of Police, and his officers were Hinton, Leatomma, and Thompson. From 1875-1879, Chief Henry Burlinghame headed the Department, which consisted of Officers Mace, Curran, Stinchcomb, and Watkins. The "Chief’s Report" for April 1878 shows that the force made a total of nine arrests which resulted in the sum of $25.00 in fines being recovered by the City.

In 1880-1882, James B. Thomas was Chief of Police and the force increased its compliment to six officers. G.W. Letourneau, James E. Lowman, G.E. Sullivan, James H. Mace, John E. Brown and Thomas Dodds. On November 14, 1881, the group presented a special petition to the Mayor and Council requesting the City to purchase "revolving pistols and nippers" for the use of the men. The petition explained that since the men had just purchased all their own uniforms, the additional expense of pistols and nippers would present too much of a financial hardship. The petition ended with a recommendation that "Smith and Wesson" pistols were ideally suited for police work. All indications are that the Council showed a favorable reaction to the petition.

The year 1883 saw Chief John E. Brown hold office for a short while only to be succeeded by Chief James P. Small, who held the post until 1887, when Arthur Martin became Chief of Police. During this period there were no records that would indicate anything unusual in the field of local law enforcement aside from routine arrests for drunkenness or disorderly conduct. The "Mayor’s Report" for 1894 showed a budget item listing Police salaries at $4,360 for the entire force. Supplies for the Police Department cost the City $21.50 and an additional $.60 was listed for "transportation for tramps".

In 1896 Howard B. Taylor became Chief of Police and the records here indicate a change in the organizational structure of the Department. During this era, the rank of "Round Sergeant" came into being. The duties of this officer were described in various editions of the City Code as sort of a "night-time Chief of Police". The Round Sergeant took charge of the officers on night duty, assigned them to their respective beats, and was responsible for personal contact with each man on his post at least three times each night. This was later modified to meeting his officers twice during the night. John R. Tydings was Round Sergeant under Chief Taylor and the force of six men included Officer’s Harry C. Basil, Samuel Frantum, William T. Brooks, J. Louis Mace, Henry E. Jackson and L.Vinton Thomas.

The City Code of 1897 carried considerable passages relating to the Police Department. It listed a set of fifteen rules and regulations, many of which are still in effect today. These include:

  1. Officer to be dressed neatly.
  2. To avoid political and other discussions.
  3. Forbidden to enter bar-rooms.
  4. Penalty for intoxication.
  5. The Chief responsible to the Mayor for conduct of officers.
  6. Police Officers to report to the Chief.
  7. To be courteous at all times.
  8. Police to familiarize themselves with their beats.
  9. Not to use weapons except in self-defense or for violent resistance.
  10. Not to leave City except upon written request.
  11. Must inform themselves as to laws and ordinances.
  12. Must disperse disorderly crowds.
  13. Penalty for failure to observe rules.
  14. Rules to be printed and read.
  15. Mayor to report fines or loss of pay.

The Code also directed the City be divided into five beats and an officer was to be assigned to each beat for one week. It also directed the Chief and his force provide for themselves and wear while on duty; "a dark blue single breasted frock coat, with policemen’s buttons, with standing collar, with a badge, with suitable device on the outside of the left breast of the coat….and dark blue vest and pantaloons, light helmets in summer and dark blue helmets in winter, and dark blue overcoat, with same buttons in winter". At the time the Chief’s pay was $60.00 per month and the officers received $50.00 per month.

Travers T. Brown succeeded Chief Taylor in 1901. Chief Taylor again became Chief in 1903. George Hahn Jr., was Chief of Police from 1904 to 1907 and he commanded a Round Sergeant and eight Police Officers.

In 1907 Charles H. Oberry became Chief of Police and held, what is to date, the longest tenure in office. He retired in 1925 after holding the position of Chief of Police for eighteen years. The complement of the Department remained at a Round Sergeant and eight officers. The 1909 Mayor’s report stated budget items for the Police Department as follows:

  • Salaries…………………..…. $6,100.00
  • Uniforms…………...…..……... $459.00
  • Supplies……………..……........ $11.57
  • Repairs to Station House….... $11.35
  • Carriage hire for prisoners...... $4.70

In 1923 the Department had the same number of officers with a Chief and eight officers. The budget provision for Police salaries stated an increase of only $3,380 over a period of fourteen years. The Chief drew a salary of $1,200 per year and the Sergeant drew a salary of $1,140 per year.  The officers received a salary of $1,020 per year. Equipment for the Department in 1923 cost $305.15 and expenses came to $439.32. There was also an additional $7.67 listed for "transportation of undesirables". The 1923 budget also carried an interesting item of $50.00 as payment to one Elizabeth Carter for services as "Policewoman". In addition to Chief Oberry, the 1923 force consisted of Round Sergeant Richard B. Holliday, Officers John B. Holliday, James E. Lowman, Henry E. Jackson, William R. Curry, William Fine, John Jacobs and William H. Frantum. In 1924 the police salaries remained the same with the exception of "Policewoman" Elizabeth Carter, who drew the magnificent sum of $300.00 for her services.

In 1925 the City Council voted a clothing allowance of $35.00 per year for the members of the force. The Annapolis Police Department now consisted of Chief Richard Holliday, Round Sergeant William R. Curry, and Officers William H. Frantum, John Jacobs, John Holliday, James Musterman, Allen Nichols, Henry Jackson, Virgil Linton, Harvey Avery and J. Walter Musterman. During the years 1927 to 1929 the Department boasted a Pierce Arrow "Pie Wagon" which was later replaced by a Chevrolet and during the same period it also acquired a motorcycle which was assigned to Officer J. Musterman. The use of the motorcycle was discontinued in 1929 when an Officer named Thompson became involved in a collision causing injury to himself and damage to another vehicle. As a result of the collision the motorcycle was destroyed. At this time the officers worked 12 hours shifts and days off were few and far between. For this dedication to duty the officer received the sum of $100.00 per month.

On June 1, 1931 the first Police Commissioner was authorized by the City Council. R. Lee Waller held that office until June 1932, when Thomas G. Basil was named to the office. Mr. Basil held the post for only six months and was replaced by Charles Meyers until 1935 when Mr. Basil was again appointed to the position. In 1935 William R. Curry Sr., was appointed as Chief of Police. His force included Sergeant William I. Owens, Officers John Holliday, F.J. Connell, Robert Collins, Joseph Droll, L.Norman Finkle, T. Derf Meyers, J.W. Moreland, Godfrey Deininger, Howard Claude, and James Lowman. In 1936 James Lowman retired from the force after reaching the age of 70. Officer Howard Claude resigned and Wilbur Roberts, James E. Wilde, George W. Rawlings, and Anthony W. Howes were appointed to the Department during this period. Chief "Will" Curry remained as Chief of Police until his death in 1949. One of the notable changes during this time period included remodeling of Police Headquarters in 1938. The few small changes included enlargement of rooms and the four cells, all of which were heated by a pot-bellied stove. Central heating and an eleven-unit cell block were added. During this period of remodeling the force operated out of the Anne Arundel County Jail located on Calvert Street. The 1938 police budget was listed at $25,000 for a force of twelve officers. Around 1940 the Department eliminated the use of the patrol wagon and acquired cars equipped with 2-way AM radios. The roster for 1948 carried the names of Chief William R. Curry Sr., Sergeants George W. Rawlings and J. Walter Musterman. The Officers included Anthony W. Howes, Richard Johnson, W. Alvin Wayson, John W. Moreland, Joseph H. Farrell, Harvey Avery, Norman Finkle, William R. Curry Jr., Joel D. Gillespie Sr., Clarence R. Moreland, Russell Thomas, Ralph Barry, Russell Faudree, Paul Buss, and C. McPherson.

In 1949 George W. Rawlings was appointed Chief of Police. In 1950 additional areas were annexed into the City and the Department was increased by several additional officers and two additional patrol cars. During this era the "three platoon" system of eight hour tours of duty were instituted and days off, sick leave and vacations were authorized for the force. The rank of Lieutenant was created and J. Walter Musterman was appointed to this position. The Sergeants were Anthony W. Howes and William Curry Jr. In 1953 the authorized strength of the Department was listed as one Police Commissioner, one Chief of Police, one Lieutenant, two Sergeants, six Corporals, twelve First Class Officers and twelve Police Officers. Starting salaries for Police Officers were $3,600.00 per year, while the Chief of Police received $4,700.00 per year.

Old Officers Larger Group

1954 saw the creation of the position of Captain and the ranking personnel of the force was Chief George W. Rawlings (who was also holding the position of Police Commissioner since the resignation of Thomas G. Basil in 1952), Captain J. Walter Musterman and Sergeants Anthony W. Howes and William R. Curry Jr. In 1955 two additional ranks of Sergeant were authorized and the Department correspondingly increased in size. By 1960 the Department consisted of a Police Commissioner, a Chief of Police (George W. Rawlings still held both positions), one Captain, one Lieutenant, four Sergeants, eight Corporals, fifteen First Class Officers and twenty Police Officers. The Chief’s salary was then $5,400.00 and the salary of Police Officers was $4,134.00 per year.

The first African American police officers were hired in 1960 by Chief George W. Rawlings. In May of 1961, Chief Rawlings retired and remained as Police Commissioner while Anthony W. Howes was appointed Chief of Police. The post of Police Commissioner became vacant with the death of George W. Rawlings. During this time period Chief Howes not only expanded the Department as far as manpower, but also added very necessary physical equipment lacking in the past. By 1966, the Department boasted a compliment of 65 men. On January 5, 1966 a new Police Commissioner was appointed, retired Lieutenant General Ridgely Gaither. The Department consisted of one Police Commissioner, one Chief of Police, one Captain, two Lieutenants, five Sergeants, eight Corporals, 15 First Class Officers and 32 Police Officers. Six civilian school crossing guards also came under the supervision of the Department and the City Council authorized one secretary and two clerk typists to serve as a clerical staff for the force. The first civilian clerical staff was Sharon Hardesty who was secretary to the Commissioner and to the Chief. Evelyn Spruill was a clerk typist for the Detective Bureau. Mrs. Gloria Matthews was the first African American female employed by the City in a clerical position. The patrol force, under the immediate command of Lieutenant Clarence R. Moreland, was divided into three platoons. Each platoon was headed by a Sergeant, working eight hour tours of duty on a rotating basis. The patrol Lieutenant also had additional responsibility of supervision of the school crossing guards, the parking meter detail, and the City Dock and Market Space activities. Police vehicles included five marked cruisers, a station wagon and three unmarked cars.

Vintage Crime LabWhile the physical plant of the Department was almost within the same building as it was for twenty years, efficient use of space provided for an office for the Commissioner and the Chief of Police, an officer for the patrol Lieutenant and Sergeants, a reception area containing the telephone switchboard and radio communication facilities, a locker room, and an identification room for fingerprinting and mug shot photography. The eleven unit cell block of 1938 was still in use and a small room was assigned to the parking meter detail. The Detective Bureau was commanded by a Captain with a lieutenant, two corporals and three detectives, two of which comprised the Juvenile Bureau. A darkroom facility, fingerprint and photo files, crime reports and criminal records were all part of the Detective Bureau. Specialized equipment such as "walkie-talkie" radios, a power megaphone, riot and tear gas guns, binoculars, cameras, and fingerprint equipment were available within the bureau for general use of the Department as the necessity for these items arose.

The then 5.5 square mile area of Annapolis with an approximate population of 25,000 residents were policed by the 65 man police force. In 1964 the Department operated on a budget of $447,301.00. Of this sum $368,766.00 was designated for salaries, while $62,750.00 was used for operating expenses. The 1966 starting salary for police officers began at $4,400 per year, with seven increments bring the salary to $5,900 per year.

Departmental records indicate that 756 offenses of larceny, 121 burglary cases and 58 reports of auto theft were among the major investigations during 1965. During this time 1,604 criminal arrests were recorded. Property loss during the year amounted to $191,381.30, while $96,149.87 in property was recovered.

In 1968 Captain Bernard Kalnoske was appointed to the rank of Deputy Chief. He was put in charge of the Detective Bureau. This Deputy Chief’s position was the first in the Department’s history. The rank of Major was attached to the position of Deputy Chief.

The compliment of the Department was increased in 1971 to a Police Commissioner, a Chief of Police, a Deputy Chief, five Captains, four Lieutenants, seven Sergeants, 12 Corporals, 25 Patrolman First Class (PFC’s) and 30 Patrolman, for a total of 73 officers. The Department was still located in City Hall, but plans were being developed to build a new police station.

Vintage Communications

In 1972 the Department moved into its present headquarters on Taylor Avenue (Small Pox Hill). The new headquarters included many state of the art features such as bullet resistant windows, TV monitored cell blocks, juvenile holding cells, and parking areas with time controlled lights. Motorola was the builder of the radio system, featuring two frequencies, monitors for the State and County police, three work stations and tape monitoring of all radio and telephone channels. New walkie-talkies were part of the new radio system. Along with the new station came a change in the uniform. The Department’s new uniform was blue in color with a rounded hat. Newly designed badges and hat pieces were also part of the new uniform.

In 1973 Chief Anthony Howes retired and Deputy Bernard Kalnoske was appointed Chief of Police. Chief Kalnoske did not request the appointment of a deputy chief, thus eliminating the position. The number of Captains was reduced from five to three.

In 1973 the first female officer, Barbara Hopkins was sworn in the Annapolis Police Department. Up until this period the Department was entirely comprised of male officers. Officer Hopkins paved the way for the many additional females that would later join the Department. Barbara Hopkins was the first female promoted though the ranks to the rank of Captain.Later in 1973 the Department established the position of Parking Enforcement Officer. The new Parking Enforcement Officers relieved the patrol officer from having to deal with parking enforcement duties that took up a considerable amount of time.

Vintage Traffic Stop

In 1974 the Police Commissioner’s position was eliminated and a civil service based merit system was created. Promotional testing and new entry level testing were part of the new system. The establishment of the civil service merit system made the promotional process much more objective and competitive.

In 1975 the compliment of the Department changed. There was one Chief of Police, three Captains, six Lieutenants, seven Sergeants, 12 Corporals, 26 Patrolman First Class, and 39 Patrol officers, totaling 94 sworn officers.

In February of 1980 Chief Bernard Kalnoske died suddenly at home. Captain Samuel Cyrus was appointed Acting Chief of Police. Acting Chief Cyrus held this position from February to June 1980.

The Department’s budget for 1979-1980 was $2,748,458. Budget information for 1980-1981 indicates an allocation of $3,461,870. The budget for 1981-1982 was $3,913,970.

In June of 1980 John C. Schmitt was appointed to the position of Chief of Police. Chief Schmitt was a 20 year veteran of the Baltimore Police Department. This was the first Chief in the history of the Police Department to be selected from outside of the Department.

Vintage Police Cars

In 1982 the Department hired its first civilians as Police Communications Operators. Prior to this date the Department communications room was staffed by officers. Civilian Police Communications Operators were on duty 7 days a week 24 hours a day. The newly hired civilian Police Communications Operators included Amy Gates, Joanne Jones, Karla Keefner, Carliese Scott, Sonya Smith and Wayne Sprouse.

In 1985 the Annapolis City Council created the public safety committee. This committee replaced the former Police Committee and Fire Committee. A combination of these two committees streamlined the management of both agencies. In August of 1985, the City of Annapolis adopted a Minority Recruitment Plan as a result of a Consent Decree filed by a group of minority officers. The Consent Decree and Minority Recruitment Plan set down procedures for the increased hiring of minority officers.

In January of 1986, Carroll Buracker and Associates of Virginia completed a management study of the Annapolis Police Department. The Buracker report recommended reorganization of the Department into four divisions, change to a five shift system and automation of the Central Record’s function. There were 28 extensive recommendations suggested, however, not all were adopted. One of the recommendations included a new rotating shift system for patrol. This shift system, which was adopted, involved working four day ten hours and rotating to a different shift every week.

In May of 1990 Chief John Schmitt retired. Captain Cassin C. Gittings was appointed as Acting Chief of Police. Acting Chief Gittings held this position until September of 1990, when Harold Robbins was appointed Chief of Police. Chief Robbins came to Annapolis after 22 years of service with the St. Petersburg Florida Police Department.

In June of 1991 a new position of Assistant Chief of Police was established. Joseph S. Johnson, who retired as a Colonel in the Baltimore Police Department, was appointed as Assistant Chief of Police. He was one of six finalists from the earlier search for the Chief’s position. There had been no Deputy Chief since the promotion of Bernard Kalnoske to Deputy Chief in 1968. The Assistant Chief’s position initially carried the rank of Major, as did the former deputy chief’s position. The rank title for Assistant Chief was upgraded to the rank of Colonel in 1992.

Under Chief Robbins’ direction, needed repairs and renovations were made to both the inside and outside of the headquarters building. Additionally, a partnership with the business community was established through the Chamber of Commerce. The creation of Police and Chamber Together (PACT) resulted in the donation of more than $300,000 worth of furniture, office equipment, computers and training programs during the first year. On June 17, 1992 the Annapolis Police Department held an open house to celebrate its 125th year anniversary. Staff levels had now increased to 124 sworn officers. Through annexation, the City of Annapolis had grown to 7.5 square miles with a population of 33,000.

With the onset of the 1990's, the Department began to place greater emphasis on the training and development of all employees. The training budget was increased by 1000% in 1992, giving officers access to much wider range of available training. Supervisors and civilian supervisors were targeted for training at the FBI National Academy, Police Executive Leadership Training, Southern Police Institute, the University of North Carolina and the Johns Hopkins University. Civilian staff were sent to various technical schools for computer related training.

With the resignation of Chief Robbins in April 1994, Assistant Chief Johnson stepped into the position of Acting Chief of Police. On December 22, 1994 Joseph S. Johnson was appointed as Chief of Police. Chief Johnson is the first African American Chief of Police in the history of the Police Department. In 1995 the position of Assistant Chief of Police was abolished with the creation of two Major’ s positions. The long standing Consent Decree was satisfied in 1994. Chief Johnson concentrated on achieving a greater diversity throughout the Department, with minority officers being found in the K-9, ASET (Annapolis Special Emergency Team), and Traffic Safety units, as well as many areas where they were previously excluded.

On September 12, 1994 the headquarters building on Taylor Avenue was dedicated in the memory of the late Chief Anthony Howes. The Department’s budget had also grown to $6.8 million, with the starting salaries for police officers at almost $25,000.00. Officers now patrolled six posts, supplemented by the COPS Unit, foot patrol, marine boat patrol, bicycle patrols and specialized traffic units.

The Community Oriented Policing Squad (COPS) originally instituted in 1990 was reorganized by Chief Johnson in 1994. The focus was on improving communication with the community. For the purpose of better coverage, the city was divided into five sectors, with one COPS officer assigned to each sector. These officers were specially trained in community based and problem solving policing tactics. Their goal was to develop a positive relationship with the citizenry to assist in resolving long-standing problems.

In keeping with the Department’s commitment to make officers more accessible to the public, the bike patrol unit patrolled the downtown area, traversing congested traffic to answer calls for service and assisting with special events such as Navy football games and the 4th of July celebrations.

Another successful program that the Annapolis Police Department became involved in was the Drug Abuse Resistance Educations (DARE) program. This is an international substance prevention program based in the fifth grade in all Anne Arundel County Schools. Uniformed police officers became full-time school teachers to help children resist the temptation of drugs. The curriculum is copyrighted and closely monitored for accurate presentation. This program is an investment in the future of Annapolis through its children.

Under Chief Johnson’s command, the Department encourages community involvement and increased crime prevention efforts through a rejuvenated Neighborhood Watch Program. The program has great success with participation from 65 very active neighborhoods. The Department is successfully working toward its mission to establish a stronger rapport with all Annapolis neighborhoods. Members of the Department now actively participate in community events and meetings to answer questions, discuss diverse citizen concerns and receive feedback. Consequently the citizens openly express their feeling of confidence about its relationship with the Annapolis Police Department.

On July 1, 1996 Major Norman Randall, first African American police officer in the Annapolis Police Department to rise through the ranks to Major retired. One Major position was eliminated. On December 1, 1999 with the retirement of Major Cassin Gittings the second Majors position was not filled.

Prior to 2000 police recruits after completing the police academy were put in a field training program with a field training officer. Once field training was complete the officer was released on their own. In 2000 the Administrative Services Division had developed additional in-house training (GAP) after recruit officers completed the police academy. This training lasts anywhere from four-six weeks. GAP training included review of Department policies, use of force training and an introduction to the different units and their responsibilities in the Department. Once the recruit has completed GAP training, the recruit is then placed on field training with a trained Field Training Officer for additional nine weeks before the officer is released on their own. New civilian employees receive an orientation program and then additional training based upon their job classification.

In April of 2002 Mobile Data Terminals (MDT’s) were installed in the first line patrol cars. The MDT’s allow the Communications Operators to dispatch and transmit information other than over the radio. Using the MDT’s the officers can text message car to car. The MDT’s allow the officer to check for wanted persons through the Maryland Information Law Enforcement System as well as through the National Crime Information System. This also allows the officer to check license plates and drivers licenses through the Motor Vehicle Administration. The system was upgraded where the officer can complete incident reports from the vehicle and send the completed report to the Sergeants office.

In November 2003, a new communications center was opened. This center was moved across the hall from the old communications room. The new communications center is double the size of the old communications room. The communications center has state of the art radio equipment and state of the art Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system. The CAD records and classifies every call that is entered into the system. The CAD is connected and interfaced with the Records Management System (RMS).The RMS manages all reports which are generated by the Department. All the telephone systems are computer based, where everything is operated off a computer screen. The traditional telephones no longer exist in the communications center.

Over the years the Department’s budget has increased as well as an increase in personnel. In 2004 the Department had a budget of $13,253,180.00. The Department has changed dramatically since its inception. There is one Chief of Police, 1 Majors position (which is unfilled), four Captains positions, seven Lieutenants, 14 Sergeants, 15Corporals, 50 Officer First Class (OFC’s) and 34 Officers. The Department has an authorized strength of 206 employees; 126 sworn officers, 48 full time civilian employees and 32 part time civilian employees. The starting salary for an officer is $36,098.00. The Department is comprised of 42% minority officers and 17% female officers.

On March 20, 2004 the Department was awarded accredited status through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). This was a four year process where policies and procedures were updated to meet national standards. In December of 2003 the Department had an on-site assessment through CALEA. Three assessors (one assessor from North Carolina, one assessor from Ohio and one assessor from Virginia) spent five days at the Department reviewing polices as they pertain to the accreditation standards and reviewing the proofs of compliance. Proofs of compliance (which include written reports, memos, interviews, etc.,) indicate that the Department has met and/or exceeds the accreditation standards. The Annapolis Police Department is one of 24 agencies that are accredited in the State of Maryland and is one of 560 agencies that are accredited nationally. Gaining nationally accredited status demonstrates the professionalism of the Department’s civilian and sworn personnel. In order to maintain accredited status the Department must maintain its policies and proofs of compliance. The Department will have another on-site assessment in three years.

On September 21, 2004 the Department held a ground breaking for the new addition to the Police Department headquarters building. The new addition doubled the size of the existing building to bring it into the 21st century. The old headquarters was renovated and updated. The new addition/renovation includes a state of the art holding facility with a drive in sally port area to help handle prisoner processing. The holding facility is equipped with audio and video monitoring systems as well as panic alarms which are connected to the Communications Center. The new addition/renovation includes additional office space, additional storage space as well as locker rooms and shower area for both male and female employees. The renovations included a parking deck for additional parking. The new building  includes a Emergency Operations Center which can operate as a stand alone facility.

Under Chief Johnson’s command the Department encouraged community involvement and increased crime prevention programs. Members of the Department actively participated in community events and meetings to answer questions, discuss citizen concerns and receive feedback. The Neighborhood Watch Program grew to 66 active neighborhoods along with 5,230 neighborhood watch members. Chief Johnson improved technology, updated equipment and advocated training and leadership development training.

Chief Michael A. Pristoop was selected to serve as the interim Chief of the Annapolis Police Department in April, 2008 and was sworn-in as the 25th Chief of Police in July of the same year.  Chief Pristoop began his police career in 1986 in Baltimore City, Maryland and retired in 2007 as a District Commander (Major). He left Baltimore to become Chief of Police with the Maryland Department of General Services, Maryland Capital Police immediately before being hired as Annapolis Police Chief.

When Chief Pristoop arrived to lead the Annapolis Police Department, police staffing was as at 105 sworn members and its organizational structure provided for 7 divisions or sections directly reporting to the office of the Chief.  There were 26 police vacancies, many of which upper command positions.  Supported by willing and competent commanders, Chief Pristoop embarked on an organizational restructure and a commitment to hire more police officers and to implement strategies of “intelligence-led” and “problem solving” police work.   The Police Department would soon have three divisions run by now exempt captains and a deputy chief holding the rank of Major. Chief Pristoop appointed Major Scott Baker as Deputy Chief, Captain Cynthia Howard to head the Department’s Support Services Division, Captain Scott Williams as Operations Commander, and Captain Eric Neutzling as Administrative Services Commander.  Captain Neutzling retired in 2010 and the Division is currently lead by Lieutenant Brian Della.

At the onset of his appointment, Chief Pristoop took office in the wake of a notable increase in crime and resultant community unrest. During the first four months of 2008, Annapolis experienced four homicides and five non-fatal shootings. Violent crime was on the rise and on pace to exceed record levels. Most of the crime was occurring in and around public housing.

The Department set out to evaluate its needs and objectives in light of available resources with a strong sense of community support. The Department developed a blueprint for a new vision along with crime fighting strategies and new and improved partnerships.  All members of the Department were eager and willing to be part of the changes and new direction.

Formula for Change

The Police department re-focused on the most important issues: crime reduction, community partnerships, enhanced technology, and professional standards.

A highly effective partnership coincided with the new Administration.  The “Capital City Safe Streets” program (CSSS) created in 2008 with the support of Maryland’s Governor and top legislators. The aim was to support the Police Department and the City by providing a grant to fund a new initiative, but even more to harness the collective resources and willingness of an unprecedented coalition of government agencies. The partners include County and State law enforcement agencies, Parole and Probation, Annapolis Housing Authority (HACA), Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Office, the Department of Juvenile Services, the Health Department, and community members. A Criminal Justice Coordinator, working under the direction of the Chief Pristoop, was appointed to oversee the program.

The essential purpose of CCSS was to enable information-sharing among the agencies and to facilitate strategies to identify and remove violent offenders from the community. The result was streamlined communication between partner agencies, broadened avenues of intelligence sharing and joint-law enforcement initiatives. Proactive measures included: task-force style warrant service, enhanced prosecutions using a “community prosecutor,” targeted enforcement on dangerous offenders, focused deployment in crime-affected areas, “Safe-Zones” and other community outreach programs.

The Department began its first Citizens’ Police Academy in 2009 – a program designed to give the public a working knowledge of the Annapolis Police Department. Citizens attend classes similar to those of police department recruits. The goal is to educate the public about police work, to create community awareness, increase the rapport between citizens and the Department and to overcome barriers in communication and create realistic expectations.  Interested citizens continue to graduate from the “Academy”  with increased knowledge about Search and Seizure, Intelligence, Gangs and Graffiti, Crime Lab, Use of Force, Crime Mapping, Security Cameras, Specialty police units, Criminal Investigations,  Domestic Violence and Community Programs.  Citizens are also provided an opportunity to accompany police officers on patrol to gain further insight of their duties and responsibilities while serving the community.

In late 2009, the Department initiated “city-wide” community meetings under the banner of the newly formed “Neighborhood Safety Council.”   Over 100 residents attended the meetings at the onset of this new initiative. Annapolis citizens now have an opportunity, irrespective of community boundaries, to gather and discuss their needs, concerns and ideas.  The meetings also provide a forum for various public safety experts to lecture and update the communities on contemporary matters.

2009 also saw the start of the Department’s new “Explorer’s Program” which is a worksite based program for young men and women. The Explorer program helps youth gain insight into a variety of careers, especially police work, by providing hands-on experience promoting growth and development of the participants.

The Department soon embarked on creating an Auxiliary Police Unit comprised of dedicated citizens volunteering their time to help the Police serve Annapolis. The core concept of the Unit is to expand police services and to free-up time for police officers to better focus on public safety. With professional training, the Unit's responsibilities have broadened to include directed patrol for increased visibility and help with traffic and community concerns.  The Auxiliary Unit is quickly becoming essential to the Police Department.

With an emphasis on modernizing police capabilities, the Police Department invested over $1.5 million in technology since 2008. Funding was derived mainly through federal and state grants.   Innovative projects have propelled the Department to much greater heights in criminal investigations and enforcement.  The list of technology-related acquisitions is growing and includes: over 40 city owned CCTV cameras throughout Annapolis and integration of nearly 100 privately owned cameras accessible to the Department, mobile-data-communication software to enable better communication between supervisors, dispatchers and patrol vehicles in the field, modern computers and record management systems, crime mapping and  website access, improved computer-aided-dispatch, language lines and updated caller aided dispatch, license plate readers (LPR),  field-based reporting, “E Citations”; and state-of-the-art cell phone interceptor equipment.  Additional projects are underway including mobile identification devices, web-based records management and expanding the Department’s CCTV program.

Plummeting Crime

The “stem” of increasing crime was tied during the second half of 2008.  Total serious crime (homicides, robbery, rape, serious assaults, burglary, thefts and arson) declined by 15% compared to the same period in 2007. Moreover, violent crime dropped by 29%.  By the end of 2008, serious crime was the lowest recorded in the past 20 years.

In 2009, crime in the City of Annapolis further reduced by 36%. The 1,224 Part One crimes reported in the City were the lowest recorded since Uniform Crime Reporting began in 1975. There were 680 fewer Part I Offenses reported in 2009 than in 2008. The total number of violent crimes in the City decreased 24 percent compared to 2008 and property crimes were down by 38 percent.

Total serious crime reported in 2010 was 1,327. The low crime “success” continued; however the 103 additional offenses compared to 2009 were largely the result of thefts that occurred indoors, i.e., shoplifting.  Compared to 2007, just 3 years prior, overall crime was down 41%.  Even more telling was that violent crime was much lower than past years and 8% lower than 2009.  2010 violent crime marked a 31 year low.

The transformative crime reduction was a direct result of the dedication and commitment of the men and women of the Department through pro-active law enforcement strategies and successful, working partnerships throughout the communities. Although tremendous strides have been made, the work is not done. All members of the Annapolis Police Department continue to work diligently to maintain safe communities throughout the City.

 

Police Commissioners
Annapolis Police Department 

  • 1931 - 1932 R. Lee Waller
  • 1932 Thomas G. Basil
  • 1932 - 1935 Charles Meyers
  • 1932 - 1935 Charles Meyers
  • 1952 - 1965 George W. Rawlings
  • 1966 - 1973 Ridgely Gaither
  • 1973 William B. Clatonoff  

Chiefs of Police
Annapolis Police Department

  • 1867 - 1869 Thomas Basil
  • 1869 - 1870 Nicholas J. Deal
  • 1871 - 1872 Elijah J. Russell
  • 1873 - 1875 Benjamin F. Cadell
  • 1875 - 1879 Henry Burlinghame
  • 1880 - 1882 James B. Thomas
  • 1883 John E. Brown
  • 1883 - 1886 James T. Small
  • 1887 - 1895 Arthur Martin
  • 1896 - 1901 Howard B. Taylor
  • 1901 - 1902 Travers T. Brown
  • 1903 Howard B. Taylor
  • 1904 - 1907 George Hahn, Jr.
  • 1907 - 1925 Charles H. Oberry
  • 1926 - 1935 Richard B. Holliday
  • 1935 - 1949 William R. Curry, Sr.
  • 1949 - 1961 George W. Rawlings
  • 1961 - 1973 Anthony W. Howes
  • 1973 - 1980 Bernard Kalnoske
  • 1980 Samuel A. Cyrus
  • 1980 - 1990 John C. Schmitt
  • 1990 Cassin B. Gittings
  • 1990 - 1994 Harold M. Robbins, Jr.
  • 1994 - 2008 Joseph S. Johnson
  • 2008 - current Michael A. Pristoop