Police are only able to patrol between their calls from residents, so observant neighbors who report suspicious activity including unfamiliar people, vehicles, and possible drug activity help both the Baltimore County and Baltimore City police departments focus their resources where they can be the most effective.
Neighbors have asked us at the association how they can report suspicious activity in a way that will get results. Because we live in a neighborhood that spans two police jurisdictions it’s important to contact the correct department, but the important things for neighbors to observe and document are the same for both the city and county.
Retired Baltimore City officer Mike Hilliard (now representing HARBEL) advises anyone reporting activity to keep a log with the following information:
- Descriptions of suspicious cars you see
- Tag (license plate) numbers
- Descriptions of people (gender, age, race, height, clothing)
- Day of the week activity generally occurs
- Date and time of specific activity
This helps to establish patterns so that when you email the police they have a good starting point for surveillance. Drug teams are in constant demand, so it helps to direct them to the time and place where they can catch someone in the act before getting dispatched to the next complaint.
In Baltimore County
Officer Jason Goorevitz of the Baltimore County Police Department suggests that county residents to call 911 or 410-887-2222 (non-emergency number) to report criminal activity in progress. Always call 911 in an emergency.
Once you have collected a log of activity and can narrow down that activity to a day and time that are generally more frequent, call the County Police Vice/Narcotics team at 410-887-1870. You can be anonymous if you chose, but it is helpful to leave your name and number in case the police need to call you back for more information. In either case your name will not be used in an investigation.
County residents can also use the Baltimore County Police iWatch website to report suspicious behavior.
In Baltimore City
Mike Hilliard suggests that City residents concerned about drug crime in the city call 911 for activity in progress or 410-666-3784 for the city drug tip line to inform the police of generally recurring activity. This number may be answered by a live person or you may be asked to leave a message with your information. In either case the information you leave will be forwarded to the officers most able to deal with any issues.
From this detailed map you can see that Harford Park is in Post 424 of the Northeast District of Baltimore City.
Citizens on Patrol
The object of the Baltimore County Citizens on Patrol program is to provide more eyes and ears on the streets observing and reporting crime and/or suspicious activity. Program guidelines prohibit participants from actions that would place them in a confrontational situation. Each vehicle is equipped with a cellular telephone and or City Handheld Radio on which to call in incidents needing police attention.
Participants may patrol any number of hours per week, but each participating neighborhood association must show a combined total of eight hours per month by its membership. Each participant must document his/her activities during patrol and this information is forwarded to the Baltimore County Police Department and Northeast Citizens on Patrol.
Why should you join C.O.P.?
- Help reduce crime
- Assist in protecting your property and community
- Contribute in making your community safe
- Getting to know your neighbors so it’s easier to recognize outsiders
- Be the change you see in the world
- Enjoy an evening out with a fellow member while protecting your neighborhood
So who do I contact to get started?
Now that you are interested and ready to help, send an email expressing your interest in the comments below or email to email@example.com.
We look forward to working with you to build a better community!
Citizen’s Police Academy
Baltimore County’s Citizens’ Police Academy’s primary objective is to afford an opportunity for community, business and religious leaders to become informed and educated about the many aspects of police work. The Academy is designed to give the attendees exposure as to why police respond to various situations in a particular way and how they ultimately handle those situations. For more information call the Youth and Community Resources Section at 410-887-5901 or view our Citizens’ Police Academy web page.