Howard County Police Department

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Howard County Police Department
Abbreviation HCPD
Seal of Howard County, Maryland.png
Seal of Howard County, Maryland
Flag of Howard County, Maryland.svg
Flag of Howard County, Maryland
Agency overview
Formed 1952
Annual budget FY15 General Fund Budget:
$102,451,815 [1]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* County of Howard in the state of Maryland, U.S.
Map of Maryland highlighting Howard County.svg
Map of Howard County Police Department's jurisdiction.
Size 254 square miles (660 km2)
Population 304,580 (2014)
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters George Howard Building, 3430 Courthouse Drive, Ellicott City, Maryland, 21043
39°16′32″N 76°48′21″W / 39.275421°N 76.805920°W / 39.275421; -76.805920Coordinates: 39°16′32″N 76°48′21″W / 39.275421°N 76.805920°W / 39.275421; -76.805920
Sworn members 472 [2]
Civilians 254
Agency executive Gary Gardner, Chief Of Police
Airbases Tipton Airport
K9 teams 7
Howard County Police Department
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Howard County Police Department (HCPD) is the primary law enforcement agency servicing 304,580 (2013) persons within the 254 square miles (660 km2) of Howard County, Maryland.[3]


From the founding of Howard County until 1894, the county's law enforcement responsibilities were handled by the Howard County Sheriff's Office (HCSO). In 1894, the Howard County Commissioners were granted the power to appoint local police officers in designated jurisdictions inside the county to aid in law enforcement duties. In 1904, the second district police force was formed with Julius Wosch as the sole officer.[4] Wosch was paid using a fee system of 15 cents for any paper served, and 25 cents for a dog tax with a penalty of pet destruction for non-payment. Wosch doubled the staff in 1935 paying Edgar Russel Moxley from his own earnings as an assistant.[5] In 1938, the Maryland State Police expanded police services with a station on the site of the historic Spurrier's Tavern in Waterloo.[6]

The Howard County Police Department (HCPD) in its current form was founded in 1952, by Chapter 496 of the Acts of 1894, in sections 17.200 through 17.206 of the Howard County code.[7]

After the founding of the HCPD, Howard County Commissioner Norman E. Moxley appointed his brother Edgar Russell Moxley chief, with four officers and a population of 20,000. A single 1952 ford was purchased for patrols.[8][9] Moxley was followed by Fred L Ford, who served until December 1962.[10] By 1963, Howard County had 21 police staff employed, serving 44,000 (2095 to one ratio). The County placed a goal of 1370 to one ratio by 1975.[11] Jack L. Larrimore served as police chief from 1963-1969. Counter-insurrection training was added in 1965, and the Howard County Interracial Commission recommended hiring of African American officers to reduce countywide racial tensions in 1967.[12][13] Larrimore ran for County Executive in 1969, against Omar J. Jones who did not renew his commission.[14] In 1971, the force increased to 68 with six day weeks implemented to handle crime sprees in the Columbia development.[15]

Garland R Walters served in 1972, a year where recorded crime rates went up 50% more per year as the Rouse Company development Columbia expanded.[16][17] Robert Matthew was appointed by executive Edward L. Cochran for a period from 1974-1978. Paul H. Rappaport served from 1979 to 1987.[18] James N. Robey was appointed Chief of the 295 officer force by Charles I. Ecker replacing Frederick W. Chaney in 1991. He retired in 1998 to run for County Executive.[19] Matthews was convicted for raiding his mother's estate and sentenced to 1 year in jail in 2001.[20][21] Wayne Livesay retired in 2006 to run for County Council.[22] Bill McMahon was appointed to Chief by County Executive Ken Ulman, retiring in 2014 at the end of Ulman's term and replaced by 30-year veteran Gary Gardner in July 2014.[23]


All HCPD officers are fully certified, sworn law enforcement officials. The authority originates with an act of legislation performed by the Maryland General Assembly. The agency itself is also nationally accredited through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, which gives accreditations to agencies who meet their national standards.[24]


2006 Bell 407 N407HC - Owned by the State of Maryland, Operated by Howard County Police, Based in Anne Arundel County

The current chief of police is Gary Gardner.[25] The HCPD divides the county into two districts, northern and southern.[26] The agency has the following sections[27]

  • Patrol
  • K-9
  • Aviation - The HCPD aviation unit operates one Bell 407 helicopter, which is shared with Anne Arundel County at the Tipton Airport. The helicopter crashed May 31, 2013 at Wilde Lake High School from a failed overspeed sensor that shut down the engine and has been restored for operations. The four people on board were uninjured. The unit also has access to Anne Arundel's three helicopters when needed.[28][29][30]
  • Emergency Services Unit
  • Tactical
  • Bike Patrol
  • Criminal Investigations (CIB)
  • Traffic Enforcement
  • Youth Services
  • Communications
  • Auxiliary Police (Volunteers)
  • Education and Training
  • Warrants Division
  • SWAT team


Howard County's Office of Law has attempted to block civil suits against the HCPD, citing legislation that binds the corporate entity of the HCPD to the corporate entity of the Howard County government, the latter of which being impervious to legal action unrelated to county legislation. There have been allegations that this action is a direct violation of the people's right to petition in the government for redress of grievances.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Howard County QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau Archived 2011-07-11 at WebCite
  4. ^ James A. Clark Jr. Jim Clark Soldier Farmer Legislator. p. 25. 
  5. ^ "From One Man Staff to Efficient Force". The Times. 31 March 1965. 
  6. ^ Barbra Feaga. Howard's Roads to the Past. p. 67. 
  7. ^ State of Maryland. "Police Department". Howard County, Maryland - Government, Executive Branch, Public Safety. Maryland State Archives. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Howard Police Chief Charged". The Baltimore Sun. 13 May 1956. 
  9. ^ "Edgar R. Moxley, 98, Howard County Police Department's first chief". Baltimore Sun. 16 Feb 2005. 
  10. ^ "Howard unit picks Miller". The Baltimore Sun. 5 December 1962. 
  11. ^ "Howard County Facilities" (PDF). Retrieved 7 April 2013. 
  12. ^ "Maryland County Prepares for Revolution, or Anything". St. Petersburg Times. 12 November 1965. 
  13. ^ Diane Mullaly (5 August 1992). "50 Years Ago". The Baltimore Sun. 
  14. ^ "Jack L. Larrimore, 73, Howard County Police Chief". The Baltimore Sun. 21 April 1997. 
  15. ^ "Rural Howard County Goes on a Crime Alert". The Washington Post. 11 December 1971. 
  16. ^ Tom Huth (19 September 1972). "Howard County Boom Malignant or Benign?". The Washington Post. 
  17. ^ "County Man Shackled, Jailed in $5 Ticket Case: Police in Counties Shackle, Jail Man in $5 Ticket Case". The Washington Post. 14 January 1972. 
  18. ^ Lisa Leff (25 Feb 1987). "Bobo to Replace Police Chief in Howard County". The Washington Post. 
  19. ^ "Ecker Appoints County Police Chief". The Baltimore Sun. 26 February 1991. 
  20. ^ Jennifer Vick (13 June 2002). "Ex-police chief looted mother's estate". The Columbia Flyer. 
  21. ^ "archives | - Former Howard police chief charged with theft, perjury". Retrieved 2017-09-27. 
  22. ^ "Howard Co. chief of police to retire: Livesay is running for County Council". The Baltimore Sun. 20 May 2006. 
  23. ^ "Gardner set to take helm of Howard police department". The Baltimore Sun. 29 June 2014. 
  24. ^ Howard County Police Department: Recruiting
  25. ^ Howard County Police Department: Message from the Chief
  26. ^ Inside HCPD...: Patrol
  27. ^ Howard County Police Department: Inside HCPD
  28. ^ "Police identify crew in emergency helicopter landing at Columbia high school". Baltimore Sun. 31 May 2013. 
  29. ^ "NTSB accident Reports - Case ERA13TA261". Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  30. ^, Ben Weathers,. "Police patrol skies over Anne Arundel, Howard counties". Retrieved 2017-09-27. 

External links[edit]