[photo, Anne Arundel County Fire Department emblem, 8495 Veterans Highway, Millersville, Maryland] In Anne Arundel County, three departments are concerned with public safety: Detention Facilities, Fire, and Police.

Anne Arundel County Fire Department emblem, 8495 Veterans Highway, Millersville, Maryland, July 2016. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


Coordinating its work with federal, State and private agencies, the Department of Detention Facilites provides for the incarceration and needs of inmates, and those awaiting trial. For these purposes, the Department operates and maintains two County detention centers: Jennifer Road Detention Center in Annapolis, and Ordnance Road Correctional Center in Glen Burnie.

Appointed by the County Executive, the Superintendent, oversees the Department (County Charter, secs. 536(c), 536(d)).

[photo, Jennifer Road Detention Center, Anne Arundel County Department of Detention Facilities, 131 Jennifer Road, Annapolis, Maryland] JENNIFER ROAD DETENTION CENTER
Constructed in 1966, Jennifer Road Detention Center is a maximum security intake and pretrial detention facility. It holds up to 631 inmates. Among these are persons who do not make bail, and those awaiting trial, who require special housing for medical, mental health or behavioral reasons.

Jennifer Road Detention Center, Anne Arundel County Department of Detention Facilities, 131 Jennifer Road, Annapolis, Maryland, July 2016. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

The Ordnance Road Correctional Center was built in 1998, because of overcrowding at the Jennifer Road Detention Center. At Ordnance Road, up to 432 inmates can be held. Confined at the Center are prisoners sentenced to terms of up to 18 months, as well as persons awaiting trial.


[photo, Anne Arundel County Fire Department, 8495 Veterans Highway, Millersville, Maryland] County and volunteer fire companies are coordinated by the Fire Department to prevent and respond to fire emergencies. In this work, the Department operates thirty-one stations throughout the County. Mutual aid service is also provided to surrounding counties, City of Annapolis, Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, U.S. Army Post Fort George G. Meade, and the United States Naval Academy.

Anne Arundel County Fire Department, 8495 Veterans Highway, Millersville, Maryland, July 2016. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

Responsible for investigating fires of suspicious origin, the Department is authorized to make arrests where appropriate. The Department also enforces the proper display of street address on commercial and residential locations; and checks for compliance with emergency medical assistance standards at commercial establishments, such as bars, theaters, and health clubs (County Charter, secs. 545-547; County Code, secs. 12-6-101, 12-6-104).
[photo, Herald Harbor Volunteer Fire Department, Crownsville, Maryland] The Department is overseen by the Fire Chief, who is appointed by the County Executive (County Charter, sec. 545).

Under the Fire Department are the Office of Emergency Management, the Logistics Bureau, and the Operations Bureau. In addition, the Department is aided by the Fire Advisory Board.

Herald Harbor Volunteer Fire Department, Crownsville, Maryland, August 2015. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


The Office of Emergency Management began as the Office of Civil Defense. It was renamed the Emergency Management and Civil Defense Agency in 1985, before assuming its present name in 1991.
[photo, Henry L. Hein Public Service Building, 7480 Baltimore & Annapolis Blvd., Glen Burnie, Maryland] Under the Fire Department, the Office of Emergency Management coordinates federal, State, local and private resources and facilities to respond to emergencies. The Office develops comprehensive emergency management programs to address potential emergencies, communicate disaster preparation news and available resources to the community, and establish systems to increase response and recovery efficiency. Training programs to prepare County residents for emergency situations are offered through the Office.

Henry L. Hein Public Service Building, 7480 Baltimore & Annapolis Blvd., Glen Burnie, Maryland, October 2018. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

Appointed by the Governor on recommendation of the County Executive, the Director oversees the Office of Emergency Management (Code Public Safety Article, secs. 14-109 through 14-113; County Charter, sec. 522).

The Office consists of three sections: Community Outreach, Planning, and Training and Exercise.


Prior to formation of the Police Department, law enforcement duties in the County were conducted by the Sheriff's Office, and individual police officers in certain parts of the County.

[photo, Arundel County Police Department, 8495 Veterans Highway, Millersville, Maryland] Police Officers. In 1886, two policemen were appointed by the County Commissioners ". . . for the better protection of persons and property in Brooklyn . . . " (Chapter 95, Acts of 1886). By 1894, four policemen were stationed at Brooklyn, Curtis Bay, and south Baltimore (Chapter 414, Acts of 1894; Chapter 613, Acts of 1902). Thereafter, one policeman was appointed for Germantown in the 2nd Election District (Chapter 558, Acts of 1906), and one to patrol certain roads of the 4th Election District (Chapter 13, Acts of 1912).

Arundel County Police Department, 8495 Veterans Highway, Millersville, Maryland, July 2016. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

Police Department. In 1937, the General Assembly directed the County Commissioners of Anne Arundel County ". . . to create a Police Force for the preservation of law and order and for the protection of persons and property . . . " (Chapter 192, Acts of 1937). The Legislature also authorized a Board of Examiners, consisting of the President of the County Commissioners, the Police Chief, and an experienced physician, to ascertain qualifications of those seeking appointment to or promotion in the Police Department. Moreover, a Bureau of Identification was established, and "Special Officers without pay" were authorized from May to October ". . . for the proper protection of Waterfront Communities and Development . . . ". The Police Department then was composed of twenty-three officers, and, a year later, would be overseen by a Chief of Police. Appointed by the Board of County Commissioners, the first Chief of Police took office in January 1938 (Chapter 192, Acts of 1937). Since 1964, the Chief of Police has been appointed by the County Executive (County Charter, sec. 543).

Police Districts. With its headquarters at Ferndale, the Department originally maintained substations at Eastport, Galesville, and Pasadena. At another point, the County had two large districts comprised of the headquarters at Ferndale and a substation at Edgewater. The Ferndale District consisted of ten posts with a one-man patrol car for each. It included the densely-populated area adjacent to south Baltimore. The Edgewater District had seven posts and seven patrol cars for the more sparsely-populated south County area with one post covering an area between Bowie and Fort Meade.

By 1965, major revisions in the Police Department were underway, beginning with the transfer of police headquarters from Ferndale to Millersville along Route 3. Under the new plan, the area of individual posts was reduced considerably. Three districts - Northern (Ferndale), Central (Millersville), and Southern (Edgewater) - were created with a total of 24 posts and 33 patrol cars. The boundary lines between Northern and Central District ran from Dorsey Road eastward to Route 3 and then along Mountain Road. The line between the Central and Southern Districts ran from Sherwood Forest southwest to Route 450 and along Route 450 to the County line.

All specialized services were to operate from headquarters to include the Detective Bureau, Traffic Division, Juvenile Bureau, K-9 Corps and Central Records Bureau. Personnel in these sections received their assignments at headquarters then deployed to Ferndale and Edgewater. Reports from the two substations were to be transmitted to headquarters each morning and acted on there. In all, the authorized force totaled 187 policemen.

Today, the Police Department is the primary law enforcement agency in Anne Arundel County. The Department enforces laws and ordinances related to animal control; crime prevention and response; home and business security; missing persons; and noise control. Duties also relate to traffic management, parked or abandoned vehicles; appointment of school-crossing guards, and disposition of unclaimed property (County Charter, secs. 543, 544; County Code, secs. 12-2-101 through 12-3-303).

The Department is organized under two divisions: Administration, and Operations. Directly under the Chief of Police are the Media Relations Office, and the Office of Professional Standards. The Department is aided by the Citizens Advisory Council.

The Office of Professional Standards was created in 2013.

Under the Office are three units: Accreditation, Internal Affairs, and Staff Inspections.


Within the Police Department, Administration oversees the Bureau of Administration. It also directs the Fiscal Management Section.


Started as the Administrative Services Bureau, the Bureau of Administration is responsible for the Police Department's budgetary, personnel and planning duties. It handles hiring, training, and collective bargaining for the Department.

The Bureau oversees the Support Services Division, and the Technical Services Division.

To other divisions and bureaus, the Support Services Division provides record and evidence management and investigative assistance . It also conducts fingerprinting and identification processing, and oversees enforcement of animal control ordinances.

Under the Division are the Police Training Academy, and three sections: Animal Control, Personnel, and Property Management.

[photo, Anne Arundel County Animal Control Section, 411 Maxwell Frye Road, Millersville, Maryland]

Anne Arundel County Animal Control Section, 411 Maxwell Frye Road, Millersville, Maryland, July 2016. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

[photo, Anne Arundel County Animal Control Section poster, 411 Maxwell Frye Road, Millersville, Maryland]

Anne Arundel County Animal Control Section poster, 411 Maxwell Frye Road, Millersville, Maryland, July 2016. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

Within the Police Department, the Personnel Section is responsible for all matters concerning personnel. The Section coordinates its work with the County Office of Personnel.

The Property Management Section manages and controls property owned or acquired by the Police Department, including found, recovered and evidentiary property. The Section oversees the Quartermaster.

The Technical Services Division oversees four sections: Central Records, Communications, Fleet Coordination, and Technology.


Within the Police Department, Operations is responsible for two bureaus: Operations and Investigations, and Patrols.


The Bureau of Operations and Investigations started as the Special Services Bureau, and later reformed under its present name.

Criminal investigations for the County are conducted by the Bureau, which provides tactical support to patrol units. The Bureau also collaborates with federal and State agencies conducting operations within the County.

Two divisions comprise the Bureau: Criminal Investigations, and Special Operations.

The Criminal Investigations Division conducts investigations for the County Police, as well as the Annapolis City Police. The Division performs polygraph tests, and interviews witnesses. The Division also provides protective services to victims and witnesses as necessary.

Under the Division are six sections: Crime Laboratory, Evidence Collection and Identification, Homeland Security and Intelligence, Major Crimes, Organized and Economic Crimes, and Special Enforcement.

Under the Bureau of Operations and Investigations, the Special Operations Division provides tactical support for extraordinary police situations, such as those involving hostages, barricades, or terrorists. The Division also directs search and rescue operations, assists patrol and narcotics operations, and provides dignitary protection.

Under the Division are two sections: Special Operations, and Traffic Safety.


Conducting regular patrols in residential and commercial areas, the Bureau of Patrol responds to traffic and criminal emergencies. Indeed, for the Police Department, the Bureau functions as a first responder.

The Bureau provides direct police services through patrol, district-level investigation and specialized functions. To most effectively respond to emergencies, the Bureau coordinates its work with other agencies.

The Bureau is responsible for two divisions: Community Relations, and Patrol.

The Community Relations Division oversees the Community Relations Section, and the School Safety Section. The Division is assisted by Police Community Relations Councils.

The Patrol Division is divided into four districts: Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western. Each patrol district consists of a District Detective Unit, a Tactical Patrol Unit, a Tactical Narcotics Team, a Traffic Officer, and a dedicated Domestic Violence Officer. Each patrol district is responsible for initial response to, and investigation and resolution of local public safety and law enforcement problems.

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