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PROGRAMS FOR CITIZENS - BALTIMORE COUNTY › police › community › citizen-programs

Citizens Police Academy ... The Citizens' Police Academy: ... The Academy is a 16-class (15-week) program held once a year. Evening classes are from 6:30 to 9:30 ...

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Citizens on Patrol (COP) are organized groups of citizens who volunteer their time to patrol their neighborhoods as an effective crime prevention tool. To date there are approximately 100 groups patrolling neighborhoods in Baltimore County. Most of the neighborhoods post COP street signs at all entrances advertising their patrol.


COP patrollers are observers only. They report criminal and suspicious activity or needs for emergency assistance to the police. They are not vigilantes and do not carry weapons, or confront persons engaged in criminal or suspicious activity. Having a patrol has many benefits:

  • Acts as additional "eyes and ears" for local police officers

  • Visibility in the community is the best deterrent to crime

  • Sends a strong message that residents care about their community and are united

  • Draws a community closer together

  • Opens new lines of communication

  • Program participation helps form long-term partnerships/friendships

  • Create a safer and more secure community


Any community or neighborhood can organize a patrol, which can have as few as two members. Baltimore County offers grant funding to supplement groups for startup and operation costs. The grants usually open for applications around April of each year. Other groups have funded their patrols through their associations or strictly through donations.

  • Set up a community meeting to discuss the needs of the community

  • Contact a Community Outreach Officer from your local precinct, who will attend and explain the program

  • Recruit and sign up volunteers every chance you get

  • Create a schedule that is flexible and convenient for your patrollers, don't become regimented with a specific schedule. Flex and change your hours and routine so that potential criminals won't know when you are patrolling.

  • Once you have established a group of volunteers, contact your Community Outreach Officer and coordinate a training session. Startup packets and COP manuals are available through your Community Outreach unit.


One method of patrolling utilizes three persons: two persons in the car, one of whom drives while the other observes, while the third person remains at home with a radio. This is referred to as a "base station." If the patroller spots something, they radio the "base station," who then calls 911.

  • Communication—Radios or cell phones are used to communicate with the police.

  • Mobility—Patrol groups utilize foot patrol or their personal car. Many groups also have daylight patrols, which use community members who regularly walk and bike for exercise as observers.

  • Schedule—There is no right or wrong way to patrol as criminals are opportunists and are simply waiting. Crime trends and statistical information provided by the precinct Community Outreach Team can assist groups in creating a schedule. A patrol should be tailored to fit the needs of the community and its members. Create a varied schedule so no potential criminals can pinpoint your patrol routine.


~ The opportunity of a life time is coming back around. Please keep your neighbors, friends, and family updated on the awesome work that Baltimore County Police Department does in the community. Our goal is to educate the Baltimore County citizens on the excellent training we receive, and the policies and procedures that Baltimore County Police follow while serving the community. Let’s encourage a healthy partnership and give the gift that keeps on giving – education.



The Citizens’ Police Academy:

  • Affords an opportunity for community, business and religious leaders to become informed and educated about the many aspects of police work and foster relationships

  • Gives attendees exposure as to why police respond to various situations in a particular way and how they ultimately handle those situations

  • Serves as an introduction to the role of policing and its role in society

  • Creates an alliance that leaves us with voices in the community to act as ambassadors to build solid partnerships, creating a better quality of life for those we serve

The Academy is a 16-class (15-week) program held once a year. Evening classes are from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. and Saturday classes are from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.


The Academy will give attendees the opportunity to learn about and participate in:

  • The benefits of public service

  • The challenges and demands associated with law enforcement

  • Selected police units

  • Practical applications that demonstrate the aspects of the police officer’s job

  • The many facets of the criminal justice system

  • How police interact with the court system

  • Safety procedures required in policing

  • Techniques used in addressing crime in our community


  • Citizen Leadership

  • Communications (911 Center)

  • Courts and State’s Attorney’s Office

  • Crime Analysis

  • Criminal Investigations

  • CSI and Forensics

  • Financial and Cyber Crimes

  • Firearms Interdiction and Violent Crimes

  • Gangs

  • Hazardous Devices

  • Homeland Security

  • Internal Affairs

  • Internet Safety and Sex Offender Registry

  • Media Relations

  • Mobile Crisis and Hostage Negotiation

  • Narcotics Investigations

  • Patrol Operations and Procedures

  • Probable Cause and Arrest Procedures

  • Residential Security

  • Support Operations

  • Traffic Laws and Enforcement

  • Use of Force and Shooting Policy


Applicants will be subject to a background check. Exceptions to the application process may be approved by the program coordinator. Applicants must be either:

  • Adult residents of Baltimore County

  • BCoPD or County government employees

  • Business leaders

Complete and submit the Citizens’ Police Academy nomination form. A signature is not required if this form is being submitted electronically. However, please fill in the date the application is being submitted as enrollment is limited.



Chaplains provide spiritual counseling and assistance to members of BCoPD and the Baltimore County Fire Department. They assist with:

  • Attending department ceremonies to perform invocations and benedictions

  • Death notifications

  • Participate in funerals of active and retired members

  • Respond to all major disasters in the County

  • Visit or contact sick or injured members

If you are interested in becoming a chaplain, review the minimum qualification requirements and submit the chaplain application. For questions, email Sergeant Hassler at

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