Baltimore Officers Kennedy (left) and Harget (right) stand ready to safeguard the citizens of the Village of Baltimore. The headquarters of the Village of Baltimore department is the town’s former fire station featuring three parking bays.

I recently retired after 20 years with the Union County (Ohio) Sheriff’s Office as a reserve deputy. Prior to that, I worked full-time for three different agencies—eight years with the City of Reynoldsburg (Ohio) PD as a patrol officer, a year and a half with the Licking County (Ohio) Sheriff’s Office, and eight months before that as an investigator with the Ohio Department of Liquor Control. Those four agencies all had more than 30 sworn officers working for them, with Liquor Control being the largest. However, my retirement wasn’t a real “retirement”—I took a position with the Village of Baltimore, Ohio, as a reserve sergeant, and I have been getting a firsthand view of life in a very small police agency. It’s a view that I believe officers from larger agencies (myself formerly included) don’t always fully appreciate.

The Fairfield County Village of Baltimore has within its jurisdiction some 4,400 residents. It is a sprawling community with a history that dates back to the days of the Ohio-Erie Canal, which formerly went through the town. Baltimore was at one time two separate villages that later joined together. The surrounding area is farmland. In spite of that fact, Baltimore is but a 25-minute drive from the state capital of Columbus, and 10 minutes from the cities of Pickerington and Reynoldsburg. This means that it is subject to much of the criminal activity of its larger neighbors—albeit with much less frequency.


Department Makeup
Baltimore employs five full-time officers, including the chief, deputy chief, and DARE officer and two full-time patrol officers. Unpaid reserve officers provide the balance of the manpower, often working a paid special-duty patrol position in the nearby Village of Pleasantville. As with so many departments this size, there are no specialty divisions other than the DARE position. Patrol officers undertake everything from traffic control and basic report taking to complex investigations. Two of the most recent include an undercover narcotics investigation and major child molestation case.

Despite the small size of the agency, Village of Baltimore officers have the latest in technology at their fingertips, including Mobile Data Terminal/Computer, cruiser camcorder, and radar and lidar speed measuring devices.

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Baltimore Officers Kennedy (left) and Harget (right) stand ready to safeguard the citizens of…