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Police: Chief of Police



A Message from Chief Gary L. Gardner


Chief Gardner 


I am both honored and humbled to be named the 11th Chief of Police for Howard County.  I am grateful to County Executive Kittleman for this opportunity and his confidence in me to lead the finest law enforcement agency in Maryland.  I look forward to building on the strong foundation of leadership this Department has had over the past 60+ years.   

As always, my primary focus is on the people we serve in the community.  Our mission continues to be to  ensure the safety of the people who live, work, and visit our County.  Collaboration and partnerships have been key to many of the successes we have enjoyed over the years.  We will continue to expand our community outreach efforts over the next few years and improve our levels of communication with all members of our community.  Mental health intervention is a key component of that outreach and will be a priority moving forward.  As you know, mental health issues are an underlying factor in many of the service calls we handle every day.  Early intervention and locating services for those in need is critical to our public safety.   

And finally, crime and traffic safety will continue to be an integral part our mission, with an emphasis on repeat offenders, violent offenders, and those who consistently have a negative impact on the quality of life in our communities.  Utilizing our Analysis and Information Management (A.I.M.) system, we will continue to direct resources promptly to problem areas.   We will also focus our traffic enforcement efforts in areas that have been impacting us the most, where we see the highest number of collisions. Hopefully, we can continue to make a difference by reducing the number of crashes, as well as the number of injuries and fatalities.   

I look forward to serving you as Chief of Police and welcome your input as we continue to build partnerships which have kept our agency strong since its inception. Thank you for your continued support of the Howard County Police Department. 


About the Chief


Chief Gary L. Gardner is a 30-year veteran of the Howard County Police Department. Prior to his appointment as Chief of Police, he held  the position of Deputy Chief for Operations, overseeing tthe patrol districts, the operational preparedness division and the youth services division. 

Throughout his career, Chief Gardner has served in nearly every component of the department, including as the Deputy Chief for Administration, Commander of the criminal investigations bureau, Chief of Staff, Commander in the patrol division and public information officer.   His contributions and accomplishments include the realignment of patrol beats for improved response services; implementation of a crime analysis-driven system for better allocating resources in patrol operations; development of the Alpha Ridge Training Center as the head of the police planning team; and creation of the department’s Police Memorial Courtyard and Garden at headquarters. 

Chief Gardner has a Master’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University and is a graduate of the F.B.I.’s National Academy. He is a member of the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association, the International Chiefs of Police Association and the F.B.I. National Academy Associates. He is also an active supporter of Maryland Special Olympics and other law enforcement-related charities. Chief Gardner is also a graduate of Leadership Howard County, class of 2006.