About Us

Chief of Police

Chief Gardner

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 the 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.

Since becoming police chief in 2014, Chief Gardner has created and expanded a new Community Outreach Division; launched a body camera pilot workgroup; added a Mental Health Liaison, Youth Liaison and Pathway Patrol unit; expanded community partnerships through the faith community and various multi-cultural and specialty-needs groups; instituted new community outreach programs, like Coffee with a Cop; and implemented training in the areas of Crisis Intervention, Fair and Impartial Policing, and Customer Service. He currently serves as the 1st Vice President for the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association.

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.

Command Staff

Major Luther Johnson
Administrative Command 
Major Ellsworth Jones
Operations Command 
Major Mary Levy
Investigations/Special Operations Command 
Captain Darin Chambers
Information & Technology Bureau
Captain Daniel Coon
Criminal Investigations Bureau
Captain Thomas Ehart
Patrol Operations, Southern District
Captain Steve Lampe
Management Services Bureau
Captain Todd Leppert
Patrol Operations, Northern District

Captain Lisa Myers
Human Resources Bureau

Captain Michael Yetter
Special Operations Bureau

Captain Cory Zirk
Criminal Investigations Bureau

Our Mission and Values

Our core values at the Howard County Police Department are Integrity, Pride and Community. You’ll see those words on our patch logo displayed throughout the agency. You’ll also see them in our actions day in and day out.

It is the mission of the Howard County Police Department to provide a secure environment for the citizens of Howard County by protecting life and property, reducing the opportunity for crime and disorder, enforcing the law, assisting victims and providing other police-related services as required by the community in a manner consistent with the values of a free society. HCPD embraces the historic tradition that the police are the public and the public are the police. We are committed to resolving problems collaboratively through a partnership between the department and our community.

Our Values

Integrity: The department and its personnel can only succeed in their mission if we maintain our integrity. Our authority to deprive people of their life, freedom and property comes from the trust bestowed upon us. Once this trust is broken, by an individual or by the department, our actions are rightfully called into question. The department and its employees must hold themselves to a standard that is beyond reproach.

Pride: The department is a proud institution and works to develop this pride in its sworn, civilian and volunteer personnel. We are proud of our rich tradition of providing quality police services to the residents and visitors of Howard County. We are proud to be a part of a noble profession that is called upon to maintain order in a free society. We are proud of the real partnerships we have with the people we serve. We are proud of the highly motivated, highly trained, and highly respected personnel we have.

Community: The cornerstone of this department is the relationship we have with the community we serve. Our ability to be effective in carrying out our mission is based on the credibility we have with the community. Understanding that we are a part of, and not separate from, the community is critical. Although we are granted full-time responsibility for policing the community, we cannot do it without the approval and cooperation of the public. The department strives to enhance this relationship in several ways: By ensuring that each police contact is carried out fairly and with respect; by seeking input from the public on our programs, procedures and priorities; and by being active in community programs and charities.

A note about community-oriented policing: The paradigm of community-oriented policing began to evolve within law enforcement communities during the 1970s in response to increasing crime rates throughout the nation; the failure of other, more traditional, police programs; and the rapid deterioration of many neighborhoods. Community-oriented policing is an organizational philosophy with a decentralized approach aimed at reducing crime and improving the quality of life within a community. It is a team-oriented approach to problem solving with the police and members of the community working together, on an equal basis, toward a common goal. The Howard County Department of Police is committed to this philosophy and supports programs that reflect these values.


The Howard County Department of Police obtained national accreditation from The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc., known as CALEA, on July 28, 1990. Re-accreditation was earned in 2006 and 2009. The department had the honor of being named a Flagship Agency in both 2006 and 2009, a prestigious designation. In between accreditations, the department submits an annual compliance report to CALEA.

It is an honor to achieve this status within the law enforcement community and we proudly display the CALEA emblem. The standards established by CALEA help law enforcement agencies strengthen crime prevention and control capabilities, formalize essential management procedures, establish fair and nondiscriminatory personnel practices, improve service-delivery, solidify interagency cooperation and coordination, boost citizen and staff confidence in the agency.

Employee Recognition

Officer of the Month 2018:
PFC Patrick Gipe (Jan.)
CPL Nicholas Gordon-Roberts (Feb.)

Dispatcher of the Quarter 2018:
Dispatcher Jacob Oursler (1st)