Programs and Services

911 Flagging Program

Howard County Police routinely respond to calls for persons with an identified developmental, intellectual, degenerative or physical disorder or disability who have wandered off, gone missing, or are in a state of crisis. With the 9-1-1 flagging program, police can be alerted immediately that the person involved has a certain condition and provided with valuable information and ways to help before they even arrive. For example, a child that goes missing and is drawn to water could be at significant risk, and getting officers to those locations faster--before even arriving at your house--could be lifesaving. Providing information that your loved one is deaf would significantly affect the way an officer communicates with them, without adding to the confusion of an already stressful or chaotic incident. The database can be used for any relevant mental or physical health concern, to include:

  • Autism
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Intellectual or Developmental Disability
  • Physical disability, such as blindness or deafness
  • Mental health diagnoses
  • Other behavior that may affect police response

HCPD encourages those with special circumstances to use the flagging program so that officers can be provided with important information before they arrive at your residence. All information remains confidential and is never shared with outside entities, and is only used to benefit responding officers.

Request a flag on your address

Alarm Registration/False Alarm Reduction

Law Enforcement personnel respond to thousands of false alarm calls yearly. These unnecessary responses result in an enormous burden in manpower and expense; which in turn reduces the time available to respond to real emergencies.

Proceed to the Alarm Registration System

Banning Notices

The Howard County Police Department can assist owners and managers of private property with the enforcement of trespass laws through the banning process. The department enforces trespass laws in an effort to resolve quality of life complaints and have a positive impact on the community.

Questions regarding the banning process should be directed to

Banning guidelines | Banning form

Bike Registration

Register your bike with the Howard County Police Department. This is a free service for Howard County residents allowing you to manage your bike information and report if stolen. Upon registration, we will mail you an assigned serial number to identify your bike.

Proceed to the Bike Registration System

Cold Cases

The Howard County Police Department periodically highlights unsolved homicide investigations in the hopes of generating new tips and information. Despite lengthy and complex investigations, family members of these homicide victims are still awaiting justice for their parent, sibling or child. View open cold cases here.

Detectives are seeking information from witnesses or anyone who may have further knowledge about any of these cases. Anyone with information is urged to contact 410-313-STOP or email Callers may remain anonymous and may earn a reward.

Family Crimes and Sexual Assault

Howard County Police conduct joint investigations into child abuse at the Howard County Child Advocacy Center. Cases involving sexual and serious physical child abuse are investigated through a multi-disciplinary framework, including Child Protective Services, the Howard County States Attorney’s Office, the Howard County Health Department, the STTAR Center and the Domestic Violence Center. Detectives utilize a victim-centered response to sex offense investigations, coordinating joint response and case follow-up from allied agencies. If you have knowledge of child abuse, please call police at 410-313-2200.

Emergency Caretaker Resource Guide

Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004 (LEOSA)

The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004 (LEOSA) allows qualified active and retired law enforcement officers to carry a concealed firearm nationwide. It is the intent of the Howard County Police Department to offer its retirees the opportunity to certify under the parameters of the law.

All applicants, including those already certified under LEOSA, must fill out the HCPD Application for Certification to Carry a Concealed Firearm. This form can be obtained below or at the James N. Robey Public Safety Training Center on the day you qualify. If you choose to print and complete the application before your qualification date, please fax the completed form (which does not have to be notarized) to 410-313-3212. All applicants must re-apply annually. Before any applicant is issued a LEOSA photo ID card from the department, he or she must successfully complete both qualifying courses (daylight and lowlight), and complete and submit the two-page application. A background check will be conducted on all applicants.

LEOSA application / schedule

Training is offered at the James N. Robey Public Safety Training Center, 2200 Scott Wheeler Drive Marriottsville, MD 21104. To sign up, e-mail Karen Donovan in the Education and Training Division at

Medication Disposal

Did you know you can dispose of your unwanted medication any day of the year at one of our permanent drop off locations? They're OPEN DAILY YEAR ROUND! Dispose of unwanted or expired prescription and over-the-counter medications safely and anonymously.

Police-run locations:

  • Northern District Station, 3410 Courthouse Drive, Ellicott City, 24/7
  • Southern District Station, 11226 Scaggsville Road, Laurel, 24/7
  • Community Outreach, 10741 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, business hours
  • Gary Arthur Community Center, 2400 Route 97, Cooksville, business hours
  • MD State Police Waterloo Barrack, 7777 Washington Boulevard, Jessup, 24/7

Pharmacy locations:

  • CVS, 3300 Centennial Lane, Ellicott City, 24/7
  • Walgreen's, 10097 Baltimore National Pike (Rt. 40), Ellicott City, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
  • CVS, 6480 Old Waterloo Road, Elkridge, 24/7
  • Walgreen's, 15100 Baltimore Avenue, Laurel, 24/7

Special Event Permits

MARCH 20 -- Effective immediately, all event permits have been cancelled until further notice. With the COVID-19 situation continuing to evolve, we will no longer be setting dates which may have to be continuously pushed back or extended. Instead, when public authorities deem it safe to restore public events, we will notify you of that change. Until that time, the permitting process will remain on hold. 

Please notify your participants that these events have been cancelled. If you have any questions, please email

Howard County Code requires the issuance of a permit for any activities which impede "the normal movement of vehicular and/or pedestrian traffic through and along the public streets, highways or roads in Howard County."

For events requiring a permit, dates and times are accepted and reserved on a first in -come, first-served basis. Request a special event permit here.

Transaction Safe Place

Need a safe place to handle a transaction you arranged online?

Two designated parking spaces, marked with yellow signs, are available at the Northern District Station at 3410 Court House Drive, Ellicott City; Southern District Station at 11226 Scaggsville Road, Laurel; and Community Outreach at 10741 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia. Individuals may also use the lobby of each station.

These areas are video recorded 24/7/365. If a buyer or seller refuses to meet at a police station, residents may want to reconsider the transaction.

Victim Assistance Section

Few events in someone’s life are more traumatic than becoming a victim of crime or domestic violence. The Howard County Department of Police is sensitive to the emotional distress that may occur following these incidents and is committed to assisting victims through the judicial and recovery processes.

The Victim Assistance Section is staffed with personnel trained to provide crisis intervention, advocacy and support services to crime victims. Assistance includes emotional support, referral to specific provider agencies for focused follow-up services, assistance with filing court papers and monetary claims, court accompaniment, guidance through the criminal justice process and evaluation services for referral to trauma debriefing. Timely interaction with a victim advocate may help enhance the speed and quality of healing.

The Howard County Police Department and its partners offer a local guide for victims and witnesses. Click here to read in English, Spanish, and Korean.

Crime victims in Maryland are entitled to certain statutory rights. The Maryland State Board of Victim Services and the Governor's Office of Crime Control & Prevention have published a brochure that provides an overview of those rights, as well as information on available victim services. The brochure, titled “Crime Victims and Witnesses: Your Rights and Services,” is available in English and Spanish.

Howard County Police Victim Assistance Section: 410-313-3712
Howard County Police Domestic Violence Section: 410-313-3741
Domestic Violence Center of Howard County: 410-997-0304
Domestic Violence Center 24/7 Help Line: 410-997-2272
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE(7233), 1-800-787-3224 TTY

National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888, 711 TTY, Text "info" or "help" to 233733
National Teen Dating Abuse Help Line: 1-866-331-9474, 1-866-331-8453 TTY