In an effort to provide our community with the resources they need quickly and effectively, we have created page for police resources that can be completed online. While the list below does not include everything, this is a large list of resources available online through the Howard County Police Department.
For general questions, please call 410-313-3200.
File an online report
Howard County police offers residents the convenience of filing an online police report for certain incidents: animal complaints, dumping complaints, harassing phone calls, identity theft, lost property, solicitor complaints, theft, theft from a shed or detached garage, theft from a vehicle, unauthorized use of vehicle, vandalism or vandalism to a motor vehicle.
Request a police report/911 recording
To request an existing report, please select the appropriate option below.
Report traffic concerns
HCPD now offers residents the opportunity to report concerning traffic situations throughout the county. Each report will be reviewed by a Traffic Enforcement Section officer to determine next steps.
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:
- 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.
Alarm registration/false alarm reduction program
All residents and businesses in Howard County with professionally monitored alarm systems are required to register their system with the police department. Registered alarm systems help to prevent false alarm calls that result in an enormous burden in manpower and expense and reduces the time available to respond to real emergencies.
There is an initial $25 fee to register your alarm system. This is one-time fee as long as you remain at your current address, even if you switch alarm companies. Registrations are required to be renewed every two years at no additional cost. Please log in to your account at the linked website below to renew your system. Failure to register your alarm system can result in a civil penalty of $200 for each police response.
If it is possible that you may have an existing alarm registration, please contact the False Alarm Reduction team prior to creating a new account.
You MUST register your alarm if:
- it is located at a business or a residence and notifies a third party upon activation
You DO NOT have to register your alarm if:
- it is an alarm installed on a vehicle, that is not permanently located at the site;
- it is an alarm designated to alert only the inhabitants of a premises; or
- it is a self-monitored alarm system.
Unsure if you need to register your alarm or have other questions, contact the False Alarm Reduction team at 410-313-6199 or [email protected].
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 can be directed to [email protected].
Special event permit
Howard County Code requires the issuance of a permit for any activities which “requires the closure of a street, highway, or road; or requires authorized county employees to stop or reroute vehicular or pedestrian traffic." A permit is required for a concert “to be performed on public or private property before a gathering in excess or anticipated to be in excess of 2,000 persons.”
Permit applications are accepted on a “first-in-time basis depending on when the application and application fee is received,” at least 60 calendar days before, and up to one (1) year in advance of the event date.
To provide general feedback to the department or to compliment the agency or any of its members, please complete a citizen survey.
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.
Submit completed form via email at [email protected].
File a complaint
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.
We protect and serve—and we always strive to provide the highest level of service. We expect all of our members to do their best in any situation. Part of that commitment is to investigate all complaints against our members in an unbiased, thorough and fair way.
The honor of our agency depends on the personal integrity and discipline of each member. We expect our members to exceed the highest standards of personal conduct, both on- and off-duty.
The Internal Affairs complaint process allows us to hear concerns, investigate issues and evaluate training. It also helps us better understand the concerns of the public, which may not always have an in-depth understanding of police practices.
The Internal Affairs process offers an open line of communication and unbiased review that benefits everyone involved, both in the community and the agency.
Every member of society, citizens and officers alike, deserve to be treated with respect, fairness and dignity. At the Howard County Police Department, we expect no less.
How to file a complaint:
- Submit a complaint through the Public Portal or by completing the Complaint Against Personnel Form #1715. Paper forms may be picked up at a district station, or mailed to you. Complaints may be filed by phone or in-person. Your complaint will be acknowledged in a timely manner upon receipt.
- If your complaint relates to use of force by an officer it must be filed within 366 days of the incident and captured via the portal or on a form #1715. These complaints are sworn to under the penalty of perjury and must be completed by one of the following: the aggrieved individual; a member of the aggrieved individual’s family; an individual with firsthand knowledge obtained as a result of the presence at, and observation of, the alleged incident; an individual who has a video recording of the incident that is to the best of their knowledge unaltered; or by a parent or guardian in the case of a minor.
- Complainants will be updated by the assigned investigator every 30 days on the status of the investigation. You may contact the Internal Affairs Division at 410-313-5800 at any time to receive an update.
- At the conclusion of the investigation, the investigator will contact you to inform you that the investigation has been forwarded to the appropriate command for review and disposition.
- The final disposition can take up to 105 days to complete and may be extended, if circumstances outside of HCPD’s control require. The final disposition will be provided to you via certified mail from Internal Affairs.
As a complainant, you will receive a fair, impartial and thorough investigation.
Download a copy of the department's Internal Affairs Process
(in Spanish) (in Korean)
The Office of Public Affairs responds to all media inquiries, including Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Media should contact [email protected] with any inquiries. News releases and the daily crime bulletin can be found on the Newsroom page.
If you are a member of the public and wish to request a record, contact the Records Section at [email protected].
Residents and visitors in Howard County and the state of Maryland can now text 911 in an emergency. Review the below Q&A for more information on the program.
Q: What is text-to-911?
A: Text-to-911 is the ability to send a text message from your mobile phone to 911 in the event you are unable to place a phone call.
Q: Can I text 911?
A: Text-to-911 is not available everywhere and may not be available when roaming. In the state of Maryland, text-to-911 is available statewide with AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. To text 911, you must be enrolled in your carrier’s text or data plan. If text-to-911 is not available in your area, or is temporarily unavailable, you should receive a message letting you know to contact 911 by other means.
Q: When should I text 911?
A: Text-to-911 is intended for use in three primary scenarios:
1. For individuals who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or have a speech disability
2. For someone who is in a situation where it is unsafe to place a voice call to 911
3. For an individual who is experiencing a medical emergency and may be unable to speak
You should only text 911 in an emergency. Prank-texters can be identified and prosecuted according to local laws and regulations.
Q: What are the challenges with text-to-911 service?
A: As with all text messages, texts to 911 may take longer to receive and respond than a voice call. Texts also do not provide the location of the texter, and could be received out of order or may not be received at all. Additional challenges include:
• Pictures and/or videos cannot be received by 911 via text
• If you include another contact on your text to 911 it may not be received by 911
• The preferred text language for texting 911 is English, however some limited translation services may be available
Q: How do I text 911?
A: Follow these steps to text 911 in an emergency:
1. Enter 911 into the “To” field of a new message
2. Your first text should be short and include the location of the emergency and the type of service needed – police, fire, or ambulance
3. Press the send button
4. Answer questions from the 911 specialist and follow the instructions he or she provides
5. Text in simple words; do not use abbreviations or slang
6. Keep messages short
Q: How do I know that 911 has received my text?
A: If your text has been received, a 911 specialist should respond to your text. If text-to-911 is not available in your area, or is temporarily unavailable, you should receive a message from your wireless carrier letting you know that you must place a voice or relay call to 911.
Q: Is there a charge for using text-to-911 service?
A: Standard text messaging rates apply.
The Howard County Police Department offers residents of Howard County the opportunity to go on ride-alongs with officers as well as observation with communications.
In order to participate in the ride-along program, you must:
- Be a resident of Howard County (exceptions are given for police applicants and other special considerations)
- Be at least sixteen (16) years of age and have parental permission
- Authorize a criminal background check be conducted
- Successfully pass the criminal background investigation prior to the ride-along
Tour, presentation, meeting request
In-person requests are being accepted on a case-by-case basis. To request an in-person or video meeting/presentation, fill out a request form below.
Call 410-313-2207 or email [email protected] with questions.
Retired police officers
More information for retired Howard County Police officers can be found here.
Pay a traffic citation
Red light camera, speed camera and external bus camera tickets can be paid online.
Request the removal of an abandoned vehicle
In order to remove an abandoned vehicle from your property, complete the form below.