Mission Statement

The mission of the Howard County Sheriff's Office is to provide judicial enforcement and physical security for the Circuit Court, to provide a variety of quality services for citizens, and to assist other law enforcement agencies in maintaining law and order in Howard County.

Value Statements

Professionalism - We are committed to providing professional law enforcement services by highly trained personnel.

Integrity - We are committed to demonstrating and maintaining the highest ethical standards both personally and organizationally.

Service - Our goal is to ensure the preservation of a positive and professional working relationship between law enforcement and the community which we serve.

Group of sheriff's deputies in front of a howard county tent

                         Sheriff Marcus Harris

Portrait of Sheriff Marcus Harris

The Howard County Sheriff's Office has been in existence and serving the citizens of Howard County since 1851. The Sheriff's Office offers a broad range of law enforcement services, such as Judicial Security, Summons Service, Warrant Service & Fugitive Retrieval, Domestic Violence Service & Assistance, Prisoner Transportation, and Landlord/Tenant Services.


Public “CALEA Statement” for our Sheriff’s Office website is below:

Posted 2/8/23

The Howard County Sheriff’s Office is participating in the CALEA Law Enforcement Accreditation process.  As a part of this process, we provide an opportunity for public feedback via the CALEA Portal which can be located here:  http://cimrs2.calea.org/1127 

The purpose of this public portal is to receive comments regarding our compliance with CALEA standards, engagement in the service community, delivery of public safety services, and overall candidacy for accredited status. These comments can be in the form of commendations or concerns. The overall intent of the accreditation process is to provide our agency with information to support continuous improvement, as well as foster our pursuit of professional excellence.

It is important to know that CALEA is not an investigatory body and subsequently the public portal should not be used to submit information for such purposes.  Additionally, there will be no response other than acknowledgement to submissions; however, the information will be considered in context to its relevancy to compliance with standards and the tenets of CALEA® Accreditation.  

Standard titles may be viewed on the CALEA website: Law Enforcement - Standards Titles | CALEA® | The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc.  The level of accreditation the Howard County Sheriff’s Office is participating in includes only those applicable standards that are in bold.

If you have questions about our agency, standards, or the process, please call:


Captain Darrin Granger, Accreditation Manager





Forms and Publications


The Howard County Sheriff's Office is available Monday thru Friday, from 8:30am until 4:00pm. The Domestic Violence Unit is also available during the weekend. After-hours phone inquiries should be made to 410-313-4150. For all other inquiries, please contact 410-313-2150.

Howard County Sheriff's Office

9250 Judicial Way
Ellicott City, Maryland 21043

Contact Information for Individual HCSO Sections & Units

SHERIFF: 410-313-4202

MARYLAND PUBLIC INFORMATION REQUESTS: email mmckelvey@howardcountymd.gov

Domestic Violence Advocate: 410-313-4012

Domestic Violence Unit: 410-313-7554

Duty Officer: 410-313-4150

Education & Training Section: 410-313-4210

Landlord / Tenant Section: 410-313-4222

Research & Planning Section: 410-313-4201

Public Information Office: 410-313-4201

Service of Process: 410-313-4168

Warrant / Fugitive Section: 410-313-4174

EMAIL: HCSO@howardcountymd.gov

Phone: 410-313-2150

Citizen Comments

The Howard County Sheriff's Office encourages citizens to comment about the quality of service they have received. Commendations of deputy and civilian service or questions/complaints regarding inappropriate service or actions are welcome.

Complimentary letters can be addressed directly to the Office of the Sheriff at any of the three locations listed above.

Complaints may be filed several ways:

  • by letter, addressed to the Office of the Sheriff
  • by telephone, called into any of the three locations listed above
  • in person
  • by submitting a Complaint Against Personnel Form to the Office of the Sheriff

Complaints of a serious nature will be handled by the Office of the Chief Deputy, which is responsible for the acceptance, oversight, and adjudication of allegations of deputy misconduct.

Citizen comments play a fundamental role in the professional integrity of the Sheriff's Office and each one is taken seriously and investigated objectively.

If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact our Victims' Rights Advocate at 410-313-4214

Non-English speaking citizens should contact the Sheriff's Office at 410-313-4510 or 410-313-2153 to make arrangements for filing a complaint.

Complaints Against Sheriff Personnel Form




General Orders


Office Policy

The Howard County Sheriff's Office publishes a list of our official policies (General Orders) for public view as a way to show our commitment to transparency and open communication with the public. These policies are both the administrative and operational work for the members of our office and help to guide our members in the daily performance of their duties.

By law, there are a few policies that have not been included on this list due to the release compromising deputy and the public's safety.


HCSO Administrative Orders

ADM-01 Written Directives.pdf                                    

ADM-02 Definitions and Terminology.pdf                      

ADM-03 Code of Conduct.pdf                                 

ADM-04 Discrimination and Harassment.pdf

ADM-05 Secondary Employment.pdf                                  

ADM-06 Uniform and Grooming.pdf                              

ADM-07 Office Correspondence.pdf                           

ADM-08 Office Vehicle Policy.pdf                    

ADM-09 Internal Investigations.pdf                               

ADM-10 Health and Physical Fitness.pdf                     

ADM-14 Media Relations.pdf                                         

ADM-15 Organizational Structure.pdf                            

ADM-16 Student Volunteer Program.pdf                      

ADM-17 Departmental Commendations.pdf               

ADM-19 Chaplain Program and Deputy Support.pdf  

ADM-22 Selection of Sworn Personnel.pdf

ADM-24 Promotion of Sworn Personnel.pdf

ADM-25 Leave and Overtime.pdf

ADM-29 Accreditation Management.pdf

ADM-30 Grant Policy.pdf

ADM-32 Budget Fiscal Policies.pdf

ADM-33 Education and Training.pdf

ADM-36 Forms Control.pdf

ADM-37 Report Writing.pdf

ADM-38 Personnel Early Warning System.pdf

ADM-40 Performance Evaluations.pdf

ADM-41 HCSO Goals and Objectives.pdf

ADM-43 Line of Duty Death.pdf

ADM-44 Selection of Civilian Personnel.pdf

ADM-45 Recruitment and Fair Employment Practices.pdf


HCSO Operational Orders

OPS-04 Communicable Diseases and Bloodborne Pathogens.pdf

OPS-05 Response to Crimes of Sexual Violence.pdf

OPS-10 Mentally Disordered Persons.pdf

OPS-13 Ride Along Program.pdf

OPS-19 Court Security.pdf

OPS-29 Community Policing.pdf



HCSO Annual Report(s)


Civil Process Information


The Howard County Sheriff’s Office accepts Circuit Court documents for civil process service in Howard County, MD, as well as documents from out of state Courts. The fee for all Maryland Court documents served is $60 per paper (effective October 1, 2022 the fee has increased from $40 to $60 per paper), and $60 for out of state documents served per paper. All District Court documents must be processed by the Civil Clerks in the original jurisdiction and will be sent to the Howard County Sheriff’s Office for service.

The Howard County Sheriff’s Office will only accept documents for service if the defendant is believed to reside or work in Howard County, MD. Documents for service outside of Howard County must be sent to the appropriate County Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office will only accept civil process if the expiration date on the document is two (2) weeks away or more. Usually, the Court gives the Sheriff’s Office sixty (60) days to attempt service. If the Sheriff’s Office is unable to serve a document on a defendant, the Office will refund half of the service fee by mailing a check to the address provided by the customer requesting service. The Sheriff’s Office only accepts payment for service by personal check, cashier’s check, or money order. Cash, credit cards, and starter checks are not accepted. All forms of payment are to be payable to:  Howard County Sheriff’s Office. If payment is made in person at the Sheriff’s Office, a receipt will be provided. Valid ID is required when dropping off documents for service and we ask for a phone number in case we have a question about the service.

Once the Sheriff’s Office accepts documents for service, it usually takes three (3) business days to assign them to a uniformed Deputy for service in Howard County. When the Deputy attempts service at a residence or employer, they make every reasonable effort to personally serve the defendant named on the document.

After the document is served, the assigned Deputy will complete a RETURN and that document will be mailed by the Sheriff’s Office to the appropriate Court named in the civil action. If, after numerous attempts for service, the documents cannot be served, the assigned Deputy will complete a NON-EST RETURN to the appropriate Court, and a refund check will be mailed to the requesting party for service. If the assigned Deputy believes the defendant is purposefully evading service of the document, the Deputy will complete an EVASION of SERVICE RETURN to the appropriate Court.

A customer may call the Howard County Sheriff’s Office to check on the status of their requested document service by calling:   410-313-4168 and speaking to the Clerk assigned to data entry of all papers. If a customer leaves a detailed message and return phone number, the Clerk will return all telephone inquiries in a timely manner. An additional phone number to call is the Duty Officer at:   410-313-4150.

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