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Edward Burns

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About the Baltimore Police Department

The preservation of the peace, protection of property and the arrest of offenders has been the goal of Baltimore residents since August 8, 1729, when the Legislature created Baltimore Towne.


The first attempt to organize a force to guard Baltimore occurred in 1784. Constables were appointed and given police powers to keep the peace.  The State Legislature on March 16, 1853, passed a bill, "to provide for the better security for the people and property in the City of Baltimore." This statute provides that police officers should be armed and that a badge and commission be furnished each member.


Today, the Baltimore Police Department’s jurisdiction encompasses an area of 86.0 square miles: 78.3 sq. miles of land and 7.7 sq. miles on waterways. The present Headquarters Building of the Police Department was opened in 1972.



Detective Edward Burns (retired) served in the Baltimore Police Department's Drug Control Unit. Edward Burns is a retired 20-year veteran of the Baltimore, Maryland, Police Department, where he specialized in homicide investigation, and worked extensively on inner-city drug gangs. After retiring from the police department, he began teaching in Baltimore middle and high schools. He has co-authored the book The Corner with David Simon, creator of the television program Homicide, and co-created the television series The Wire with Simon.


According to one review, The Corner, “is a powerful book, a window on aspects of America most people would rather ignore. To their great credit, the authors--David Simon wrote Homicide, the basis for the popular television show; Edward Burns is a former Baltimore police officer, now a public school teacher--refuse to sensationalize their subject or make its people into stereotypes. For a year the two hung out in a West Baltimore neighborhood that was a center of the drug trade. At the center of the narrative is the McCullough family--DeAndre, age 15, and his drug-addicted parents, Gary and Fran. While reading The Corner, there are times when we pity them, times when they make us angry”

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