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Mark Lindsay

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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.

Mark Lindsay was a police officer and detective for the Baltimore Police Department (Maryland) for over twenty years.  He has a BS in criminal justice and an MS in clinical psychology.  He is a licensed psychological associate in the State of Maryland and has worked extensively in suicide investigations and hostage negotiations, and he has lead training courses for law enforcement personnel. 


Mark Lindsay is the co-author of Suicide by Cop: Committing Suicide by Provoking Police to Shoot You.  According to the book description, “The phenomenon of suicide by cop has increased in frequency in recent years, creating great concern in the law enforcement community. In suicide by cop, an individual behaves so as to provoke police officers into attempting to disarm him, sometimes killing him in the process. For example, an individual may hold a gun and advance toward police officers, refusing to stop or drop the weapon. It has proven difficult but important to distinguish these acts from those in which there is no justification for police officers’ killing an individual, and from those in which a person is killed during a confrontation with police, but had no suicidal motivation. Criminal penalties for the police officers involved and civil lawsuits by the relatives of the deceased person depend critically on these distinctions.


This book examines what we know about the phenomenon of suicide by cop and places this behavior in a broader context. For example, some murder victims (perhaps as many as a quarter) provoke the murderer, to some extent, into killing them—so-called victim-precipitated homicide. In some cases, it has been suspected that murderers kill and act thereafter in such a way as to provoke the state into executing them. The authors then examine some of the issues specific to suicide by cop, such as whether there is a racial bias in these acts and what the legal implications are. Finally, they discuss the process of hostage negotiation (since those involved in suicide by cop often take hostages during the confrontation with police), the need to provide counseling for police officers involved in suicide-by-cop incidents, and how we might reduce the incidence of this behavior.”

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