Community Police

Policing in Columbia is provided by the Howard County Police Department. HCPD operates under the community policing model, where the community is a partner with the police department in the process to fight crime. Community policing uses community partnerships along with problem-solving strategies in order to make Howard County a safe place to live and work. Through these partnerships, HCPD aims to build trust with the community so residents can feel supported and protected.

The HCPD outreach program addresses any concerns or incidents in the area. Outreach can be contacted by email at HCPDOUTREACH@howardcountymd.gov or by calling 410-313-2207. Local patrol officers can also address community concerns.

HCPD operates a community policing office in the village center. This office is not staffed 24-hours a day. In case of emergency, do not call the community policing office. Call 911.

Oakland Mills Community Policing Office
5820 Robert Oliver Place
Columbia, MD 21045

Online reporting of a non-emergency crime or other issue


To help prevent residential break-ins throughout the county, it is important that we REPORT any suspicious activity and any concerns immediately to the Howard County Police. Suspicious activity or signs of warning to alert police about include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • If someone knocks on your door it is always smart not to answer unless it is someone that you know, if however, someone appears at your door and says they have the wrong house…alert police
  • If there is an unusual car driving around/parked by your house…alert police
  • If something makes your “hair stand up”…alert police

Important Tips

  • If you are away, make sure your home looks as if you were there.
  • Don’t let newspapers or door hangers gather.
  • Know your neighbors and look out for one another.
  • Keep your doors/windows/garage doors locked.
  • Survey your home in the evening and see if there is adequate lighting on all sides.
  • Be aware and report suspicious activity.

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