News Tip

The Arc Baltimore Honors Member of BCPD’s Crisis Response Team

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Sergeant Thomas Smith, a member of the Baltimore City Police Department’s (BCPD) Crisis Response Team, is the recipient of The Arc Baltimore’s annual Public Service Award for his work in partnering with The Arc to train officers on effective ways to engage and support people with disabilities in the community.

“Sergeant Smith participates in trainings to ensure that BCPD officers are aware of effective ways to de-escalate a situation, while maintaining the safety of the person with a disability and the officer,” explains Kathleen Durkin, The Arc Baltimore’s Chief Executive Officer. “He bridges the person-centered thinking at The Arc and the policy and procedures of the BCPD.”

Sergeant Smith has assisted in creating a learning environment where The Arc can share expertise and best practices with the officers and the people The Arc Baltimore supports can share their experiences. Ultimately, both parties connect on a human level and gain a new perspective of one another.

The Public Service Award – which is given to individuals who advance The Arc’s mission by increasing public awareness and advancing the rights and quality of life for people with developmental disabilities – was presented during the organization’s recent Annual Meeting and Awards Reception. The event honors individuals who have gone “above and beyond” in their service to the organization and the people with developmental disabilities who are recipients of its programs and services.

“The Annual Meeting is our opportunity to honor all those who have given so much of themselves to the mission of The Arc Baltimore, from community partners and volunteers to supported individuals, staff members, and other heroes of the organization,” says Durkin. “It is their hard work that is at the very heart of our vision for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to live independently, work in meaningful jobs, and enjoy friendships and activities in the community.”

As in past years, the 2023 Annual Meeting and Awards Reception featured a number of recognitions, as well as the election of The Arc Baltimore’s new board of directors and officers.

The Arc Baltimore supports people with developmental disabilities (autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, intellectual disability) to lead fulfilling lives with a sense of belonging, purpose, and meaningful relationships. The Arc provides employment training and support, day and residential services, family support and education, treatment foster care, respite care, public policy advocacy, and information and referrals. For more information, visit or call 410-296-2272.

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