WMAR Story – Living on the wrong side of the line

SHREWSBURY, PA. — Jess fell in love with Tommy in first grade. He wanted to become a police officer. She wanted him to come home to her and her three children every night. Then one night he didn’t.

Baltimore City Police Officer Tommy Portz was killed in the line of duty in October of 2010.

At his funeral, Jess kept hearing, ‘You and your family will be taken care of’, but just a few weeks ago she read a line that threatened to derail her plans.

Her daughter Kirstin, now 18, just got accepted into Towson University to study medicine. Jess went online to apply for the Conroy and Cryor Scholarship. But it didn’t take long to realize the Portz family did not qualify.

You see, this family part of the thin blue line, lived on the wrong side of the line…Pennsylvania.

They live in Shrewsbury and the scholarship states you must be living in Maryland to be granted the money for college. Jess talked with her financial advisor who said to start a GoFundMe page, which she did.

Read more and watch the story on WMAR here.

Thank you WMAR TV for promoting the great work the Signal 13 Foundation does on behalf of the brave men and women of the Baltimore City Police Department.

BALTIMORE (WMAR) — When police hear the alert tone of a signal 13, they know it’s a call for a fellow officer needing help.

“When a police officer needs help, and things are going really bad, with what’s going on in the street, you’re in a life saving battle at that point,” said Bill Shiflett.

It’s exactly the position in which Shiflett found himself on July 15, 2019 while working as a Baltimore Police sergeant.

He had just finished his midnight shift and was going to help out on day work since they were short staffed on supervisors.

On his way to take care of police business, a call came in about a shooting at the Man Alive Clinic in North Baltimore.

Seconds after turning on his body camera, Shiflett pulled up on scene, and shortly after he was under fire.

Read more and watch the story on WMAR here.

The Signal 13 Foundation Appoints Nancy Hinds CEO

The Board of Trustees of the Frank J. Battaglia Signal 13 Foundation today announced it hired Nancy Hinds as its first CEO in the organization’s 37-year history. Hinds served as the Executive Vice President of Institutional Advancement at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore for nine years before assuming the role of CEO at Signal 13 in January.

The Signal 13 Foundation was established in 1983 by then Police Commissioner Frank J. Battaglia with the help of local business leaders and philanthropists. The local not-for-profit provides financial assistance in the form of small, no obligation grants to qualified Baltimore City Police personnel, both sworn officers and civilians, who experience unexpected financial hardship. The Foundation also funds college scholarships for the children of active Baltimore City Police officers and employees, and it organizes events that further goodwill in the community.

“The Board of Trustees at the Signal 13 Foundation made the important decision to hire a CEO to expand on the great work the Foundation does to support the tireless efforts of the brave men and women of the Baltimore City Police Department,” said Bill Hooper, Chairman of the Board and General Manager of WMAR TV. “After an extensive strategic planning process, the Board made a commitment to significantly increase its fundraising efforts to expand our scholarship program so more families can receive support which also helps with retention and recruitment,” added Hooper.

“Signal 13 provides an invaluable service and it is a great honor for me to help grow the Foundation and its impact in the Baltimore community by working closely with Baltimore’s business leaders and foundations,” said Hinds.

Signal 13 is a universal communication broadcast that alerts the police that an officer in the field needs assistance. The Signal 13 Foundation is a not for profit 501 (c) (3) in Baltimore. The web site is www.signal13foundation.org.

Formed in 1983 by Police Commissioner Frank J. Battaglia with help from prominent philanthropists and business owners, the Signal 13 foundation is an independent, not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) committed to supporting the men and women of the Baltimore City Police department with grants and scholarships for their families. For more information, go to www.signal13foundation.org.