Keith Tiedemann never expected to pursue a career in criminal justice. Yet it only took a few math courses in college to make him realize that his initial idea of becoming an accountant just wasn’t in the cards.

After changing direction, he graduated and began a 32-year career with the Baltimore City Police Department. When he retired, this New Jersey native joined The Associated as its Security Director.

Lucky for the Baltimore Jewish community you changed career paths.  

I originally went to college to become an accountant. My grandfather was an accountant, my father was a math teacher and an engineer. Yet I realized, once I took a few math courses, they just weren’t that interesting to me. I decided to take some criminal justice courses and here I am. 

How did you end up in Baltimore? 

In the ‘70s, it was hard for a college grad to get a job in the police force. At that time, there wasn’t that much turnover in the police force. In fact, most of the police departments in northern New Jersey weren’t hiring. I remember attending a job fair in New Jersey, in which Baltimore Police Department sent some people up to recruit. I applied, they called, and I was accepted into the Baltimore Police Academy. 

Tell me about your job. 

I spent most of my career as a Criminal Investigator serving in the Criminal Investigation Division, Internal Investigation Division, Special Operations Division and was a member of the DEA Task Force. I worked undercover in the housing projects in East and West Baltimore, and also undercover with the DEA. 

In 2004, I was promoted to Major, where I served as the Commanding Officer of the Organized Crime Division, Director of the Internal Investigation Division and Commander of the Northwestern District. In 2009, I retired on a Friday and started my job with The Associated, working at the Baltimore Jewish Council, the following Monday. 

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The Associated Contributors

The Associated Contributors are writers from The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.