John Richard “Dick” Irwin, a tough, accurate veteran police reporter with a heart of gold whose signature “Police Blotter” became required reading for both crime aficionados and the just plain curious, died Wednesday at Greater Baltimore Medical Center of complications from diabetes. Irwin, whose career at the News-Post, News American, The Evening Sun and The Baltimore Sun spanned more than 40 years, was 76.
Peter Hermann,who began covering city police for The Sun in 1994, said that Mr. Irwin put the “human touch on crime.” “Dick was the finest police reporter I’ve ever known,” he said. “He knew all the cops. He knew their families. And he got information out of them that no one else ever could.” The son of a military officer and a homemaker, Irwin was born in Baltimore and raised in the city’s Pimlico neighborhood, where he delivered the News-Post as a youth. He landed a job as a copy boy at the News-Post while still in high school in 1955.