|Efficiency Report of the|
Board of Commissioners
| Department of Public Safety.||31|
Department of Public Safety.
This department embraces the divisions of Fire, Police, Health, Garbage and Ashes, Excise, Building Inspection and Police Courts. It has, therefore, been necessary to cover each separately, together with comparisons of salaries and other expenditures, and it has been the aim of the Director to make accurate comparisons.
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On August 22, 1911, the police roster showed a total of 120 men. Since that date the department has been enlarged by creating the office of Captain of Detectives and by the following appointments: One Detective Sergeant (detailed to act as License Inspector); two additional Roundsmen (detailed to work in the Detective Bureau); fourteen additional patrolman; two motorcycle policemen; one mechanician in the police garage and one stenographer; a total increase of twenty-one men.
|PATROLMEN TO SUPERVISE ALL PHYSICAL CONDITIONS IN THEIR PRECINCTS.|
The old idea of police service was confined to “protecting life and property and preserving the peace.” The Director has endeavored to enlarge the scope of police work by educating the members of the force that patrolmen must supervise all physical conditions on their respective
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beats. This has been somewhat difficult, for the reason that members of the department have never been furnished with copies of the ordinances they are employed to enforce. Nearly a year ago, the Director caused to be adopted a resolution authorizing the City Counsel to employ a special assistant to revise and codify the general ordinances of the city. This will be of material assistance and enable the Director to put into operation a plan for increasing the efficiency of the department.
|POLICE TRAINING SCHOOL.|
The Director intends to establish a Police Training School, intended primarily to properly drill and educate new appointees in all the branches of police work; and secondarily to properly educate the present members of the force. A competent person will be selected to instruct the men and deliver weekly lectures on the criminal law in its relation to police work; the rules of evidence and the necessity of securing all obtainable evidence. Semiannual examinations will be held on these subjects, and also covering a knowledge of the ordinances and police rules.
And the rule will be that any officer that has had the opportunity of learning and fails on two consecutive examinations will be dismissed. The city cannot afford to pay wilful incompetents.
Vienna takes one year to educate and drill its policemen; London, six months; New York, six weeks, and Trenton, three days.
|POLICE DRILLS AND LECTURES ON FIRST AID TO INJURED.|
In February, 1913, Chief of Police Cleary, inaugurated police drills at the Armory. The members of the force, including captains, sergeants and Roundsmen, are drilled weekly, by a competent military instructor, in the school of the soldier without arms. These drills are valuable. They furnish quick, active exercises – alertness, responsibility and authority will
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be respected and obeyed where the slovenly appearing policemen will be jeered. They also teach the officers and men a knowledge necessary in the case of riots and insurrections, or military movements of attack and defense. They also greatly aid in teaching and establishing discipline, an imperative requirement.
With the object of better protecting the lives of ouor citizens by enforcing Motor Vehicle Law, particularly as to speeding, the Director appointed, in April 1912, a motorcycle policeman. In March, 1913, another motorcycle policemen was appointed. The expense to the city in 1913 was $1,800 for salaries and about $600 per annum for maintenance of the motor cycles. The two motorcycles cost $592.75. These two officers have made 69 arrests, with resulting fines amounting to $1,320, which is, be law, required to be paid to the State Motor Vehicle Department.
The ambulance service of the city was improved, and the patrol service supplemented by the purchase in February, 1913, and the delivery in June, 1913, of a Winton Auto Combination Ambulance and Patrol. This was further supplemented in July, 1913, by the purchase of a Pulmotor, costing $185. The Fire Department also has a Pulmotor. Both have been instrumental in saving lives.
The Director inaugurated the practice of having the police make a house-to-house canvass for unlicensed dogs, with the result for that fiscal year ending February 28, 1913, a saving of at least $1,316 was effected, and the city’s revenues increased by $2,018.
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The Director caused to be printed, in seven languages, pamphlets showing the importance of each householder cleaning up his premises and keeping them cleaned up. The police distributed these pamphlets from door to door, according to the nationality of the occupant.
It may be pertinent to mention that these “clean-up” notices have attracted attention in quite a few cities (ranging from Portland, Me., to Minneapolis, Minn.), as is evidenced by requests for them from city officials and citizens of other cities.
The work of the police is constantly being increased by law, and by the more progressive attitude and demand of society. Under the Geran election law they are required to canvass and report upon the registry lists of all voters in the city. As the work is usually required to be done in two day’s time it proves quite a test of efficiency of the department.
The Chief of Police and captains find it necessary, in order to keep abreast of the times, to act as censors, almost weekly, of theatrical and moving picture productions.
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Previous to the inauguration of Commission Government, there were two Police Justices, each receiving a salary of $2,000 per annum, and two clerks, each receiving a salary of $1,200 each.
The Board of Commissioners appointed a Police Justice at a salary of $,2000 per annum, to preside over both courts, and a Clerk at a salary of $1,200 per annum, to act as Clerk of both courts. The First District Court is held at 8 A.M., and the Second District Court is held at 7 P.M., each day excepting Sunday. The salary of the Police Justice has since been increased by law, and the salary of the Clerk has been increased by the Board, for reasons heretofore stated.
|COMPARISON OF FINES FOR FISCAL YER ENDING|
|$7,072.00 ||$8,644.15 ||$11,018.65 |
The comparison of fines is not made for the purpose of showing a desired accomplishment, as the Director fully realizes that in many instances excessive fines deprive the families of the misdemeanants of some of the necessities of life; but heavy fines and workhouse sentences have resulted in breaking up the “gangs” that formerly were active in several localities.
|COMPARISON OF EXPENDITURES, EXCLUSIVE OF SALARIES, AND INCLUDING FEEDING OF PRISONERS, FOR FISCAL YEAR ENDING FEBRUARY 28,|
|$1,536.95 ||$1,625.15 ||$1,604.46 |
The Director is a firm believer in the efficacy of a proper probation system. He believes that a large percentage of misdemeanants can be made producers instead of their being made a charge, and their families becoming charges upon the municipality. In accordance with his views, the Police Justice has places on probation, from January, 1912, to the present time, 136 adults and 21 juveniles. Within
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the near future it is expected to have complete record of the final determination of such cases.
Also, in accordance with the suggestion of the Director, a juvenile docket has been established, and the court hears the juvenile cases in private. It is unthinkable that juvenile offenders should be docketed with criminals, and that in the trial of their cases they should be sandwiched in between criminals and other police court characters. This should be corrected by law.
The Juvenile Docket used in Trenton is the first and only one in New Jersey.
The Police Justice, on his own initiative, has endeavored to have all family matters which might be injurious or harmful to those interested, settled without publicity and to have all complaints of a serious character made by parents settled by marriage. The newspaper men have assisted him very materially in carrying out this principle.
He is also compelled in restitution whenever in his judgment it would serve to make the misdemeanant more fully realize the nature of his offense.
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|ADDITIONAL DEPARTMENT WORK|
The keeping of the Civil Service Efficiency Record, and marking the records of the men, monthly, has entailed considerable extra work for the Garbage and Ashes, the Fire and Police Departments,
The Captain of the First District Station has 69 men under his jurisdiction, and the Captain of the Second District has 45 men under his jurisdiction.
Each Captain of the ten fire companies has from eight to nine men under his jurisdiction. To maker these men under the efficiency record heads – “Quality of Work,” “Aptitude and Capacity of Initiative” and “Character and Habits” – and to give proper credit under the record – “Commendation”- and the proper demerit under the record – “Fines and Penalties”- with absolute fairness and impartiality and maintain an equal degree or uniformity, requires the exercise of sound judgment. It may seem easy, but id consideration is given to the fact that no two cases of infraction to the rules, etc., and of facts warranting commendation, are exactly similar, either in motive or result, and that it is equally difficult to have commanding officers agree in their ideas and judgment as to merit and demerit marks, the problem of uniform marking is more forcibly presented. But this is being done with the spirit that it will eventually increase the efficiency of the department, as it furnishes an infallible record of the work and character and habits of each man and eliminates politics and influence from being instrumental in promotions.
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The Director acknowledges the many valuable suggestions received from the heads of his various sub-departments and from numerous citizens. And, whatever measure of credit this Department may be entitled to, is due to the faithful and intelligent co-operation , always cheerfully rendered, by superiors and subordinates.
|GEORGE B. LABARRE,|