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RESTRICTIONS ON POLICE
In some recent rulings the police have found their hands tied. It is no longer permissible for an officer to remove from the streets of the District on a disorderly conduct charge a man using the obscenest of language to a woman and her children. What responsible man would not feel revulsion for the use in front of a woman and small children of language too vile to be repeated? There are certain types of perverts who get their kicks from such an oration of filth and obscenity. It is no longer permissible to remove from the streets of the District alcoholics who constantly clutter the city's beautiful parks. Alcoholism is, of course, considered a disease, and these persons are usually in a state of noncomprehension, spending every penny they can beg, borrow, or steal on alcohol. They are increasingly becoming more of a nuisance to the public. An officer must ask such a person to go to the Alcoholic Rehabilitation Center, but if he refuses he must be left on the street, a danger to himself and to society. Something needs to be done to increase the facilities for rehabilitation and to make it necessary for such persons to be sent to these centers with or without their consent.
We have in this city at this time approximately 3,000 Metropolitan Policemen, and every day there are enough arrests to fill a book, but the press chooses to print front page stories about the wrong actions of policemen, while buried somewhere on the back pages in usually small articles appear the seldom printed stories of a policeman's apprehension of suspects. In many instances where officers apprehend suspected criminals and there are witnesses to the crime, they will not come forward to testify for fear of their lives, or because the number of court appearances involved in a single case is much too timeconsuming.
Former Vice President Nixon stated a few days ago, "At last count there were some 2,000 cases backed up in the court of General Sessions. Men walking free on probation are responsible for many of the crimes taking place in the city. An identical situation obtains in Juvenile Court." Obviously witnesses fear for their lives from criminals who are immediately released on personal bond and later probation, and this is a major reason for their reluctance to come forward. However, let policemen become involved and there are plenty of witnesses to tell the most conflicting stories in regard to the officer's actions.
Back many months ago the amount of equipment and uniforms was insufficient, and although the Department has acquired some equipment, the number of recruits has caused the shortage to remain.
Personnel files of the Department are open to the public by order of the D.C. Code, Section 4-135. Anyone so desiring may glean from these files such information on a policeman and his family as contained therein. This leaves the policeman's family target for harassment by phone or visit. Since it is a matter of changing the D.C. Code only Congress can change this fact. It would be a relief to an officer not to have to worry about his family being harassed in his absence.
SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
All the points we have touched on here are sources of discouragement to the men and bring the morale down. The men feel that a strong
Congressionally appointed Commissioner will bring the Department above the influence of the pressure groups and the criminal element that is asserting itself in our Nation's Capital. They feel that a Commissioner will help to alleviate many of the previously stated conditions that are causing discouragement and poor morale.
We know of no other city where there is a similar division of the Police Forces into major segments such as exists in the District of Columbia. No other city would tolerate such a fragmented Police Force. The experience with Resurrection City is illuminating in this regard. The Park Police and the Metropolitan Police could not enter Resurrection City to enforce the law. The result was a reign of lawlessness unparalleled in our history. Among the reasons was jurisdictional conflict. It was not until the Congress demanded that the reign of lawlessness at Resurrection City be ended that steps were taken to brush aside any jurisdictional line and the Park and Metropolitan Police worked smoothly and efficiently together to end the terror. A Police Commissioner, head of all the forces in the city, could act decisively and immediately in crises.
Unification of the Police Forces in Washington is just as essential as unification of the military forces of the Nation was, which led Congress to establish the Department of Defense.
A strong Commissioner would bring about uniform policy, uniform training, and a closer working relationship among all the District forces. Washington is a Federal city and should have uniform policies for all its police forces. It is saddening and disheartening to Americans for their Nation's Capital to rank 19th in serious crime among cities in our country. Not a very good example to be sure.
Uniformity would bring about greater professionalization of all Metropolitan forces of the District, better morale and greater respect for the men.
We feel that under a Commissioner, Congress would see that sufficient funds would be appropriated to fill the Department's needs for uniforms, equipment, and men and insure that the Department is one of the most up-to-date and efficient in the country. It would also make the Police budget separate and distinct from that of the city and insure pay raises for the men in line with the current cost index.
Because it seems to reflect the thoughts and feelings of many officers I would like to read a letter of resignation to the Department from a veteran officer of 111⁄2 years. It was printed in the August issue of the Policemen's Association News.
Shall I read this letter, sir?
Mr. DOWDY. We will include it in the record at this point.
Mrs. NEWMAN. All right.
(The letter follows:)
To: Commanding Officer, Special Operations Division.
JULY 15, 1968.
After much serious soul searching I have reached a decision to tender my resignation at the earliest date convenient to the Department. I have made this decision due to the recent turn of events in this city. I feel that the so-called "Leadership" of this city with the inflammatory statements made recently by several pressure groups directed individually and collectively at members of this Department, with the tacit approval of the Vice Chairman of the City Council, and the defense of Mr. Fauntroy by Mr. Hechinger.
I have no intention to remain in an atmosphere permissive of unlawful acts. justified by supposedly responsible people who claim to be civic leaders, who in effect are followers of the crowd, mouthing statements popular to the rabble in order to maintain their own personal popularity or give vent to their prejudices. I have vainly waited for some rebuttal of the Black United Front from this Department other than the Policemen's Association, but apparently we also are without leadership.
I am not impressed by the derogatory statements or the inaction of leadership. This will all pass with time. What will not pass is the ineffectual leadership so dominant throughout this city, that not even one responsible party has the courage to rebut the statements. All that is put forth are excuses and idiotic justifications for the wording. This is supposed to be for the good of the community. Good for the Black resident of the ghetto? These are the people who suffer most from lawlessness. Good for the Middle class citizen? Black and white, he is fleeing to the suburbs, or living behind locked doors in constant fear. I am unable to see any change for the better in the near future and in plain talk "I'm getting out while I'm still in one piece".
It is with deep regret that I have reached this decision but I must follow my own convictions no matter what the cost. My only thought in rebuttal to the Justifiable Homicide statement is, if the killing of a Human Being in the course of carrying out an unpopular or unfavorable task is termed justifiable then all people in authority had best beware, and when Government agrees, even tacitly, Civilization as we know it has signed it's Death Warrant.
PATRICK J. SULLIVAN, Private, Special Operations Division.
Mrs. NEWMAN. We thank you for the consideration you have shown us this morning and we want you to know that we deeply appreciate the sympathetic understanding and support which the members of this committee and of the Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, have always given the Metropolitan Police Department of Washingington, D.C. Thank you.
Mr. DowDY. Thank you, Mrs. Newman, for your statement.
Of course the reason for these bills being introduced, it appears that police powers vested in separate organizations under separate control are not working out as they should and we feel a unified police would do a better job.
You mention the press and so forth. Part of it seems to have a vested interest in riots and so on because it gives them something to put on the front page. In the Chicago disorders it was stated that television cameramen got a young woman to come before their cameras and run up to the police and scream "police brutality" so they could have something to show on their television programs. This is unfortunate. As a result of this they encourage and actually promote, in effect, troubles that otherwise would not occur.
Reports continually come to us from people whose stores were looted in the April riots here that the police told them they were under orders not to make arrests of these looters and arsonists. Do you know anything about that?
Mrs. NEWMAN. I know they were allowed to arrest the men and as a result thousands were arrested.
Mr. Dowdy. This was when the riots first started?
Mrs. NEWMAN. Yes.
Mr. Dowdy. At least one person told me he stood in front of his store and requested the police to make arrests and they refused to do so. Mrs. NEWMAN. Was this when the trouble began on 14th Street? At that time they thought it could be contained in a small area and they cordoned off the area at that time.
Mr. Dowdy. And they were told not to make arrests?
Mr. Dowdy. You touched in your statement on Resurrection City. I understand the police were ordered not to enter Resurrection City and make arrests.
Mrs. NEWMAN. I understood Resurrection City had a sort of vigilante force of their own that was supposed to take care of lawlessness or whatever you have, but as a result there was an extreme amount of lawlessness.
Mr. Dowdy. Thank you.
At this point in the record, we will insert the statement and petition of the Police Wives United, in support of the pending legislation. (The documents referred to follow :)
GENTLEMEN OF THE COMMITTEE: We, the members of Police Wives United support the bill of Rep. Joel T. Broyhill for the following reasons:
1. This Capitol City of all citizens of the United States needs and deserves the finest police force in the world.
2. Recently we have witnessed in the newspapers and on radio and television attacks on the police department from various political organizations in which they have proposed various controls that should be exercised over the Police Department. Their slanted proposals take none of the views of the average lawabiding citizens-Black or White. The average citizen is not interested or qualified in policing the police.
3. The D.C. Police because of their unique situation of enforcing federal law along with local ordinances (D.C. Code) have long deserved the recognition and status of federal officers.
4. In summation we believe that since Washington, D.C., is a federal city that the men who are called on to protect the city should also be under federal rule. Local politics (welfare, social problems, schools, etc.) are not problems created by the police. If we the law abiding citizens do not make every effort in support of this proposal we feel that our Nation's Capitol might well be prepared to face a time of mob rule.
We the members of Police Wives United are circulating a petition gaining public support for the passage of this proposal.
POLICE WIVES UNITED.
POLICE WIVES UNITED,
Representative JOEL T. BROYHILL,
P.O. Box 122, Lanham, Md., August 1, 1968.
House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR REPRESENTATIVE BROYHILL: We enclose herewith the petitions in support of HR 14430 in the hope that the members of the House District Committee can understand the difficult situations under which these petition signatures were gathered.
We met with the problem of lack of cooperation by the news media to publicize the locations where the petitions were available for signature. In many instances we were told that "the issue was too controversial for public service announcements, but it could be handled as a news item." After releasing the information as a news item we found, as usual, that the item wasn't "newsworthy" enough. Also, understandably, many men were reluctant to let their wives collect petition signatures in the Washington, D.C., area for fear of their safety. We feel it is essential to inform you that the response from the people contacted netted almost a one-hundred percent response. Many of these people came forth with their own story of having lived in the District of Columbia and of having to move because of their own personal fear for life and property.
There are still petitions due to be mailed directly to your office from various other states. Since the Nations' Capitol belongs to all of us in the United States. we should all be concerned with its problems. Thus, we have mailed to friends and relatives copies of this petition and have asked their support.
The Nations' Capitol should be a model for each and every state. It is very important that the Police Departments in Washington, D.C., be maintained by a governing body that would allow the Police Departments to function at their greatest capacity in enforcing the law and protecting the public. We do not feel
that this can be accomplished with the "citizen control and pressured influence” under which the departments are now being operated.
We sincerely urge the members of the House District Committee to lend their support to the passage of this bill. It is of extreme importance to us and to every law-abiding citizen, not only in the District of Columbia, but all over the United States.
POLICE WIVES UNITED.
POLICE WIVES UNITED, Box 122, LANHAM, MARYLAND
The undersigned petitioners hereby request the passage of HR 14430, a proposal sponsored by Representative Joel T. Broyhill, regarding the establishment of a Commissioner of Police for the District of Columbia and the consolidation of all District of Columbia Police Departments under this Commissioner.
P.O. Box 122, Lanham, Md.
Mr. Dowdy. The next witness is Mr. Nash Castro, Regional Director of the National Capital Region, National Park Service.
STATEMENT OF NASH CASTRO, REGIONAL DIRECTOR, NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, ACCOMPANIED BY CHIEF GRANT WRIGHT, PARK POLICE
Mr. CASTRO. Good morning, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee. Before I proceed I would like to present my associate, Chief Grant Wright of the Park Police.
Mr. Chairman, and members of the Committee, I am Nash Castro, Regional Director of the National Capital Region, National Park Service. I am appearing today on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior, in opposition to H.R. 14430 and H.R. 14448. As Regional Director, I am charged with the responsibility for administration of the park system of the District of Columbia, and outside the District of Columbia, areas such as the George Washington Memorial Parkway, Suitland Parkway, Baltimore-Washington Parkway, the C & O Canal, Prince William Forest Park, Fort Washington, Piscataway Park. Greenbelt and others. There are 1,590 permanent personnel in my Region, including the Park Police, which has an authorized force of 363. Fifty-five of the 363 police positions represent new positions authorized in the current fiscal year. However, because of current employment restrictions we are not able to fill them.
The management duty vested in the National Park Service would be difficult, if not impossible, of attainment with Park Police responsive to a Commissioner who may inevitably address himself substantially to problems of crime and law enforcement, who may have objectives different from park management. For this reason, the Department opposes enactment of H.R. 14430 and H.R. 14448.
From its inception in 1791, at the time when "watchmen" were authorized for the purpose of protecting public grounds in the District of Columbia, the Park Police have become a force having responsibilities both within and outside of the District of Columbia, and under certain conditions, to the enforcement of regulations for areas administered by other Federal agencies. No other unit mentioned in the two bills before you had similar duties or authority.