Page images

eration from the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, the United States Customs Bureau, the United States postal authorities, and I might say in passing that when I was a working policeman in the field the cooperation that we received from these agencies was excellent; they do a marvelous job, and I have particular reference to Mr. Anslinger and the agent in charge here in New York of the Narcotics Bureau; their work has been excellent.

Senator DANIEL. Mr. Jim Ryan.

Mr. KENNEDY. Jim Ryan; that is right.

The various district attorneys, State and Federal, have cooperated fully with us, and we have the full support of other local agencies who might in some way be connected with the problem.

All sources of information are used by this department for the purpose of getting evidence against the "seller," who, in my judgment, is the key culprit in the narcotics field. We are getting excellent cooperation in this city from the various media of public expression, such as the press, television, and radio. They have, I think, to a great extent aroused public interest in the problem. Our efforts, I know, would be less effective if we did not have the complete cooperation, and through them, the support of the public.

Departing from the statement, I would like to say to them again, if they would continue that cooperation and get across to our people the need, the particular need, in this field for public support, we would be very much helped.

It is not the thing to do for a person to look with some sort of complacency or amused tolerance with respect to the kid down the street who has succumbed to the narcotics habit and not report it, because this is, to parents particularly, they might know-they may not know that their child might be the next one hooked.

Mr. GASQUE. You mean it would aid a great deal?

Mr. KENNEDY. It would indeed.

Mr. GASQUE. In enforcement and stamping out addiction, if parents and friends would look upon the police officer and police department as friends and would come in and volunteer information that "I think my boy or this boy is getting on drugs," we do our best to save him before it goes too far.

Mr. KENNEDY. Yes; that is true. If we could get the assistance of the public, and we have in great part, but if we could get further assistance it is not merely a voluntary thing; it is a duty, really, it is a duty; it would aid us a great deal.

Now, I personally would see to it that any such information that is received by our department will be promptly forwarded to Deputy Chief Terranova for investigation by his men.

I feel very strongly on this point. It is a required thing.

As you know, without public support, no public agency can exist today effectively. But in this field it is particularly important.

Mr. GASQUE. How far do you think you could go, Commissioner, when a parent or a friend comes up and reports about addiction, in avoiding the consequences, that is, the consequences of a trial or charges and so on? Do you have a good bit of leeway, in other words, to encourage them to come forth?

Mr. KENNEDY. Well, the addict is a problem today because of the lack of facilities. I am particularly interested, as a law-enforcement

officer, not so much with the treatment-that is not my field, I am not an expert in that field. As a matter of fact, my expert is right here on my left in the whole field.

We are enforcement officers, and we are interested primarily in the seller. We want to get to those sources. If we get to them, we can cut off the roots; we will cut out the addiction.

The police department of this city is, to the extent that its manpower limitations permit, completely committed to the effort to eradicate the illicit traffic in and use of narcotics in New York City.

Now, we have some suggestions which have been, in great part, prepared by Deputy Chief Terranova, and I would like to pass on them just a moment, and then permit him to explain in more detail that you might require.

Now, we are interested in the addiction to the extent that it is responsible for some crime.

I think that sometimes it may be just a little bit overstated, but there is no question about it that a great part of the crime is traceable to addiction.

He cannot work, usually, and the cost of his daily supply mounts, and he has to get the money from somewhere.

Now, we do have certain recommendations in legislation, local, State and Federal.

On the Federal level, the enactment of Federal legislation to establish a customs port patrol and a customs border patrol, within the Bureau of Customs, for the purpose of effectively patrolling all borders, and searching all ships and other vehicles entering this country, for narcotics illegally being smuggled into the United States. There is a bill in Congress-there is nothing new about this, and I am very, very reluctant to make suggestions to other agencies to increase, decrease, or otherwise operate their departments.

They are fully competent, and they know what they are doing. They are experts in the field far more than I.

But it is my understanding that there is an intense desire on their part to have this program furthered, and it is only for that reason that I am mentioning it here.

Senator BUTLER. Commissioner, they were before us today and made that same statement.

Mr. KENNEDY. Of course, and I do not want to be put in the role of explaining their own business. They know it, and know it extremely well, far better than I.

There are four points to any proposed program in relation to drug addiction:

(1) Forceful confinement of the drug addict. Most generally the young addict, not realizing the seriousness of drug addiction is not willing voluntarily to confine himself to a hospital for treatment. (2) Withdrawal and detoxification.

(3) Rehabilitation.

(4) After-care treatment.

Now, I am informed by my people that the after-care treatment is the one that is really weak, where the individual needs special attention, guidance, assist him from returning to the use of narcotics and, of course, a greater followup therapy program for the discharged addict should be on a more comprehensive, if not a sounder, basis.

Increase United States Federal narcotic agents in those countries that are growing and shipping opium poppy with a view to obtaining these countries' cooperation and training their enforcement personnel against the illicit traffic emanating therefrom. Such action in Italy and France resulted in getting at the ultimate source of supply.

Those countries are named-I would rather not name them; I do not see any great point in naming them, but there have been definite results obtained in that field.

A national program of education by audiovisual media, showing the results of drug addiction upon the Nation as a whole and the individual.

There is a statement here about emphasis and, of course, I am not altogether sure that I agree with it in whole, that is, the emphasis on the horror aspect and not on the alleged thrill.

I think that your psychiatric consultants and others could probably better advise you on that, and I think we ought to delete it, if we may, with your permission.

Senator DANIEL. Yes; we will delete that sentence.

Mr. KENNEDY. I believe that the spot check now being done by customs on passenger baggage should be abolished, and a complete baggage check should be made. At the present time any courier coming into the United States can take a chance and hope that the particular one bag in which he carries narcotics would not be picked out for spot check.

Proposals for local action:

(a) Should change our legislation to outlaw the possession of heroin, in any amount, making the mere possession a felony. The United States outlawed heroin and there is no reason for it being here.

(b) Decrease the amount of other narcotics required to make the mere possession thereof a felony.

We have gotten to the fact where scales are weighing-the mechanical scales are being weighed, instead of the scales of justice, to determine the grade of crime.

Include in the law of conspiracy, State of New York, illicit traffic in narcotic drugs, so that it would not be necessary to show an overt act.

We do have statutes where you do not require an overt act. Most of the conspiracy statutes, as you know, do.

It would be a great help in that field because the mere combination ofttimes the brains of the operation does not commit what we can properly denominate as an overt act, and yet we know that he is operating and directing the combination.

Make it a crime for a habitual user of narcotics or a person under the influence of narcotics to operate a motor vehicle.

Commonsense so dictates. We do that with the user of alcohol, the drunk, and I am sure the effect of narcotics is just as intoxicating, if not more so, than alcohol.

Require the registration of resident and nonresidents convicted in Federal or State courts of any crimes or offenses relating to the use, possession, sale, transportation or other dealings in or with any narcotic drugs.

Now, I am not happy about recommending registration or having identification cards or anything of that sort. It generally does not

fit into our political philosophy, but we do feel that we must make an exception in this case, as we have in a few other cases.

Under section 3342 of the public health law, add to paragraph 3, "Persons frequenting such places shall be deemed in violation of this law."

Now, these are places where the evidence, where the narcotic is being used or sold-I have not refreshed my recollection on this section. Many times the users have to be released at the scene because of lack of evidence.

Now, their mere presence there would constitute a crime under a revised public health statute.

Senator BUTLER. Mr. Commissioner, would that be presence there without knowledge?

Mr. KENNEDY. No; with knowledge, with knowledge. You would have scienter for your crime, of course.

Senator DANIEL That is, persons

Mr. KENNEDY. We are talking about known addicts.

Senator BUTLER. You have here persons frequenting such places, shall be deemed in violation of the law. I can conceive of a case where a man could innocently walk into a place of that kind, maybe, to get a pack of cigarettes.

Mr. KENNEDY. Well, Senator, we are just giving the highlights, you see. The bill itself spells out and eliminates all the other things that you refer to.

Senator BUTLER. I see.

Senator DANIEL. And this would come right after your present statute, making it against the law for places to operate where narcotics were being sold, saying, you could shut them down, padlock them, right?

Mr. KENNEDY. That is right.

Now, the proposal of giving narcotics free or at little cost to the addict, it would appear that a committee should be formed with all the agencies familiar with the drug addiction problem represented to study this proposal thoroughly.

I think you have given considerable attention to this problem, to this matter, and I think it has been more comprehensively covered by people who have preceded me here, and I do not think there is any necessity for me to dwell on it here.

Senator DANIEL. I think it has been pretty well covered, and we should, as committee members, maybe keep-we would have to because of the evidence-keep a more open mind on it for a longer period of time.

But, to be frank with you, I think Senator Butler and I both came to this conclusion last night, and that was that a case for free and legalized drugs to addicts for maintenance purposes just was not made out sufficiently to warrant even further study of the matter as far as the type of addicts we are talking about.

I want to say this for the record, that Dr. Howe, who proposed that, certainly has studied it for a long time, and is a sincere and fine gentleman.

But it seems apparent to me that he was talking about a type of addict that he has treated in the medical profession, that is professional men who had become addicts, and that he was not talking about

the type of addicts that the law enforcement officers and our Federal hospitals are talking about.

I just do not believe that have you ever seen any addicts that you thought should be put on drugs for permanently to maintain their comfort?

Mr. KENNEDY. No, I have not; and, like my other colleagues in law enforcement, I am afraid I must firmly support them in their resistance to this suggestion.

I do not like to I know Dr. Howe, and his brothers in medicine, a very learned man, and I hate to even take issue with them on the matter.

But I am predisposed toward the opinions expressed here by my colleagues in law enforcement, and I do most firmly sustain and support their contentions.

Now, we are increasing our arrests and seizures.

This does not necessarily mean that there is an increase or a decrease because there were various factors involved.

We have increased our force tremendously in the last few years. In 1951 the police department made 3,661 arrests for narcotic violations. Of these arrests, 775 persons were between the ages of 16 to 20; 27 persons were under 16; and they were arrested for juvenile delinquency under the laws of this State.

191 ounces of heroin were seized.

In 1952 the total narcotics arrests were 2,967; 552 persons arrested were between the ages of 16 and 20; 8 were arrested for juvenile. delinquency; and 705 ounces of heroin were seized.

In 1953 the total narcotics arrests were 3,605; 556 were between the ages of 16 and 20; and 17 were charged with juvenile delinquency; 806 ounces of heroin were seized.

In 1954 the total narcotics arrests were 4,316. Of these arrests 729 were between 16 and 20; 20 were juvenile delinquents; and 783 ounces of heroin were seized.

Up to the end of July of this year, total narcotics arrests were 2,838; 354 persons were between the ages of 16 and 20; 7 were juvenile delinquents; and 401 ounces of heroin were seized.

In 1952, the New York State Legislature made it mandatory that all physicians report all known addicts coming to their attention. This information, and information being received from other agen cies, is being exchanged with the State department of health and the Federal Narcotics Bureau for statistical purposes, and it shows that from July 1, 1952, to July 31, 1955, there have been reported in New York City, 10,638 known addicts, 87 percent of whom were users of heroin; and they were approximately 73 percent male, and 27 percent female.

Ladies apparently don't go in for narcotics as much as the gentlemen, according to statistics.

The New York City Police Department proceeds on the theory that drug addiction is a contagious disease, and all practicable steps should be taken to prevent the illegal use of narcotic drugs.

If we suppress the contagion, immobilize the profiteer by confiscating his source of supply, this, we believe, will help check the narcotic


That is the prepared statement.

« PreviousContinue »