Our Police Protectors
Chapter 10, Part 3
By Holice and Debbie
The amount of time lost in 1863 was increased by the unusual number wounded in the riots of that year. During the succeeding year there was no riot and no epidemic, yet the amount of sick time was not largely reduced.
The total lost time was equal to sixty-seven years, or sixty-seven men disabled so as to perform no duty.
By Section 1 of an Act of April 13, 1865 (Laws Ch. 400) all laws relating to the election of Constables in the city of New York were repealed; "and, hereafter, the marshal of the city of New York shall be appointed by the Mayor of the city of New York, by, and with the advice and consent of the Board of Supervisors of the County of New York; and such Marshals shall not exceed thirty."
Arrests for offences of all grades, had, during the year 1865, reached the number of eighty-eight thousand three hundred and fifty-five, against sixty-nine thousand seven hundred and fifty-one for the preceding year; making an increase of eighteen thousand seven hundred and eighty-four. Crimes of violence against the person had increased in even a greater ratio as will appear from the following comparative statement:
The cost of lost time paid for during the year was forty-eight thousand threehundred and twenty-two dollars and sixty-four cents. The loss of time by sickness was more then equal to the full time of eighty-three men, or almost four per cent of the whole force. He cost in money was more then the full pay of forty-eight men.
The force consisted of thirty-three Captains, one hundred and twenty-nine Sergeants, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-two patrolmen, and sixty-three Doormen, making a total of one thousand nine hundred and ninety-seven.
The legislature, on February 28, 1866, passed an Act to amend an Act passed April 25, 1864, to amen an Act passed April 15, 1857, and an Act passed April 10, 1860, to the following effect: To the county of Richmond there were apportioned one Captain, two Sergeants, and twenty-five men. Any part of any town adjoining the city of Brooklyn might be set apart by the Board of Supervisors of the county of Kings for the purpose of having a Patrol force. The expenses attending this Police force were levied and collected in the annual taxes of said district. The Board of Police were authorized to appoint an Inspector of Boats, the salary not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars. (Act April 10, 1866.) Commissioner McMurray's term of office expired March 1, 1866, and the legislature elected Benjamin F, Manierre to fill the place. An Act to regulate and increase the salaries of certain members of the Metropolitan Police was passed April 30, 1866, with the following results:
The above was subject to the proviso that whenever the currency of the United States had attained a par value in gold, the foregoing salaries should be reduced twenty percent, excepting Captains, whose salaries should be eighteen hundred dollars, and Sergeants fourteen hundred dollars. The amount of lost time by sickness and injuries during the year exceeded the amount of the preceding year by three hundred and eleven days.
This question of pay for lost time was one that was a constant source ofsolicitude to the Board of Commissioners. Policemen are but human, and so they, like the rest of us, were subject to those physical infirmities that flesh if heir to. No doubt much of those sporadic disease were the result of natural causes and not to be avoided, while others were malingering, without a doubt. But how to find a remedy for the evil was another question.
The average number for the seven years was eighty-six thousand one hundred and forty-five. The increase of offences which subject persons to arrest may be attributed in part to the increase of the population of the two cities, which was very great during the period under consideration; and in no small degree to the demoralizing effect of a state of war, and the disbanding of the immense armies. It might reasonably have been expected that the influence above alluded to would have exhibited themselves in an increase in the number of offences of high grade, such as are accompanied by violence to the person. In examining the records of arrests for the seven years--assault with intent to kill, felonious assaults, murder, threatening life, rape, attempt at rape, maiming, homicide, robbery in the first degree, highway robbery, burglary and attempt at burglary--it appears that the rate of arrest for offences enumerated have been:
It thus appears that while the increase in the total number of arrests for seven years was twenty per cent, the increase during the same period in arrests for the offences of high grade was thirty per cent.
It was felt to be worthy of consideration, especially to the population of rural districts, how far the efforts of the Police of the cities to protect the people against the criminal classes tended to drive the persons composing those classes to new and more secure fields, of criminal enterprise in the country adjoining to the cities. That such was the tendency in some degree, there was no question, and it here became a matter of common remark that life and property were more safe in cities under the guardianship of the Police than in the adjacent rural districts.
This was a growing opinion, and as a result of it the towns of Yonkers and West Farms, in Westchester county, proceeding under the Police Act, Chapter 403 of the Laws of 1864, had, by a vote of town meetings, respectively authorized a permanent Police , and made the required fiscal arrangements therefore, Yonkers authorized a force of fourteen, and West Farms a force of six men. In each town a portion of the Police did duty as horse patrol, which greatly increased their efficiency.
The Legislature, at its previous session, passed two Acts designated as Chapters 84 and 590 of the Laws of 1860. These Acts authorized the appointment, by the Board of Metropolitan Police, of a Captain, two Sergeants, and twenty-five patrolmen for the county of Richmond, and authorized and required the Supervisors of that county to make the needful fiscal provision for their maintenance.
In pursuance of these proceedings in Yonkers and West Farms, and of the acts concerning Richmond county, the Board of Police appointed and organized the Police called for by proceedings and statutes above referred to.
The force in West Farms entered upon their duties on the thirteenth day of January of this year; in Richmond county on the sixteenth day of June; and in Yonkers on the tenth day of August following.
The town of West Farms constituted a sub-station of the Thirty-second Precinct, with a Sergeant in command. The station house at Tremont, Richmond County, was constituted a precinct designated as the Fifty-first Precinct. The station house was at the village of Stapleton. The town of Yonkers was constituted a sub-station of the Thirty-second Precinct, designated as Yonkers sub-station, with a station house at the village of Yonkers. The Tremont and Yonkers sub-stations were under the command of the Captain of the Thirty-second Precinct.
|Our Police Protectors, History of the New
York Police, Published for the benefit of the Police Pension Fund, by
Augustine Costello, Published by Author, 1885.
Transcribed by Holice B. Young
HTML by Debbie
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