Our Police Protectors
History of New York Police
Chapter 13, Part 3

By Holice and Debbie


The coat of the Mounted Patrolmen and officers in charge is the same as previously described, except that the skirt of the coat extends only to a point midway between the waist and the bend of the knee; and is trimmed on collar, lappels, and cuffs with yellow cord, as per sample in the office of the "Department of Clothing and Equipment." Trousers are the same as above, except that the cord on them shall be yellow. The metallic ornaments on hat and belt are composed of yellow metal. The cord and tassel are of the style prescribed, except that they are yellow.

For the Doormen.--The dress is a double-breasted round jacket, extending two inches below the hip, with five Police buttons on each breast, and one on the inside seam of each cuff; trousers of Cadet-mixed cloth, plain; hat, same as Patrolmen, without wreath, but with the word "Doorman" in white metal letters, placed in front. In other particulars, same as Patrolmen.

The summer uniform consists of blue flannel sack coat, and blue flannel trousers. The coat of Patrolmen is a single-breasted sack, with short turn-over collar, to button close up to the chin, and reach to a point four inches above the bend of the knee, with four buttons on the front; no pockets to show in the outside, and the trousers to be made same as winter trousers.

For Harbor Patrolmen.--Flannel sack coat and flannel trousers, made like the above.

The officers were permitted to wear the summer uniform while in the discharge of desk duty in the station house.


No person will be appointed Patrolman of the Police Force Unless:


He is able to read and write the English language understandingly


He is a citizen of the United States


He has been a resident of this State during a term of one year next prior to his application for appointment


He has never been convicted of crime


He is at least five feet seven and a half inches in height, measured in his bare feet, and weighs not less than one hundred and thirty-eight pounds, avoirdupois,. Without clothing


He is less than thirty years of age


He is of good health, and sound in body and mind


He is of good moral character and habits





N. B.--It is understood that the Examiners will, of course, pout such other questions bearing upon each case as they may think proper, and that the whole Examination will be thorough, exact and circumstantial.

Name_____________________________ Age________ Residence____________________________


Has the applicant ever been examined by the Surgeons of the Department, and if so, state the result?

*State the exact Weight, A; Height, B; Circumference of Chest under clothing, C; figure and general appearance, D.



C--Circumference of chest under clothing,

At forced Expiration

On full Inspiration

  1. Is the Respiring Murmur clear and distinct over both Lungs?
  2. Is the character of the Respiration Full, Easy and Regular?
  3. Are there any indications of Disease of the Organs of Respiration or their Appendages?




  1. Is the character of the Heart's Action Uniform, free and Steady?
  2. Are its Sounds and Rhythm Regular and Normal?
  3. Are there any indications of Disease of this Organ or of the blood Vessels?




  1. State the Rate and Quality of Respiration?
  2. State the Rate and Other Qualities of the Pulse.
  3. Does it Intermit, or become Irregular or Unsteady?




Is the Applicant subject to Cough, Expectoration, Difficulty of Breathing, or Palpitations?

  1. Are the function of the Brain and Nervous System in a Healthy State?
  2. Have the Brain or Spinal Cord ever been Diseased?



If the Applicant has had any serious Illness or Injury, state expressly what effect, if any, is perceptible in the heart, lungs, kidneys, or other abdominal organs, or the skin, eyes, ears, limbs, etc.

Has the Applicant any predisposition, either hereditary or acquired, to any constitutional diseases, as Phthisis, Scrofula, Rheumatism?

Does the Applicant display any evidence of having, or having had, syphilis?**

Do the answers to Questions in the application, and tot he Certificates thereto attached, give, in your opinion, a full and, in all respects, a satisfactory description of the Person?

*The Examiners are called upon to pay especial attention to the annexed schedules tin determining the fitness of the applicant for the duties of a patrolman.

** Syphilitic taint in the applicant must always be regarded as good cause for rejection.

***There should be a difference, at least, of two inches at forced expiration and on full inspiration,

****Obesity must be regarded as a good cause for rejection, whenever it exists to the extent of interfering with the activity and usefulness of a policeman under emergencies.

***Minimum Circumferences of the Chest tolerable in applicants

****Stature and Weight--The stature shall not be below 5 ft., 7-1/8 inches, nor the weight below that marked as its minimum accompaniment in the adjoined table


Feet Inches

Circumference of Chest in inches


Feet Inches

Min., .Weight










































.. ..





WE HEREBY CERTIFY, that we have this day carefully and thoroughly examined, in accordance with the above instructions _____________________________ and find that he is ______________________sound in limb and body, _______________ able-bodied ________________ of a robust constitution, has_________ good eyesight, and________________ good hearing, and in our opinion is _____________ physically qualified to sustain the labors and exposure, and perform the duties of a Patrolman, and that the above is a truthful record of the examination.




(Surgeons of Police)

NEW YORK, __________187_.

I HEREBY CERTIFY, that I have carefully received the foregoing record of examination, and find the same to be in accordance with the instructions of the Board.

____________________________________Chief Surgeon.

Dated _____________187__.



________________________________________________________ Examined __________________________________________________________187__

S. C. Hawley, Chief Clerk:

You will cause the bearer _________________________________to be examined by the Committee of Surgeons in pursuance of the Rule.


SIGNATURE OF APPLICANT_______________________________________________

Examinations for appointment on the force of those reported favorably by the Surgeons are held by the chief clerk in his office, in respect to their eligibility and qualifications to be Patrolmen, except as to their physical conditions. Evidence of their naturalization and honorable discharge from the army or navy shall be then produced. To those who are found clearly competent he delivers a petition in the form, properly filled up. On such petition that candidate procures the signatures of not less than ten reputable citizens, when it is to be returned to the chief clerk, who designates which of the petitioners shall verify the petition by affidavit. The chief clerk causes the confidential inquiry into the character, habits, and associations of the candidate to be made by the Captains of the precincts in which the candidate resides, and also by the Superintendent, through officers specially detailed by him for that purpose. The chief clerk, upon the return of favorable character reports, causes the candidates to appear before the bull Board, when the Board decided which of the applicants shall be placed on the roll of candidates to be appointed Patrolmen as vacancies occur


To the Board of Police of the Police Department of the City of New York:

The undersigned request the Board of Police to appoint____________________________ to be __________________________in the Police force of the city of New York, and individually, and each for himself, states and represents to the board that he has known the said ________________________________ personally, intimately, and well, for___________ year last, and it qualified to speak intelligently in relation to his character, habits and associations, and states and represents that he ia a man of good moral character, correct and orderly in his deportment, and not in any respect a violator of law or good order. That he is of sober, temperate, and industrious habits, not addicted to the habitual use of intoxicating drinks, or to other hurtful excesses--that he has never seen him drunk, or known him or head of his having been drunk; nor of his having been guilty of or arrested for, any criminal or disorderly conduct or act.

And they further represent as aforesaid, that he is a man of truth and integrity, of sound min, good understanding, and of a temper, habits and manners fit to be a Policeman. The undersigned are willing and ready at any time to appear at the Central Department and make affidavit to the truth of the above representation.

N. B..--the names and residences of at least ten petitioners are required.

Signature of Petitioners

Residences of Petitioners.

(Reverse side of Petition as follows)


STATE OF NEW YORK, City and County of New York, ss.

The undersigned, being duly sworn, doth depose and say, that he has read the foregoing petition, signed by him, knows the contents thereof, and that the same is true.

Sworn before me this ________day of __________ 187__.


Notice to Petitioners.--The welfare and efficiency of the Police force demands that all promotions be made on the ground of merit and ability, to be proved by thorough and faithful performance of Police duties, and that all transfers from one precinct to another, as well as detailments to special duty, be decided quite independent of political or personal considerations, or influences. It is therefore desired that all applicants and their friends understand and remember that when a man is appointed a member of the force, he must submit himself to the rules, regulations, and orders of the department, and seek to win advancement and favorable positions by a faithful and thorough discharge of Police duties; that petitions and solicitations in his behalf for promotion, transfer, or detainment by outside parties, are regarded by the Board as subversive of discipline and subordination, and cannot advance the interest of the member in whose behalf they are made.

By order of the Board.


Chief Clerk

Any member of the Police force may be punished by the board of Police, in their discretion, either by reprimand, forfeiture, and withholding pay not exceeding thirty days fro any one offense, or by dismissal from the force, on conviction of either of the following offenses, to wit:

Of intoxication.
Of any act of insubordination or disrespect towards a superior officer.
Of any acts of oppression or tyranny.
Of neglect of duty.
Of violation of the rules.
Of neglect or disobedience of orders.
Of any legal offence.
Of absence without leave.
Of immoral conduct.
Of conduct unbecoming an officer.
Of conduct injurious to the public peace or welfare.
Of incapacity, mental, physical, or educational.
Of any breach of discipline.
Of neglecting or refusing to pay a debt for uniform clothing.
Of contracting a debt under false or fraudulent pretenses.



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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