Our Police Protectors
History of New York Police
Chapter 22, Part 2

By Holice and Debbie

 

On June 8, 1882, the legislature passed an Act to create a Police Pension fund in the city of New York, and to provide for the equalization of pensions, of which the following is a summary:

WIDOW

$300

To terminate when remarried or at discretion of the Board

Of member of force killed in performance of duty, or shall have died from effects of injuries received whilst in the actual discharge of such duty, or died after ten years' service in the Police Department or Force of the City of New York

CHILD OR CHILDREN

Under 18 years, not exceeding $300, to terminate at 18 years, or at discretion of the Board.

Of member of force killed or dying as aforesaid, but heaving no widow, or if a widow, then after her death to such child or children yet unmarried and under eighteen years of age.

Member of Police Department or Force, not to exceed $300, to terminate at discretion of the Board

While in performance of police duty, and by reason of same, and without fault or misconduct, become permanently disabled, physically or mentally, so as to be unfitted to perform full Police duty.

Member of Police Department or Force, not less than $300, nor exceeding $600, to terminate at discretion of the Board.

After ten years' and less than twenty years' membership, superannuated by age, or rendered incapable of performing full police duty by reason of disability or disease, contracted without misconduct on his part.

Member of Police Department or Force, not less than $300, nor exceeding $500, to terminate at discretion of the Board.

Permanently insane or mentally incapacitated.

Member of Police Department or Force, not less then one-half full pay, and not to exceed $1,000, except to superintendent, for natural life, and not to be revoked, repealed or diminished.

After twenty years or upwards, upon his own application, or upon certificate of Board of Surgeons as to permanent disability, so as to be unfit for police duty, may be retired by the unanimous vote of the full Board

 

The First, Second, Third and fourth Sections of the fund were the same as in the preceding Act. Section Five is as follows:

A sum of money not exceeding four dollars per month for each member of the Force, to be paid monthly from moneys deducted or withheld from the pay of member of the Police Force on account of lost time.

An Act to consolidate into one Act, and to declare the special and local laws affecting public interest in the city of New York, and provide a Pension Fund for the Police Department of the city, was [passed July 1, 1882.

An Act to amend chapter 410 of the Laws of 1882 (Chapter 180 of the Laws of 1884, passed April 21, 1884) introduced the following changes:

The revenue of the fund is the same as in the preceding chapters, with the following exceptions: All moneys, pay, compensation, or salary, or any part thereof, forfeited, deducted, or withheld from any member or members of the Police force for or on account of absence for any cause, lost or sick time, sickness or other disability, physical or mental, to be paid monthly by the Treasurer of the Police Pension fund. Twenty-five per cent annually of all excise moneys or license fees, derived or received by the Board of Excise; provided however, that said twenty-five per cent, thereof shall not exceed one hundred thousand dollars in anyone year; moneys derived from granting or issuing permits to carry pistols; all moneys derived or received from the granting or issuing of permits to hold or give masked balls, entertainments, or parties; moneys derived or received from the issuing or granting certificates of qualification to operate steam boilers; moneys derived or received from the suspension of Police officers; the Board being empowered for cause to suspend a Police officer without pay, for a term not exceeding thirty days.

The Board of Police, under this Act, was empowered to pension the widow of a retired Police officer.

Page 499

SIDNEY P. NICHOLS.

The late Sidney P. Nichols was fifty-three years old, and was born in Vermont. His father was a Presbyterian clergyman, Receiving a common school education, the boy determined to strike out a career for himself, and accordingly came to New York, where he secured employment as a clerk. After a few years, having saved some money, he embarked in the livery stable business near the site of the Ashland House, and prospered in the undertaking.

In a contest for the State Senate, Mr. Nichols was defeated by James w. Booth, but in recognition of the gallant struggle he had made, was appointed a Police Commissioner in May, 1876. Meantime he had become one of the proprietors of the Ninth Avenue line of stages, which proved a prosperous undertaking. On account of his extensive knowledge of the city, his expert judgment of horseflesh, and his experience in organizing considerable bodies of men, his colleagues insisted on making Mr. Nichols Chairman of the Committee on Street Cleaning, which task was then imposed by law on the Police Board.

During Mayor Ely's term of office an attempt was unsuccessfully made to remove Mr. Nichols from the Police Board on a charge of neglect of duty. During the incumbency of Mayor Cooper the attempt was repeated (April 17, 1879), and gave rise to a notable legal contest. The commissioner demanded to be heard through counsel and to be brought face to face with specific charges. He was summarily removed, however, with the requisite formal approval of Governor Robinson, Charles F. McLean being appointed his successor.

After protracted litigation, a decision of the Court of Appeals restored Mr. Nichols to his office, February 7, 1880, thereby establishing a very important precedent. He was re-appointed by mayor Edson January 10, 1883.

Mr. Nichols was a member of the Democratic State Committee.

Mr. Nichols was of medium stature and firmly built, of fair, ruddy complexion, with bright, sparkling green eyes, and pleasant mouth, and his face always wore a cheerful smile. He was the life and soul of the Police Board. It was always said that the could get through more work than any other two commissioners who ever sat in the marble palace in Mulberry His executive powers were inconstant demand. He was a prime favorite throughout the force. His death, which was due to aneurysm of the heart, took place at his residence, No. 417 West Twenty-fifth Street, on the twenty-eighth of October, 1884. Commissioner Nichols was Treasurer of the Police Pension Fund. The interment was in Greenwood Cemetery.

Page 500

COMMISSIONER JOHN McCLAVE was appointed by Mayor Edson, November 24, 1884. He was born in this city in 1839, and is the youngest of twelve children of the late James McClave, who was--fro many years prior to 1854, when he retired from business--a lumber merchant. John McClave was graduated from the College of the city of New York in 1856. Following the footsteps of his father, he entered the lumber business and has been engaged in it ever since. he now has a large lumber yard on the North river, between Twenty-first and Twenty-second Streets, and is the owner of considerable real estate. He entered politics in 1878, when he was elected Alderman, on the Republican ticket, from the Eighth Senatorial District. He was re-elected from the same district in 1879, in 1880, was elected Alderman-at-Large. In 188, he received the unanimous Republican nomination for Alderman-at-Large, but declined to run. Before the meeting of the Republican county Convention, in October last his name was mentioned among the possible Republican candidates for Mayor. He is President of the Republican association of the Seventeenth Assembly Distract.

Mr. McClave is Treasurer of the Board of Police, and of the Police Pension Fund. He is also a member of the Committee on Repairs and Supplies.

There is no exaggeration in the statement that Mr. McClave, whether as a business man or a public functionary, is the most active, industrious, and pains-taking of men. The amount of hard work he gets rid of without seeming to be busy at all is really marvelous. In fact, it is a necessity of his nature that his mental faculties must always find occupation. The ordinary man would find more than enough to do in the management of a large business concern which gives employment to a large number of hands. Not so Mr. McClave, who, while punctually attending to his own private business affairs bestows all the necessary time and labor to the duties he is called upon to discharge at Police Headquarters. Mr. McClave spends a large part of every week day at his office attending to Police matters. He has brought to the transaction of these duties the same comprehensive and intelligent management which has so characterized him as one of our leading business men.

None but those conversant with the inside history of Police affairs can form anything like an adequate idea of the immense amount of labor that devolves upon the Police Commissioners. Every day brings its own particular duties and responsibilities, which can neither be ignored nor relegated to subordinates. Through then the vast and complicated machinery of the Police Department is put in operation, and, if the governing body be not attentive and intelligent, demoralization is likely to ensue in the ranks--to the great and lasting detriment of the public service. No greater compliment could be paid the present Board of Police Commissioners than is to be found in the present efficient condition of the Police force. Towards this improved state of affairs no official has contributed more largely than has Commissioner McClave.

As Treasurer of the Board, and of the Police pension fund, for which he receives no additional compensation, Mr. McClave has a vast amount of labor and responsibility imposed upon him. But, where system and order prevail, much can be done which otherwise would be impossible of accomplishment.

Page 501

 

Statement of Disbursements and Receipts of the Police Life and Health Insurance Fund, Police Life Insurance fund, and the Police Pension Find, from 1857 to 1885, for the subjoined years:
.

YEAR

DISBURSEMENTS

RECEIPTS

Police Life and Health Insurance Fund

1857

.

423.10

.

1858

30.00

2,200,00

.

1859

244.12

3.650.40

Police Life Insurance Fund

1860

811.64

5,023.41

.

1861

1,425.75

11,243.81

.

1862

2,133.32

9,657.76

.

1863

2,642.32

8,545.53

.

1864

3,906.59

19,920.99

.

1865

6,680.72

27,647.09

.

1866

7,436.50

43,476.40

.

1867

7,965,04

31,456.63

.

1868

13,788.63

32,212.61

.

1869

19,908.64

36,449.78

.

1870

50,037.09

85,910.89

.

1871

45,757.54

64,709.56

.

1872

57,305.95

64,459.02

.

1873

61,434.38

63,360.97

.

1874

74,908.29

78,846.74

.

1875

64,684.21

69,481.54

.

1876

59,802.73

61,306.91

.

1877

75,845.67

60,484.18

Police Pension Fund

1878

71,342.84

91,715.29

.

1879

80.750.28

114,293.55

.

1880

101,067.83

113,869.56

.

1881

108,358.15

117,696.90

.

1882

116,593.91

87,489.21

.

1883

220,609.74

96,034.92

.

1884

187,855.35

184,419.42

Totals

.

$1,443,227.23

$1,585,985.26

 

Note:--In 1866 the donation by the Japanese Embassy was credited to the Police Life Insurance Fund.

In 1870 an adjustment of the Police Life Insurance Fund and the M<etropolitan Reward Fund was made in pursuance of Chapter 383, passed April 26, 1870, and the balance remaining tot he credit of the Metropolitan Reward Fund was placed to the credit of the Police Life Insurance Fund, and the amount due from the Police Life Insurance Fund and charged to said fund, was as follows: City of Brooklyn, $23,441,24; Yonkers, $55,76, and Richmond County, $14,76.

In 1883, $77,420.29 was paid by the Trustees of the Police Pension Fund for judgments obtained against the Board for sick time deducted from members of the force, which amount was credited tot he fund for the five years prior to the year 1882. This sum was paid in pursuance of a decision rendered by the Court of Appeals, in the case of John Ryan against the Board, to recover the sick time deducted from his salary.

The invested capital of the Police Pension Fund, ending December 31, 1884, is invested in bonds of the City and County of New York, and amounts to the sum of $142,000; the cash balance on said ate was $758.03, making a total capital of $142,758.,03, and at said date there were 540 persons beneficiaries of the fund, classified as follows: 30 males, 199 females, and 38 orphans.

The board of Police during the year 1884 pensioned six sergeants, eighty-nine patrolman and twenty-six orphans, drawing, in the aggregate, $66,925. The deaths during said year were: one captain, two sergeants, twenty-five patrolmen, and six females, drawing in the aggregate $14,615, making a total added to the Pension Fund during the year $52,310.

Page 502

 

Statement of appropriations made to the Metropolitan Police (New York Force), and the Municipal Police and the Police Department of the City of New York:

YEAR

AMOUNT

.

$823,000.00

1857

471,031.79

1858

930,209.95

1859

1,294,812.51

1860

1,352,736.73

1861

1,716,189.18

1862

1,751,263.73

1863

1,747,555.67

1864

2,061,184.18

1865

2,222,083.60

1866

2,174,688.54

1867

2,654,184.85

1868

2,815,715.54

1869

2,885,175.55

1870

3,263,525.66

1871

3,340,160.17

1872

3,168,000.00

1873

3,890,133.33

1874

3,391,491.14

1875

3,376,400.00

1876

3,352,400.00

1877

3,292,400.00

1878

3,286,150.00

1879

3,346,150.00

1880

3,270,150.00

1881

3,423,120.00

1882

3,350,450.00

1883

3,453,150.00

1884

3,641,534.61

 

On the first of January, 1885, there were three hundred and three males, one hundred and ninety-nine females, and thirty-eight orphans, beneficiaries of the Pension fund, who drew in the aggregate one hundred and eighty-seven thousand, and eighty-seven dollars, and thirty-seven cents for the year 1884. During this year the board pensioned six Sergeants, eighty-nine Patrolmen, thirty-five widows and twenty-one orphans.

 

Next

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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