Our Police Protectors
History of New York Police
Chapter 7, Part 4

By Holice and Debbie


The Board complained to the governor that the facility with which burglars and thieves could dispose of property throng the receivers of stolen goods, formed a powerful stimulus to the commission of crime. It was recommended that the Board be authorized to pay out of the Police Life and Health fund for the conviction of every receiver of stolen goods a reward not exceeding one hundred dollars, as a means to break up this class of lawbreakers.


The total numbers of arrest made in New York City were:

Offences against property


Offences against the person


Grand total


The value of property and money lost and recovered, for the year ending October 31, 1861, was lost, one hundred and thirty-three thousand six hundred and seventy-nine dollars and ninety-six cents.

Recovered, seventy-nine thousand six hundred and seventy-two dollars, and eleven cents.

Exclusive of the amount, recovered as above, the Detective force, of Twenty-fifth precinct, recovered twenty-five thousand nine hundred and ninety-seven dollars and fifteen cents.

Lost time, by reason of sickness, for the year ending October 31, 1861, fourteen thousand, seven hundred and ninety-six days.

The Act of April 24, 1862, provided that Constables elected or appointed after the passage of this Act, should be denominated the "Marshals of the City of New York,' and they should have the same power, and perform all the duties that had hitherto appertained to the office; and each of said Marshals should be a resident of the district wherein the Court, for or to which he should be appointed, was located; such Marshal to execute a bond, with two sufficient sureties, in the penal sum of one thousand dollars.

All laws relating to the election of constables were repeated.

The board, by careful economy, had accumulated a surplus from the annual appropriations for the maintenance of the Police in New York, which, with the consent of the supervisors of that county, they expended in the erection of a building for the Central Department of Police.

The station houses in New York and Brooklyn had been condemned by the Police Sergeants as unfit for the purposes for which they were used. These evils were corrected; spacious and commodious stations having been erected in many of the precincts, while in others the houses had been enlarged and provision made for their thorough ventilation. The cells and lodging houses for the poor had been removed to separate buildings erected in the rear of the several stations.

At the request of the Federal authorities, the Board, in the month of July, began to recruit for volunteers to serve in the armies of the Untied States. To defray the expenses of recruiting, the members of the Police and others subscribed the sum of twenty-eight thousand six hundred and sixty-nine dollars and fifteen cents; and by their efforts there was obtained from citizens the sum of seventy-seven thousand seven hundred and thirty-nine dollars, and forty-six cents, which was appropriated to the families of recruits. The Board, with the means thus afforded them, was enabled to place five regiments of infantry and four companies of one hundred men each, of cavalry, in the field.

The Police force of New York, for the year 1862, consisted of one superintendent, thirty Captains, one hundred and twenty-nine Sergeants, sixty-four Roundsmen, one thousand four hundred, and twenty eight Patrolmen, one huddled and seven Special Duty in the precinct, one hundred and seventy-four Special Duty out of the precinct, sixty-seven Doormen. Total, 1,999.

Lost time by reason of sickness or disability for the same period, eighteen thousand two hundred and thirty-nine days.

By the rules of the department, when sickness or disability resulted from extraordinary exertion or exposure, in discharge of Police duty, the full time lost paid for. When it resulted from ordinary circumstances, one-half the lost time was paid for. When it was feigned, or resulted from carelessness, no pay was allowed for the lost time.

The total number of arrests were:


For offences against property


Offences against the person





Value of property and money, lost and recovered, for the year ending October 31, 1862:





Total Loss


The Twenty-fifth Precinct consisted of the Detective force. This force recovered large amounts of money and property which were not lost within the Police District. For this reason the figures were not carried into the foregoing table, representing the losses and recoveries within the district. The amount recovered by the Detective force, during the year ending October 31, 1862, was Fifty-five thousand two hundred and eighty-five dollars and eighty-five cents.

The system of discipline established and carried out by this board, though much criticized and opposed in the beginning, was fully vindicated to all candid persons by beneficial results. The marked fidelity, vigilance and efficiency of the Police, in ordinary as well as extraordinary occasions, was, it was claimed, the legitimate fruit of this system. Instead of fearing or despising the policeman, the public had learned to trust him as the protector and defender of social order.

On the morning of the thirteenth of July, the city was startled by the lawless acts of a formidable mob, which entered on a career of robbery, arson and murder that was not completely check until the morning of the seventeenth.

Concerning these exciting events, and the action of the Police in suppressing the rioters and restoring law and order, more will be said in another place.

The entire force for the year ending October 31, 1863, was as follows:




one hundred and twenty-six


one thousand seven hundred and ninety-four (including Roundsmen and Special Duty men)



Lost time, by reason of sickness or disability, twenty-two thousand eight hundred and five days.

This large increase of lost time over the previous year is attributable to the July riots:


Offences against property


Offences against the person




The annexed cut is an accurate representation of the old Jefferson Market, showing the old fire tower, the rear of the prison, and Jefferson Assembly Rooms, which formerly was used as a watch-house by the old Leatherheads.

On the thirty-first of December, 1863, governor Seymour appointed as Police Commissioners, Joseph s. Bosworth, William McMurray, and William B. Lewis, in the place of Bergen, Acton and Bowen, removed.

The removed Commissioners refused to obey the edict of the Governor, and held on to the office of Police Commissioners, continuing to discharge the duties thereof. In this emergency the legislature stepped in, and, on March 15, 1864, by enactment, provided that "in place of the Commissioners of Metropolitan Police, appointed under and by virtue of Chapter 259, Laws of 1864, whose several terms of office are hereby vacated, there are hereby appointed, respectively, as such commissioners, Thomas CM 1, 1870; John G. Bergen, to hold office until March 1, 1868; and William McMurray, to hold office until March 1, 1866.

Any vacancy occurring during the term of any Commissioner was filled by appointment by the remaining Commissioners, and the Commissioner so appointed continued in office until his successor had been elected by the next legislature. A Commissioner whose term of office had expired continued to hold office until his successor should have qualified.



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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