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formance of their duties; and that this belief has come about largely because they have seen, as practically everyone else has, the many other considerations that have been given precedence over a strong emphasis on law enforcement itself as the primary and essential necessity in effective crime control; and
Whereas, although the central importance of an all-the-way back-up of policemen in the full performance of their duties has now been clarified and placed in proper perspective by Director of Public Safety Patrick V. Murphy in a statement to the House of Representatives District Committee that (as quoted from the January 24 Washington Star) "no police department can be effective unless the officers know they are backed up firmly from top to bottom” and in promising to do just this” Mr. Murphy has also said "I took this position to stand behind every policeman who does his job", the out-of-hand crime climb has again been underscored in a later Department of Public Safety release reporting (as quoted from the January 30 Washington Daily News) "a 3.6 percent increase in crime last month (December) over November and a 32 percent increase over December 1966," although this figure was attributed to some degree to the fact that "the increase in part came from more accurate record keeping in a few precincts;" and
Whereas, while such statements and statistics may provide some further awareness of the steps that are being taken to combat crime and the increasing extent of the crime situation itself, they still leave the public completely in the dark as to what the "case-load" in criminal activities is in actual fact, and it is felt that no real and permanent improvement can be expected until individual criminal acts are publicly pinpointed to neighborhoods so that residents can more realistically understand the dangers that confront them and can perhaps do more to cooperate with the crime program as we are constantly being implored to do; and until, as well, the criminal finally begins to realize that no compromises of any kind will be entertained in obtaining the widest extension possible of strict law enforcement operations; and until, also, far more is publicly known than is known now about the way the courts are functioning in carrying out their part of the responsibilities all public agencies have that are in any way involved in the total process of controlling crime;
Be It Therefore Resolved, that the Capitol Hill Southeast Citizens Association requests that, toward these ends, the Department of Public Safety develop more detailed public informational releases to be available to the newspapers, citizens groups and any one concerned individually, which will:
1. Indicate where and how the policy of back-up is being implemented in practice.
2. Supplement currently supplied mass statistics by a listing of individual crimes committed—as well as call-ins on threats of crime as these show up on a consolidated day-by-day police blotter for the city as a whole, with some indication of immediate police action on the case. The Association believes that this would be a far more responsible and revealing reporting to the public of what the crime load in individual cases actually is and what the major areas are_block by block-where the residents are being hardest hit, for which purpose mass percentage figures are absolutely useless.
3. Provide, as a clear accounting to the public on crimes solved or disposed of by law, reviews of court decisions in analyses of court actions completed on cases where criminals previously apprehended have been tried or where the cases are being closed.
Passed by unanimous vote at the monthly meeting of the Association, February 1, 1968.
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 19, 1968. Hon. JOHN L. MCMILLAN, Chairman, Committee on the District of Columbia, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: In recent weeks there has been considerable public comment regarding the administration of the Metropolitan Police Department much of which has centered on the authority and responsibility of Chief Joha B. Layton.
Since the Reorganization of the District Government, and especially since the appointment of Mr. Patrick V. Murphy as Director of Public Safety, the relationship of the Office of the Chief of Police to the citizens of the District of Columbia has become increasingly blurred to the point that it is uncertain who is the Chief of Police.
Mr. Murphy during his tenure has made various statements which are indeed questionable. Obviously he is lacking in knowledge of the structure and adininistration of the Metropolitan Police Department. A department head vested with leadership responsibilities would rarely conduct himself as he has. It takes ability and leadership coupled with years of progressively responsible experience to administer our Police Department with all of the special and peculiar problems that exist here in the Nation's Capital.
On February 8th the Washington Evening Star carried an editorial “Police Trouble Ahead?" and the Washington Daily News “Mr. Murphy and Chief Layton" each of which express concerns about the Public Safety Director. Should these concerns materialize then only this community as such, and Washington as the Nation's Capital, will be the loser.
Chief Layton and the officers of the Metropolitan Police stand as a blue line of protection. They must stand firm and tall, and must do so in the knowledge that there is Departmental support as well as public understanding and appreciation of their difficult role and mission of service. We simply cannot afford the luxury of dispensing with the services of Chief Layton as surely as some of our "leaders" seem so anxious to cause.
I am certain that you, the Committee and many Members of the Congress are aware of the fine police service we have in Washington, We must all-citizens, community organizations and the Congress—do what we can to maintain and improve the leadership, morale and opportunities for our police. To do less will certainly sow the seeds of disaster-something the Nation's Capital cannot afford.
I call to your attention that Chief Layton is a police officer who throughout an exemplary career has earned the respect of the concerned citizenry as well as the men under his command. His attainments and record speak highly of his leadership, tact and diplomacy, and this should not be marred.
These are times when it is popular and sophisticated to demean those who are engaged in public protection. There has been all too much of this, especially by people who know better.
As a citizen who has resided in Washington many years and with many years of civic enterprise activity which have brought me in contact with the Police in service to the community. I wish to commend to you the accomplishments of Chief Layton for he has by his leadership brought public credit to the Metropolitan Police Department. This must continue-let's keep Chief Layton in full command of our police. Sincerely yours,
WILLIAM H. WATERS, Jr.
FEDERATION OF CITIZENS ASSOCIATIONS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 20, 1968. Hon. John L. MCMILLAN, Chairman, District Committee, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. MCMILLAN: It has been reported that some of our Police Department officials are to appear before you tomorrow, February 21.
I am enclosing a copy of a letter that I wrote on February 8 to the chairman of the D.C. City Council, the Honorable John Hechinger, which expresses my views on the matter of consolidation of police precincts.
The Glover Park Citizens Association, of which I am immediate past president, strongly opposed any consolidation, as did the Federation of Citizens Associations of which I have been secretary since 1950. Likewise, the #7 Precinct Advisory Council opposed consolidation, especially #7 with any other.
It would seem, however, that despite citizen opposition, the powers-that-beMr. Murphy in particular--plan to go right ahead and do as they please. Hearings are held nowadays to give lip service to the idea that citizens are taken into account in decision making; before Mr. Kennedy became president, hearings were held to ascertain citizen views and decisions clearly reflected those views. I know-I participated in many hearings in those days as representative of the citizens associations of which I was at times president (two in Southeast, at various times), and the Commissioners did not in those days express an opinion and then hold a hearing where the outcome was a foregone conclusion.
After all these years in the District--since 1936_and after active participation in civic work for most of that time, I am thoroughly discouraged and willing to move out if we can find a suitable house. I have, in fact, been looking, and feel that I can move without regrets although I should never have thought that
possible before 1960. We are wasting our time trying to have any influence on the policies of the local government; everything is cut and dried before it even receives publicity, through dictation from "above."
I hope that you will be able to stop the merciless embarrassing of our top police officials; I do not believe that any newcomer can learn so much in so short a time that he can overturn procedures built up over many years. The police try to do a good job, but when they are harrassed by unfounded charges of "police brutality" and when Courts turn criminals loose to commit more crimes, the police are obviously hard put to be properly effective. Their morale must be at an all time low at this time, and I am delighted to see them fighting back as they have been—when they were represented at the City Council hearing on consolidation and as they have been reported to be in newspaper articles since that date. I believe that top officials of the Police Department dare not express their own views; they feel bound to yield to what they are "expected" to say, for their own security.
Not on this subject, but equally outrageous, is the idea that "task forces" made up of outsiders can come into this city and, in four days, plan a complete reorganization. Obviously they were not here long enough to find out how the city operates; they had some grandiose ideas on how a city should be organized and applied them to the District. The "four days" was obtained from the newspaper on the Sunday on which the entire "Reorganization” was released.
Now legislation has been introduced in the Senate to permit 25 additional high paying, executive level super-grade jobs for the District to carry out these plans. No public hearing has been held. The legislation, bypassing the District Committees, does not specify the nature of any of the positions. It simply gives blanket authority for such hiring, bearing out what citizens said about the proposed Reorganization Plan under which the present D.C. government came into being, that we would have a much more expensive local government and it would provide for positions under political patronage. Taxes will go up and up, obviously, with all the grandiose, ridiculous ideas being put forth without any effort to obtain the views of those who have lived here for many years and will be the victims of implementation of these ideas.
If your Committee can do anything to stop this runaway program, I surely hope you will do it! Discrimination is rife everywhere in the ignoring of the citizens in all this, in hiring on a racial, color-conscious basis rather than on the basis of who is best qualified for jobs without regard to race, with preference given to those residing in the District, in bringing in outsiders for top-level jobs instead of promoting career employees (as in Licenses and Inspections), in bringing in outsiders to supersede those previously at the top echelon (as in the Police Department), etc. All power to you! Very sincerely yours,
Mrs. EDWARD B. MORRIS, Secretary.
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 8, 1968. Hon. JOHN HECHINGER, Chairman, D.C. City Council, District Building, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. HECHINGER: I attended last Tuesday morning's session of your Coun. cil as a representative of the Glover Park Citizens Association which had also sent in a letter strongly opposing consolidation of police precincts, especially No. 7 with any other. I feel compelled to add this letter to your record on the subject; I hope that each member of the Council takes time to read correspondence before coming to conclusions on controversial matters.
As a teacher, I am in agreement with the D.C. Policemen's Association which avers that, with the merging of precincts, commanders would not be able to have as personal contact with their men. I know the advantage of reasonably small classes to permit personal contact with the students and a knowledge of some of their problems. Personal interest serves as a morale builder for employees whether they be in private corporations or in public office, and a breakdown in communication between a commander and his men because of sheer numbers should be a compelling reason to retain the precinct structure as it now exists.
Having for years been a resident of the area east of the Anacostia river I can speak in opposition to Mr. Murphy who alleged that more precincts were a relie of the "horse and buggy" days. Originally that entire area was covered by No. 11 precinct--this in the days of telephone and automobiles, I assure you. As the area built up in the Far Northeast and Far Southeast, it became too unwieldy for No. 11. True, there were not as many scout cars at that time, but neither was there as
much crime. Finally, after repeated requests from citizens, No. 14 was set up for the area north of Pennsylvania Avenue, and both have seemed to have all they could handle.
Mr. Murphy also alleged that it would be better for police precincts to have "a broader base." Again I disagree! When citizens associations have merged so that one association covered the area formerly covered by two, apathy has resulted. Different neighborhoods have different problems, and those from one have little interest in the problems of one some distance from them. There are closer personal relations in organizations where interests and problems are mutual.
While merging of precincts might effect some economies, it should be possible to put more men on the streets and effect economies by using civilians for some of the routine station work, with police supervision.
As to Mr. Murphy's feeling that he should "reorganize” police precinct advisory councils, I think he has been in this city far too short a time to know his way around, to know its organization and the civic interest shown here which is far greater than that in places where residents have the vote. Mr. Murphy is not endearing himself to the citizens; whether he wants to consider their wishes or not is, of course, not yet clear, but at this time it would seem not-since he walked out of your Tuesday morning meeting when citizens were given a chance to be heard.
Mr. Murphy has probably never been anywhere that had citizens associations, civic associations, Neighbors, and other such groups representing each and every neighborhood-always one group, sometimes all three in a single area. These groups as you know, are made up of dedicated people giving their time as volunteers because of their interest in making this city the best possible place in which to live. In years past, their views have been given serious consideration by governing officials and their letters have received sympathetic attention.
Only after President Kennedy named a Special Assistant for District Affairs who began to dictate to the Commissioners from the White House did response to citizen opinion begin to be less sure. Public hearings were held but often only after minds had been made up in advance as could be ascertained by official statements. I have been here since 1936, have served as president of three citizens associationstwo Southeast and one in Northwest-and as secretary to the Federation of Citizens Associations since 1950. I am also secretary to #7 Police Precinct Advisory Council and served for seven years as a member of the Public Health Advisory Council. I have been around long enough, and active long enough, to know how relations between the citizens and their governing officials here deteriorated just during the last six years or so, due to White House dictationwhich we resent.
If Mr. Murphy thinks these precinct councils are not sufficiently representative, it would be interesting to know from what groups he would like to draw other members. Picking out an individual here and there, an individual who represents no one but himself, who has no group to which he would convey information, would help neither the police nor the community. Certainly the #7 Council has endeavored to get a representative group from the community; it has members from all the citizens associations within its boundaries, service clubs such as Kiwanis and Lions, clergy, students from Gordon Junior High and Western High Schools (presidents of their Student Councils, etc.), Georgetown University students and faculty, the D.C. Recreation Department, the Frank R. Jelleff Boys Club, etc.
I hope that, before your Council makes any firm decisions, it will hold a well
Mrs. EDWARD B. MORRIS.
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 9, 1968. Representative John L. McMILLAN, Chairman, House District Committee, House Office Building, Washington, D.C.
DEAR REPRESENTATIVE MCMILLAN: How is it possible for the Mayor, the City Council, the Police Department, and others to pat themselves on the back for doing a good job in connection with the violence in our city the past few days?
As a member of this community, and a very proud one, I cannot, for the life of me, see how any of us can take pride in the way we handle violence of this nature without feeling a great sense of guilt for not being able to use the same organization and togetherness of our city officials, community leaders, and resources in constructive ways toward preventing such violence.
What has happened to our society when we can only prepare and plan to deal with violence rather than deal with the causes and make sincere and constructive efforts toward the elimination of violence? What has happened to the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"?
We look to our city officials and community leaders to use initiative, foresight, and just plain common sense in understanding that a man who can feed his family, give it decent housing, and have respect in the community, regardless of his job, will not take part in violence because he feels that he is a part of the community.
It is my sincere wish that, at this time, the officials of the District Government and the community leaders do not slip back into their complacent ways, but realize that what has happened in the past few days could only be a preview to the violence that could erupt because of inaction on the part of those in the City Government and responsible community leaders to make radical and constructive changes that could improve the plight and the despair of many of our poor and underprivileged citizens. Respectfully,
ROBERT S. MOORE.
WASHINGTON, D.C., April 17, 1968. Hon. WALTER E. WASHINGTON, Mayor of the City of Washington, District of Columbia.
MY DEAR MAYOR WASHINGTON : Since your appointment as Mayor of the City of Washington, you have had a most favorable press. Indeed the public image you have projected has been exceptional. Many of us Washingtonians have observed this with great satisfaction. All of us like to see our government capably admin. istered, and we have thought that your appointment would work both to shut off criticism by dissident Negroes, and to encourage better relations between the white and colored people of our population.
Apparently, it hasn't.
There have been many favorable comments about your handling of the recent riots. It isn't fair to second guess, and of course I do not hare available to me as much information as you had. I can't know what the various actions taken were based on. What I have read and observed convinces me that the problem was not well handled at all.
Television reports showed you saying you were going "back out onto the streets” on Thursday. Later, TV movies showed looters walking past policemen with their arms full of stolen goods, with no action being taken by police who were standing by. The reasons for the lack of police action were explained as lack of manpower to make necessary arrests, but if this decision had to be made, it is clear that the riots were already out of hand. If you were there, it should have been obvious to you also. Condoning such illegal acts as burning and looting, and even beatings and shootings, only encourages wrong doers to step up their unlawful acts.
The attitudes displayed by the rioters plainly were not related to Dr. King's shameful murder. Rather, the looters displayed a carnival mood.
It should not be necessary to point out to an administration the simple, cardinal principles of the application of a force capability. Mr. Eisenhower understood it well. So have others in similar situations. When force is required, it should be applied promptly, and in overpowering strength. Such a display brings order quickly, and in the long run saves both lives and property. Whether orders to policemen to shoot rioters would have prevented the growth of the riots is moot, but I think that there is a fair chance that, had the orders been in effect in Washington that Drew Pearson credits with forestalling trouble in Philadelphia and in Alanta, and if these orders were publicly known, we may very well have had fewer deaths than the 11 attributed to the three day riots.
The greatest danger of all is that otherwise moderate and law abiding citizens will come to believe it is necessary to take the law into their own hands in order to protect their property and their families. For such a situation to develop in Washington it would almost unquestionably lead to greater bloodshed and property loss.
Governor Agnew of Maryland has put his finger squarely on one big, important aspect of this problem. That is the failure of the Negro leadership to speak up in disavowal of the claims of the firebrands. Those of us in the white community have been remiss, too, in that we have not voiced our determination to