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The function of Park Police is primarily connected with the administrative needs of parks, of interpreting the parks and upholding the law. Within the District of Columbia this concern involves nationally significant areas such as the Mall, Washington Mounment, Lincoln Memorial and Jefferson Memorial--functions such as the Independence Day celebration, Watergate concerts, the Torchlight Tattoo, President's Cup Regatta, special events on the Mall and numerous other occasions requiring a particular responsivesness to varying park uses. It should also be noted that, within the District, Park Police have the same arrest authority as the Metropolitan Police.
The function of the Park Police often goes beyond that of law enforcement officers. Visitors and residents alike rely on these men and women to have particular knowledge of our Nation's Capital and events in the Federal area that forms a focus of national interests and visitation.
As stated in the Departmental Report, the District Police assist the National Park Service in meeting its obligations to the people of the United States.
This, too, is true both within and outside of the District. It must be apparent that the extent, both geographical and functional, of Park Service involvement requires a force instantly responsive to administrative needs, in the National and local interest. Motorized policing of the various parkways for the safety of visitors and commuters, to horseback interpreter in the Central Mall area are two examples of this scope of activity.
Park Police, then are an effective arm and management tool of the National Park Service, and there should not be any insulation permitted which in any manner affects the efficient execution of their mission in this capacity.
The United States Park_Police is a unique organization. It is the only Federal Park Police Force in the United States and has behind it a great and proud tradition of public service.
I am deeply concerned that the legislation under consideration would make it awkward for park management to assign operational responsibilities to the Park Police, if, in fact, its administrative alignment were changed.
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, I shall be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
Thank you, sir.
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,
Washington, D.C., May 27, 1968.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN : There is pending before your Committee H.R. 14430 and H.R. 14448, identical bills, "To establish a Commissioner of Police for the District of Columbia."
We recommend that the bill not be enacted.
The bill establishes the office of “Commissioner of Police in the District of Columbia” as an independent office in the District of Columbia Government. The Police Commissioner would be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate. The bill also establishes a 9-member Police Commissioner Advisory Commission which would be appointed by the Chairmen of the House and Senate Committees on the District of Columbia.
The bill transfers to the Police Commissioner certain functions, powers, and duties, including those of the Secretary of the Interior with respect to the United States Park Police in the District of Columbia. Notwithstanding disclaimers regarding continuation of police dutes, as presently defined, contained in section 2(5)(d), the bill would transfer to the Police Commissioner certain functions, powers, and duties, including those of the Secretary of the Interior with respect to the United States Park Police in the District of Columbia. In this respect, we believe that the provisions of the bill are not adequate since there is no clear recognition that the function of the Park Police is an extension of the function of the National Park Service.
The jurisdiction of the United States Park Police in the District of Columbia includes the enforcement of Federal regulations applicable to Federal park areas and the monuments and memorials of transcendent national significance that are administered by the Federal Government as part of the National Park System. In addition, the jurisdiction of the United States Park Police with respect to law enforcement extends beyond the boundaries of the District of Columbia to Federal park areas and, under certain conditions, to areas administered by other Federal agencies.
The United States Park Police must be primarily available for and responsive to the demands imposed upon the National Park Service by virtue of administration and interpretation of areas for the visitor to the Nation's Capital. Those responsibilities stem from specfic duties given the Secretary by the Congress.
Park Police responsibility in this regard, therefore, transcends law enforcement. Park Police are expected to have knowledge of the National Capital Park System which will permit them to convey interpretive information, as well as such knowledge of the mission of the National Park Service that their actions assist the National Park Service in meeting its obligations to visitors and residents alike. Thus, the added dimension of the Park Police, as part of, and responsive to, the agency administering this important focal point of visitation in the National Park System should be patent.
For these reasons we believe it would be inappropriate to place the United States Park Police under the District of Columbia Government.
We also note that section 2(c) of the bill requires the Police Commissioner to make recommendations directly to the Congress for legislation to make the police forces under his jurisdiction subject to the same provisions for appointments, promotions, dismissals, compensation, retirement, and similar matters. Inasmuch as the compensation and promotion of United States Park Police are governed by the District of Columbia Police and Firemen's Salary Act of 1958 (72 Stat. 480), as amended, (D.C. Code, sec. 4_823 et seq.), we beliere no great disparity exists between the police forces in such matters.
The Bureau of the Budget has advised that there is no objection to the presentation of this report from the standpoint of the Administration's program. Sincerely yours,
CLARENCE F. PANTZKI,
Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior. Mr. Dowdy. I have often wondered who made the decision to turn the park over to this Resurrection City crowd that came in here, when was it?
Mr. CASTRO. In May and June.
POLICIXG RESURRECTION CITY
Mr. Dowdy. In May, but that is past now. I am curious about one thing, though, who in the world was it that agreed that the police
would not go in that Resurrection City and would let them do as they fins i tot pleased? Who issued that order?
Mr. CASTRO. Mr. Chairman, I do not believe such an order was issued. I don't recall issuing such an order and I am sure the Chief didn't issue such an order. Under the permit issued to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference they were to provide marshals to do their own policing, but this did not preclude the National Park Police or the Metropolitan Police from coming on the scene. I don't know how the story got abroad that the Park Police or the Metropolitan Police could not come on the scene. This is not so and certainly no order was issued to that effect.
Mr. Dowdy. This was what happened, was it not?
Mr. CASTRO. I don't think so, Mr. Chairman. There were many occasions when the Park Police went in and made arrests where necessary.
The impression is also current that the Park Police were instructed not to make arrests in Resurrection City. This is not true, sir. We certainly did not instruct our Park Policemen not to make arrests in Resurrection City. We asked them to use judgment and restraint, but they were not told not to make arrests.
Mr. Dowdy. One of the judges, I forget who it was, made the comment he was amazed that such an instruction was given. Actually, they set up an independent country which governed itself within the United States. Of course if there was not an order or a tacit understanding, it was amazing to me that such a rumor got out, if it was a
Mr. Castro. The closest thing we came to was an understandingnot an instruction to the Park Police, because of the explosive nature of this exercise, that they must use the best judgment they had ever used in their lives and also must be somewhat restrained, and we think that decision was correct.
Mr. Dowdy. You said you knew it would be an explosive situation?
Mr. Dowdy. Now, knowing that why was a permit issued in the first place?
Mr. CASTRO. Because this was a determination that was made by officials in addition to or higher then myself. It was a determination made jointly by a number of the interested agencies in the District, including the Interior Department, the National Park Service, the Justice Department, and the District of Columbia Government. This was not a unilateral decision. It was a joint decision made by a number of agencies that have responsibilities within the city.
Mr. Dowdy. And knowing the explosive nature of the situation, that decision was made anyway?
Mr. CASTRO. I made the allusion to explosiveness unwisely. It was potentially explosive but the decision was made to grant the permit and again I say this was not a unilateral decision.
PERMIT FOR RESURRECTION CITY Mr. Dowdy. Could you give us for the record a copy of the agreement you had with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference?
Mr. CASTRO. Yes, indeed.
Mr. Dowdy. Thank you. It will be made a part of the record at this point.
(The agreement follows:)
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE,
NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION, 1100 Ohio Drive, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20242, May 10, 1968. Rev. BERNARD LAFAYETTE, Jr., National Coordinator, Washington Poor People's Campaign, 1401 U St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009.
DEAR REV. LAFAYETTE: Pursuant to the provisions of 36 CFR 50.19, permission is granted the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (“Permittee"), 334 Auburn Avenue, N.E., Atlanta, Georgia :
(a) for the purpose of setting up and maintaining tents and appurtenant temporary structures designated by Permittee as "Resurrection City, U.S.A.", for the use of not more than 3,000 persons, to use that portion of park land in the District of Columbia which is an area west of 17th Street, N.W. and north of westbound Independence Avenue to be agreed upon by the staffs of Permittee and the National Park Service and marked by stakes placed in advance by the National Park Service, said area being referred to herein as “Area A”;
(6) for the purpose of holding meetings, to use the paved platform on the west terminus of the Reflecting Pool and the steps leading down to said platform daily from 7:00 p.m. until 12:00 Midnight, said area being referred to herein as “Area B";
(c) for the purpose of installing a display, consisting of not to exceed six (6) facilities such as a rural type dwelling and appurtenances and used trailers or buses, which facilities shall be maintained solely for display and shall not be occupied as living quarters, to use an area adjacent to the Smithsonian Institution to be agreed upon by the staffs of Permittee, the Smithsonian Institution and the National Park Service, said area being referred to herein as “Area C."
This permit is granted in response to Permittee's application of May 10, 1968. for certain purposes of the demonstration designated by Permittee as the "Poor People's Campaign." This permit covers the areas designated and the activities described herein and is issued subject to all of the conditions enumerated herein.
1. This permit shall take effect as of 8:00 a.m., on Saturday, May 11, 1968, and shall remain in effect until 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 16, 1968.
2. Permittee shall provide in advance a general layout and construction plan for Area A for review by the National Park Service for adequate compliance with health and safety standards and shall proceed in accordance with said plan as approved by the National Park Service. Permittee shall install the structures in Area A in a neat and orderly plan beginning at the westernmost edge of Area A and moving eastward in a reasonably compact pattern. Permittee shall maintain the premises in accordance with applicable health and safety standards and shall facilitate periodic inspection of structures and facilities by appropriate health, safety and fire authorities of the National Park Service and of the District of Columbia to insure maintenance of such standards.
3. Permittee shall provide toilet, bathing and washing facilities and shall provide for the disposal of sewage from such facilities by making connection with available sewage lines. Permittee may connect into available water, communication and electric facilities. All utility connections shall be at the expense of Permittee. Permittee shall comply with the requirements of the National Park Service and of the District of Columbia regarding the construction and maintenance of such connections. Permittee sball arrange for the installation of necessary utility meters at its expense. Payment to suppliers for utility services shall be the responsibility of Permittee.
4. Permittee shall hold the United States and the District of Columbia harmless in the event of the death of or injury to any person or the destruction of or damage to any property, not arising out of acts of the Indemnitees' employees or agents.
5. Ingress to and egress from Area A by vehicles necessary to serve said area and the parking of such vehicles shall be at locations designated by the National Park Service.
6. Permittee may install fences within and around Areas A and C. The design of exterior fencing shall be subject to the approval of the National Park Service.
7. No firearms, weapons, explosives, or incendiary materials, and no fossilfueled lanterns or open fires shall be permitted in the designated areas.
8. C'pon cessation of the use of the designated areas under this permit, Permittee shall remove all facilities installed by or for it and shall restore the areas to their prior condition, reasonable wear and tear of the turf excepted. To guarantee compliance with this requirement, Permittee shall deposit $5,000 in cash with the National Park Service or shall execute an undertaking in the amount of $5,000 with two sufficient sureties satisfactory to the National Park Service or to furnish a contractual commitment therefor satisfactory to the National Park Service.
9. Permittee shall provide sufficient medical personnel and facilities to insure first aid and the maintenance of adequate medical care.
10. Permittee shall provide marshals, appropriately identified in sufficient numbers to maintain good order, but this shall not limit, impair, or otherwise interfere with the authority of law enforcement agencies in the exercise of their responsibilities.
11. Permittee shall cause garbage and refuse of all kinds to be stored in covered, fly- and vermin-proof receptacles to be provided by Permittee, and Permittee shall be responsible for daily removal thereof, at its expense.
12. In the event Permittee desires to use other park areas during the terin of this permit or to request an extension thereof, the issuance of permits will be considered in good faith upon the recipt of specific requests therefor. However, Permittee may make use of a reas for appropriate forms of recreation in sites designated by the National Park Service for that purpose.
13. Any loud-speaking equipment used will be so adjusted as to be audible only to those people in the immediate area.
14. Permittee shall keep the designated areas in a reasonably neat and clean condition, taking into account the purposes for which they are assigned. Permittee may plant flowers and shrubs in Area A for the enjoyment of the participants. No existing trees and shrubs may be disturbed.
15. No livestock may be stabled or kept in the designated areas.
16. This permit does not authorize any activity or conduct by Permittee or participants in violation of applicable laws or regulations. The Na onal Park Service reserves the right to revoke this permit at any time in the interest of public safety and the general welfare.
17. The rules and regulations set out in 36 CFR Part 50, a copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit “A” shall be applicable to Permittee and participants to the extent not inconsistent with the express provisions of this permit.
l'pon the acceptance of the conditions contained in this letter, indicated by the signature of Permittee in the space provided and the return of the carbon copy properly executed to this office, this letter becomes a permit for the purposes described. Sincerely yours,
Nash CASTRO, Regional Director.
Accepted And Agreed To This 10th day of May, 1968.
SOUTHERN CIRISTIAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE,
BERNARD LAFAYETTE, Jr.,
Director, Washington Bureau, Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE EDUCATIONAL FUND, INC.,
LEGAL SERVICES COMMITTEE Poor PEOPLES CAMPAIGN, 711 14th Street, N.W., Suite 601, Washington, D.C., May 10, 1968. Re Application for Permit. Mr. NaşH CASTRO, Regional Director, National Capital Region, National Park Service, Department
of the Interior, Washington, D.C. Dear Mr. CASTRO: The undersigned of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., as counsel for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, hereby applies for a permit for use in connection with the Poor Peoples Campaign and the establishment of and maintenance of "Resurrection City, U. S. A.” pursuant to 36 C.F.R. 50.19 of Code of Federal Regulations, as follows:
Name of applicant: Southern Christian Leadership Conference.