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these officials. We enforced the law with rigid equity upon all alike. In consequence, we made all alike close. Yet, though we shut the saloons on Sunday, we actually made fewer arrests than had been made before. In the year previous to our term of office, over 10,000 persons were arrested for violation of the Sunday law. During the first twelve months of our administration but 5,700 were arrested. Yet, while making 4,300 fewer arrests, we enforced obedience to a law which never before had been obeyed, because for the first time we arrested everybody, without regard to their wealth or political backing, and allowed no arrests to be made for purposes of blackmail or political intimidation. The figures for the arrests show, by the way, that while the number of excise arrests fell off, the number of arrests for more important crimes increased; a proof that the Police, while warring upon vice, have also warred more efficiently than ever before against violent criminality. We pursued the same tactics with gambling houses and disorderly houses, and with much the same success, in spite of the scant help we received from a few of the executive and judicial officers of the Government, and of the obstacles thrown in our way by the Comptroller."
The “Tramp Lodging House" was abolished, because of such a nature that "only dire necessity could persuade a decent man or woman to take refuge in them; but they were entirely congenial to the worst class of tramp or of robust, semi-criminal outcast; and as winter came on, representatives of those types and of those kin to them focked to the city, where they were thus provided with free lodging.” These tramp places were closed one by one, and "the Board announced that everything possible should be done to force the shiftless or vicious to go to places where they could be dealt with properly, while the honest workingman or woman who was in temporary need would be directed to charitable resorts that were always open to them. That the change was made was due chiefly to the establishment by the Board of Charities of a Municipal Lodging House, where all homeless wanderers were received, were forced to bathe, were given night-clothes before going to bed, and were made to work next morning.”
As to the blackmailing and protecting vice system, Commissioner Roosevelt said: “When the present Board took office, the Force was honeycombed with corruption. Every species of purveyor of vice was allowed to ply his or her trade unmolested, partly in consideration of paying blackmail to the Police, partly in consideration of information as to the criminals who belonged to the unprotected classes. The result was twofold. The Police officers possessed ill-gotten funds, out of which they could afford to pay for assistance in catching criminals, and they warred against one-half of the criminal class, with, as allies, the other and more insidiously hurtful half. We broke up this whole business of blackmail and protection. The fence and
the bunco-steerer, the law-breaking liquor seller, the gambler, and the keeper of a disorderly house are no longer protected; and the Police no longer obtain from them either money or information to assist in their warfare against burglars, highway robbers, and murderers. Nevertheless, so great has been the improvement in the spirit of the Force that they have actually, although deprived of their former corrupt allies, done better work than ever before against those criminals who threatened life and property. Fewer crimes of violence, fewer murders and burglaries, relatively to the population of the city, have occurred than in the past; while the total number of arrests of criminals has increased, and the number of cases in which no arrest followed the commission of a crime has decreased. At one time certain of the more timid or less conscientious members of the well-to-do classes in the community, being misled by the interested clamor of certain of the newspapers, allies or tools of the beneficiaries of the system of corruption, actually wished the Board to go back to the old evil methods, and to tolerate blackmail and vice, if by. so doing they could put a stop to crimes of violence. The Board refused to consider for one moment the readoption of any such policy; it insisted on entire honesty in the Force, and demanded at the same time a greater degree of efficiency than ever before. The result has amply justified its judgment.”
More than this: "The Liquor Tax Law has lightened our labors considerably, because of the excellent provision requiring saloon-keepers to keep their bars exposed during prohibited hours. On the other hand, we have met with considerable difficulty owing to the establishment of 'fake hotels, and the acceptance by the courts of the theory that a man who purchases a sandwich in a hotel is a guest; that he is entitled to consider that sandwich, whether eaten or not, as a meal, and is entitled to have all the liquor he wants with it."
The picturesque side of Mr. Roosevelt's experience as Police Commissioner has been given in a most entertaining way by Mr. Jacob A. Riis, one of the friends of Roosevelt who has been a helper all along the roads of reforms:
"Haroun-al-Roosevelt the newspapers have nicknamed the President of the New York City Police Board, in good-natured banter at his fashion of disciplining his men by going about at night to see for himself what they are doing. In point of fact, there is much in the methods of the Reform Board to suggest the beneficent rule of the mythical Caliph. Mayor Strong's method of solving the most difficult problem with which his administration had to deal points to his possessing the faculty that made King William Emperor of a united Germany—that of choosing his advisers well, which is the very genius of leadership. It would be difficult to get four men together better fitted to do the great work they have to do than Commissioners Theodore Roosevelt, Andrew D. Parker, Avery D. Andrews and Frederick D. Grant. In four short
weeks they have succeeded in impressing their purpose on a demoralized force to an extent which the timid citizens who saw the old order of things upset with misgivings must have thought incredible. Practically, their work is done already. What remains to be done is important, but not nearly so much so as the demonstration to the force, and to the citizens, that the thing was possible, that in the struggle between moral force and political ‘pull,' the former might win,-must win, however uneven the apparent odds.
"This was the issue from the first, and to the demonstration of it the new Board promptly directed its efforts. It found a force, misnamed the Finest, stricken through and through with the dry-rot of politics. The blackmail, brutality, shirking, and all the rest were mere symptoms of the general disorder. The very first act of the Board—viz., to extend civil service rule to the appointments still left open in the department—was at once an answer and a challenge to the politicians who swarmed in Mulberry Street, confident of being able to make a line' on the new men and the new order of things. This effort they have not abandoned in the face of many discouragements. 'The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.' It is the nature of Tammany politics that it should not appreciate the quality of moral force. They have nothing in common.
“'You will yield too. You are but human,' said the oldest and wariest of the politicians, as he left Mulberry Street, a beaten man. Mr. Roosevelt's answer was to send to the Board his proposition, which it promptly adopted, to close the last avenue of the politician to police patronage.
“We want the civil service law applied to appointments here,' he said, in explanation, ‘not because it is the ideal way, but because it is the only way you can knock the politicians out, and you have to do that to get anywhere.'
“The speech sufficiently described Mr. Roosevelt. It is in keeping with all that has ever been known of him as a public man. Force and courage are his conspicuous characteristics. To the suggestion that the retirement of the old heads of the force might invite ruffianism and disorder, he responded curtly, 'there shall be order;' and there is order. In the Board his restless energy is admirably supplemented by the cool head of Mr. Parker—who with the training of the lawyer combines a keen intelligence and a breadth of view which make the two men, in everything so different, approach their task by different paths, yet in the same spirit—and by the untiring zeal and labors of Major Andrews, the Treasurer, and Colonel Grant. Both of these latter officials possess the genius for and the patience with details, without which effectual reform of so great a body as the police force would be impossible. Already Colonel Grant's overhauling of the Department's supply accounts has disclosed