Apparently, Mr. Vassily has nothing better to do than worry about what officer is on duty at School No. 3 in the mornings. I discovered (as you will in a later post), that Mr. Vassily is actually “Councilman” Vassily, who seems to have some sort of vendetta against Pop. (He was on the council that created the position of police supervisor, which I wrote about here.) This is a series of correspondence between Councilman Vassily, Supervisor Darrow, and the Police Commission.
February 11, 1931.
Every morning on my way to business I pass in front of School No. 3 and I have the opportunity to see who is officer on duty.
As I understand, the officer on duty in front of School No. 3 is the one who patrols the town nights and finishes his night shift in the morning by School No. 3.
For the last two months I have met almost every officer we have in our department except officer Gallagher.
This odd occurrence puzzles me and before I form an opinion and make erroneous deductions, I am anxious to find out direct from you if there is any favoritism shown to this officer without your knowledge.
Hoping you will enlighten me upon this matter.
To the:- Police Commission
Subject:- School crossing
1:- The following is a schedule of tours performed by Ptl.Walter Gallagher during the two months dating from December 15th,1930 to date.
|Dec,14th to 21st
” ” ” “
|1 A.M. to 9 A.M.
12 Mid. to 8 A.M.
|Dec.21st to 28th
” ” ” “
|12 Mid. to 8 A.M.
1 A.M. to 9 A?M. [sic]
|Dec.28th to Jan 4th
” ” ” “
|12 Mid to 8 A.M.
1 A.M. to9 A.M.
|Jan.4th to 11th
” ” ” “
|12 Mid. to 8 A.M.
1 A.M. to 9 A.M.
|Jan.11th to 18th
” ” ” “
|12 Mid. to 8 A.M.
1 A.M. to 9 A.M.
|Jan.18th to 25th
” ” ” “
|12 Mid. to 8 A.M.
1 A.M. to 9 A.M.
Ptl. sucek [sic]
|Jan 25th to Feb 1.
” ” ” “
|12 Mid. to 8 A.M.
1 A.M. to 9 A.M.
|Feb.1st to 8th
” ” ” “
|12 Mid. to 8 A.M.
1 A.M. to 9 A.M.
|Feb. 8th to 15th
” ” ” “
|1 A.M. to 9 A.M.
12 Mid. to 8 A.M.
A study of this schedule serves to prove that the officer mentioned in the communication from Mr. Vassily’ was not the recipient of any favoritism,and performed the same duties as the other men. With the exception of Ptl. Sucek,who is on probation,and no permitted to serve at the Desk,the men alternate on desk and patrol on this tour, and may change such assignment by mutual agreement,so long as all posts are covered and proper service rendered.
Mr. George Vassily
601 Bergen Boulevard
Ridgefield, New Jersey
At a meeting of the Police Commission held on February 16,1931,your letter of February 11th, was given very careful consideration.
We find that Patrolman Gallagehr [sic] has been shown no favoritism. Supervisor Darrow will be glad to show you the record in the Police Blotter of the tours of duty performed by him,during the two months mentioned in your communication. This information is available at all times to any citizen of the Borough.
Secretary to Police Commission
[so STICK IT, Mr. Vassily. Quit tryin’ to get my Pops in trouble!]
I’m not sure what newspaper this was from or when it was actually published, just that it was after October 1930. I have no idea why Pop would have saved this article, but it’s in his scrapbook, so I’m including it here. Additional information found on the individuals mentioned in this article is provided in brackets.
List of Fourteen Jersey Victims of Noble Experiment
Fourteen men have been put on the spot in the gang wars between hijackers and rum-runners in Bergen and Passaic counties. The list of the “martyrs” follows:
Jan. 22, 1927 — Marry [sic Harry] (Schwabbles) Joachim, hijacker, slain in Lincoln inn, Paterson. Michael Spinella sought as murderer. [Harry’s brother was also wounded in the attack. Spinella was the proprietor of the Lincoln Inn. This Spinella may be the future crime boss who was later deported back to Italy, but snuck back into the U.S. through Florida and continued his criminal activities. He died in 1971. You can read more about his deportation and re-entry here. He was acquitted of the Joachim murder in February 1934.]
Nov. 15, 1927 — Thomas Di Floramo, hijacker, slain in a field near Totowa section of Paterson.
April 28, 1928 — Big Frank Logioco, owner of Ye Olde Time inn, Garfield, slain in pistol battle with hijackers. [This story made news as far away as Havre, Montana and El Paso, Texas; see article below]
April 28, 1928 — Arthur (Yigi) Huff, gunman, slain in raid on Ye Olde Time inn. [Likely the “tough guy” referenced in the article below]
May 21, 1928 — Alexander (Schmutzy) Szabo, beer runner, slain by hijackers in Passaic garage. [Szabo gave a deathbed statement identifying the four “hoodlums” who attacked him as payback for stealing their ale burner. James (Cockeye) O’Leary, the only surviving assailant, would not be convicted until 1957.]
March 17, 1930 — Milton (Doll) Green, hijacker, slain in Paterson apartment by associates. [Apparent suicide determined to be murder. See article below]
April 12, 1930 — Archie Senville, hijacker, slain by beer runners and body taken to Newark. [Former pugilist (“the bearded wonder”) turned gangster gunned down while driving his car. He survived three other attempts on his life].
April 27, 1930 — Michael (Big Mike) Redding, beer runner, slain by hijackers.
May 30, 1930 — Anthony (Sparky) Wilda, hijacker, slain by beer men in Passaic. Body taken to Paramus.
May 30, 1930 — William (Wild Bill) Schlessinger, same fate as Wilda.
June 1, 1930 — Frank Lovulla, beer runner, dies of wounds inflicted by hijackers.
[Wilda and Schlessinger apparently shot Lovulla and left him for dead. Lovulla’s friends then apparently tortured and killed Wilda and Schlessinger. Lovulla was a former partner of “Big Frank” Logioco killed earlier (see above)]
Aug. 3, 1930 — Peter Curapolo, beer runner, slain in Garfield. [Gunned down on his porch in front of his wife]
Oct. 16, 1930 — Morris (Mushy) Friedman, hijacker, slain in Paterson by beer men. [John “Johnny King” Yerzy and Morris “Fat” Berliner, went to Mushy’s home and chased him for several blocks before riddling him with bullets. They justified it by claiming they had warned him to stop hijacking his beer trucks. I don’t know whether Berliner was ever captured and/or convicted.]
|Honorable Mention||Stewart Carroll )
Tookey Case )
|March 4th, 1930|
|Commendation||Caparaso Ziti )
Gambo Case )
|October 16th, 1930|
|Commendation||Alver and Williams )||April 19th, 1931|
|Excellent Police Duty||Bunt & Davis Case )||August 20th, 1931|
New York Police Academy and Bureau of Criminal Identification – 9 months
|First Aid||American National Red Cross Course by Dr. Fenton – 8 weeks.|
These won’t the be the last accolades Walter receives.
This appears to be part of a larger article, but only this portion was kept in the scrapbook. I have no idea what newspaper originally published it. I only know that it was between June and December 1930.
– Patrolman Walter Gallagher of the Ridgefield Police Department has just completed a course in finger print classification and photography at the New York Police Bureau of Criminal Identification. The courtesy was extended by former Commissioner Grover Whalen at the request of Police Supervisor George F. Darrow. In the near future Officer Gallagher will be presented with a gold bar for evcellency [sic] in marksmanship for a total of eighty-seven out of a possible hundred shots on June 13th.
Borough Council Will Attend Conference at Union City to Fight Fare Increase — Want Report on Lowe Company’s Complaint
At the meeting of the Mayor and Council last Tuesday evening, four patrolmen of the Ridgefield Police Department were presented with bars for efficiency in marksmanship, having made a total of approximately 85 out of a possible hundred shots. The men were Officers August Keil, Walter Gallagher, Henry Lustman and William Heilmann. These men were presented with gold bars, and Officer William Vohl was presentel [sic] with one of silver. The bars were pinned over their service shields by Mayor Davis, who congratulated each man individually. They then left the Council room, headed by Police Supervisor George Darrow, amid a burst of applause.
The remainder of this article appears to have been cropped from the original page and no longer exists.
continued from previous post
A system of awards for merit has been established whereby an officer performing a deed indicating exceptional zeal or bravery, receives commendation from the mayor and council, which will entitle him to a number of points in an examination for promotion. This system also prevails where a man excels in marksmanship. The awards carry with them a bar worn over the shield in uniform.
Public Morals, Commercial Vice
Under this heading are included vice and gambling. Special duty officers have been assigned during the year to keep all public houses, restaurants, cafes, under a close surveillance, with instructions to visit and inspect same, and at the first indication of violation of law thereat, to report the nature of same, and take proper action to suppress it.
During the year 1930 there was but one instance where a place was improperly conducted which came to the notice of this department. A restaurant operating on Shaler boulevard at Elizabeth street, was patronized by a class of persons whose conduct in and about the premises was of a nature that interfered with the comfort and repose of residents of the vicinity, thereby constituting a public nuisance.
After placing same under observation for several nights by special duty patrolmen, the facts were found to be as alleged. The owner was notified to discontinue business and vacate the premises. The order was complied with immediately.
Gambling and more serious crimes are so closely associated that it is necessary to strictly enforce laws relating to the matter.
Constant vigilance has been exercised to prevent and detect commercial gambling. There has been no commercial gambling within the borough that has come to the knowledge of the department.
In anticipation of any indication of the borough being subject to an epidemic of crime, a “shotgun squad” has been organized for the purpose of handling any unusual situation which may arise. Proper equipment for this squad consisting of riles, shotguns, gas guns, and bombs are ready for an emergency of this kind. This squad is used as a special duty squad and through their efforts much information to the benefit of the department has been acquired.
The uniformed members of the department have had it continuously impressed upon them, that the success of the work engaged in by them depends entirely upon the good will of the public, and their co-operation, and that this may only be attained by rendering 100 per cent. service.
It has been the aim of the department to develop a high quality of service, and satisfaction to the public. The men have responded to this movement admirably, and as a whole it must be said that they conduct themselves as officers and gentlemen. Neglect of duty, insolence or discourtesy on the part of any member of the department will not be tolerated in their contact with the citizens.
The achievements set forth in this report could not have been accomplished except for the full support of the mayor, council and members of the police commission.
In conclusion, permit me to say, that I am glad to have been privileged to command and work with the men of the Ridgefield police department. While the department is small in numbers, it has in its personnel, material as intelligent, courageous and enthusiastic as any police department anywhere.
George F. Darrow
Hang on folks, this is a long one.
EFFICIENCY INCREASE IN RIDGEFIELD POLICE CITED BY SUPERVISOR
Have Acquired Initiative and Learned to Accept Responsibilities
December 31, 1930
To Mayor Clarence Davis.
From Police Supervisor.
Subject: Annual Police Report.
I herewith present a report relative to the activities of the police department, Borough of Ridgefield, N. J., calendar year 1930.
When assigned to command the department, on March 19, 1930, I gave consideration to but one thing: an intent to operate the department to the best of my ability, in a manner that would merit the confidence and respect of the residents of the borough of Ridgefield, and the adoption of methods of operation that would result in increased efficiency in police service.
The department has, in the past year, acquired most of the qualities essential to success in the character of the work required of the members. The efficiency, morale and interest of the men has increased remarkably. “Esprit de Corps” has developed in the rank and file, with resultant unity, and team work, which has rapidly developed the service to a higher standard. The men have acquired initiative and self reliance, and accept the responsibilities of their job, without constantly leaning upon others in authority.
The organization of the department has been reconstructed along lines of established and successful police methods and rocedure [sic]. The police commission now transacts official methods and procedure. The police supervisor, who in turn operates through his subordinates. Rules have been adopted forbiding [sic] any deviation from this plan by the force except with the consent and approval of the police supervisor, who must be consulted before a member of the force may confer with a member of the commission on a subject relating to the policies or administration of the department. This eliminates any suggestion of favor or impartiality to the men. Does away with divided authority and duplication of effort, and places responsibility directly where it belongs: with the superior officers of the department.
The progress made in the department during the past year, may be attributed to the enthusiasm, loyalty and unselfish contribution of time and effort by the rank and file, without which the improvement so evidence, would not have been accomplished in so short a time.
Traffic Regulation (in Borough)
The vehicular and pedestrian traffic at Broad and Edgewater avenues and vicinity is, needless to say, one of the important problems confronting the department. Every means possible to meet the situation intelligently has been adopted, one patrolman is continuously stationed at the intersection of the avenues to operate the signal lights and safeguard the movements of pedestrians. During the train arrivals, an additional patrolman is stationed at the railroad crossing, working in conjunction with the man at Broad avenue. As a result, but one person has been injured at this point during the year, despite the volume of traffic thereat.
The Hudson river bridge building problem, together with the tremendous excavation, and the erection of additional bridges, grade crossings, and widening of roads proposed, or now under construction, will in the near future make the handling of traffic with facility and safety, a matter of increased concern for the department the coming year.
An active police campaign against parking cars and leaving same on the streets indefinitely has almost eliminated this practice.
Cars abandoned on highways for an unusual length of time are taken to headquarters and summonses served when claimants appear for same.
With the co-operation of the county road commission, the street lines and markings are repainted at regular intervals, facilitating the movement of vehicular traffic at congested points. Considerable traffic has been diverted from Broad avenue by the installation of arrow signs directing ferry traffic to use Shaler Boulevard.
School crossings are covered by patrolmen at all times of assembly and dismissal.
A series of lectures at the public schools to the children, on the subject of public safety, requesting co-operation with the police, and home discussion of the subject by parents, has produced beneficial results as an educational program.
A system of training in matters essential to the duties of a policeman has been established at headquarters and has been in operation for ten months. A pistol range was erected at headquarters, and all members of the department are required to attend same Friday of each week for instruction, to familiarize themselves with the operation of firearms and to develop marksmanship. The proficiency in shooting as improved 70 per cent. since this class was established.
A class at headquarters for the study of law, criminal procedure, borough ordinances and departmental rules and regulations, is held Tuesday of each week. This class will include physical development and military instruction. All members of the department are required to attend these sessions each week.
Two patrolmen have completed a general course covering a period of ten weeks at the Police College, New York City police department.
One patrolman [Walter Gallagher] has completed a course covering a period of ten weeks in finger print study and photography, under the supervision of the Bureau of Criminal Identification, New York City police department. This patrolman now qualifies as an expert, and is in charge of finger print photography and records of this department.
All members of the department have been conducted to the daily line up of criminals held at New York police headquarters, to impress upon them the seriously outlined duties of the members of a large force. Contact of this nature serves to develop police atmosphere, with resultant thought in the minds of the men that they are engaged in an enormous task in undertaking to combat the lawless type that are arraigned at the line up each day for the commission of the most serious crimes, and tends to make for additional vigilance in the performance of their duties.
The necessary equipment for discovering finger prints and the photography of same at the scene of a crime, and the means for classifying them and subjecting them to study, has been installed at headquarters, and a photograph collection of local persons with criminal propensities and records is maintained for identification purposes.
Co-operation with Borough Departments
In addition to their other duties, the force is required to observe activities within the borough, such as building construction, excavation work, other operations requiring permits, inspect such permits, and make report thereon so that other departments may be notified if irregularities exist.
First Aid Treatment
A cabinet with all necessary equipment and instructions for rendering first aid to injured persons, is maintained at headquarters, where many persons were treated during the year for superficial injuries pending their treatment by a regular physician.
When covering the patrol posts the force is required to keep in contact with headquarters at all times by communication with the man stationed at signal box No. 1, Broad and Edgewater avenues, who in turn receives alarms or orders from the sergeant on desk duty. In this manner citizens’ calls receive immediate attention. In addition to this a signal box No. 2 has been intsalled [sic] at Bergen boulevard with a green flash which indicates that headquarters is calling the patrolling officer. It is anticipated that this system will be extended during the year 1931, so that headquarters will have several points of contact within the borough.
Crime statistics of past years have indicated that most of the criminal acts were by adults. Recent years have shown that present day criminals are recruited from the ranks of youth, who seem to have developed a total disregard for the property rights of others. [Glad to see some things haven’t changed at all]. A crime committed in the borough of Ridgefield recently, involved three of the most serious felonies, burglary, attrocious [sic] assault, and attempted robbery. The crime was plotted and carried out with cool precision by three youths ranging in age from 18 to 20 years. When arrested, their cynical attitude toward the law, cool manner and utter disregard for consequences might well be compared with that of an old and hardened criminal. Much work has been done by the members of this department in checking the movements of young persons found loitering on the streets or frequenting lonesome places at night. When found, they are questioned, admonished and returned to their homes. A constant surveillance is kept over this situation, with a view to safeguarding the morals of minors.
The department assisted in the distribution of foodstuffs and toys to families within the borough at Christmas time, co-operating in this work with local organizations distributing charity.
The Ford motor patrol operating within the borough during the year 1930 covered 116 miles of streets each day. Aggregating the milage [sic] of 42.309 miles in twelve months. This service requires good equipment at all times because of the many calls answered, and the necessity for quick action. The motor patrol in service the past year has been condemned and replaced with a new one.
The Nash car used for emergency service and patrol by superior officers has covered 7,000 miles in ten months of service.
The uniforms have been changed to meet the need for a more serviceable and practical design. The type adopted gives more freedom of movement, more comfort, is better adapted to the needs of present day service and gives the officer a snappy appearance, than the tightly buttoned garment which slowed up his activities.
… And because I know you’re DYING to know how it ends, stay tuned for the rest of the story – it includes vice, gambling, and a “shotgun squad.”
There were other officers involved in the capture and arrest of these two criminals, and they all may have received similar letters, but this one was for Walter.
Borough of Ridgefield
Bergen County New Jersey
October 16, 1930
Borough of Ridgefield, N.J.
You are hereby commended by the Police Commission, for your activities in connection with the arrest of the following criminals in the Borough of Ridgefield on September 27, 1930.
Louis Caporaso Charles Ziti
These men in company with a third man burglarized a building, attached one of the inmates with a revolver and iron bar, and attempted to rob. Their apprehension was due to the alertness of the members of the Department and reflects credit on all concerned in the capture.
By direction of the
Henry Formon per WD[?]
Either the news was really slow in Ridgefield, New Jersey, or Supervisor Darrow had an excellent PR guy. His full report to the Police Commission ended up in the newspaper (see images at the end of this post). During this exact period of time 85 years ago, here is what Pop and his fellow police officers were doing:
Darrow Reports On Officers Work
The following report was submitted to the Ridgefield Council relative to a course in police training just concluded by Patrolman Walter Gallagher, Henry Lustman and Arthur Kalbhenn of the Ridgefield Police Department, at the Police College, City of New York. Mr. Darrow, Supervisor of Police of Ridgefield, says:
“These men were entered for a three-months’ course of training under Deputy Chief Inspector John J. O’Connell, Dean of the Police College.
Patrolman Walter Gallagher was assigned to a special course in fingerprinting and photography, and now qualifies as a finger-print expert. This course comprises training in the various means of identification of whorls, loops, patterns and other characteristics in the lines of the fingers( necessary for the identification of the person whose print is being studied, and the classification of such prints, as males, females, color and numerical values. This involves a course of six weeks’ training, known as the primary class. Taken with an intensive study of the 750,000 prints on file in the New York Police Department records, it has the advantage of the study of records of many years’ accumulation.
The course in photography consists of the photographing of latent prints, impressions on various surfaces, develoument [sic] and printing of films and photographs, and methods of photography necessary for the identification of the dead. Three weeks is devoted to this work.
The course concludes with three additional weeks practical experience with the Homicide Squad. The value of this instruction may be measured by the fact that this knowledge is given by men of long experience in solving crimes of a serious nature. The course embraces everything of value in the identification of suspects.
Patrolman Henry Lustman and Arthur Kalbhenn have just finished a course in general police work, as a member of a class of two hundred and fifty recruits graduated by the New York Police Department at Madison Square Garden on June 26, 1930.
This is a three-months’ course, involving instruction in the proper conduct of the police officer, his duties under the law, and his obligations to the citizen. The necessity for discipline, courtesy to the public, dignity, and the care of his personal appearance, is impressed upon the student, with a view to having him realize that these are the essential qualifications for a successful career in the field of police work. This course creates an atmosphere for the new police officer, which impresses upon him the fact for all time that he is adopting a serious vocation, that police work is a business in itself and that criminology is a subject requiring years of study by the policeman who expects to attain a knowledge of the method of operation and characteristics of the profesisonal [sic] criminal, necessary for the successful prosecution and conviction of the offender and the prevention and detection of crime, and he must concentrate on this subject if he is to have any measure of success.
A digest of laws, ordinances, rules and regulations, court procedure, and the conduct of the police while testifying in court cases, is part of this course.
Daily instruction in boxing, wrestling, setting up exercises, jiu jitsu and general physical culture, together with a first aid course and instruction in United States Military tactics, is given.
This course is a great value to the inexperienced policeman just entering the profession, in that it tends to make him alert mentally, sets him up physically, and gives the poise so necessary to a policeman, if he is to command the respect of the community he is to serve.
Other members of the Department will be signed to take courses at the Police College, and those who have completed the course will be used as instructors.”
These letters were found in Pop’s police file, not in the actual scrapbooks … but they help tell his story, so I’m including them here. The first is asking permission to send Pop to fingerprint school in New York.
The Hon. Grover C. Whalen,
City of New York.
I respectfully request that Patrolman Walter W. Gallagher, Police Dept. Ridgefield, N. J., be permitted to study your system of finger print classification and filing and photography in the New York Police Bureau,of Criminal Identification.
Ridgefield being within the Metropolitan District would profit by an expert in this line and might be of service to the New York Dept. at some time.
The next is approving the request:
March 26, 1930.
George F. Darrow, Esq.,
Borough of Ridgefield,
Bergen County, N. J.
In reply to your request of the 25th inst., to have Patrolman Walter W. Gallagher of your department study our system of fingerprint classification, filing and photography, wish to advise that we are glad to be of such service to you.
If Patrolman Gallagher will call with proper credentials on Inspector Joseph Donovan, Room 218, Police Headquarters, 240 Centre Street, Manhattan, any day between 9 A.M. and 5 P.M. except Saturdays and Sundays, he will be given proper attention. Of course, it must be understood that in taking this course, Patrolman Gallagher must comply with the rules and regulations of this department.
Yours very truly,
[John Brun] (?)
Then contact is made with Inspector Donovan:
Insp. Joseph Donovan,
New York City.
The Chief Inspector of your Department has granted permission to the Ridgefield Department to have one of our members take the course in Criminal Identification at your school.
Ptl. Walter W. Gallagher has been designated; will you please direct him as to his duties.
And finally, the memo to the Commission advising of Pop’s new role for the next three months:
To Police Commissioners
Subject – Criminal Identification
1 – Attached hereto is letter granting permission to a member of this Department to study criminal identification at the Detective Bureau, New York Police Department.
2 – I hereby make application for permission to assign Ptl. Walter W. Gallagher to this course for a period of ninety days.
3 – During the time of such assignment, Ptl. Gallagher to be assigned to the tour of duty at desk 5:30 P.M. to 1 A.M. continuously.
I don’t know if that meant Pop was supposed to go to fingerprint school all day, then come back and work until 1 a.m. or what … but I have a feeling he experienced some pretty long days during that three months.