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City Document. — No. 2.
L. B. & 0. E. WESTON, PRINTERS, GUILD ROW.
Cits ^f llff^feur^
In Board of Aldermen, January 13, 1862.
^ered to be printed for the use of the Ci
JOSEPH W. TUCKER, City Cleric.
Laid upon the table and ordered to be printed for the use of the City
EEP O RT.
To the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Roxhury :
Gentlemen, — I present for your consideration the
Annual Report of the Police Department for the year
1861, viz.: —
There have been 1374 arrests in all, 35 of which vrere
for offences committed without the city, leaving 1339 in
the city alone; being 85 less than in 1860, and 221 more
than in 1859.
The arrests were disposed of as follows, viz. : —
Discharged without complaint 781
Sentenced to the House of Correction 154
Fined and paid 121
Committed for non-payment of fine 87
Discharged by Court 63
Bound over to the Superior Court 34
Sentence postponed 26
Put on probation 22
Fined and put under bonds 20
Placed on file 18
Committed for want of bail 16
Put under bonds to keep the peace 5
Ordered to pay costs 5
4 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 2.
The causes of arrests were as follows, viz. : —
Assault and battery 160
Larceny ; 129
Common drunkenness 75
Disturbing the peace 65
Violation of the City Ordinances 22
Malicious mischief 21
Threatening bodily harm 20
Breaking and entering 16
Assault on ofiGicers 14
Highway robbery • 12
Violation of the Sunday law 8
Attempt at larceny 7
Not recognizing as witnesses 6
Fugitives from justice 5
Wilful trespass 4
Larceny in a building 4
Night- walking 3
Fraudulent conveyance 3
Assault with intent to kill 2
Violation of the liquor law 2
Refusing to destroy dogs 1
Keeping a disorderly house 1
Having counterfeit money 1
Common brawling 1
Indecent exposure 1
Receiving stolen goods 1
Obstructing horse cars 1
Suspicious persons 1
Sending a challenge to fight a duel 1
Surrendered by bail 1
Assault with intent to commit a rape 1
Horse stealing 1
Carried forward 1369
CITY MARSHAL'S REPORT. 5
Brought forward 1369
Common begging 1
Interfering with officers 1
Larceny from the person 1
Breaking and entering with intent to burn 1
Of the 35 arrests for offences committed without the city,
14 were for larceny, 11 for breaking and entering, 4 for
burglary, 4 for fruit-pilfering, 1 for assault and battery,
and 1 for refusing to destroy dogs.
It will thus be perceived that the arrests for our own
city, for larceny, are reduced to 115, for breaking and en-
tering to 5, for burglary to 1, for fruit-pilfering to 18, and
for assault and battery to 159.
Of the 1374 arrests, 1068 were of persons of foreign
birth, and of the remainder, 117 were born in Roxbury;
245 were minors; 1153 were males and 221 females.
1124 persons have been provided with lodgings in the
Lockup, of which 818 were foreigners; 1006 were males
and 118 females; 154 were minors.
The regular force of the Police Department, as at pres-
ent organized, consists of the Marshal, 7 Day-men, 11
Watchmen, and the Keeper of the Lockup, numbering 19
men in all, whose regular pay for the year amounts to the
sum of $14,873.75, being $40.75 per day. There are also
some Special Policemen, who are on duty, during the Sum-
mer, on Sundays, and at such other times as their services
may be needed ; these are paid only for such services as
they render when called upon.
The expenses of the Department for the year have been
about $16,267.04, being $695.05 less than for the year
previous. An additional Watchman was appointed in March
last, whose pay for the remainder of the year amounted to
$600. Had the number of Watchmen remained the same,
the expenses for the year would have been $1304.80 less
than in 1860.
6 CITY DOCUMENT.— No. 2.
The earnings of the Police, in the shape of fees, during
the year, have been about $2324.65, while the number of
complaints before the Police Court has been 138 less than
in 1860. Had the number been equal, the earnings would
have been about $2862.85. The fees all go to the City.
There has been expended for Sunday Police, for Special
Police, and for extra services of the regular Police, the
sum of $571, being about 56 per cent, less than in 1860 j
which decrease is accounted for, in the comparatively
small number of incendiary fires, the few burglaries, in ex-
tra services which the Police have performed gratutiously,
in the disposition to economise, and in the general quiet of
$239.49 has been expended for assistance rendered in
arresting and securing prisoners and conveying them to
Dedham after conviction. The balance of expenses is for
stationery, food for prisoners, bedding for cells, cleaning,
whitewashing, and ordinary repairs in the Police Ofl&ce and
I have received, during the year, for fees, the sum of
$91.15, and paid out for conveyance, assistance, &c., the
sum of $50.24, both of which items are included in the ag-
gregate of expenses and receipts.
The only fees now drawn by the Police, are mittimus
fees in cases continued and bound over for further exami-
nation, which for the year numbered only 34. The warrant
and witness fees, and mittimus fees on final commitments,
are all drawn by the Clerk of the Police Court, and by
him paid over to the City Treasurer.
The number of complaints before the Police Court has
been 19 per cent, less than in 1860, and 25 per cent, less
than in 1859. The complaints for assault and battery,
and for disturbing the peace, have been 38 per cent, less
than in 1860, and 8 per cent, less than in 1859 ; while for
the last six months of each year, 49 per cent, less than in
1860, and 23 per cent, less than in 1859. These facts in-
CITY MARSHAL'S REPORT. 7
dicate that the quiet and good order of our city has expe-
rienced a manifest improvement, the permanency of which
must in a degree be judged by its cause.
Intemperance still continues to be a fruitful source of
crime and suffering in our city, which the present liquor
law seems inadequate to abate. The facts which have
from time to time come under my observation, in relation
to prosecutions for violations of the law, convince me that
a law granting licenses, under proper restrictions, provid-
ing a penalty for selling, or keeping with intent to sell
without a license, and for adulteration, also, with a reason-
able fine for the first and second convictions, and for all
afterwards, leaving it optional with the Courts whether the
punishment shall be a fine or imprisonment, and also pro-
viding a way for obtaining evidence, would greatly dimin-
ish the present evils of intemperance, and be sustained by
a large majority of the citizens.
If such a law can be framed, it does seem to be in
accordance with the dictates of wisdom and humanity that
it should be done.
Our city has been very fortunate during the past year
in regard to incendiary fires, which have been of frequent
occurrence in some of the neighboring cities and towns.
Upon investigation of the circumstances attending the
fires in our city for the last three years, I am firmly of the
opinion that quite a large per cent, of them has been the
result of attempts to defraud insurance companies; and
had the law in relation to fire inquests been still in force,
I believe that some of this class of incendiaries might have
been brought to justice, and others deterred from making
attempts. It may be that this law was abused in some
places, but I am not aware that it ever has in Roxbury,
where its repeal seems to be productive of evil.
The number of juvenile offenders in our city seems
rather to be on the increase. Some of these commit
offences which would send older persons to the State's
8 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 2.
Prison. They do not attend school, but go prowling
aboutj entering the premises of the citizens, and stealing
what they can find in their way, even not hesitating to
break open houses. Some of these boys are too young
to send to the House of Correction, and if they are simply
fined, and their fines paid, it is their parents and friends
who are punished. In some instances they are let off on
probation, which seems almost a farce.
These boys, though bad enough in themselves, are con-
tinually exerting a bad influence, and leading others astray ;
and in this connection I cannot but endorse the well-timed
remarks of the Chairman of the School Committee upon
truancy, and add that the experience of the Police is, that
while the "Truant School" was in successful operation,
the number of juvenile offences was diminished, and that
since the school was discontinued there has been a marked
As one of the means for lessening crime, I cannot but
express my wish that the " Truant School " may be again
established; and should the City Council in its wisdom
determine to do so, I would most respectfully recommend
that the Truant Officer, whose business it would be to make
complaints, should not be a member of the Police Depart-
Dealers in old junk are quite numerous in our city.
Many of them are believed to be irresponsible persons,
who do not hesitate to purchase stolen property from a
class of boys who will steal whenever they can find pur-
chasers for the stolen articles.
There is now no way of regulating the purchase and
sale of old junk and second-hand articles, except by the
passage of a City Ordinance, in conformity with sections
25, 26 and 27 of chapter 88 of the General Statutes; and
I would respectfully call your attention to the expediency
of passing such an Ordinance.
The keeping of swine and goats, and the collecting of
CITY MARSHAL'S REPORT. 9
swill by unauthorized persons, is a source of great annoy-
ance to many of our citizens, and I am frequently receiv-
ing complaints upon the subject.
In view of the hard times and scarcity of work, the City
Government resolved to be as lenient as possible in en-
forcing the Ordinances in relation to these offences. In
accordance with their suggestions and advice, I have
refrained from commencing prosecutions. Advantage has
been taken of this leniency, and the small inch has now
grown to be a large ell; swine being quite numerous, and
in some localities in our city, goats may be seen in large
flocks, paying no respects to good manners and division
lines. Whether this leniency shall longer continue, is for
your Honorable Board to determine.
I have received frequent complaints from citizens who
have been annoyed by the barking and biting of dogs ; and
it seems extremely desirable that some quiet method, dif-
ferent from the present, may be adopted for destroying
the many worse than useless curs now infesting our city.
Many of the canine race have breathed their last in our
city during the last year; but there are now quite too
many who "still live." The records of the "Canine
Undertaker" show that he has buried 687 dogs, besides
968 cats, 87 hogs, 10 goats, and 1 fish. Quite a large
proportion of these dead animals have been found in local-
ities where they would soon become offensive, if not taken
There has been much extra labor performed the past
year by the Police, for which they receive no pay. And
it gives me great pleasure here to say, that whenever I
have called upon them to render extra services gratuitous-
ly, they have responded with cheerfulness and alacrity.
The Police Office, in the day time, is under the charge
of one of my Assistants, who keeps the daily record, and
in the absence of the Marshal gives all needful directions ;
and without detracting from the merits of any other mem-
10 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 2.
ber of the department, I will here say that I have entire
confidence in his faithfulness, and efficiency as an oflficer,
and his character as a man.
At night the office is under the charge of one of the
Day-men, whose business it is to attend to all calls, and
give all needful information to the Watchmen relative
thereto. Some of the Watchmen call at the office each
hour during the night, for the purpose of reporting matters
of importance, which may have come to their knowledge
during the night, and of attending to calls for their ser-
One of the Watchmen remains at the office during the
day, for the purpose of attending to all needful calls.
Each Day-man spends fifty-two nights at the office during
the year, and each Watchman half as many days ; these
services are all rendered gratuitously.
The Keeper of the Lockup has the charge of the pris-
oners during the night, and of the cells, and also acts as
Officer of the Court. He is a faithful and an efficient
officer, and a humane man ; the latter qualification being
indispensable for an officer having the charge of confined
prisoners, aud persons who apply for lodgings in the cells.
In my humble opinion, the Roxbury Police, as a whole,
are as faithful and efficient a body of men as can be found
in any police organization. I have ever found them willing
to do their duty faithfully. As a body they have merited
my confidence, and I cheerfully award them their just
meed of praise.
The duties of the Police are of a various, and often of
an arduous and dangerous character, — requiring men
of energy, efficiency, coolness, and courage; not merely
physical courage, but a high moral courage, which fears
not to go straight forward in the path of duty, alike insen-
sible to flattery and to frowns. A man who lacks moral
courage can never be fitted for a good Police Officer, no
matter what may be his other qualifications.
CITY MARSHAL'S REPORT. 11
Policemen are expected to put up with insulting remarks
— this they are willing to do ; — and in the discharge of
their duties they are subjected to severe personal assaults,
often endangering their limbs, and even their lives, for
which offences our Courts inflict altogether too light penal-
ties. To inflict no more punishment for assaulting an
officer while in the discharge of his duty, than for a simple
assault and battery on a citizen, is absurd and unjust, and
has a tendency to encourage disturbances and breaches of
the peace, rendering the person of the citizen less secure.
I have been frequently importuned to recommend men
for situations on the Police. In their selection I have ever
had but one object in view, viz., to get the best men for the
situations. And in justice to myself, I am free to say that,
so far as I am concerned, in no single instance has an
applicant's political opinions had the slightest weight in his
appointment or rejection. I have ever considered the
Police Department too important an organization to be
trifled with in this respect.
If our citizens expect to maintain an efficient and trust-
worthy police department, Police Officers must be made
to feel that they are to be judged by their characters as
men and officers, and not by their political preferences. It
is no objection to a Police Officer that he has a political
opinion of his own, which he lets be known in a proper
and becoming manner at the ballot-box. But Police
Officers should refrain from taking part in political discus-
sions, or from mingling in political strifes, bearing in mind
that by so refraining, they can better preserve their use-
fulness and efficiency.
The citizens are all equally interested in the maintenance
of order and the suppression of crime, and a man's politics
gives him no superior claim to the protection of the laws,
or to the services of the Police ; for the highwayman knocks
his victim down, without asking him how he voted — the
burglar, when he breaks into a dwelling, does so without
12 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 2.
inquiring the politics of its owner — the incendiary, when he
sets fire to a building, cares not whether it is the property of
an old-line whig, or a new-made republican — the thief will
steal the property of our late President, just as quick as
he will that of the most radical abolitionist, — and the
drunken rowdy is just as ready to fight a union man, as a
republican or a democrat.
It is crime, and not politics, with which the Police have
to deal, and the preservation of peace and good order in
the community, is of vastly more importance than any
I can see no reason why the Police should not be as
independent of all political changes, as the Judges of our
Some apprehension was felt, in the early part of the
Summer, that the troubled state of our country might lead
to disturbances in our own city, which would endanger its
peace. But no such fears now exist; and it may well be
a subject of congratulation, that the close of the year has
brought with it so much of peace, quiet, and good order
here, while in many of the cities of our common country it
The number of Police is comparatively small for the
amount of territory to be looked after; and under other
circumstances, and a more prosperous state of the finances
of our city, I should very likely recommend an increase of
the number. But the city was never in a more quiet state
than at the present time ; and so long as this quiet con-
tinues, I see no good reason why we cannot get along with-
out adding to the number.
It has been my practice, whenever appearances seem to
Indicate the need, to put out a secret watch for the special
purpose of watching the movements of incendiaries and
burglars, more particularly the former ; by this means some
incendiaries have already been caught in the act, and I
have good reason for believing that others have been de-
CITY MARSHAL'S EEPORT. 13
terred, and much valuable property saved from fire, among
which are some of our public school-houses.
The most experienced and trustworthy men have been
selected for this watch, and they have conducted their
movements with the utmost secresy and caution.
The incendiary may not so much fear the regular watch,
whose movements can be seen ; but when he feels that there
are men on the watch for him, and knows not who they are,
or where to find them, he hesitates long before setting a fire.
And the burglar, when he finds men moving about in a
mysterious manner, not in the public streets alone, but in
the yards and premises of citizens, he feels that it is not
safe for him to operate, and seeks other localities for his
I am firmly of the opinion, that the employment of a se-
cret Police has been productive of the most satisfactory
results, not only in the saving of property and prevention
of crime, but in avoiding the necessity for a large perma-
nent increase of the regular force.
Before our Police Court, the rights of the poorest and
humblest are as much respected as those of the wealthy
and influential. I believe our Judge to be consciencious
in his decisions, and his leanings are ever on the side of
I must bear witness to the faithfulness and competency
of the Clerk of the Police Court, who is ever willing and
ready to perform his part. His labors during the past
year have been very much increased, owing to an increase
of about 36 per cent, of the civil cases.
The Police have had frequently to call in the aid of the
City Physician to dress the wounds of prisoners and oth-
ers brought to the Lockup. His services have ever been
rendered promptly and with skill.
My personal relations with the members of the Govern-
ment, during the past year, have been of a pleasing char-
acter; and my thanks are certainly due them, for the
14 CITY DOCUMENT. — No. 2.
cordial manner in which they have sustained me in my
efforts to preserve the peace and quiet of our city.
My thanks are also due to all who have in any way
aided me, or the Police Department, in the discharge of
BENJ. MERIAM, City Marshal.
Roxhury, Jan., 1862.