ROOSEVELT, Theodore (1858-1919), President. Typed letter signed (''Theodore Roosevelt''), as New York City police commissioner, to D. A. Ainsworth, New York, 16 May 1895. 1 page, 4to, crease repairs on verso. Matted and framed.
ROOSEVELT, Theodore (1858-1919), President. Typed letter signed ("Theodore Roosevelt"), as New York City police commissioner, to D. A. Ainsworth, New York, 16 May 1895. 1 page, 4to, crease repairs on verso. Matted and framed.
ROOSEVELT LAUDS "THE VERY HONORABLE AND MANLY" ACTION OF A LEGISLATOR in the battle over the reorganization of the NYPD. He thanks state legislator Ainsworth for the "very honorable and manly way in which you have acted about the so-called 'Supplemental Re-organization Bill.' Any man may on insufficient knowledge, support a measure, which on fuller information he deems unwise. But, only a brave and honorable man will frankly and openly revise his action, when he receives trustworthy information that the measure is not what it seemed to him to be. If we had for our good fortune possessed more men like yourself in the legislature, the task of the officials to whom it is entrusted the burden of reorganizing the Police Department, would be infinitely easier."
Although only two years in his post as president of the Police Department, T. R. had a major impact on the organization. The Department's official history calls him "an iron-willed leader of unimpeachable honesty, (who) brought a reforming zeal to the New York City Police Commission." He transformed the force from the corrupt, armed wing of Tammany Hall, into a professional, modern law-enforcement agency. Key to that was getting a re-organization bill through the legislature, one that would make merit the guiding criteria for selection and advancement of officers, rather than political favoritism. He also opened the ranks to women and ethnic and racial minorities, and installed telephones in station houses.