American Police, A History: 1945-2012: The Blue Parade, Vol. II
Thomas A. Reppetto
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Postwar America saw few changes to law enforcement in one hundred years. The little known San Francisco riot of August 1945 announced the violent events of the next half century. Most of the methods remained unchanged until the 1953 kidnapping of Bobby Greenlease in Kansas City, Missouri, that shook the country.
The 1960s were dominated by civil rights struggles and major riots. Watts, Detroit, and Newark demonstrated how local police departments were unable to handle the disorders that engulfed those cities.
The anti-war protest at the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention is important to this narrative since the author was in charge of convention security. The police department was split on how to deal with the protestors: a major revelation of this book. The author also turned down an offer to become part of a unit later known as the "plumbers" made to him personally by Attorney General John Mitchell.
The 1970s and '80s are the lowest points in modern American law enforcement until the emergence of "zero tolerance" by New York Commissioner William Bratton and Mayor Rudy Giuliani. 9/11 changes the landscape with the new focus on counter terror and new challenges to law enforcement.
Thomas Reppetto began as a police officer, rising to Commander of Detectives in the Chicago Police Department. In 1970 he received a PhD in public administration from the Harvard School of Government. He taught at the John Jay College of the City University of New York and became dean of graduate studies, then vice president. He is retired and lives in the New York City area.
Freeh, Louis, 188–90 Fritz, Will, 103 Fromme, Lynette “Squeaky”, 106 Fuhrman, Mark, 157–58 Gain, Charles, 141 Gambino, Carlo, 21 Ganci, Peter, 179 Gandhi, Mohandas, 68, 69, 151 Gans, Herbert, 146 Garcetti, Gil, 157 Garelik, Sanford, 117 Gates, Daryl, 36, 135, 145, 147, 154–56, 232, 233, 238 Gates, Henry Louis, 199 Genovese, Vito, 21, 55–56, 110 George, Henry, 143 Giacalone, Anthony, 211, 212 Gibbons, Tom, 57, 115–16 Gigante, Vincent “The Chin”, 110 Gilbert, Dan “Tubbo”, 22–24,
would have a very different opinion. About this time, a well-known journalist came into the restaurant to buy something, and my friend invited him to join us. In making conversation, I asked him how he thought the election would turn out. He looked at me as if it were 1865 and I had just asked, “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?” He quietly replied, “The election is over.” Chapter 6 Nixon’s Schemes Fail, Webster Saves the FBI If 1968 was a watershed year in American
name was often suggested for appointment as chief in a Northern city, nothing came of it. In the 1970s, the greatest sign of progress I personally noted in race relations occurred one day in Atlanta. There, another ex-cop and I joined a black police captain for lunch. We went to a truck stop with a Confederate flag hanging outside and motorcycles filling the parking lot. Inside were a bunch of well-muscled truck drivers and bike enthusiasts with plenty of tattoos. My initial thought was, “We’re
“zero tolerance,” as though nobody were allowed to do anything on the street. COMPSTAT provided the drama at police headquarters. At intervals of four to six weeks, an entire police borough command (comprising eight or ten precincts), led by the two-star chief in charge, along with his assistants, would be assembled in the command center, or “war room,” on the eighth floor of One Police Plaza, at 7:00 a.m. It had not been an hour of great activity at headquarters in years gone by. Commanders
A few experts conceded that they might have been wrong. Some kept silent; others went right on denying the obvious. In 1994 a prominent professor stated, “The police do not prevent crime. Experts know it, police know it, but the public does not know it.”*** As late as 1997 a distinguished panel submitted a report to the mayor of Philadelphia on how to improve his police force. In the entire one hundred fifty-seven pages, it did not once mention crime.+ Bratton’s unique ability was to make both