Detective agency. History of the US Police

Detective agency. History of the US Police

In 1887, George Welling, Superintendent of the New York Police, published his memoirs. They could be read: “I know too well the power of the union of politicians and policemen so widespread among us.

I tried to argue against this, but the matter ended in most cases for me catastrophically. Community management is not carried out in the United States in the same way as in the entire civilized world. It is based on general elections, which are conducted not based on the needs of the state, but on the basis of the goals of the two political parties …

Among politicians there are no honest big businessmen, no known journalists, scientists, or quietly working citizens. But here you can see the cruel faces of those who, with the help of force, do not feel remorse, pursue their own selfish goals …

Our prosecutors, lawyers and police officers in the main are appointed and supervised by the same elements, the clearance and punishment of which is entrusted to them on duty.

Employees in New York, of course, do not dare to touch those on whom their substance depends. Often our police judges are so illiterate that they can not even write simple words. Politicians force to release the prisoners convicted of guilt … We are fed up with the dominance of these predators. We would like to experience the power of gentlemen … ”

Welling’s words are valid not only in relation to New York and the New York police. They are fair to a greater or lesser extent for other states, cities and institutions of the country. Her thinking, responsible layers of society only began to realize that the American ideal of freedom has become a threat to all, because it also means the freedom of the political, economic and criminal world, which the world did not know in scale.

Only this can explain that the incorruptible private detective agency Allan Pinkerton from the middle of the XIX century not only gained unprecedented influence in the area between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, but also achieved world fame, and in the eyes of Europeans became the representative of the American criminal police.

The emblem of the company was the image of a wide-open eye and the words: “We never sleep.”

Pinkerton and his nine employees from the very beginning of their work proved the validity of this phrase. They were businessmen, but they were inept and zealous in their work. Fugitive criminals, they pursued and on the horses and on the roofs of the railway trains, rushing to the Wild Za’pad. They were on “you” with a revolver and quick-fire weapons, at the same time were connoisseurs of psychology, masters of the mask, were undaunted and brave. Over the years, the Pinkertons have become the most effective criminologists in North America.

After the Civil War, a powerful stream of re-settlers poured into the West of the USA in pursuit of gold and silver, in search of fertile lands and pastures. The West was indeed a “Wild West”

The settlers arrived in a country in which for decades there was only one law: the law of a strong and quickly shooting. Daily street robbery, attacks on mail coaches and railway trains, horse stealing, bank robbery and assassination. There were sheriffs, but their role was insignificant.

In this world, the Pinkertons deserved their laurels. They used the methods of their time. True, scammers from the underworld, they did not recognize. But they themselves penetrated the centers of large gangs, into the cities where their power reigned under various forms.

Allan Pinkerton created the first photo album of criminals in America. He and his sons laid the foundation for the most detailed special card of the thieves of jewelry and their concealers, which ever existed in the world. When in 1884 Alan Pinkerton passed away, his agency rose above the chaos of the American police as a reliable rock.

After 14 years, in 1898, visitors to the International Exhibition in San Luis showed an unusual attraction from London.

The man who demonstrated this attraction was called Ferrier, Sergeant Ferrier of Scotland Yard. No one subsequently could tell who in London had the idea of ​​sending a sergeant to the Mississippi.

In any case, the name Scotland – yard attracted a large number of spectators to the exhibition stand, whose walls were decorated with enlarged photos of fingerprints of some of the prisoners from British prisons. Ferrier tried, as he could, to explain the new phenomenon. The attraction was that everyone could leave their fingerprints on a commemorative card.

If the mission of Ferrier was to cause the interest of the American police to fingerprint, then all was in vain. No policeman, not even a police reporter, who was searching for sensations, did not find fingerprints interesting enough to seriously deal with it.

Almost no one knew that the American railway engineer Gilbert Thompson, back in 1882 in New Mexico, in order to avoid fakes, put the imprint of his big finger on the payrolls to the workers.

Almost no one knew that three years later, residents of Cincinnati offered to put a thumbprint on railway tickets and that a photographer from San Francisco, named Teybour, began to register Chinese settlers with their fingerprints.

Only reading books the Americans could recall that their famous compatriot Mark Twain wrote a book in 1882 entitled “Life on Miss ipsi”, where he told the story of one person named Karl Ritter, who also had a child during the Civil War The wars in America were killed by soldiers who had plundered the population. The killer left a bloody imprint of his thumb.

With this fingerprint, Ritter, in the guise of a man predicting fate on his hand, went in search of the murderer. He walked from camp to camp, predicting the fate of the soldiers on the arm, and studied the pattern of the li-nies on their thumbs. So he eventually found the killer. He explained his method this way: “… there is one in a man that never changes from cradle to grave – these are the lines of a thumb pad … There are no two people with exactly similar lines … Portraits do not suit, because that changing over with a make-up can make them useless … A fingerprint is the only reliable sign … it’s no longer disguised. “It remained a mystery, as Mark Twain discovered it. Was this an accident, inspiration, intuition of a writer?

True, some chiefs of the American police and prisons have tried since 1890 to bring some order in the general chaos of the police services, using the method of Bertillon. But they all complained about the complexity and inaccuracy of the Bertillon system. Here the same picture was observed as in South America and India, that is, if the anthropometric method was not implemented under the strict supervision of Bertillon itself, but fell into the hands of more experienced people, he caused many errors.

Yet, due to the conservatism of thinking, the final recognition of the fingerprint identification method came only in 1911.

However, even the best collections of fingerprints in New York, Chicago remained, in fact, useless until most of the police agencies had a file of fingerprints, until there was an all-embracing collaboration of the United States in the field of identification, and the whole the country was at the mercy of criminals.

It is characteristic that the American judges considered the fingerprinting of the detainees against their will as an encroachment on their personal freedom, protested against police institutions using fingerprinting, and thus played into the hands of criminals. This continued until 1928, until the State of New York adopted a law that recognized the legitimization of the fingerprinting of all those arrested.

In 1905, President of the United States Theodore Roosevelt attempted to create a central institution with personnel who have a criminological education. These criminalists were always at the disposal of the prosecutor. The department was named Bureau of Investigation.

Almost ten years – this office was a source of continuous disappointment. It seemed that in Washington it was impossible to find people who were not subject to corruption. And in the years after the First World War, the bureau almost died in its own swamp of corruption, trade posts and inactivity.

In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge appointed Harland Fiske Stone as Prosecutor General, who deserved the glory of “incorruptible”. Stone dismissed the corrupt Byrnes and put the head of the Bureau of Investigation of 29-year-old Edgar Hoover, a lawyer who was not at that time associated with any politician.

Determined to put things in order, he ordered Hoover to break all his ties with politicians and unconditionally dismiss all employees who were in the office thanks to such ties. It took only carefully checked lawyers and economists to take the robot. The foundation of the bureau was to become knowledge of the case and incorruptibility.

Hoover possessed not only sufficient determination, but also flexibility and patience, so that inside the political apparatus pave the way for new principles, such as knowledge and diligence, considered in that world as ridiculous remnants. Thanks to Congressional laws, the Bureau of Governance was allowed to intervene in the internal affairs of the states and became known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, abbreviated to the FBI.

The first concern of Edgar Hoover after his appointment to the post of head of the FBI was the identification of criminals. First and foremost, he finished with the scatteredness of the collections of fingerprints throughout the country. First, collections of fingerprints from federal prisons were transferred to Washington. It was not difficult.

It was more difficult to obtain the transfer of fingerprint collections from the police of individual cities and states that used dactyloscopy since 1911. For a long time it was not possible to overcome their hostility to any kind of centralization. Only in 1930 Guver received the official consent of the Congress to create a powerful, encompassing all United States Identification Bureau.

As a result, there was an identification service of this scale, which worked so well that it seemed to the European observers to be unrepeatable and unattainable. The United States became the greatest experimental field, the significance and practicality of the fingerprint received such confirmation, which the pioneers of this method of identification could not have dreamed of.

However, between 1924 and 1936, the United States was overwhelmed by a powerful wave of crime. What was happening in those years in the United States eclipsed everything that had ever experienced the Old and New Light in the rampant criminality.

To many European observers, the explanation of this phenomenon was not complicated. They attributed it for three reasons. The first reason they considered the exaggerated American liberalism, which resulted in a clearly expressed human egoism in the struggle for the rule of the laws of the jungle.

The second reason they saw in the so-called “dry law”, adopted in Amerik on January 16, 1920. The opinion that such a colossal country as the US can be disaccustomed to drinking alcoholic beverages through laws and regulations was naive and contrary to the natural weaknesses of a person. Therefore, a violation of this law could be expected in advance.

The ban provoked and created opportunities by violating the “dry law”, that is, through speculation and secret production of alcohol, to infect hundreds of thousands, millions and billions of dollars. Finally, they considered the third reason to be the social and economic upheaval that North America experienced after the First World War. It deepened the gap between the poor, the dispossessed, on the one hand, and the rich – with the other. The latter in the struggle for profit adhered to the principle of “grab as much as you can.”

Al Capone, Frank Costello, John Dillinger are the names of the ringleaders of gangsters, robbers, blackmailers, assassins, who gained some kind of world renown, which no criminal before knew. / At times it seemed that the political foundations of the United States were shaken and crime was ready to seize power in whole cities and regions of the country.

This rampant crime was worried by the public more than all reports of corruption in politics and police. This is what gave Hoover the opportunity to open a broad front for the FBI to combat crime. If in the fight against crime some weapon proved its special effectiveness, then it was fingerprinting and the identification service built on it.

In a country where everyone could be called by any name, where there were no identity cards and residence permits, there were no registration books in hotels where criminals enjoyed such freedom of movement as Europe did not know, fingerprints became the only reliable means of identification.

Never before dactyloscopy did not prove so undeniably its importance and its infallibility, until in January 1934 there was an incident that caused a number of dramatic events.

After the murder of the famous gangster Clutas, in accordance with the rules of the criminal police, it was necessary to remove the fingerprints of the killer to make sure which criminal can be deleted from the list of living. Clutas’s fingers did not print the capillary lines.

As early as the beginning of the 20th century, when the fingerprint method pierced its way into the European police, its opponents often advanced the argument that, they say, criminals can change capillary lines or destroy them on their fingers.

But these assumptions were soon forgotten, because European criminals did not take any steps in this direction. Was it not in these days of 1934 in Chicago that a terrible, irresistible threat over dactyloscopy was hanging? And just now, when no one in the world doubted the reliability of the fingerprint method?

Does not the case with Clutas prove that fingerprints can really be changed? Or are there people who, contrary to all expectations, do not have capillary lines?

The incident was immediately reported to Washington. They put Hoover in the know-how, who immediately ordered the dermatologists in Chicago to carefully examine the fingers of the murdered man.

Two days later the results were ready. They caused a great deal of relief. Jack Clutus instructed an unknown doctor to remove the skin from his fingers to avoid identification in case he was arrested again. However, on the new skin, formed on the site of wounds, old capillary lines began to form. The threat, which seemed, at first glance, to destroy the entire building of fingerprinting, was prevented.

Edgar Hoover managed to accomplish, with great scope, what João Vucetich dreamed of in Argentina and because of what his life so tragically developed.

Due to the efforts of Hoover and the understanding that many departments have shown, amazing results have been achieved: from the total number of cards with fingerprints 141231713 at least 112096777 were not to criminals, but to honest citizens with an impeccable reputation permanently or temporarily residing in the USA.

This, although not yet all-common, but incredibly large file system allows you to use it not only for the narrow purposes of identifying a criminal who had previous convictions. It not only facilitates the identification of fingerprints found at the scene of the crime, but has proved to be an invaluable auxiliary tool for identifying victims of accidents, disasters and war.

But overcoming prejudices, as history has shown, is a long time affair. However, whenever this does not happen, the main general registration of the entire population of countries and continents will be fingerprinting.

Detective agency. History of the US Police – 2018

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