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SUBCOMMITTEE ON POLICE AND FIREMEN OF THE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
H. R. 7848
FEBRUARY 23, MARCH 11, 13, 25, 26, AND 27, 1926
WOMAN'S BUREAU, POLICE DEPARTMENT
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Tuesday, February 23, 1926. The subcommittee met at 10.30 o'clock a. m., Hon. Henry R. Rathbone (chairman) presiding.
(The committee thereupon proceeded to the consideration of H. R. 7848, which is as follows:)
[H. R. 7848, Sixty-ninth Congress, first session] A BILL To establish a Woman's Bureau in the Metropolitan police department of the
District of Columbia, and for other purposes
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there shall continue to be a woman's bureau in the Metropolitan police department of the District of Columbia, to consist of one director with the rank of assistant superintendent, who shall be directly responsible to the major and superintendent of police; one assistant director with the rank of captain ; one case supervisor; three patrol supervisors ; and ninety-four privates, six of whom shall be between the ages of thirty-five and forty-five. All officers and members of the woman's bureau shall be women, but the major and superintendent of police may, upon the request of the director, detail for service in the woman's bureau such number of men from the officers or members of the Metropolitan police force as the major and superintendent of police may deem advisable, and while so detailed such officers or members shall be subject to the direction and control of the director.
SEC. 2. (a) The Commissioners of the District of Columbia shall appoint to office and promote all officers and members of the woman's bureau. All officers and members of the woman's bureau, except the director and the assistant director, shall be appointed and promoted in accordance with the provisions of the act entitled "An act to regulate and improve the civil service of the United States," approved January 16, 1883, as amended, and the rules and regulations made in pursuance thereof, in the same manner as members of the classified civil service of the United States, except that (1) minimum preliminary requirements for appointment shall be graduation from a standard high school or the completion of at least fourteen college entrance units of study, and either not less than two years' responsible experience in systematic social service or educational work or not less than two years' responsible commercial experience involving public contact and tending to qualify the applicant to perform the duties of the position, and (2) promotion shall be made only upon recommenda tion of the director that conduct, intelligent attention to duty, and improvement through training in special courses justify such promotion
(b) The director shall be a trained social worker, asy evidenced by a certificate of graduation from a recognized school of social work, or the equivalent of such certificate from a college of the first class, and at least two years“ executive responsibility in work with individual delinqueạts.
(c) Execpt as otherwise provided in this act, the officers and members of the woman's bureau shall be subject to the same rules and regulations and to the same discipline as other officers and members of the Metropolitan police force in so far as such rules, regulations, and discipline are consistent with the special class of work performed by them, and shall be possessed of all the rights, powers, benefits, privileges, and immunities now possessed or which may hereafter be possessed by other officers and members of the Metropolitan police force, it being the intent of this act that the officers and members of the woman's bureau and other officers and members of the Metropolitan police force
shall, so far as practicable, and according to the period of service and classification, be upon the same footing. SEC. 3. The annual salaries of the officers and members of the woman's bureau shall be as follows: The director, the assistant director, and the prlvate shall receive the same salaries as other officers and privates of the Metropolitan police force with the same grade and rank; the case supervisor and the patrol supervisors shall receive salaries at the rate of $2,700 per annum. SEC. 4. (a) The functions of the woman's bureau shall be exclusively police functions and shall include preventive-protective work. The woman's bureau shall, in the exercise of such functions— (1) Deal with all matters relating to women and children coming into the custody of the police, whether offenders or victims of offenses, including cases of lost children, fugitives from parents or guardians, fugitives from institutions, females of whatever age, and wayward minors, provide for the care of such persons pending investigation, and take such steps authorized by law in connection therewith as may be deemed advisable, including steps to have instituted such proceedings as may be necessary to correct or eradicate conditions tending to cause or contribute to delinquency. (2) Cooperate with the proper officials in the prosecution of all cases of sex offenses involving women and children. All such cases coming to the attention of any officer or member of the Metropolitan police force shall be immediately reported to the woman's bureau and the officer or member reporting the case shall afford the fullest cooperation possible in the investigation and prosecution thereof. (3) Investigate cases involving the criminal exploitation of women and children. (4) Investigate neighborhood conditions, hotels, rooming houses, public dance halls, restaurants, cabarets, skating rinks, and other place of public assembly. (b) The woman's bureau shall exercise such other police functions, not inconsistent with the functions herein prescribed, as the commissioners or the major and superintendent of police may direct; but no officer or member of the woman's bureau shall be detailed for duty in any particular bureau, precinct, or police station, except that whenever the Commissioners of the District of Columbia declare that an emergency exists of such a character as to require the temporary services of policewomen, in any bureau, precinct, or police station designated by the commissioners, the major and superintendent of police may detail officers and members of the woman's bureau for duty in any such bureau, precinct, or police station. Policewomen so detailed shall be returned to duty in the woman's bureau upon termination of the emergency. (c) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to limit the authority of any officer or member of the Metropolitan police force not connected with the woman's bureau, except with respect to women and children who are in the custody of the police. SEC. 5. The women who are officers and members of the Metropolitan police force at the time of the passage of this act shall be continued in their respective grades as officers and members of the woman's bureau provided for in this act, except that (1) the lieutenant and sergeant in office at the time of the passage of this act shall, as director and assistant director, respectively, of the woman's bureau, hold the rank and receive the pay of an assistant superintendent and a captain, respectively, of the Metropolitan police force, and (2) the privates serving at the time of the passage of this act in the capacity of case supervisor and patrol supervisor, respectively, shall no longer be known as privates but shall be continued as case supervisor and patrol supervisor, respectively, as herein provided. SEC. 6. The Commissioners of the District of Columbia are authorized to appoint for duty in the woman's bureau, in accordance with the provisions of the act entitled “An act to regulate and improve the civil service of the United States,” approved January 16, 1883, as amended, and the rules and regulations made in pursuance thereof, in the same manner as members of the classified civil service of the United States, one office secretary, six stenographers, three typists, and such other assistants as may be provided for by the Congress from time to time. The compensation of such employees shall be fixed in accordance with the classification act of 1923.
Mr. RATHBONE. The committee will be in order. Mr. BLANToN. May I be recognized for a few minutes? Mr. RATHBONE. Go ahead. Mr. BLANTON. I have given careful study to this bill of our colleague, Mr. Gibson, and I am heartily in favor of it. At present there is a woman's police bureau here merely by sufferance of the commissioners; it is there because they will it. They could abolish it to-morrow by a stroke of the pen; they could enter an order to-day abolishing it. They might feel like letting it go on this year, and next year they could abolish it. The purpose of Mr. Gibson is to pass this bill establishing it by law, so that the commissioners could not abolish the woman's police bureau if they were to be in the frame of mind that a certain newspaper reporter was when one of these women police got after him. He didn't feel kindly toward them, and he has been trying to abolish their bureau ever since. That is the whole purpose of the bill. I want to say this in behalf of Mrs. Van Winkle, who is in charge of this bureau: The newspapers are playing up the idea that she wants a job; that this bill is designed to give her a job. Commissioner Rudolph, who is chairman of the board, told me out of his own mouth in his own office that he knows that Mrs. Van Winkle out of her own fortune has spent about $65,000 in building up this bureau. That is the kind of woman we are dealing with, not one hunting a job, but one who has the interest of humanity at heart. It is her bureau and it is her women police who apprehend every young girl who comes from our districts back in the States here to Washington with immoral intentions; and it is her bureau that gets in touch with their parents and assists them in getting these girls back home. That is the kind of work she is doing. I want to commend our colleague from Vermont for introducing this bill. I think he deserves great credit, and I want him to know there is at least one member of this committee who is backing him 100 per cent on it. Mr. REID. Will the gentleman yield? Mr. BLANTON. Certainly. Mr. REID. Is this the same bill you had up last session? Mr. BLANToN. Yes; the same one; and it has been up for some time in the Senate and House, both, and it ought to have been passed years ago. Mr. RATHBONE. The committee would be very glad to hear from Congressman Gibson, who introduced the bill. Mr. GIBSON. I believe I am a member of this subcommittee. Mr. RATHBONE. Yes, sir. Mr. GIBsoN. I prefer not to say anything at the present time concerming the bill. Mr. RATHBONE. You believe in the bill? Mr. Gibson. Oh, absolutely. Mr. RATHBONE. I want to call the attention of the committee—I presume it is in order for me to do so—to certain communications which have been received for and against the bill, if it is the pleasure of . committee that these be referred to or into in the I'eCOI’Ol. Mr. REID. State what they are, who is for and who is against.