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HomeHistory - 1940s

History - 1940s

1940:  Through E. W. Puttkammer of the Police Committee, the Chicago Crime Commission helped plan a new code department for the State, the Department of Public Safety, and supported the Governor’s bill to that effect. The bill was passed and the new department was created in 1941. The Commission also was active in the fight against Frank (The Enforcer) Nitti, in his control of bookie establishments and his efforts to control the Bar Tenders Union.
1942: The Commission exposed inefficiency and political manipulation of the Civil Service Commission. It demanded the resignation of officials and stated that four policemen should have been discharged for dereliction of duty; the policemen were suspended.
1943: The State's Attorney’s office assistance in conducting raids on gambling establishments was secured after Cook County Highway Police staged fake raids. Grand Jury action was requested when the gambling equipment seized in those raids disappeared from the custody of the Highway Police. The Grand Jury was appointed, and voted numerous indictments of police and gambling figures in Cook County and Chicago. Three convictions were finally obtained. The Commission exposed sale of police reports by officers in the Accident Prevention Division of the Chicago Police Department. The Police and Sheriff’s Committee met with the Mayor on this matter and reports were subsequently made available.

Commission investigations revealed that liquor licenses were issued to persons with criminal records and that taverns were managed by ex-convicts in violation of the Tavern Code. As the result of the Commission’s 1943 efforts and the Grand Jury's action on gambling disclosures, seven police captains were discharged by the Civil Service Commission.

Commission investigations identified irregularities in the handling of deceased persons by the police. Conferences with the Coroner, Public Administrator’s Office, and police officials led to the establishment of procedures to insure the proper handling of deceased persons and the disposal of the deceased's property.