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3 1223 03483 9598
OCT 2 7 1958
MESSAGE OF COMMISSION PRESIDENT
Since our appointment as Police Commissioners, we have
observed at first hand the manner in which members of the
Police Department carry out their assigned duties in protecting
the lives and property of the citizens of San Francisco.
We are proud to be associated with such a fine law en-
forcement group, and on behalf of Commissioners McKinnon,
Mellon and myself, I want to express our gratitude to ine
officers and men of the San Fmn. iscn Police Department for
their unselfish devotion to dm
PAUL A. BISSINGER
President, Police Commission
FROM THE EXPERIENCES OF THE PAST
THE ANALYSIS OF THE PRESENT
THE HOPE OF THE FUTURE
George Christopher, MAYOR
City and County of San Francisco
This Annual Report submitted pursuant to Section 19(e) of the
Charter of the City and County of San Francisco marks a year
of unusual police progress in this city.
Our crime picture and motor vehicle accident analysis clearly
indicate that San Francisco has again taken a position in the
forward ranks of Police Departments everywhere.
This report is submitted with a deep sense of gratitude and pride
in the accomplishments of the members of this Department with-
out whose undying dedication to service and devotion to duty,
this record could not have been achieved.
FRANCIS J. AHERN
Chief of Police
COURTESY OF SOCIETY OF CALIFORNIA PIONEERS
Early San Francisco was more village than city; a seaport
that lay sprawling on the barren stretches of sand and rock,
surrounded on three sides by water, and known at this time
as Yerba Buena. Washington A. Bartlett, San Francisco's first
Alcalde, issued an official edict declaring that henceforth from
January 30, 1847, Yerba Buena would be known as San
COURTESY OF SAN FRANCISCO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Today, with a total land area of 44.82 square miles and a
population of 814,000, San Francisco is the financial, insurance
and recreational capital, and traditional leading world trade
center of the West. As northern California's population and
industrial development continue their amazing growth, San
Francisco has assumed, more strongly than ever, the key role
in the promotion of the international commerce of the Western
A HISTORICAL SUMMARY
SAN FRANCISCO POLICE DEPARTMENT
The San Francisco Police Department has built and
maintained a reputation that is world renowned — • re-
garded as second to none in the field of law enforcement.
Such a reputation is based on a department that has
grown from a mere handful of untrained men to a virtual
army of qualified experts; a department that knows not
only what has to be done, but how to do it efficiently and
Such a reputation is a living tribute to the outstanding
quality and character of the department's administrators
and members, past and present.
How then, or where does this reputation begin? To determine the origin it is necessary that we
examine the historical background of San Francisco and search out the embryonic stages of develop-
California history had its beginning in 1769 during the period of Spanish military control, and the
colonization by Father Junipero Serra and a small band of dedicated missionaries.
In fact, many of the State's outstanding cities had been founded in the well knit plans for establishing
Missions throughout the State; from the first. The Mission San Diego, founded in 1769 to the last,
The Mission San Francisco Solano, founded in 1823. Each Mission was a cultural center, but one day's
journey from the next, established at sites selected for their beauty and accessibility.
The hospitaliy of the Missions was widely known, for a traveler was well received and welcomed to
remain at his pleasure — never being asked from where he came nor his destination. Their hospitality
was as infinite as the Word they spread.
Mexico, embroiled in her own battle for independence, had revolted against and thrown off the yoke
of Spanish rule. In 1822, possession of California was taken by a massed maneuver of Mexican military
and naval forces concentrated at the Port of Monterey.
«MtlHtllilillliMl Jill ;. ^
With the unsteadiness of a new government, Mexican control of California became more doubtful as
the internal struggling of the Mexican government spread.
In. 1846, a small band of American patriots, headed by Captain Merritt, stepped boldly through the
frantic grasps of France and England and raised the flag of the "California Republic" at Sonoma.
On July 7 of the same year, formal possession of California in the name of the United States was taken
by Commodore Sloat with the raising of "Old Glory" at Monterey. Two days thereafter, the incident
was repeated in Portsmouth Square at San Francisco by Captain John Montgomery and 70 sailors and
September 9, 1850 saw the culmination of a struggle for freedom and equality as the United States
Congress admitted into the Union the 31st. State — California.
SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY
The beginning of what is now San Francisco was just being founded by the Spaniards when the
Liberty Bell pealed the birth of our nation. Colonel Juan Bautista de Anza selected the sites for the
Presidio and Mission in March of 1776.
Early San Francisco was more village than city; a seaport that lay sprawling on the barren stretches of
sand and rock, surrounded on three sides by water, and known at this time as Verba Buena.
On August 6, 1846 we find San Francisco's first peace officer as Navy Lieutenant Washington A.
Bartlett was appointed Alcalde. On September 15, 1846, Bartlett's appointment was confirmed by pop-
ular election. It was Bartlett who authored the edict declaring that henceforth from January 30, 1847,
Verba Buena would be known as San Francisco.
The first semblence of an organized department can be found in 1847 under the leadership of George
Hyde. Hyde had been instructed to hold an election for the selection of six men to assist him in main-
taining law and order in San Francisco, whose population then stood at 459.
From this point on, the City of San Francisco and its law enforcement agency began their fabulous
growth, a growth that is unparalleled in historical annals of cities or nations.
On January 24, 1848 when gold was discovered in Sutter's millrace on the American River, and the
evidence reached San Francisco's nearly 900 inhabitants, Sam Brannan, publisher of the town's news-
paper, "The Star", led the first gold rush which left only seven inhabitants behind.
In 1849, the population had swelled to 5,000. The irresistible urge to find "golden fortunes" in Cali-
fornia had spread to all corners of the globe — and by 1850, San Francisco's population had reached
the phenomenal sum of 30,000.
The thousands of ships entering the port brought with them the adventure and fortune seekers, the
deserters, and other cast-offs seeking to ply their nefarious trades. Such were the frequenters of the
now famous area known as the Barbary Coast. The city proper lay within the area bounded by Mont-
gomery Street, Market Street, Broadway and Van Ness Avenue.
This great surge of unsavory characters into the city gave birth to a reckless and apparent lawless era
which knew and feared such infamous gangs as the "Hounds", roaming the city wantonly destroying
both life and property.
The small core of law enforcers valiantly and desperately
attempted to restrain these depredations. However, being
many times outnumbered, they obviously lost ground.
Evidencing San Francisco's noted spirit of unanimity, the
citizens rallied to assist in ridding the city of this un-
With the adoption of a City Charter in 1850, and the
election of Colonel John W. Geary as San Francisco's
first Mayor, the community rewarded the determination
of the seven constables by increasing the force to 12 men.
On May I, 1850, Malachi Fallon, former keeper of the
New York "Tombs" was appointed the first City Marshal.
On July 26, 1851, following the rampages of the vigil-
antes in their assumption of police functions, the force
was increased to 57 men largely through the demands of
Robert G. Crozier who had succeeded Marshal Fallon as
head of the department. On June 18 of this same year, we
find San Francisco's first completely recorded complaint.
The year 1856 witnesses the abolition of the office of
"City Marshal" as James F. Curtis, one-time leader of the
vigilantes, was installed as San Francisco's first Chief of
Police. At this same time under the Consolidation Act,
the City and County of San Francisco were made one
and the same, with a police force that had been increased
to some 150 men.
The following years were marked by the evolution of the
department from a rather loose-knit unit to an efficient,
well disciplined, semi-military force.
Martin J. Burke was Chief from 1858 to 1865. It was
during Burke's tenure that San Francisco became the
first department in the nation to use photography in
police work. Patrick Crowley followed Burke as Chief
until 1874, when Theodore Cockrill was elected to the
office. Henry H. Ellis, a brilliant detective, became Chief
During the bloody Kearney race riots, John Kirkpatrick
was Chief. In 1878, at a strength of 400 men, the San
Francisco Police Department became the largest single
police force in the West. In April of this same year, the
office of Chief of Police ceased to be elective and became
In 1880, former Chief Crowley again filled the Chief's
position. Isaiah W. Lees, internationally famous for his
detective ability, became Chief in 1879. On February 13,
1900, William P. Sullivan was appointed Chief, followed
in 1901 by George Wittman.
With the turn of a new century, San Francisco was well
on the way to her unrivaled pinnacle as the financial,
cultural and recreational mecca of the world.
Jeremiah Dinan was Chief from 1905 to 1907. It was
during his administration that the police car made its
first appearance in San Francisco in the year 1906.
At 5:12 AM on April 18, 1906, San Francisco and its
350,000 population were rocked by an earthquake that
registered an 8.25 Richter magnitude and lasted for a
terrifying 48 seconds. After a 10 second pause, a second
and equally devastating shock followed reducing build-
ings to mere piles of brick, granite and twisted steel ; and
bursting gas and water mains.
It was only through the quick acting of Chief Dinan
that the police records were salvaged and protected in
Portsmouth Square. When an occasional spark ignited
the records, the fires were put out with confiscated beer
— there being no water available due to the damage of
The damage caused by the earthquake was more than
matched by the uncontrolled fires which raged for three
days and nights. At the end of this holocaust, there were
452 dead, 1500 injured and 265,000 homeless — property
damage was conservatively placed between $350,000,000
On September 13, 1907, former Police Commissioner
William J. Bigg)' was appointed Chief. Biggy's death
remains one of the unsolved cases of the early century.
Returning by launch from a meeting with Commissioner
Hugo Kiel in Belvedere on the night of November 30,
1908, Biggy suddenly and mysteriously disappeared.
On December 26, 1908, Jesse B. Cook was selected to fill
the position made vacant by Biggy's death. John B.
Martin was appointed Chief following the resignation of
Cook in January of 1910. In October of that same year
following Martin's resignation. Captain of Inspectors
John Seymour was appointed Chief.
On June 15, 1911, following a period of political unrest,
David A. White was selected as Seymour's successor.
Unfortunately, Seymour was not officially notified of
White's appointment; Thus for more than a week the
department enjoyed the leadership of two Chiefs of
Chief White, a firm believer in complete and adequate
records keeping, is generally recognized as the father of
the department's modern records system. It was also
White who ordered the closing of the world notorious
Barbary Coast in 1915.
In 1915, San Francisco was host to the internationally
attended Panama-Pacific Exposition. In this same year,
by 3 Charter amendment, Katherine O'Connor, Kathlyn
Sullivan and Katherine Eisenhart, later to be known as
"The Three Kates", became the first Women Protective
Officers of San Francisco working under the Captain of
Daniel J. O'Brien, trusted aide to White, was appointed
Chief in 1920. One of the founders of the California
Peace Officers Association and a constant advocator of
a Federal clearing house of crime. Chief O'Brien person-
ally assisted in the formation of the present FBI con-
tributing over 200,000 photographs and fingerprints
from the criminal files of San Francisco.
Chief O'Brien, realizing the importance of physical and
routine police training, inaugurated another national first
with the establishment of the Department Police Acad-
emy in 1923.
William J. Quinn, Chief Clerk to O'Brien, was appointed
Chief following the retirement of Chief O'Brien in Janu-
ary of 1928. It was during Chief Quinn's administration
that radio was introduced to police work and the teletype
system installed. His administration also witnessed the
drastic Communistic engineered waterfront strike of
1934. The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, the largest
in the world, and the Golden Gate Bridge, the largest
single span in the world, were opened to traffic in 1936
and 1937 respectively. Chief Quinn's tenure in office is
exceeded only by former Chief Crowley who served a
record 22 years.
Charles W. Dullea, well known for his accomplishments
as an Inspector was Chief from February 15, 1940 until
October of 1947. Dullea won wide acclaim for his effec-
tive administration during World War II and the polic-
ing of the World Peace Conference in 1945. During 1945,
at the request of the Federal Government, commissioned
officers of the United States Military Services were
trained in police organization and administration at the
San Francisco Police Academy.
Dullea was succeeded briefly by his deputy Chief, Michael
Riordan. On January 13, 1948, Michael Mitchell was
appointed Chief. Mitchell was followed by Michael Gaf-
fey from January 2, 1951 until November 16, 1955,
during which time the Tenth Commemorative Sessions
of the United Nations were held in San Francisco. George
Healy was Chief for three months following the retire-
ment of Chief Gafifey.
On February 1, 1956, Francis J. Ahern was appointed
Chief of Police.
Today the San Francisco Police Department numbers
1704 sworn members and 103 civilian employees; 172
automobiles, 9 wagons, 3 trucks, 1 van, 79 3-wheel motor-
cycles and 85 two-wheel motorcycles.
A YDLWG DEPARTMENT
The success of this department in its major areas of responsibility is due in no small
measure to the fact that we have a young, active, virile patrol force; led and guided
by men imbued with adequately sound and proven principles of leadership and
APPROXIMATELY ONE THOUSAND OF THE THIRTEEN HUNDRED
EIGHTEEN PATROLMEN HAVE LESS THAN TEN YEARS SERVICE.
OLD HALL OF JUSTICE
PRESENT HALL OF JUSTICE
FUTURE HALL OF JUSTICE
San Franciscans will have in their new Hall of Justice, a modern, functional structure
of which they may indeed be proud ; a facility which will bring together under one roof
all functions related to law enforcement. This longtime need is being made possible
by the $19,475,000 Bond Issue which was given overwhelming approval by the
voters in 1956.
The new Hall of Justice will house the headquarters of the Police Department, to-
gether with the Police Academy, City Prison and the Southern Police Station; five
Municipal criminal courts; three Municipal traffic courts; four Superior criminal
courts; Sheriff's county detentention jail; entire facilities for the District Attorney;
criminal division of the County Clerk; and the Disaster Council and Corps.
Situated on a 7.9 acre site which has easy access to the Freeway, the building will
have a gross area of 702,597 square feet. Adequate parking space for police vehicles,
as well as public autos, is to be provided. As an added convenience, a heliport is to be
located on the building roof.
Scheduled completion date for the new Hall of Justice is January, 1961. However, if
no unusual difficulties arise, it might be completed sooner.
The key to future police success will in no small measure depend on the selection and
training process. Members of the Academy Staff conduct a thorough and complete
background investigation of all eligible candidates certified for appointment by the
Civil Service Commission following comprehensive mental, physical and athletic
Any reasonable doubt as to the worth of a particular candidate is resolved against
the candidate and in favor of the police service.
The Police Academy presently presents one of the most extensive recruit training
programs to be found anywhere. The fourteen week course is unparalleled in its
scope and depth. Combined with the latest technological advances in police science,
today's recruit is required to actually apply such principles in the field during his
course of training.
These modern concepts are presented by chosen experts within the Department, the
District Attorney, the Adult Authority, the Probation Department, the Secret Service,
the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Juvenile Court, traffic safety experts, sociolo-
gists, psychiatrists, and other educators whose fields of study adapt themselves to the
practical application of police science and tactics.
In the final analysis, the end result of all police activity other than traffic, must be
judged by the presence or absence of crime.
San Francisco's success in the face of a tremendous upsurge of crime throughout the
State and the Nation is indicative of the improved methods of operation coupled
with the success of a public education program which covers the entire population
from the child in kindergarten to the adult PTA members and the membership of the
various fraternal, service and religious clubs or groups.
Qualified speakers have been provided for these groups to set forth clearly and
graphically the crime problems confronting the community.
CRIME PREVENTION AND REPRESSION MUST BECOME EVERBODY'S
The patrol force has truly been called the backbone of the Police Department. On
duty twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week in all corners of the city, this thin
blue line of defense against the human predator to whom your life, your property
and your community mores present only a challenge to his cunning, ingenuity, force
or violence. Upon the success of the patrol force will rest primarily the success of the
entire Police Department.
The Bureau of Inspectors is responsible for the continued investigation of major
crimes except those specifically assigned to tbe Juvenile Bureau.
A single case may take months of intensive, thorough painstaking investigation during
which time every source of possible information is completely explored. Apprehension
of the perpetrator docs not end the case. Many times it constitutes only a beginning.
Property must be recovered — evidence and testimony for Court Trial must be pre-
pared and presented.
The Crime Laboratory and its ofTspring, the Mobile Crime Lab, present the oppor-
tunity to examine physical traces and clues left by the perpetrator at the scene of a
crime. The Mobile Crime Lab is completely equipped with evidence gathering equip-
ment and is staffed by specially trained physical evidence technicians. It is "on call"
twenty-four hours a day to assist the investigator in the investigation of crimes. Its
presence lends mute testimony to the modern concept that no stone be left unturned
to apprehend the perpetrator of a crime.
This Bureau, staffed by experts in the field of juvenile activity, delinquent and non-
delinquent, has made significant inroads into what nationally has become a topic of
In the years 1952-57 inclusive, major crimes committed by juveniles have risen
FIFTY-FIVE percent nationally.
In the same period SAN FRANCISCO has experienced a THIRTY-ONE percent
We have joined with all agencies concerned with youth on a cooperative basis. Each
such agency freely discusses its problems and mutual solutions are placed in effect.
This unit is concerned with the repression of organized
crime. Its methods of operation consist primarily in the
gathering, compilation and exchange of information with
similar units to the end that persons engaged in organized
crime will not be allowed to gain a toehold for the future
operation of their various "rackets."
<2 Q. a
C ?2 «
Chief of Police
Deputy Chief of PoHce
Chief of Inspectors
Director of Traffic
Captain of Inspectors
Captain of Traffic
Director of Personnel
Director of Criminal Information
Director of Special Services
Inspector of Junior Traffic 1
Inspector of Motor Vehicles 1
Women Protective Officers 9
Secretary - Police Commission 1
Property Clerk 1
TOTAL STRENGTH 1714
3-Wheel Motorcycles 79
2-Wheel Motorcycles 85
JVATIDML CHIME TRENDS
A NEW HIGH IN CRIME
1956 was the first year in which total crimes exceeded the
2.5 million mark.
1957 shows an additional half million major crimes above
Crime nationally has increased almost four times as fast as
population since 1950.
In spite of the fact that additional duties have been im-
posed upon this department, we were able not alone to combat
this national rise, but in most cases to actually show a reduction
in major offenses. This department has done everything within
its power to cut crime to the absolute minimum.
I i I I I I I I
MURDER — NON-NEGLIGENT
100 - 150 - 200
1 I I I I i
- 300 - 600 - 900 - 1200
I I I i I
J I L
J I I
- 300 - 600 - 900 - 1200
I I f I I I I I i
J I I I I I L
1500 - 3000 - 4500 - 6000
-J I \ \ \ \ L-
4000 - 8000 - 12000 - 16000
1500 - 3000 - 4500
I I I
I I I I
J \ L
- 24 -
PART I — ACTUAL OFFENSES