Commissioner William P. Lawson

Monday, 27 May 2013 09:54 Written by  Published in Neutrality Read 6381 times
Rate this item
(1 Vote)

The standard chunk of Lorem Ipsum used since the 1500s is reproduced below for those interested. Sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 from "de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum" by Cicero are also reproduced in their exact original form, accompanied by English versions from the 1914 translation by H. Rackham.

Lawson

Commissioner William P. Lawson

1 black devider 800 8 72

 3 Dec 1937

One of Commissioner Lawson's first acts as Baltimore Police Commissioner was to correct an error that was made by his predecessor. Charles Gaither, Baltimore's first Solo Commissioner. Gaither refused to hire African American Police Officers. Lawson corrected that error on 3 Dec 1937 when he hired, Mrs. Violet Whyte, Baltimore's first African American member of the Police Department. On 3 Dec 1937 P/O Violet Whyte took over her duties as a policewoman, assigned initially to the Northwestern District. Commissioner Lawson, said in a statement outlining P/O Whyte's qualifications for the post, saying, "After her work in Northwestern is finished she would be available for duties elsewhere in the city."

1 black devider 800 8 72

4 Dec 1937

Mrs.Whyte became the first African American Member of the Baltimore Police Force, Assigned To Northwestern, her appointment came on 3 Dec 1937. This was nearly 10 years before baseball's Jackie Robinson would hit the fields for the Brooklyn Dodgers on 15 April 1947 and 17 years before the Baltimore Orioles would hire pitcher Jehosie Jay Heard on 24 April 1954. So while our Police department seemed behind in the times, they were really ahead of the times and would have been much quicker had it not been for Commissioner Charles D. Gaither. That said, we should also point out the commissioner did little without the Mayor's concent,.So Gaither's fault should be shared with Mayors William F. Broening and Howard W. Jackson. Once Gaiher was out of the way Commissioner William Lawson was able to step up and hire Mrs. Whyte, allowing her to go on to do outstanding work for the Baltimore Police Department and the community she served.

Appointee Lauded

Policewoman Whyte is "one of the best-prepared women among the colored people of Baltimore for the work she is to do," Commissioner Lawson said. He mentioned that she is the daughter of the late Rev. Daniel G. Hill, for many years pastor of Bethel AME (African Methodist Episcopal) Church. Lanvale Street and Druid Hill Avenue, and that among her brothers and sisters are a Vice-President of Howard University and an instructor at Lincoln University, an instructor at Princess Anne Academy, and another instructor in Southern College. Policewoman Whyte is 40, married and the mother of four children Her husband George Whyte, has been a principal in the public schools of Baltimore for the last ten years, she lives at 623 North Carrollton Avenue.

Various Posts Named
Among the posts she has held or now holds, which fit her for her job, Commissioner Lawson named the following: Teacher in the School of Christian Education. Member, advisory board, Civic League. President, Intercity Child Study Association, Teacher, Department of Parent Education. Executive secretary, Parent-Teacher Federation, Policewoman Whyte is an active member of the Negro State Republican League.

1 black devider 800 8 72

 Feb 16, 1938

LAWSON PLANS TO USE RETIRED POLICE FOR DUTY

The Sun (1837-1989); Feb 16, 1938; pg. 20

Lawson plans to use retired police for duty

Would utilize corps at large gatherings to spare regulars - reveals intentions at first annual dinner of former officers Baltimore’s active police force soon may be augmented by a corps of reserves formed from retired veterans of the department. This plan was revealed last night by William P Lawson, Commissioner of the Police Department, who spoke at the first annual stag dinner of the retired veteran police Association the Rennert Hotel. Over 100 former members of the department were in attendance. “I feel, and I think the public feels, that we are very much undermanned in the police department.” Commissioner Lawson said, “we have bigger problems to face that the ever had and no war men that we had in 1922.

Seems practical, he says

“It seems practical to me that we should form a corps out of the retired police.” Looking over those present, he said that he could pick at least 50 it would fit into this plan. The law gives them authority. Commissioner Lawson said, to call out retired police at a salary of three dollars a day. When necessary, the core would be used at large gatherings, thus keeping police districts from being undermanned on those occasions. The dinner was the occasion for recalling “old-timers.” Scheduled for 6:30 PM it did not get underway until an hour later because members were busy greeting old friends.

Mayor Praises System

Mayor Jackson, the first speaker praised the commissioner’s police pension system. Herbert R. O’Connor, Atty. Gen., commended members of the Association for having contributed toward the establishment of one of the finest police forces in the country. He said that, despite the fact that the police pension fund has required tech support, it should be retained. State Sen. Raymond E. Kennedy also spoke. Patrolman John J. Sweeney, formerly of the central district, was Toastmaster. Preceding the speeches. Charles Lenderking, a former police clerk and chairman for the evening, introduced members of the Association 80 years or older.

Those presented

Those presented were:

Sgt. Richard H. Carberry, 82
Detective John H. Mayer, 80
Sgt. Lewis Zehner, 84

Patrolman William S. Newman 81 - Sgt. Carberry, who was retired in 1922, also has two sons who been retired from the force. Between courses members wondered from table to table. After the speeches a program of songs and dances was presented by sons and daughters of members of the department. The police quartet sang an orchestra composed of members the police band played during the dinner.

Provided entertainment

Taking part in the entertainment were: Marie Baglioni. Geraldine Tudor, Emma McDonald, Evelyn Roberts, Jeanette Levin, Tony Andreone, Jeanette afford, buddy Paul and Alice E’s wood. Mrs. Cyrille Mitchell was the accompanist. Martin Link, introduced as the “Bowery boy,” to the song and dance specialty. The committee in charge of the dinner included Mr. Lenderking, patrolman Sweeney, Sgt. Herbert E. Robinson and Sgt. George J. Fritsch

 

1 black devider 800 8 72

LAWSON PLANS SPECIAL SQUAD TO BATTLE VICE

 5 July, 1938

Lawson will name his new group this week to attack prostitution, and gambling

20 members of forceful face medical tests on fitness for duty A special cleanup squad of police whose sole duty will be to ferret out vice and gambling in all forms will be appointed this week by police Commissioner William P Lawson. The Commissioner announced this yesterday [4 July, 1938], and at the same time disclosed that about 20 members of the department will appear shortly before medical examiners to determine their fitness to continue on duty.

The Commissioner statement came 24 hours after Jay. Bernard Wells, states attorney, had made public a report showing that vice is widespread in this city, and which indicated a close association between vice activities and some members of the Police Department. There was no definite evidence of police protection of vice was obtained, however, by the investigators who compiled the report for the American social hygiene Association. Copies of the report, which was made for a citizen committee headed by Dr. J. M. T. Finney, Senior, were given to Commissioner Lawson and Mr. Wells on Friday. Dr. Finney last night said he was delighted to hear that Commissioner Lawson had decided to set up a cleanup squad

“But the citizens committee are not reformers.” Dr. Finney said, “They are an interested group of citizens trying to cooperate with the police to make Baltimore a better place to live in. We are not after anybody’s scalp. A report was made in that report was submitted to the proper authorities.” Commissioner Lawson declined to say how large the new cleanup squad would be or how it would be recruited. He explained it would be under his direct supervision, and that the personnel would include some of the most efficient men in the department. The squad, he added, would be on duty 24 hours a day. Moreover, Commissioner Lawson insisted that the medical examinations should not be interrupted as a general shakeup in the department. Such examinations, he said, are held, periodically. Any vacancies caused by those examinations must be filled, he added, and this may cause some changes in assignments.

Commissioner Lawson disclosed that he is carefully studying the report submitted by the Finney committee. Although the copy of the report released by Mr. Wells abbreviated names and locations, the copies given to Mr. Wells, and Commissioner Lawson were accompanied by a key. This key gave the full names of nightclub, tavern, grill and saloon proprietors investigated; the names of their employees; what the employees earn in salaries and commissions; what many waitresses earn by “sitting” and soliciting; the names of prostitutes, their ages, addresses and other details about them, including places a visit; taxicab drivers names, Numbers and their interests in certain parts of the vice racket; perverts and where they practice; the names and addresses of hotels and apartments were prostitutes and perverts live or went temporary quarters, and many other details. Commissioner Lawson’s announcement was a surprise to executive officers of the police department. No mention of the creation of such a squad, it was said, was made by the Commissioner when he conferenced yesterday morning with the inspectors and captains at police headquarters. The move has been urged lately on several occasions by representatives of the criminal justice commission and others.

1 black devider 800 8 72

Donations

Donations help with web hosting, stamps and materials and the cost of keeping the website online. Thank you so much for helping BCPH. 

Paypal History Donations

1 black devider 800 8 72

POLICE INFORMATION

Copies of: Your Baltimore Police Department Class Photo, Pictures of our Officers, Vehicles, Equipment, Newspaper Articles relating to our department and or officers, Old Departmental Newsletters, Lookouts, Wanted Posters, and or Brochures. Information on Deceased Officers and anything that may help Preserve the History and Proud Traditions of this agency. Please contact Retired Detective Kenny Driscoll.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Devider color with motto

NOTICE

How to Dispose of Old Police Items

Please contact Det. Ret. Kenny Driscoll if you have any pictures of you or your family members and wish them remembered here on this tribute site to Honor the fine men and women who have served with Honor and Distinction at the Baltimore Police Department.

Anyone with information, photographs, memorabilia, or other "Baltimore City Police" items can contact Ret. Det. Kenny Driscoll at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. follow us on Twitter @BaltoPoliceHist or like us on Facebook or mail pics to 8138 Dundalk Ave. Baltimore Md. 21222

 

Copyright © 2002 Baltimore City Police History - Ret Det Kenny Driscoll 

Last modified on Thursday, 07 May 2020 01:39
Baltimore Police Historical Society

Baltimore Police Historical Society put the articles found on this site together using research from old newspapers, old books, old photographs, and old artifacts. We rely more heavily on information written at or near the time of the incidents or events that we are researching. We do not put too much weight on the more recently written historic information, or information that has been written with a biased opinion, or agenda. We will not tell our readers what to think about our past, as much as we will tell a story as it was written with the hopes of our readers forming their own opinions. We tell a story about what happened, and not why it happened. That said, ever so often we might come across a story that to us is so exciting we might express that enthusiasm in our writings. We hope the reader will still form an opinion of their own based on the information written at the time, and not information more recently written that has a so-called "filtered past" that has been twisted and pulled in the direction of a storyteller's personal agenda.