Kansas City Police Department

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Object Type: 
Pamphlets

The Officers of the Society the Society for Suppression of Commercialized Vice's platform against vice and prostitution. The article covers the clean-up efforts taken to counter vice and how law enforcement is cracking down on all law violators. Document contains a reprint of a letter and the text of the Abatement Act. The article concludes with the attempts of the Society to push the Abatement Act into law.

Inaugural Address of Hon. Bryce B. Smith
Object Type: 
Transcriptions

Inaugural address of Bryce B. Smith, mayor of Kansas City, Missouri delivered on April 10, 1930 in the Council Chamber of City Hall. Smith addresses the current challenges of corruption and how his administration will regain the trust of the public through his political agenda. Smith encourages a community-wide effort through cooperation among public officials to best serve the public.

Object Type: 
Photographs

Portrait of Jean Helier posed behind glass filled with bullet holes. Photo is autographed as "To N. Emerson Paton, Kansas City's Livest Business Assn. Secretary from Hean Helier, Secretary to Otto P. Higgins, 5-20-38". Photo is credited to the Kansas City Police Department.

Object Type: 
Physical Objects

Navy blue police buttoned-down uniform worn by a captain of the Metropolitan Police Department of Kansas City, Missouri. The outfit features a captain's police cap with black detail, collar letters "K.C.P.D.", three black stripes at the wrists, emblem buttons, and pleated pants with pastel blue stripes at the side.

Object Type: 
Leaflets
Photographs
Cartoons (Commentary)

Unknown Republican publication without volume or issue identification with excerpts from several St. Louis newspapers about the corrupting influence of Tom Pendergast in Kansas City, including the accusation that he chose the Democratic nominee for Governor. Crimes committed by Johnny Lazia and others are also described. The last page is titled "Pendergast Gang is Strictly 'Business'" [this portion could not be scanned due to adhesive].

Object Type: 
Clippings
Cartoons (Commentary)

Clipping from the Kansas City Star on February 15, 1931 showing Tom Pendergast, Joe Shannon, and Cas Welch enjoying Home Rule of the Kansas City Police Deparment while trading police action figures. The spectator comments, "What more do they want?"

Object Type: 
Pamphlets

Report published by the Kansas City Society for Suppression of Commercialized Vice describing the actions of the society to combat local vice and to stay "the invidious and deathly march of human lechery and moral degeneracy in our midst." The group participated in the formation of the Injunction and Abatement bill through which "houses of prostitution are defined as nuisances," in taking action against Annie Chambers' "immoral resort," and in fighting "the allied evils of the liquor and drug habits" with the help of of local police and judges.

Object Type: 
Books

Report prepared by the Kansas City Public Service Institute, under the direction of the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, surveying the Kansas City Police Department.

Object Type: 
Correspondence

Form letter from Joseph B. Shannon to the people of Kansas City in which Shannon provides a list and figures documenting the rise of crime and police brutality in Kansas City from 1921-24 with the police department controlled by Matthew Foster and The Kansas City Star. In the postscript, Shannon alleges that policemen were ordered to "pay monthly political assessments" and states that the past "four years of police administration cost the taxpayers of Kansas City $5,232,691.74."

Object Type: 
Broadsides

Three excerpts from Republican sources that document police brutality present in the Kansas City Police Department. Excerpts include an editorial from the Kansas City Star from August 30, 1921, a court opinion by Judge Thad B. Landon, and a statement from Attorney R. R. Brewster published on September 4, 1921. This broadside was produced to discourage Kansas Citians from voting for Kansas City Police Commissioner Matthew Foster, the Republican candidate for mayor.

Object Type: 
Clippings
Photographs

Clipping from the Kansas City Post on February 26, 1925 showing three Kansas City policemen involved in a heist. The caption states, "Confessions they stole eleven cases of whisky from a $200,000 cache they found in a garage at 7112 East Fifteenth street, were made today by these three policemen. Their signed statements involve Joseph R. Gant, accused wrecker of the Centropolis bank. They are (1) Ira H. Miller, police chauffeur; (2) Lawrence Bowers, patrolman; (3) William F. Langford, patrolman."

Object Type: 
Clippings

Clipping from the Kansas City Journal-Post that criticizes both candidates for mayor: Matthew Foster and Frank H. Cromwell. Foster, a Republican backed by the Kansas City Star, is described as being overzealous in his pursuit as Kansas City police commissioner to "stamp out vice and lawlessness". Cromwell, on the other hand, is accused of being backed by the Kansas City Democratic machine. The Journal-Post urges Kansas City to vote and make their voice heard.

Pages

KANSAS CITY PUBLIC LIBRARY | DIGITAL HISTORY
Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict,1855-1865.
The Pendergast Years, Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression.
KC History, Missouri Valley Special Collections at the Kansas City Public Library.