Chicago Tribune

Committee of Fifteen Calls Graft Only Bar to a Clean City.

Chicago is making a winning fight against vice conditions, according to Samuel P. Thrasher, superintendent of the Committee of Fifteen, who submitted his annual report yesterday.

Chief Schuettler and his deputies were commended for their efforts to suppress places of evil repute and to rid the police department of grafters.

Mrs. Joseph T. Bowen, Dr. W. A. Evans, First Deputy Funkhouser and Judge Harry Olsen addressed the committee.

Mr. Thrasher said that when the committee began work four years ago there were 20,000 immoral women in Chicago whose average income was $10 a day. This meant, he said, that in a year the men of the city spent $36,500,000 on vice.

Mr. Thrasher referred to the "bomb" exploded by State’s Attorney Hoyn in his investigation of protection afforded to vice by the police department.

Predicts More Exposures

"If I am not misinformed," he said, "there are other bombs that will be exploded in the near future."

Mr. Thrasher answered the criticism that the abolition of the "redlight" district had driven immoral women into respectable neighborhoods throughout the city.

"It has been said that nice sections are being ruined by the influx of immoral women," he said. "My answer is that if it were all true, it would not change the attitude of the committee one iota. The poorer neighborhoods that are infested with vicious resorts are as ‘respectable’ in many respects as the districts referred to as reputable. But the criticism is not true. Generally speaking, there is no more vice in the residential districts than in the days when segregated vice was rampant."

War Imperils Children

Mr. Thrasher said that 375 notices had been served upon property owners who rented houses for immoral purposes and of these 310 had rid their property of undesirable tenants.

"Ten percent of the men on the police force," Mr. Thrasher said, "are inherently crooked and ought to be driven from the department. Inefficiency and corruption in the department have proved a hindrance to the work of the committee.

"I believe a real effort is now being made by Chief Schuettler, First Deputy Westbrook, and Second Deputy Funkhouser to purge the department of these parasites. Distinct progress has been achieved. The time will come when the honest policementwill not have to bear the odium which this crooked minority imposes on them."

"Perhaps 10 per cent of the police department is crooked," said First Deputy Westbrook, "but for every crooked policeman there are 500 crooked citizens. If the citizens could be aroused to a sense of their own crookedness it would be an easy matter to control the police."

Mrs. Bowen spoke on a greater need fro restraint of juvenile delinquency because of war conditions.


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