Chicago Tribune

Schuettler Begins New Form of Control of Social Evil.

Without public announcement and without any change in laws or ordinances, Chief Schuettler is establishing what for Chicago is an entirely new form of control of the social evil.

The first steps toward putting it into effect have been taken. The final regulation of the police machine to the new scheme alone requires time. But even the department does not suspect the full extent of the plan, for Schuettler himself is loath to discuss its final scope. He first wants to watch it "work out," he is confident of the result.

In Europe his plan would be recognized as that of creating a "morals police" distinct and separate from the regular police force. The municipal code does not permit such a step here, but that approximately describes what Schuettler has begun to put into effect up to the limit allowed by the ordinances.

Civilian in Control

He has done it by placing under the exclusive direction and control of a civilian — as distinguished from the "active force" — the biggest detachment of men ever assigned to combat the social evil in Chicago. The squad may be increased or decreased as developments require. But it will remain the vice fighting force of the municipality. There this activity will be concentrated.

Following this action Schuettler in endeavoring — without disturbing any of its functions — to readjust the department to the new arrangement of things. To avoid disorganization he believes this is accomplished best by gradual means.

The change is to be brought about by the divorce of his crime fighting organization from the handling of vice to the utmost degree possible without permitting it to wink at flagrancy. He wants, he says, to have the patrolman devote his brain and muscle to the prevention of holdups, burglaries, safe-blowings, and murders, and to the capture of the men who commit the crimes.

Sees Other Gains

"Using a minimum number of men to get results better than we ever got before," is his own description of the goal ahead.

But he sees other gains in his plea. He eliminates the special vice squad in the precinct which in the past has been the channel for dirty money and the tool of political favoritism. The district or the precinct commander will be made to understand that he will not be held responsible except for open, flaunting vice. Every patrolman must arrest "on view," but cases requiring investigation are to be reported so they be given expert attention of the "morals police."

This will please the average patrolman. He despises vice. But under the old system he was told to keep hands off, that the vice squad of the precinct would take care of such cases. He no longer will be "the goat" for protected women, for the activities of the "morals police," Schuettler believes, will may any promise of protection impossible.

Now Headed by Funkhouser

The "chief" of the "morals police" is Maj. M. L. C. Funkhouser, the civilian second deputy. His organization consists of a variable number of investigators of his own selection on one hand and on the other a detail of young policemen, now numbering thirty-five, who are under the immediate command of Lieut. William H. Schoemaker. Lieut. Schoemaker takes his orders directly from Maj. Funkhouser.

The investigators are not under civil service. One may be employed or discharged at will. The identities of most of them are secret. They are selected fro their ability and primarily for their ability to "get in." The policemen are men who have been on the force only a few months in most instances. They can be shifted whenever contamination is suspected. New men, not know as members of the "morals police," may be brought in.

Hit ‘Em Quick System

The investigators "get in." Secret methods indicate they have found what they were trailing. In come the police. That, in brief, is the "hit ‘em quick" system now in use.

When the Schoemaker raids began recently there was a general belief that they were a temporary thing due to some extent, at least, to the exposures incident to the trial of ex-Chief Healey. There was no notice that there had been a big shift in the organization of the police department. It was feared that such an announcement would cause district and precinct commanders to "lie down" and "pass the buck" in toto to Funkhouser’s force.

Schuettler does not intend to permit anything of the sort. The captain or lieutenant in whose district he should have been able to handle, or raids in such numbers upon secret places which he fails to report, will be taken before the trial board for inefficiency.


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