VICE RAIDS AID U.S. AND
CITY IN HEALTH DRIVE
Scores Arrested to Undergo Treatment; Plan Quarantines.
Following a conference last night at the University club, all the city’s judicial, police and prosecution powers were set in motion to arrest and place in city hospitals or drive out of town persons who have venereal diseases.
Health Commissioner Robertson, Chief Justice Olson of the Municipal court, acting Chief of Police Alcock, acting first Deputy Collins, Dr. W. A. Evans, health editor of THE TRIBUNE, City Prosecutor Miller, Assistant City Prosecutor Bippus, Assistant State’s Attorneys Sullivan and Ryan, Assistant Corporation Counsel Breen, and Chief of Detectives Mooney attended the conference.
205 Women Seized
The activities of the police sent out to start the raids last night were continued chiefly to the Desplaines street, Warren avenue, and Maxwell street districts on the west side; the West Chicago and the Chicago avenue stations on the north, and the South Clark street, Cottage Grove avenue, and Fiftieth street stations on the south side. Before 1 o’clock 205 women were arrested.
Patrolmen and detectives were held on reserve and at 8 o’clock the order to make the raids and arrests was read to them. Efforts to prevent advance word from reaching the women and thus giving them opportunity to flee were made by the police. Raiding squads followed by patrol wagons were soon on the streets and suspected women were taken into custody on the street, in cabarets, saloons, houses, and flats. In some of the cabarets a number of married women were seized. They protested that they were out merely for an evening’s entertainment and were not disorderly characters. They were held despite their tearful pleading and will have to undergo medical test.
Request from Washington
The order, or rather request, for the roundup cam from the medical authorities at Washington. The declared that the city had ample power under its police and health department rules to rid the city of the element which is held to be a menace to men in uniform.
A vigorous campaign against carriers of such diseases was promised. Among the plans outlined at the conference were:
Known immoral women who have communicable diseases are to be imprisoned at the old isolation hospital. The health department can do this under its police powers. To make sure of the department’s legal grounds the women will be tried on state vagrancy charges, which carry a six month house of correction sentence.
Known immoral men similarly afflicted will be sent to the house of correction. The vagrancy charges against these also will be exercised.
Signs will be placed at all known vice spots where persons are found to have communicable diseases. The health department has this power, and these cases will be treated the same as smallpox and other infectious and contagious diseases.
Physicians who fail to report all cases of private diseases coming under the observation with be fined $200 each. This is provided for in a city ordinance. Letters from the health department to all physicians in the city will be delivered today by policemen. These will call attention to the ordinance.
Exercise of the injunction and abatement act. This permits proceeding against a property owner for allowing his property to be used for immoral purposes. The police and other authorities expect to drive out some supposedly strongly intrenched vice spots by this method.
The posting of a disease sign will be a warning to a property owner that his premises are being used for unlawful purposes. If he does not act promptly the authorities can proceed against him under the abatement act.
"It makes no difference whether the cases are found in hotels, apartment buildings or where," said Chief Justice Olsen, who acted as a spokesman for the conferees. "The signs will go up and the persons found to be a menace will be handled by the health department."
Ample Police Powers.
"The federal authorities want this done and it’s going to be done" said Health Commissioner Robertson." We have ample powers in the health department to segregate any person suffering from any dangerous communicable disease. We have room at the old Isolation hospital and other city hospitals to care for hundreds of women. They will have to do some work, knitting or something like that. The men can be cared for at the bridewell. They will have to do some work, too.
The men representing the prosecuting agencies of the city agreed that the city has ample powers to carry out the plan.
Dozens of letters passed between the Washington officials and the health and police department heads before the final details fo the plan were work out.
It was learned that complaints have been made that hundreds of sailors and soldiers have been incapacitated by diseases contracted in Chicago. It also was claimed that immoral women from all parts of the country had flocked to Chicago to reap a harvest off the men in uniform. It was asserted that the majority of these women, and their male companions, who came with them, are suffering from infections and contagious diseases.