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support as we firmly believe that this is an essential factor in attracting competent young men to police careers and holding those now in the department.
The citizens of this community, the police, and other law enforcement officers are engaged together in a common cause, working against the common enemy-the criminal, so one of our functions will be to endeavor to acquaint the citizens of Washington with the many problems facing the police and to enlist their wholehearted support of the Police Department.
The Board of Trade has also recommended that the Bail Reform Act be amended. Under the present law, any person charged with a crime other than one punishable by death must be released by a judge on personal bond unless there is proof that he will not re-appear for trial. The judge may not consider the fact that the defendant has a long criminal record or that he may be of potential danger to the community. We certainly will endeavor to secure, through the proper Committees of Congress, a change in this Act which will allow the Court to give consideration to the defendant's potential danger to the community when determining what bond to fix or when denying bond when it is clear that the defendant is a threat to the safety of the community.
Mr. Doggett stated that the Board of Trade supported the Omnibus Crime Bill of the last Congress and urged the President to approve it. We support this legislation and hope that the Committee will act favorably on it at the earliest practicable time.
In our opinion, the single most important title in the Omnibus Crime Bill is Title I, which deals with interrogation and, in effect, modifies the holding in the Mallory Case.
We believe that Title II would be an improvement inasmuch as it modifies the Durham Rule for the adoption of what is. in effect, the American Law Institute Test. This test, which is the result of the work of some of the best legal minds in our country, was just recently adopted in Maryland.
While there will be objection to Title III by some, we believe it should be adopted. It does not revive the practice of arresting people for investigation since it requires that arrests be made on probable cause.
Title IV, dealing with the detention of material witnesses, in the opinion of some of our people is not too important but it is a reasonable provision of law.
We strongly support Title V which enlarges the definition of crimes of violence to include robbery.
We are particularly interested in the provision of Title VI dealing with increased penalties and we think it should be adopted.
We urge the Committee, therefore, to favorably report the Bill to which, as far as we can see, could be added most of the recommendations included in the President's Message on the Nation's Capital dated February 27th.
We certainly agree with the statement in this Message in which the President urged "every step which is necessary to ultimate success in our drive against crime. We must pursue every avenue and use every weapon which holds promise of advancing this effort. We will need the total commitment and cooperation of every man and woman in the District if we are to have a city where civic order and social justice prevail.” We also agree with the President when he said in his Message on Crime in America, “Public order is the first job of Government.” It is absolutely essential that we develop and utilize the best available techniques for dealing with crime in the home and on the streets which are rapidly deteriorating our central city and encouraging the continued flight of responsible citizens and businesses to the suburbs.
Mr. Chairman and members, thank you for the opportunity of appearing here today.
In closing, Mr. Chairman, may I submit for the record copies of messages urging prompt crime legislation from organizations not represented here today and business establishments which have furnished the information to us.
Mr. WHITENER. Do you have with you those messages you referred to ?
Mr. McGEE. Yes, I have them here.
We'll make these a part of the record, except if there is any duplication with ones already filed, we would eliminate it. (The messages referred to follow :)
METROPOLITAN WASHINGTON BOARD OF TRADE,
Washington, D.C., February 2, 1967. The PRESIDENT, The White House, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: We are greatly encouraged by the review of actions you have outlined for a coordinated attack on the badly needed war on crime in the Federal City in your letter to Mr. Robert C. Baker. It is gratifying to know that these terrible crime conditions are receiving your preferred attention.
This communication is to assure you that the Metropolitan Washington Board of Trade, Washington's oldest, largest, and most representative organization of business, professional, and civic leaders, is willing and anxious to cooperate in every appropriate way to develop an effective anti-crime program. There is a pressing urgency to restore adequate protective conditions and services for our business houses and residents.
These expressions have been transmitted to appropriate Congressional leaders and Committees. Sincerely,
LEONARD B. DOGGETT, JR.,
WASHINGTON, D.C. RETAIL LIQUORS DEALERS ASSOCIATION, INC.,
Washington, D.C., February 13, 1967. Hon. LYNDON B. JOHNSON, President, United States of America, The White House, Washington, D.O.
DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: Your recent message to the Congress indicated clearly that we cannot afford the luxury of having crime run rampant. Every citizen, every businessman agrees with this and is ready to join the battle to stop the perpetrators of these outrages. For failing a halt in their depredations, everything that is good in our community will be destroyed.
The Washington D.C. Retail Liquor Dealers Association, is an organization composed of individual merchants who sell alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption. Our members are responsible citizens, active in the civic and business life of the District. We join with the rest of the community in urging you and the Congress to have enacted strong remedial legislation to remove this peril from our city.
As the record will indicate, our merchants have suffered more from the existing reign of lawlessness than any other group in the District. We have 386 active retailers. Since 1965, there have been more than 250 holdups of liquor stores; four of the people have been murdered. There have been countless burglaries, window-breakings, larcenies and assaults. Many of our stores can no longer obtain insurance. So we think you will agree with us that we have more than just an academic interest in the crime problem.
We have given considerable thought to the problem; we have observed the processes of justice. We offer the following suggestions with the firm conviction that if put into practice, they will aid considerably in bringing the situation under control. 1. The Courts
(a) In cases involving armed robbery, upon conviction of such charges, the sentence handed down should not be concurrent, but consecutive; a term for the robbery, followed by a term for the use of a dangerous weapon.
(6) In cases where an individual charged with a crime of violence, is a proven, frequent user of a dangerous weapon, or has a record for committing crimes of violence, he should not be released, but should be held in custody until tried.
We believe that neither the Constitution nor the Criminal Rules is so categorical in its bail provisions that a repeated dangerous offender under new charges must be released pending trial, in the face of a high probability that he will commit fresh crimes of violence. And we believe the foregoing is most cogent, especially since the Bail Reform Law of 1966 seems to put criminals right back on the streets after apprehension.
Your Commission on Crime in the District of Columbia made the following comment in its report:
“We believe that potential criminals will be more effectively deterred by a system characterized by omnipresent and efficient police action, vigorous prosecution of offenders and expedited judicial handling from indictment through appeal.”
With this we emphatically agree. 2. The Prosecutor's Office
(a) There should be more vigorous prosecutions. Prosecutions should not be dropped where the Grand Jury has indicted. If the evidence is good enough to go to the Grand Jury for an indictment, and there is such indictment, the case should go to trial; let the jury decide the innocence or guilt of the defendant. 3. The Congress
(a) The Congress should pass legislation setting stiffer mandatory sentences ; should pass a “gun-restriction” law; should provide the police with a sufficient opportunity to question suspects. 4. The District Authorities
The police, we feel, are doing a good job with what they have to work with. Undoubtedly, the department could use more men. But getting these men is the problem. Sufficient funds, creation of an atmosphere where the police officer can work with respect, with pride in his job, are necessary.
Our governing authorities, therefore, must stop being so prone to government by petition by pressure groups. They must return to government for all of the people, not for a few of the people.
And finally, a long-range program of education, slum-clearance and the eradication of poverty must be developed. But if we are to reach this long-range program, we must have the short-range program alluded hereto. If we do not, all we will have is chaos and further lawlessness.
The studies have been made; the record is in. The time for action is now! Mr. President, we respectfully request you use every power available to your high office to rid us of this dangerous malignancy. Sincerely,
DISTRIOT OF COLUMBIA PHARMACEUTICAL ASSOCIATION,
Washington, February 21, 1967. THE PRESIDENT, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: The District of Columbia Pharmaceutical Association, a professional organization, representing Pharmacists, both owners and employees of independent and chain Pharmacies in Washington, D.C., is deeply disturbed about the deplorable crime rate in the Nation's Capital.
We concur with the letter written to you by the District of Columbia Clearing House and so we will not repeat the facts as stated in that letter.
We also agree with the letter written to you by Mr. George B. Burrus, President and Chairman of the Board of Peoples Drug Stores, Inc.
Peoples Drug Stores are members of the District of Columbia Pharmaceutical Association and so the statistics quoted by Mr. Burrus are of grave concern to us. They should be of very serious concern to the public, the Congress and we know they are of concern to you.
The small independent Pharmacies are being robbed and broken into in alarming numbers also. Some of them experienced three or more robberies in 1966 involving losses in the thousands of dollars.
Of course, both the independent and the chain Pharmacies are targets too for the drug addicts and more loss is incurred in this manner. Above all else, of course, is the physical injury so often inflicted on the Pharmacist, his personnel and sometimes the patrons who may be in the Pharmacy at the time of the robbery.
Drug Fair Stores, Inc. are members of the District of Columbia Pharmaceutical Association and their Pharmacies too are being struck by the crime wave.
One Pharmacist, who was burglarized two months ago and severely beaten, still remains on the critical list. In the interim, this Pharmacy is closed, personnel unemployed and there is strong doubt this Pharmacy will re-open.
In another instance, a community Pharmacy, on Capitol Hill, was burglarized, the personnel bound, gagged and forced to lie on the floor while the bandits went about their “work.”
Another involved a community Pharmacy burglarized three times in 1966 and a victim of armed robbery once. In this instance, a seventy-nine year old male cashier was the victim. The two bandits inflicted physical injury upon him as well as taking the cash receipts of the day.
Another community Pharmacy, burglarized five times in 1966, each time by armed bandits, lost several thousands of dollars in narcotics, merchandise and in one instance, was injured by the bandits.
In another Pharmacy, the Pharmacist arrived at his store early one Sunday morning to find a man waiting at the door who said he had a prescription to be filled for his very ill wife, and accompanied the Pharmacist inside. The man immediately drew a gun on the Pharmacist, forced him to open the safe, then bound and gagged the Pharmacist and locked him in the lavatory while he emptied the safe and helped himself to choice merchandise.
We could go on and on with the deplorable conditions, some of which we have cited above, however, we feel the facts have been demonstrated.
As you know, Mr. President, Pharmacists, in order to provide full service, have traditionally opened early in the morning and remained open late at night. In fact, the Washington area has 17 drug stores open 24 hours a day. This is probably more than any other area in the country. Many Pharmacists, justifiably concerned for the safety of their personnel and customers, are considering shortening their hours of service.
Mr. President, we commend you for the long range steps you have taken in your anti-crime program. However, some of the problems are urgent and require your immediate attention. We therefore urge you to use the emergency funds and facilities now at your disposal so that the Pharmacists of the District of Columbia may continue to serve the health needs of the public day and night without fear.
The District of Columbia Pharmaceutical Association pledges its support and cooperation. Very truly yours,
John R. McHugh, President.
The following members of the Retail Bureau of the Metropolitan Washington Board of Trade have sent to the President letters similar to the attached : Capitol Furs
Lerner Shops Casual Corner
S. Klein (F Street) Central Charge Service
Mac Mannes Homewares Dart Drug
Mel-Art Jewelers Drug Fair
Peoples Drug Stores Giant Food
Raleigh Haberdasher Gude Brothers
Ritz Camera Centers Goozh of Washington
Safeway Stores Hahn's Shoes
Lewis & Thos. Saltz The Hecht Company
Chas. Schwartz & Son Hub Furniture
Sears Roebuck & Company Ida's Department Store
Southland Corp. (7-11) S. Kann Sons Company
Woodward & Lothrop Kay Jewelers
York Haberdasher Lansburgh's
LAUNDRY-DRY CLEANING ASSOCIATION OF GREATER WASHINGTON,
Washington, D.C., February 6, 1967. THE PRESIDENT, The White House, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: We join the Washington, D.C. Clearing House Association and the Metropolitan Washington Board of Trade in commending you for your forthright approach to the repugnant crime situation in our fair city.
We became alarmed about the problem several years ago, and confer regularly with the Chief of Police on ways and means of cooperating with them in their efforts to conduct what seems to be an insurmountable task. As you know, items of clothing passing through our plants are identified, and in this way we have been of some assistance in providing leads to suspects, but what concerns us is that after they are apprehended, very few seem to receive the punishment to fit the crime.
As further evidence of our interest in the overall problem, we enthusiastically endorsed Vice President Humphrey's "Buy A Light” campaign for the local playgrounds and contributed the sum of $1,500 toward this end.
We now stand ready and willing to cooperate in any way feasible with you, Mr. President, the Congress of the United States and the Commissioners of the District of Columbia in any program that is launched to return our city to a safe place in which to live, work and raise our families.
We are not large, as industries go, but we do employ approximately 5,000 persons in the Metropolitan area of Washington and it is their welfare for which we are pleading, as well as the health and safety of our customers.
Accordingly, we strongly urge you to get behind an action program that will produce results, as enough time, energy and money have already been spent on studying the problem. Sincerely yours,
SIG MEYERHOFF, President.
WASHINGTON D.C. AREA TRUCKING ASSOCIATION,
Washington, D.C., February 8, 1967. THE PRESIDENT, The White House, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: The crime situation in the Washington, D.C. area, as you have noted, deserves immediate attention.
Our association represents the trucking industry in this area. We are af filiated with the American Trucking Associations at the national level.
Your support, along with the support of local and national legislative leaders is urgently needed to alleviate crime conditions that are worsening daily in the Washington, D.C. area.
The citizens of our industry are deeply concerned. You have our complete cooperation. Sincerely,
EUGENE I. KANE, President.