Public Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960-1961

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Author: Dwight D. Eisenhower  | Date: October 4, 1960

314
Remarks to the 67th Annual Conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
October 4, 1960

President Woodson, Chief Murray, and members of the International Association of Chiefs of Police:

Very shortly I am going to be out of government, and I won’t have some of the arrangements that are normally conducted around me—to make sure I don’t misbehave. I don’t know of any crowd that I want to make stronger friends of mine in the years to come than the police chiefs—so if I get out of line they will be very lenient with me.

It is truly a privilege to come here to welcome such a body as this, a body that stands for law and order in the world. I understand there are gathered here not only the chiefs of police throughout my own country, but representatives of 39 countries.

If this world needs anything more than law and order, I would defy anyone here to tell me what it is. I am quite sure that if we could only get your dedication to this concept of law and order and decent behavior adopted on the part of all humans—if we could get that concept understood and practiced in the nations—indeed your work would be much easier. It is the tensions and the problems and the worries of the world that I think often lead individuals themselves to conduct themselves improperly.

My thanks are due not only to the police of my own country for the many courtesies and favors they have given to me and my party as I have gone around this country during the past years, but to those of other nations which I have visited. In all these visits, I have never seen a single case of discourtesy or of lack of attention to his duty by police officers in any single one of these countries. My admiration for the discipline that is maintained in their organizations, for the obvious dedication of .each man to his duty, is indeed high.

So as you go about your work, I would like you to know that it is not only someone like myself who is the recipient of so much attention because of the office, but America and the world—the people in the nations represented here—who also recognize the value of your work. They know the difficulties you have, particularly when, after having apprehended some guilty persons and by some kind of technicality they arefreed and you think your work has all to be done over, you may get discouraged. You should understand that people who read your newspapers also appreciate this problem, and as a matter of fact pray with the rest of us that these things can be corrected.

I say I will not again have the opportunity to greet such a body as this. But I would not want to go away without explaining to you that my appreciation is sincere.

I want also to call your attention to one police body that I have recently seen operating effectively and at full force and overtime. This is the New York City Police, which is operating under a man, a friend of mine who cannot be here today, Commissioner Kennedy. Because of the extraordinary burdens placed upon that force, they are working according to the records shown me recently, from 12 to 18 hours, 7 days a week. Commissioner Kennedy has his entire force denied any leave or any furlough, all equipment is mobilized, and even those that were on furlough or leave were in many instances recalled. So I would personally like to think that all of the people here understand what the responsibilities of such a job are—and I myself know something about it because I have been on these motorcades and I know the police haven’t got very easy jobs. I would like to see you give him and his force at least a silent salute for the way he and they are working, not only for all of New York City, but for the Nation and indeed for all freedom-loving people everywhere.

I merely cite his case, which may be duplicated in many other instances in different ways in all your cities, for all I know. I happen to know that that one is now, you might say, at the dramatic height of its activities, and is doing a very splendid job, as I can well testify.

So again, to all of you, thank you for inviting me here. Good luck to you, and may everyone that you have caught and is found ,guilty get his proper punishment. Similarly I hope that in every case where you apprehend a man and you are doubtful about the case, if you can find real evidence to show that he is innocent, that again will be something that will bring up in the minds of people everywhere the value of a true police force.

Thank you, and goodbye.

NOTE: The President spoke at the Statler Hilton Hotel in Washington. His opening words "President Woodson, Chief Murray" referred to Col. Charles W. Woodson, Jr., President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and Robert V. Murray, Chief of Police of the District of Columbia.

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Chicago: Dwight D. Eisenhower, "314 Remarks to the 67th Annual Conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.," Public Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960-1961 in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960-1961 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), Pp.1064-1066 746. Original Sources, accessed February 9, 2023, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=8DWA6EB9YPERSGZ.

MLA: Eisenhower, Dwight D. "314 Remarks to the 67th Annual Conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police." Public Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960-1961, in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960-1961 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), Pp.1064-1066, page 746. Original Sources. 9 Feb. 2023. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=8DWA6EB9YPERSGZ.

Harvard: Eisenhower, DD, '314 Remarks to the 67th Annual Conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.' in Public Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960-1961. cited in , Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960-1961 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), Pp.1064-1066, pp.746. Original Sources, retrieved 9 February 2023, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=8DWA6EB9YPERSGZ.