Commissioner Roosevelt: The Story of Theodore Roosevelt and the New York City Police, 1895-1897
In the Gay Nineties, no place so fully embodied the outrageous lawlessness of turn-of-the-century America as New York City - until a thirty-seven ... Show synopsis In the Gay Nineties, no place so fully embodied the outrageous lawlessness of turn-of-the-century America as New York City - until a thirty-seven-year-old political reformer named Theodore Roosevelt emerged as president of the New York City Police Commission. How did Roosevelt transform an association of slackers, bullies, thieves, and blackmailers into one of the first truly professional law enforcement agencies in the world? H. Paul Jeffers skillfully recreates the era to illuminate Roosevelt's vision, toughness, and political savvy. By hiring the first woman in the department's history, and opening admission to ethnic minorities, the new commissioner tore down the old guard and ushered in the new. Firearms training, undercover detectives, a physical typing system that was the precursor of fingerprinting, annual physical exams for all officers, bicycle patrols, and a host of other modern innovations all became tools to build a new urban institution. It was a crucial turning point in Roosevelt's political career. As New York's rough-riding crime czar, he earned the national attention that eventually led to two terms in the White House. In the sensational headlines and tributes that appeared regularly in newspapers around the nation and Europe, Jeffers discovers the first signs of the mature Teddy Roosevelt, the flamboyant, two-fisted, and wholly incorruptible man of action. As Jeffers shows, it was during this momentous period in his career, in partnership with famed journalists and social reformers Jacob Riis and Lincoln Steffens, that Roosevelt developed the "square deal" philosophy behind the historic social and economic reforms that would distinguish his presidency.