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partment during this year, for this year from January to the present time, about 1,600 men.

Senator RIBICOFF. I am very interested, but how many applicants did you have for the 500 vacancies?

Mr. LEARY. Approximately 15,000.

Senator RIBICOFF. That to me is very interesting, because the word we get is that people aren't interested in being policemen, and it is so hard to recruit. That would indicate that you are not having too much difficulty recruiting in New York.

Mr. LEARY. Well, the police department itself has to aggressively recruit. In other words, each policeman in a sense should be responsible for bringing in his brother, his cousin, or his friend. So if the department in a sense aggressively recruits, you won't have this difficulty.

Senator RIBICOFF. Senator Kennedy.


Senator KENNEDY. What plans and programs do you have for bringing the police department closer to the local community, particularly in the areas where we have had some conflict?

Mr. LEARY. Well, of course, we have these precinct councils, and there are 79 precincts in the city of New York, and each commanding officer is responsible to stimulate a precinct council, inviting the residents and the businessmen to meet with him at least once a month, at which time there is a dialog between them, and the police get to know the problems of the community, get to know the criticisms, accept the recommendations and suggestions, and of course, this is definitely a two-way street. This is one way we feel that we are bringing the public into our police department.

Senator KENNEDY. Do you find that effective?

Mr. LEARY. We find it extremely effective, because it gives the resident the opportunity to know the commanding officer and a great number of the police personnel in the precinct. When there is a personal relationship, regardless of how brief it is, there is an opportunity for better understanding than there is if they are total strangers in a sense.

Senator KENNEDY. Do you anticipate a gradual improvement in the relationship between the minorities and the police department?

Mr. LEARY. Well, I would hope that we would have this in New York City. I think that it is a duty and obligation of the police department to aggressively go out toward these ends, and to show ways and means, No. 1, of inviting the minority groups into the police department in the position of both civilian and as policeman, and also to make the minority groups understand in a sense that the department is very much concerned about them and their welfare, and want their cooperation and understanding, and last but not least, wants to hear their criticisms and wants to answer to them very Senator KENNEDY. Thank you, Commissioner. I appreciate your

" . , statement.

Senator RIBICOFF. Thank you very much, Commissioner Leary. I

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am most appreciative to have the police commissioner of our biggest city come down and share some of his thinking, and visit with us.

I have received a letter from Mayor Lindsay concerning the need for adequate fire protection in the cities. I would like to place it in the record at this point.

(The letter referred to follows:)




New York, N.Y., December 13, 1967. Hon. ABRAHAM A. RIBICOFF, Chairman, Senate Subcommitte on Executive Reorganization, Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN : During the course of your hearings, you have heard a great deal about the problems of our cities. There is one area, however, in which there has been little or no testimony and that is the problem of providing adequate fire protection. With the continued deterioration of our cities, this problem has become more and more serious. Added to that are the consequences of the migration into our cities of many who are not accustomed to all of the hazards of city life. For example, a mother who makes a brief trip to the store or to escort her child to or from school in a rural area does not have to worry about her other children while she is away from home. The traffic is lighter, the incidence of crime is lower and the surroundings are familiar and much more reassuring. Under the same circumstances in the slums of our City, this mother is apt to lock her children in their apartment in order "to protect them". Too frequently, as a result of fire, this protection becomes their tomb.

In commercial occupancies where the right to inspect and correct physical conditions and the opportunity to influence human behavior exists, we have met with some success in controlling fire serverity and incidence. In the home, it is nearly impossible to control physical conditions or influence behavior. As a result, in spite of an extensive annual fire prevention program which includes almost ten million inspections, we are unable to reduce the loss of life from fire. Our messages of fire prevention safety go unheeded and our fire loss statistics continue to mount.

Fire not only kills and injures, it is also one of the most devastating agents in destroying neighborhoods and our sorely needed housing units. Experience has indicated that the results of fire are more far reaching than the destruction of a singe housing unit would suggest.

In many areas of our City we have seen the same pattern of destruction develop. A fire in a single apartment results in damage which requires extensive repairs in order to make the apartment habitable. Before the repairs can be made, vandals cause another fire in the same apartment which spreads not only to other apartments, but also to adjacent buildings. The repairs are now very costly and it becomes economically unfeasible for the owner of the building to restore the building. As a result, the owner leaves the apartment vacant, inviting greater vandalism and additional fires with increasing fire damage to the buildings involved.

Families remaining in these buildings are either vacated because of a lack of services or adequate safety in the partially gutted buildings or they leave of their own volition due to other problems created by living in a partially occupied building. In either case, the deterioration continues and demolition of the damaged building is indicated. This leads to all of the social ills accruing from the lack of stability in neighborhoods, such as overcrowding in the remaining housing facilities or movement to similar neighborhoods, and is a counter force to new housing programs conceived to alleviate the problems of substandard housing.

The implications of the urban fire problem are of such magnitude and require such expanded resources that they are beyond the financial resources of local governments. Private industry is already assisting, largely in the area of standards and testing. Perhaps industry can do more. However, an adequate solution also requires substantial Federal assistance.

To this end, it is suggested that a Federal office of fire administration be created in the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This office would have responsibility in the following areas:

1. RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT Budgets of the large cities are strained to maintain the manpower, apparatus and auxiliary services required for adequate fire protection. Research in the physical and engineering sciences, as well as in the behavioral sciences are vitally needed if we are to properly define and resolve the constantly changing fire problem in our City. Programs in fire research are in progress in the Department of Agriculture, the Defense Department and the National Research Council. However, the research is not related to the practical problems of urban centers where the need is so great. Research into the social, psychological and economic problems as they affect fire protection is non-existent. Research into the causes of fires and how to bring modern technology to bear on firefighting is a nationwide need. It can be done most economically at the Federal level.

In this regard, urgent consideration should be given to developing a feasible system of detection and warning devices for older and more congested tenements. Success in this area would save lives and prevent the further deterioration of already run down neighborhoods.


Over the past decade there has been a 500% increase in the number of fires and of alarm responses by some of our units in slum areas. This has not only required additional apparatus but has also reduced the life expectancy of our equipment.

Providing adequate protection in the event of major disasters, such as snow storms, strikes, power failures and civil disturbances requires more apparatus than is normally needed. Maximum use has been made in the past of Civil Defense pumpers received through matching Federal funds. However, these pumpers are overaged and in need of replacement. The rising cost of apparatus makes it difficult to replace our regular equipment. If Federal funds are not made arailable it is doubtful that the apparatus needed to provide service in time of disasters can be obtained. The damage and loss due to the disasters will multiply and additional funds will have to be provided in the form of disaster relief.

Major replacements or acquisitions, such as fireboats, which provide interstate protection, superpumpers to control large urban conflagrations or helicopters to fight the fires of the future, all will put a tremendous strain on the economy of the City. Federal aid in these areas to insure proper fire protection is certainly justified.

3. MANAGEMENT Modern management techniques and tools have not been brought to bear on vur fire problem. Utilization of computers for management today is almost nonexistent; nor have programs been established to utilize them in planning for tomorrow. There is no effective data collecting agency which can administer a uniform fire reporting system to define the fire problem and plan. Effective solutions to common problems are not shared by the leading cities because there is no coordinating agency or central clearing house where information can be collected, eraluated and shared.

A upit should be established within the proposed Federal Office where the most modern management techniques can be developed. This office should also administer a uniform fire reporting system.


Efficient protection for the future will require a much more sophisticated conmunications and dispatching system than the one under which we operate to. day. Computerized dispatching and relocation of equipment must be developed if the fire services are not going to put a tremendous strain on future municipal budgets. The development of such a system will be expensive and if it is attempted by individual cities it will be prohibitive. New York City with its high incidence of response and large number of operating units would be a logical city for development purposes. Without Federal assistance it does not appear that funds for this purpose will be available in the foreseeable future.

The traditional concept that the entire burden of providing fire protection is a local governmental responsibility must be reevaluated. The social and material consequences of an expanding fire problem make it obvious that assistance beyond the capabilities of municipalities must be afforded. The Federal government is the only source capable of supplying the support needed. Sincerely,

JOHN V. LINDSAY, Mayor. Senator RIBICOFF. The subcommittee will stand adjourned until tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock.

(Whereupon, at 3:50 p.m., the subcommittee adjourned until Thursday, December 15, 1966, at 10 a.m.)




Washington, D.C.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to recess, at 10 a.m., in room 318,
Old Senate Office Building, Senator Abraham Ribicoff (chairman)
Present: Senators Ribicoff and Kennedy (New York).

Also present: Jerome Sonosky, staff director and general counsel; Esther Newberg, chief clerk; Robert Wager, assistant counsel; Paul Danaceau and Richard Bowen, professional staff members, Subcommittee on Executive Reorganization; James R. Calloway, chief clerk and staff director, and Eli E. Nobleman, professional staff member, Committee on Government Operations. Senator RIBICOFF. The subcommittee will be in order.

The closing and final witness in this series of 3 weeks is the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We welcome you to the subcommittee, Dr. King. Won't you proceed as you will, sir.


Dr. King. Thank you very kindly, Senator Ribicoff. Let me say how very delighted I am to be here, and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to testify on some of the vital issues facing our Nation today.

I come before you in a dual role, for the serious problems before your subcommittee affect me in two ways. As an American citizen, I share the concern for restoring health to our cities and urban areasthey are becoming the dominant face of our Nation.

But as an American Negro, I am specifically and passionately concerned with the racial ghettos of our cities—for the ghetto exists at the very core of, and is both a part and a cause of our cities' sickness.


The new era of abundance finds us not only with proliferating ghettos, but it finds us enmeshed in confused commitments and dis

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