In this serious yet entertaining book, historian Richard Carl Lindberg probes unexplored avenues of Chicago history and presents the first in-depth history of the Chicago Police Department in over a century. The book traces the stormy history of the department from the 1850s to the Summerdale Scandal of the near present. Interspersed with the major chapters about the chaotic struggle between reform and the machine are short, intimate vignettes: the Armory Station, a gray, somber fortress that housed some of Chicago's most desperate characters for over thirty years; Francis O'Neill, Chicago's turn-of-the-century police chief who collected Irish folk songs and transcribed them into sheet music; the first fingerprint conviction in Cook County in which a man paid the ultimate price; and a retrospective look at some of the most infamous murder cases of the century and how the police solved them.
Lindberg discusses the tie between politics, organized crime, vice, and the police department. He presents a history of Chicago politics and law enforcement in chronological order and recounts pivotal events in Chicago history in the police context. The book reveals how police corruption in Chicago was the result of the political drag on the department; the pernicious influence of meddling aldermen and vice operatives that prevented the police from carrying out their sworn duties in a forthright manner. Lindberg examines the lack of central authority over the police department; police superintendents were traditionally weak, subservient figures to the mayor, unable, and often unwilling to exercise control over the bureaucracy. Students and scholars of history, criminal justice, Chicago history, and law enforcement will find To Serve and Collect provocative reading.
About the Author
RICHARD C. LINDBERG is Official Historian of the Chicago White Sox and editor for The Encyclopedia of World Crime. He is the author of Chicago Ragtime: Another Look at Chicago, 1880-1920 and Who's on Third? The Chicago White Sox Story.
Table of Contents
The Police and the Emerging City
Ethnicity, Fraternal Orders and the Police
Close Up on the Chicago Police: A Ride to Jail in the Patrol Wagon
The Failures of Reform: Chicago under the Police Commission and Civil Service
The Rule of the Club: Policing the Labor Strikes
Close Up on the Chicago Police: Fingerprints Doom a Murderer
The Triangle and the Star: The Cronin Case
Gambling and the Police
Close Up on the Chicago Police: The Armory Station, Home to 100,000 Desperate Characters
A Juicy Tenderloin: Politics and Graft in the South Side Levee
The Triumph of Vice and Graft during the First Thompson Administration
The Guns of Chicago: The Police, Prohibition, and the Crime Syndicate, 1921-31
Close Up on the Chicago Police: Tommy O'Connor Breaks Out
Pawns of the Machine: The Cermak-Kelly-Nash Years, 1933-47
Close Up on the Chicago Police: Confessions of a Vice Cop
A System at Fault, 1947-60