A History of Tenement House Legislation in New York 1852-1900 Part III
 

By Lawrence Veiller
 
 
(1897) — Chapter 378, Greater New York Charter, Chapter 19, Title 1, Section 1185.

Provisions of the law of 1895 continued with the following changes: Number of sanitary inspectors increased from at least 35 to at least 50; number of additional inspectors authorized to be appointed increased from 5 to 20; number of inspectors to be physicians of skill and practice increased from 20 to 30; also inspectors only required to make a report once a week instead of twice a week.

SANITARY POLICE. — In 1879, in the amendment to the tenement house law, provision was made for the appointment of a corps of sanitary police for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of the different tenement house acts, it being found that very often a uniformed officer was much more successful in such work than the ordinary sanitary inspector; accordingly, the new law provided that the Board of Police might, upon requisition of the Board of Health, detail to the service of the Health Department a squad of not more than thirty men who should all be men of at least five years' experience on the police force; and the Board of Health was required to pay the salaries of such policemen, although the discipline of these men was left entirely with the police commissioners; if any member of this company was not satisfactory, the Board of Health was authorized to request the detailing of another man in his place. This provision of the law was amended in the following year, a new clause being added authorizing the Police Department to appoint additional policemen to fill the vacancies caused in the force by the detailing of these men to the Board of Health. In 1887, the number of sanitary police detailed to the Board of Health was increased from thirty to forty-five, and it was especially provided that at least fifteen of these men should be employed exclusively in the enforcement of the laws relating to tenement and lodging houses. In 1895 the number of sanitary police was increased to fifty, and the number of men to be employed exclusively in inspecting tenement and lodging houses was increased from fifteen to twenty. A clause was also added empowering the Police Department to appoint twenty-five additional men to fill the vacancies created in the police force by this detail. It was also provided that the sanitary policemen who should be detailed to the service of the Board of Health should be selected for their peculiar fitness from amongst those who should pass a civil service examination, conducted by the Municipal Civil Service Board. With the consolidation of the different communities into Greater New York, in 1897, it became *necessary to increase the number of sanitary police, owing to the increased territory to be inspected. The Charter provided, therefore, that there should be at least fifty and not more than one hundred sanitary police detailed to the Board of Health by the Police Department, and that these men should be selected for their peculiar fitness, and that at least thirty of them should be employed exclusively in the enforcement of the laws relating to tenement and lodging houses. All the other provisions of this law in reference to the payment and discipline of the men were reenacted. These provisions of the Charter constitute the present law (in 1900) upon the subject.

(1879) — Chapter 504, Section 5.

"The board of police of the city of New York, upon requisition of the board of health of the city of New York, shall detail to the service of the said board of health, for the purpose of the enforcement of the provisions of this act, and of Chapter 908 of the laws of 1867, in said city, not exceeding thirty suitable officers and men of experience, of at least five years' service in the police force; provided that the board of health shall pay monthly to the board of police a sum equal to the pay of all officers and men so detailed. These officers and men shall belong to the sanitary company of police, and shall report to the president of the board of health. The board of health may report back to the board of police, for punishment, any member of said company guilty of any breach of orders or discipline or of neglecting his duty, and thereupon the board of police may detail another officer or man in his place; and the discipline of said members of the sanitary company shall be in the jurisdiction of the board of police; but at any time the board of health may object to the efficiency of any member of said company, and thereupon another officer or man, may be detailed in his place."

(1880) — Chapter 399, Section 2. (Section 5, Chapter 504, of the Laws of 1879, amended by adding to the end the following provision.)

"The board of police shall have the power, and it shall be their duty to fill all vacancies in the police force of the city caused by the detailing of said officers and men upon the requisition of the board of health, and to make new appointments to said force equal in number to the officers and men now, or who may hereafter be detailed to the service of the board of
health under and by virtue of the provisions of this act.

(1887) —Chapter 84, Section 1. (Amends Section 296. Consol. Act.)

"The board of police upon the requisition of the board of health, shall detail to the service of the said board of health, for the purpose of the enforcement of the provisions of the sanitary code, and of the acts relating to tenement and lodging-houses, not exceeding forty-five suitable officers and men of experience of at least five years' service in the police force, provided that the board of health shall pay monthly to the board of police a sum equal to the pay of all officers and men so detailed. At least fifteen of the officers and men so detailed shall be employed exclusively in the enforcement of the laws relating to tenement and lodging-houses. These officers and men shall belong to the sanitary company of police and shall report to the president of the board of health. The board of health may report back tot he board of police for punishment any member of said company guilty of any breach of orders or discipline, or of neglecting his duty, and thereupon the board of police may detail another officer or man in his
place, and the discipline of said members of the sanitary company shall be in the jurisdiction of the board of police, but at any time the board of health may object to the efficiency of any member of said sanitary company, and thereupon another officer or man may be detailed in his place. The board of police shall have the power, and it shall be their duty to fill all vacancies in the police force in the city caused by the detailing of said officers and men upon the requisition of the board of health. And the board of police are hereby authorized and empowered to appoint fifteen additional men to the police force subject to all the rules and regulations
relating to and governing the appointment of patrolmen in said city."

(1895) — Chapter 567, Section 1. (Amends Section 296, Consol, Act.)

Provisions of Chapter 504 of the laws of 1879 as amended by Chapter 399 of the laws of 1880, as amended by Chapter 84 of the laws of 1887, reenacted with the following changes: The number of men to be at least fifty; with a further provision that at least twenty shall be employed exclusively on tenement and lodging-houses, and also, by adding at the end of the section the following new clause: " and the board of police are hereby authorized and empowered to appoint twenty-five additional men to the police force subject to all the law, rules and regulations relating to and governing the appointment of patrolmen in said city; and the officers thus detailed to the service of the said board of health shall be selected for their peculiar fitness from amongst those who shall pass a civil service examination conducted by the supervisory board of commissioners of the New York municipal civil service."

* (1897) — Chapter 378, Greater New York Charter, Section 1324.

"The board of health shall make requisition upon the police board for the detail of at least 50 and not more than 100 suitable officers and men of at least five years' service in the police force, who shall be selected for their peculiar fitness, for the enforcement of the provisions of the sanitary code and the acts relating to tenement and lodging-houses. These officers and men shall be detailed to such service by the police board, and the department of health shall pay to the police department monthly, the amount of the pay of the officers and men so detailed, who shall belong to the sanitary company of the police and shall report to the board of
health. At least thirty of the officers and men so detailed shall be employed exclusively in the enforcement of the laws relating to tenement and lodging-houses. The board of health may report back to the police board for punishment, any member of said company guilty of any breach of orders or discipline, or of neglecting his duty, and thereupon the police board shall detail another officer or man in his place, and the discipline of the said members of the sanitary company shall be in the jurisdiction of the police department; but at any time the board of health may object to the efficiency of any member of said sanitary company and thereupon another officer or man shall be detailed in his place."

 

Website: The History Box.com
Article Name: A History of Tenement House Legislation in New York 1852-1900 Part III
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina

Source:

BIBLIOGRAPHY: The Tenement House Problem; Including the Report of the New York State Tenement House Commission of 1900. By Various Writers; The MacMillan Company-New York 1903
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