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St. Paul police book will tie present, past


June 01, 2000
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St. Paul police book will tie present, past

Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN) -- When Dan Bostrom was a rookie cop with the St. Paul Police Department in the mid-1960s, he always made sure he had three things before he left the station to walk the beat: his badge, his gun, and a dime."In case I needed to call for help," Bostrom, now president of the St. Paul City Council, said recently.But even Bostrom, who worked in the days before portable radios and cell phones, had it better than officers in the 1880s. Back then, beat cops tapped their nightsticks on manhole covers or blew whistles to communicate with other officers. The evolution of the police communication system, which today includes cell phones in squad cars so officers can be reached directly, is one of many chapters chronicled in the St. Paul department's "millennium book."The book, conceived by Chief William Finney to mark the start of the 21st Century, will be printed this summer and be ready for distribution to department employees, retirees and their families by the Christmas holidays."It's a huge undertaking," said Cmdr. Colleen Luna, who is coordinating the project.Luna expects that as many as 1,000 books will be published. The book will cover the department's creation in the mid-1800s, including such things as when the first detectives were hired, when uniforms were introduced and when cars replaced horses.The book, already a big hit not only with current officers but also retired personnel and their families, will feature current department personnel. But Luna says the department wants the millennium book to be more history book than yearbook.There will be photos of old nightsticks, police manuals and other equipment that have been loaned to the department. "We can't use everything in the book, but we are documenting everything so our [department] museum has copies of everything," Luna said.Organizers and contributors say the book has helped former employees and their families connect with today's police officers and civilian personnel."Everything is so different," said Pat Southward, who until this spring hadn't been back to the department since she cleaned out her husband Jim's locker following his death in 1983 while on a hunting trip. "It brought back a lot of memories."The last similar book was issued in 1984, but included less historic material. Southward said she regrets not purchasing one then, but won't miss this opportunity. She has contributed to the project by lending the department a scrapbook and other items from Jim Southward's 19-year career."My daughter asked that I order a book for her," said Joe Weinzetl, a 1941 police academy graduate and, at 87, one of the department's oldest living retirees.The department put out the call for old items late last year and almost immediately was flooded with contributions. Among the most interesting items was an 1898 police manual sent in by former chief William McCutcheon."There's so much stuff; it's a treasure trove," said Angie Steenberg, Finney's secretary and the daughter of a retired commander.Steenberg, who helped solicit items for the book, also asked retirees and employees to write down their favorite memory and advice for present and future officers.Weinzetl asked permission to speak to members of this year's police academy, and is scheduled to talk to them next month."I want to tell them to hang together and keep records and scrap books," said Weinzetl, who still organizes gatherings for the class of 1941. "What I'm going to try to impart to them is the desire that they should have for a job like this.". Chronology:.St. Paul police history .- 1854: City of St. Paul incorporated; William Miller appointed first police chief.- 1864: Detective bureau opens.- 1882: Daniel O'Connell becomes first patrolman killed on duty.- 1902: Ambulance with two surgeons begins patrolling.- 1914: Motorized ambulances introduced.- 1935: Crime lab opened.- 1950: Radio transmitters installed; cars get radios.- 1960: First polygraph machine purchased.- 1963: Communications center gets computers; hand-held radios purchased.- 1975: Deb Montgomery is first sworn female officer hired. - 1992: William Finney named first black Chief of Police.- 1994: Officers Ron Ryan Jr. and Tim Jones shot to death on duty.- 1998: Computerized records system introduced.- 2000: Cell phones installed in East District squad cars.. _ Source: Cmdr. Colleen Luna, St. Paul Police Department. 'Advice to a young policeman'."You have recently been appointed and are about to assume the responsibilities of an office, the duties of which are much more varied and difficult . . . than is generally admitted."Your acts will at all times be subject to the observation and animadversion of the public . . . do not forget that in this business your character is your capital. Deal honorably with all persons and hold your word sacred, no matter when, where or to whom given."If you are entrusted with the care of a beat, do not play the loafer on it by lounging in doorways or on corners, or leaning against lamp posts . . . in pursuance of your duties, as much as possible, avoid laying yourself under special obligations to anyone."Let promptness mark all of your acts. Don't be the last man at roll call or at your post of duty."In whatever duty you engage, set your mind and your face to the work, and while on duty never suffer yourself to appear like an idle spectator . . . School yourself on all occasions to keep perfectly cool. Maintain perfect control of temper, come what will; one that can govern himself can control others."._ St. Paul police manual, January 1898




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