In doing research for my next book, Gangsters & Cops: Prohibition, Corruption, and LAPD’s Scandalous Coming of Age, I came across a posting in the LAPD Police Bulletin. During the first half of the 20th Century, the Bulletin was the principal form of communication to the rank and file from the chief’s office. The daily posting was usually quite dry listing special orders and wanted suspects. But on February 15, 1923, Chief of Police Louis Oaks, could not resist writing a commendation to one of his officers based on a letter he received form a little school girl. Here is the posting as it appeared:
The Chief is in receipt of the most impressive letter of appreciation of the consideration shown by a police officer that has ever been received by him. The letter in question refers to Officer R.N. Amos of the University Division, and is evidently written by a very small school girl, who is just learning to read and write. For your information, the letter will be printed in the exact words and spelling of the writer.
Following is the letter:
“Dear Chief of palice
There is a nice traffic afficer at Vernan and Maneto ave. we children of Vernan school do love him veary much. he is so kind to us he caries us accoss the stree whin it raining. want you please Mister Chee let him stay their always. what will we do if you should take him away. there is a 8 on his badge.
Lucy Jane Fualk
3807 So. Hill”
Officer R.N. Amos is hereby commended for his attention and courtesy to the school children, and if he has been removed from the crossing at Vernon and Moneta Avenues, his division commander will immediately transfer him back.
Chief of Police