"ALL KNOWN CRIMINALS ARE TO BE DRIVEN OUT OF NEW AMSTERDAM" reads a posted sign in this cartoon that references TR's 1895 role as President of the Board of the New York City Police Commissioners. Roosevelt's two years at the post were marked by numerous efforts to improve the formerly corrupt NYPD. Such efforts included creating new disciplinary rules, implementing physical examinations and weapon inspections, and personally surveying officers working odd hours to ensure they were actually filling their posts.
The tiger featured in the left hand corner of the cartoon refers to Tammany Hall, the corrupt NYC political machine. Roosevelt often clashed with Tammany Hall throughout his entire political career. While commissioner, Roosevelt mandated the closure of beer halls on Sundays, seriously angering Tammany and their large constituency of German immigrants. Roosevelt also supervised the recruitment of 1600 additional officers to the police force, all of whom were hired based on physical or mental capabilities, rather than political connections. This, too, seriously upset Tammany Hall and its patronage-based operations.
Last updated: February 26, 2015