Philadelphia Information Locator Service
Archival Record Series

Police Department

[Record Group 79]

79.1 Annual Report
1884, 1885, 1895, 1897, 1902-1906, 1908-1923, 1948, 1950, 1952-1990
65 volumes, index
Publications include department units, exclusive of detective divisions; entries pertain to manpower, statistics, snapshots, expenditures, police district commendations to patrolmen citing badge numbers, and city map indicating detective divisions and police districts. Reports titled "Statistical Report" from 1961-present; reports for 1955-1956 include published volume and detailed typescript statistical information.
For other Annual Reports between 1858-1938, see Office of the Mayor, Annual Reports, which also included reports of the Chief of Detectives for 1859-1874.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.2 Commissioner's Office. Files
1956-1959
14 cu.ft., no index
Includes chiefly intra-departmental memos, personnel data, correspondence, general and specific investigatory reports, minutes of Staff, Detective and Board of Inquiry meetings, Commissioner's reports, opinions of the City Solicitor relative to the Police Department, press releases, and reports and correspondence relative to cases before the Police Review Board.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.3 Manuals and Books of Rules
1855, 1869, 1898, 1952, 1968
5 volumes, no index
1855 and 1869 Manuals and 1952 Book of Rules include Departmental rules and regulations. 1898 Manual of the Pistol contains instructions for handling, loading and firing pistols.
The 1968 Police Guidance Manuals: A Philadelphia Model was written by Louis B. Schwartz and Stephen R. Goldstein of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and published by the University of Pennsylvania Printing Office. It is similar to the Police Academy, Recruit Notebook. It includes ten Police Guidance manuale titled:
PGM No. 1: The Policeman's Role in Criminal Justice
PGM No. 2: The Police Career
PGM No. 3: Criminology for Policemen
PGM No. 4: Patrol; Arrest; Crime
PGM No. 5: Search and Seizure
PGM No. 6: Vice and Organized Crime
PGM No. 7: Preserving Order and Keeping the Peace
PGM No. 8: Traffic
PGM No. 9: Juvenile Delinquency
PGM No. 10: Demonstrations; Picketing; Riots.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.4 Detective Division. Court Dispositions of Arrests
1884-1913, 1929-1938; missing: January-August 1929, June 1930-January 1931, April 1934-February 1937, April-December 1938
90 volumes, index, vols. 1931-1933 only
Entries list date, defendant's name, charge, name of arresting officer, and notes of discharge, found guilty or ignored.
Vols. 1884-1913 add place of arrest and sentence.
Vols. 1884-1913 and 1929-1934 add trial judge's name.
Vols. 1929-1938 add defendant's number in sequence of those tried, arresting officer's badge number, and Police district to which arresting officer assigned.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.4a Detective Division. Register of Descriptions of Criminals
16 July 1892 - 23 January 1897, 2 September 1902 - 16 November 1907
3 volumes, index
Each entry lists register number, criminal's name and alias, age, color, place of birth, residence, height, weight, color of eyes, hair, beard or mustache, type of build, color of complexion, description of scars and moles, occupation, and date of arrest. Name of arresting officer, his police district and remarks are added.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.4b Detective Division. Criminal Court Record
2 July 1912-15 May 1918
1 volume, index
Entries list name, age, race, nationality and residence of accused; name, badge number and police district of arresting officer; name of the judge hearing the case, charge, place (and occasionally, time) of arrest, date of trial, sentence, and prison or institution to which prisoner was sentenced.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.4c Detective Division. Case Files
1926-1951
4 cu.ft., no index
Files pertaining to the investigation of crime and criminals, such as, among others, William F. ("Slick Willie" or "Willie the Actor") Sutton, Michael Quinn, Theron King (the "Phantom Burglar"), and David Almeida and James Smith; and detectives' activities in labor disputes. The typical file pertaining to criminal investigations includes Criminal. Complaint For which lists the classification of the crime, complainant's name and address, date of occurrence, date reported, name of detective assigned to case, and details of crime; copies of Police radio dispatches, lists of suspects, investigation reports, wanted posters, copies of fingerprints} correspondence with police in other jurisdictions, the F.B.I., and postal authorities; arrest forms listing prisoner's name, age, color, nationality, occupation, and address; charge, property confiscated, names prosecutor and arresting officer, magistrate, and persons with whom arrested;inventories of stolen property recovered; list of crimes showing name or prosecutor, defendant's name and address, date of crime and amount taken; standup photos and mug shots, transcripts of statements of prisoners and witnesses; evidence including copies of correspondence to and from suspects and their relatives and associates, presumably supplied by postal authorities; ballistics reports; and laboratory analysis of evidence;trial notices to witnesses, copies of arrest records, newspaper clippings, statistics on arrests cleared, police commendations, notices to victims of crime to examine confiscated property, and receipts for stolen property returned to owners. Also included among the files pertaining to criminal investigations is a file pertaining to the change on April 9, 1951 of the Copy Of Charge form, a copy of Police Special Order #15 providing for the change, and transcripts of hearings for officers who violated the order; telephone wiretap information, 1947-1951, which includes telephone number tapped, name of subscriber, name of persons espied and their phone numbers, case concerned; stand-up photos and mug shots, 1926-1951; a file pertaining to the Mayor's Special Investigating Committee Concerning Circumstances Attending the Death of Irving Miller, an Inmate at the House of Correction, which contains statements of prison officials and inmates, lists of defects in the operation of the House of Correction, schedules indicating when the staff noticed irregularities in the cell block, evidence including the architect's plans of the House of Correction and of the specific cell block and photographs, and the Committee's final report; and scripts of the radio program, "Gang Busters," produced by Lord, Inc. , dramatizing the criminal exploits of Willie Sutton, Michael Quinn, and Theron King. Files pertaining to labor disputes cover the years 1934-1952 and include strikes against the Philadelphia Transportation Company in the years 1944 and 1949, the General Electric Company in 1946, the American Stores Company in 1936, a Teamsters' strike in 1937, and other miscellaneous labor disputes between 1936 and 1949. Most of these files pertain to the August 1 to August 17, 1944 wildcat strike against the P.T.C. as a result of the Company's plan to employ Negro operators on streetcars. Information in these files include copies of leaflets concerning the strike distributed by the Transport Workers Unions Communist Party, strikers, and other organizations; lists of detectives' assignments, work assignments of Negro trainees; reports of officers concerning activities at carbarns, racial incidents on streetcars, and reaction of Negro operators; lists of injuries connected with the strike, a chronology of the strike; detectives' reports of meetings held by the Communist Party, the Transport Workers Union, and colored citizens;arrest warrants, a report of a hearing for the strikers before the Federal Commissioner on August 14, 1944, a copy of the Rules and Regulations Defining Practices and Procedures of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, December 18, 1939} and a copy of the radio address of General Hayes, Commander of the U. S. Army unit that assumed control of the P.T.C. during the strike, dated August 17, 1944, which announced the Army's relinquishment of control over the Company. Filed with information concerning this strike is a file pertaining to the election of a union bargaining agent for P.T.C. workers on March 14, 1944, which includes Police reports of violence, information from other jurisdictions concerning union organizers, affidavits concerning incidents, report of a C.I.O. union meeting and a list of voting places. Files pertaining to other labor disputes include correspondence from employers requesting police protection during strikes, correspondence from labor unions announcing the intent to hold union meetings or announcing job actions; Strike Reports, which list the police district in which the strike occurred, date submitted; name, address and telephone number of firm; title of person in charge, nature of business; numbers of persons employed, on strike, and still at work; dates and times of strike's beginning and end, reason for the strike as given by the firm and by the union, name of union that called the strike and its address, name, title, and address of union official; and number of police assigned; copies of leaflets distributed by the strikers, newspaper clippings, reports of labor violence, lists of persons arrested, statements of witnesses, copies of complaint and arrest forms, copies of injunctions and transcripts of court hearings, and notices of strike settlement.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.4d Detective Division. Labor Squad. Files
1934-1953
3 cu.ft., no index
Includes much routine paperwork including union requests for meeting permits, both in union halls and outside demonstrations;Police district and division wide strike reports which include the name of the firm, its location, date strike started, number of employees on strike, number of employees at work, number each of detectives and patrolmen detailed to the strike, Police district of occurrence, name of union on strike, union contact person and date strike ended; yearly strike indexes which repeat much of the information in the strike reports; Detective Division reports of assignments and activities which list the name, badge number and Police division or squad of reporting officer; date of assignment, name of complainant, nature of investigation, persons interviewed, lists of property stolen or recovered, and number of prisoners; reports of magistrates' hearings listing date and time, name and address of defendant, charge, disposition of case, name and badge number of arresting officer and name of magistrate;Police districts' reports of strikes including date of strike's start, reason for strike (such as wages, closed shops, better working conditions); reports of disturbances, if any; formation of picket lines, number of employees on strike, number working, and date of termination. In addition to such routine paperwork there is included correspondence with other municipalities and Federal authorities;reports of arrests which include prisoner's name, age, color, and home address and, very often, mug shots of suspects accused of labor related crimes; transcripts of interrogations of prisoners; statements concerning strikebreaking activities, strongarm tactics, and organizational feuding within unions;affidavits, telegrams, newspaper clippings, photographs, intelligence reports from various anonymous and credited sources, strike leaflets and songs, Socialist and Communist party literature, records of Police surveillance, data on arbitration awards, and copies of U.S. Supreme Court decisions concerning labor that together provide information on union factional rivalry, harassment of workers by strikers, mass picketing, and vandalism of company and private property. Perhaps the most vivid picture of the early days of unionism in Philadelphia is found in the correspondence of the Mayor's Labor Board included in the Police Labor Files. The Board was headed by Herbert Syme in the Administration of Mayor S. Davis Wilson (19361939). This correspondence contains letters from owners of businesses, union leaders, private citizens and other parties. Most were appeals for fair play and assistance in settling ongoing strikes; reports of labor corruption, unfair and unhealthy working conditions; complaints about alien workers, nonunion workers, and child labor law violations; and calls to halt the flight of manufacturing jobs from the City to the South. Some of the most bitter labor disputes of the time are covered in this Record Series including the Seamen's Strike, 1936; RCA Strike, 1937; Midvale Steel Strike, 1945; SKF Strike, 1945; Westinghouse Electric Strike, 1946; American Tobacco Strike, 1945; Bayuk Cigar Strike, 1945; Yale and Town Strike, 1945; Newspaper Truck Drivers Strike, 1946; Dock Street Labor Dispute, 1947; and United Taxi Strike, 1951.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.4e Detective Division. White Papers
November 1983 - December 1984
1 cu.ft., no index
Reports of criminal investigations and other activities assigned to members of the Detective Bureau. Each report usually includes the date and time of the incident under investigation, specific circumstances of the incident; name, age, race, sexand residence of each suspect and witness; arresting officer's name, badge number, date of appointment and payroll number; and result of investigation. Topics of white papers include arrests of suspects, criminal investigations, strikes and anticipated labor demonstrations, racial incidents, bomb threats, arrests of fugitives from other jurisdictions, police shootings, suspension of officers, disappearance of children, threats and harassing telephone calls to the Mayor, security details for dignitaries including Presidential Candidates and activities of the radical group, MOVE.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.4f Detective Division. Annual Reports
1955-1958
4 volumes, index
Includes Central, North, Northeast, Northwest and West detective divisions, missing persons, robbery, burglary, intelligence, accident investigations and administration units. Lists districts, crime classification and code number, and number of cases reported.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.5 Juvenile Aid Bureau. Case Records
1952-1958
21 cu.ft., no index
File folders for each case list reason for initial contact with child; reports of interviews with him and family members, often containing great amount of data on home, school and social situation; records of efforts made by Bureau.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.6 North Central Police Division. Administrative Files
1964
5 cu.ft., no index
Files of Inspector, Captains, Chief Clerk; include summaries of Inspector's and Detectives' meetings; reports on crimes by types; interdepartmental memos and memos to and from Commissioner's and Chief Inspector's offices; general messages and procedures; reports, Juvenile Aid Division; general correspondence; search warrants; personnel and payroll data.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.7 North Central Police Division. Patrol Log
1964
1 cu.ft., no index
Daily report sheets for each officer and detective listing all activities and times at which performed.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.8 North Central Police Division. Complaint and Assignment Journal
1964
1 cu.ft., no index
Daily sheets listing for each complaint received its number, complainant, address, nature of complaint, place of occurrence, investigator assigned.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.9 North Central Police Division. Burglary and Robbery Investigation Reports
1964
1 cu.ft., no index
Entries list complainant, address, date and time of complaint, crime, place of occurrence, investigating officer, results of interviews and interrogations, statements, action taken.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.10 North Central Police Division. "Sending and Receiving Sheets"
1964
2 cu.ft.,
Daily complaint summary lists list all officers and detectives present and absent, and brief reports on all complaints (time, place, incident).
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.11 North Central Police Division. Statistics
1964
1 cu.ft., no index
Monthly statistical reports on all offenses reported in District.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.12 North Central Police Division. Service Copy of Charge
1964
2 cu.ft.,
Entries list number, defendant, age, address, charge, arresting officer, place of arrest, bail.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.13 North Central Police Division. Daily Clearance Lists
1964
1 cu.ft., no index
Daily lists of arrests made, with notes as to how each prisoner cleared of charge; entries include names of prisoner and arresting officer.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.14 North Central Police Division. Closed Cases
1964
1 cu.ft., no index
Individual case files list defendant's name, charge, reports of investigations, intelligence summary, summary of trial proceedings, property receipts.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.15 North Central Police Division. Daily Attendance Sheets
July - December 1964
1 cu.ft., no index
Sheets list all officers' names and numbers, time reported in or cause if absent
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.16 Arrest Register
1933, 1939-1967,
1933 files for Districts 1, 3, 612, 19, 33, and for Central District, January June, October, November only (Central District Register contains only duplicate entries from other Distriets' Registers);

Vols. 1939-1967 for all Districts, and include registers for the Detective Bureau Labor Squad, later the Headquarters Squad after March 1952, January 6, 1939 - June 8, 1954; Safe Square, May 20, 1946 - February 14, 1955; Fugitive and Forgery (Check) Squad, January 18, 1950 - January 15, 1958; Theft Detail, June 14, 1952 - August 30, 1957; Burglary Unit - Auto Squad, October 9, 1954 - July 16, 1962; Burglary Unite, September 3, 1957 - May 2, 1963; Robbery Unit, known as the Major Theft Unit after October 1962, June 10, 1954 - March 31, 1967; Intelligence Unit, January 2, 1958June 1, 1964. All entries list prisoner's arrest or complaint number, age, race, sex, marital status, address,nationality, date and place of arrest, charge on which arrested, disposition by magistrate and sentence.

Vols. 1939-1967 also list prisoner's name and aliases, birthplace, time of arrest, arresting officer's name, note as to whether prisoner drunk or sober, date of magistrate's hearing and magistrate's name, name of prosecutor and witnesses, description of property seized in arrest, property claimant's signature, dates of grand jury and court actions and trial, judge's name, verdict and sentence.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104


79.17 Robbery Journal
1953-1966,
Entries for each incident list its number, date, time, place and police district of robbery, victim's name and address, robber's race and physical description, method and weapon used, property taken; added are some suspects' names and dates of arrest;
Vol. 1954-1964 devoted to larceny-by-trick complaints only.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.18 Special Investigation Squad. Register of Arrests
25 November 1948 - 28 January 1952; 3 January 1954 - 30 December 1961
6 volumes, index
Entries list arrest number; prisoner's name, aliases, age, race and address; date, time and place of arrest; name and badge number of arresting officers, and charge.
Volumes November 1948 - January 1952 and January 1954December 1959 add prisoner's birthplace, central complaint number, name of magistrate hearing the case, any date of further hearing and amount of bail, final disposition by magistrate and date, name of prosecutor or witness, date case came before Grand Jury and its action, date of trial,verdict, charge convicted on, sentence and date, name of judge and court case number.
Vols. January 1960-December 1961 add prisoner's sex, central and district complaint numbers, property receipt number, and"remarks" which normally include name of magistrate before whom hearing held, hearing date and disposition (including sentence, if any), costs, bail set.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.19 Special Investigation Squad. Arrest Case Files
1958, 1960-1962, 1964-1965
8 cu.ft., no index
Individual case files include same data as Register of Arrests, and add copies of Investigation Report, Arrest Report, complaint or incident report, complainant deposition; copies of search warrants, property receipts; prisoner's criminal record extracts, photographs and fingerprints; photographs of evidence and incident sites, laboratory analyses of evidence; reviews of incidents action taken, interview and interrogation summaries; copies of witnesses' and prisoners' statements taken; reports of prisoners' physical examinations; jackets bear dates of indictment and trial, court in which tried, names of judge and prosecution and defense attorneys, prisoner's plea, verdict, sentence.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.20 Central Division. Administrative Files
1967
3 cu.ft., index
1966-1967 materials also included fot Harbor Police and Subway Units; include Police Commissioner's, Chief Inspector's, Inspectors', Captains' and Lieutenants' reports; daily reports of offenses and arrests; permit applications for dance halls, parades, pool rooms, etc.; unusual incident reports; criminal complaints and complaints against police and subsequent investigation reports; commendations and awards, attendance records; minutes of detectives' meetings including weekly crime statistics and major robbery case summations; Inspectors' staff weekly meeting minutes, which also summarize all orders and messages received and directives issued for present and future operations.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.21 Juvenile Aid Division. Administrative Files
1965-1967
8 cu.ft., no index
These files include JAD staff meeting minutes, 1966-67 only; Commanding Officer reports, orders, memos; weekly case statistics; Weekend Command Correspondence, memos, orders 1965, 1967 only; Gang Control Unit files, reports; weekly reports, juveniles arrested and released to parents; Detective Command Meeting minutes 1967 only; weekly reports, vice case statistics; Commissioner's orders 1965, 1967 only; files concerning Rittenhouse Square, Bok, Gratz, and South Philadelphia High Schools 1967, and Girard College 1965, glue sniffing, pornographic books 1966, vacant property offenses 1965-66, school busing officer assignments and instructions 1965 only, railroad vandalism and stoning 1967 only; racial/ religious incidents 1967 only; special detail officer assignments, instructions and reports for parades, athletic events, public assemblies; Juvenile Contact Reports 19671968; Juvenile Record cards 1967-1968 and culled overage cards (i.e., when juvenile reaches 21 years of age; these include cards for persons born 1939-1948); reports on background investigations of juvenile offenders 1965, 1967 only; reports of meetings with, and correspondence with neighborhood groups, social agencies and speaker requests; daily and weekly reports of offenses by types; reports on preventive patrol assignments 1967 only; Youth Development Center daily census and escape lists 1966 only; JAD proposals concerning Model Cities Program 1967 only; JAD personnel data; files, public and interdepartment statements, complaints and charges against police officers, 1965, 1967 only; police officers' commendatory letters 1965, 1967 only.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.22 Juvenile Aid Division. Offense Investigation Reports
1966-1967
38 cu.ft., no index
Reports list offense, police district in which, date, time, and place at which occurred; report date and time, complainant's name, age, race, sex, address, telephone number; name of officer to whom reported and by whom report made; status of complaint (i.e., active, inactive, arrest made, cleared, etc.); description of origin and details of offense; reports of interviews and interrogations of complainant, witnesses, offenders including name, age, race, sex and address of each; criminal record check report for each; report of actions taken, description of evidence; some property receipts, normally for evidence; lists of messages sent and received.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.23 Community Relations Unit. Files
1963-1968
12 cu.ft., no index
Includes: Community Relations Orientation Program daily and monthly activity reports from each police district; reports of CROP meetings between police and local citizens in each district; materials concerning Unit's work in connection with Police Week, New Year's and Thanksgiving Day Parades, ArmyNavy game, Mayor's Christmas parties, City Employees' Week, Bicycle Rodeo, City at Midnight tours, Police Administration Building tours, Thrill Show, firing squads for veterans' burials; distribution of warning pamphlets against holdups, burglaries, car thefts, jaywalking; information on public recreation sites, labor strikes, apartment buildings (numbers and addresses of, and units in, each in each police district); radio and teletype messages sent, assignment of officers to special details, requests for speakers; correspondence of Inspector with police districts here and police departments of other cities; papers concerning Unit personnel, payrolls, budget, Police Reserves, school crossing guards, Police Athletic League, Police Academy; Special Investigation Squad meeting minutes and reports; CROP investigations of complaints against police officers, including Police Advisory Board cases; reports from Narcotics Unit and of high school disturbances; correspondence with Departments of Commerce, Licenses and Inspections, Fellowship Commission, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Human Relations Commission, District Attorney, Police Advisory Board.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.24 Marine Unit. Files
1967-1970
3 cu.ft., no index
Includes summaries of proceedings of departmental Inspectors' meetings; Unit operations room sending and receiving sheets (all Unit messages); departmental Chief Inspector's orders to all Units, Unit Inspector's reports of all unusual incidents to Central Police Division, summaries of proceedings of departmental Detective Command staff meetings, Unit officers' complaint or incident reports and court appearance notices; departmental monthly employee accident statistics, weekly vice statistics, monthly traffic fatalities, monthly police vehicle accidents, Unit personnel time records; daily "Log of Outstanding Events" for entire department 1970, which contain daily summaries of crimes and arrests of any seriousness (entries include incident, place and time of occurrence, names of complainant and suspect arrested, charge); Unit assignment sheets, 1969, which list all officers on duty daily, boats or vehicles to which assigned and locations stationed or patrolled; daily departmental missing person and stolen property bulletins, including detailed descriptions of both, 1970 only.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.25 Airport Police. Reports
1967
1 cu.ft., no index
Reports of incidents at North Philadelphia and Philadelphia International Airports include date, incident description, names of parties concerned or arrested; incidents include bomb threats, ill or injured passengers or employees, aircraft handling emergencies, thefts, vandalism, traffic accidents, confidence games.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.26 Labor Unit. Files
1967
2 cu.ft., no index
Includes chiefly incident and investigation reports re labor disputes; folders are arranged alphabetically by name of business firm or labor union cercerned, and include copies of forms 75-49 (investigation reports) and 75-84 (notice of labor disputes), and copies of statements, pamphlets, etc., published or otherwise issued by parties concerned; forms 75-49 and 75-84 very similar, and provide information regarding date, time and place of incident or dispute, names and addresses of companies, unions, other parties involved; names of persons reporting dispute or incident, and investigating officers assigned; material added to forms by officers includes information regarding origin and details of matter, summaries of interviews and interrogation made of parties and witnesses concerned.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.27 Police Letter Books
March 1910 - August 1913; missing: January - February 1910, May 1910 - November 1911, April 1912 - January 1913, May - July 1913.
7 volumes, index
Letters addressed to various officers of Police Department and to Director of Public Safety but principally to Superintendent of Police from other city departments, police of other cities, the public and civic agencies. Contents cover the whole range of daily police activities including arrest and accident reports, addresses of the superindentent to captains and lieutenants, assignments, demotion, and promotion of officers, badge number changes, lists of arrested cocaine users, complaints, charges of misconduct of officers and lists of officers called before the police court trial, chemical analyses of substances seized from suspects, contributions by districts to emergency fund (1912, 1913), chief surgeon's reports on health of patrolmen, criminal record of prisoners, magistrate court trial results, costs of equipment, report of riding master. Memoranda or comments are often included with correspondence.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.28 Clipping Book
1916
1 volume, no index
Covers the period July to August 1916. Contents principally concern crusade against vice in the City's tenderloin district, and politics.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.29 Summary Sheets
1964
1 cu.ft., no index
Includes date, service personnel on duty and badge numbers; detectives reporting for work, detailed out absentees and their badge numbers; equipment available and in repair; officers reporting off duty and time; crimes committed.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.30 Vice Squad. Register of Arrests
15 May 1930 - 4 February 1933; 5 June - 30 December 1939
2 volumes, index
Includes prisoner's arrest or complaint number, his name and aliases, address, age, color, sex, marital status, birthplace, whether prisoner is drunk or sober, name and badge number of arresting officer, time and place arrested, charges, magistrate's name and final disposition of the case (including amount of bail if the prisoner is held for trial, or term of sentence for minor offenses), date and amount of bail if the case is held for further hearing, names of witnesses, description of property seized, signature of the witness and House Sergeant for the property, date of appearance before the Grand Jury and its decision, dates of notification of trial and of the trial, court room number, verdict, charge convicted on, date of sentence, name of judge, and court number.
Volume 1939 indicates whether the prisoner is naturalized and nationality of his parents.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.31 Headquarters Detail # 2. Register of Arrests.
3 February 1928 - 22 January 1929
1 volume, index
Includes prisoner's arrest or complaint number, name with aliases, address, age, color, marital status, birthplace, nationality of parents, name of arresting officer, date and place arrested, charges (principally, illegal sale and possession of liquor), number of the seizure, name of magistrate hearing the case, date of further hearing, if any, and amount of bail set, final disposition by magistrate and date, witnesses' names, date case came before Grand Jury and its action, date prisoner notified of trial and court room number, date of trial, verdict and sentence, charge convicted on, date of sentence, name of judge and court room number.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.32 Special Squad # 1. Register of Arrests and Liquor Seizures
3 February 1928 - 31 August 1933
3 volumes, index
Entries list arrest or complaint number, prisoner's name and aliases, age, color, birthplace, nationality of parents, and address, name and badge number of arresting officer, date and location when arrested, charge (usually, illegal possession of liquor), number of the seizure, Magistrate's name and his final disposition of the case (including the amount of bail if held for court), date of further magistrate's hearings and bail set, description of property seized and name and badge number of witness and House Sargeant receiving it, date of appearance before the Grand Jury and its action, date of notification of trial, and of the trial, court room number, verdict and sentence, date of sentence, charge convicted on, name of the Judge, and number of the court.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.33 Officers and Patrolmen
1 April 1881 - 1 April 1887
1 volume, no index
Entries list each officer's name, badge number, rank, age, birthplace, residence, date of appointment, police district to which assigned, political ward, the name of the officer in whose place he was appointed, and remarks (e.g. cause of removal, transfers, etc.)
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.34 North Central Detective Division. Columbia Avenue Riot Records
1964
3 cu.ft., index
Includes investigation reports (which include classification of crime, date, place and time of occurrence, name, age, race, and address of complainant, summary of interviews, action taken and remarks, name of reporting officer, police district and division, report number); extracts of criminal records, lists of persons brought in for questioning, including their ages and addresses; intelligence summaries; personnel assignments; reports to City Solicitor on business losses; information on warrants served; report on street by street surveys of vandalism (including address, type of property and amount of damage); reports of investigations of threats to witnesses; lists of arrests (with name of defendant, his age, race, sex, address, location of arrest, charge, arresting officer's name and badge number, disposition of the case, and court case number); defendants' court case numbers; complaint and incident reports; lists of police witness subpoenas; statistics on police, firemen, and civilian injuries; reports of vandalism in the North Central, East and Central Detective Divisions; statistics of arrests by classification and police district; photos of members of the Black Muslims and of the North Philadelphia Committee for Equal Racial Justice, and of confiscated property; receipts for property "found on highway"; and memos relating to police operations.
For additional records on the 1964 Columbia Avenue riots, see Mayor's Correspondence, Administration of James H. J. Tate, 1964 files.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.35 Detective Bureau. Record of Receipt of Photograph
January 1946 - September 1948
1 volume, index
Entries list prisoner's name, photo number, date of receipt, name of recipient, his rank, State, Town and City where he is an official, by whose order photograph issued, date of order.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.36 Deputy Commissioner, Uniform Forces. Event Files
1975
1 cu.ft., no index
Includes Police personnel assignments, manpower costs, schedules of events, news releases, and some correspondence and memos related to various public events such as parades, funerals, visits of dignitaries, sporting events, demonstrations, and street festivals. Events of note include the Festival of Fountains, Super Sunday, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, St. Patrick's Day, and New Year's parades, Parkway Sunday, Army-Navy Game, Thrill Show, and the Presidential visit of March 18, 1975
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.37 Northeast Detective Division. Detective Survey: Results of Warnings to Defendants and Suspects.
5 January 1969 - 27 December 1969
1 cu.ft., no index
Entries by week include total number of arrests, total number of suspects, number who refuse to give statement after warning, totals; breakdown under major categories of crime of those arrested, suspects, and those who refused to give statement.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.38 Log of Outstanding Events
1959
1 cu.ft., no index
Daily reports to the Commissioner of Police from the Central Information and Complaint Desk which date, location and description of event (e.g. crimes, arrests, police information, accidents), police district in which event occurred, and name and signature of reporting lieutenant.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.39 Warrant Book
April 8, 1916 - December 31, 1925
2 volumes, index
Includes date of issuance of the warrant, warrant number, name of accused and his aliases, address of accused, the charge, name of judge issuing the warrant, name and address of prosecutor, badge number of officer serving warrant, disposition of warrant (e.g., discharged to magistrate, bail to keep the peace), and date of its return.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.40 Vice Complaints
1 January 1924 - 8 February 1928
1 volume, no index
Lists date complaint issued, complaint number, Police division and district investigating complaint, location of complaint, nature of complaint, name and address of complainant, date complaint returned, jacket number, and result of investigation ("verified" or "not verified").
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.41 Consolidated Monthly Report and Classification of Nativities
January 1882 - February 1891, July 1905 - December 1912
3 volumes, no index
The Consolidated Monthly Report includes monthly listings of the number of each type of crime committed within the jurisdiction of each police district and within the jurisdiction of the reserve police, Delaware Harbor Police, Schuylkill Harbor Police, Detective Service, and Vagrant Police; monthly total of each crime for all City Police jurisdictions, and monthly total number of all crimes in each police jurisdiction.
Classification of Nativities includes classification of total monthly crimes in each police jurisdiction by sex and national origin of the person committing the crime and monthly totals for each classification for all police jurisdictions.
Vol. 1905-1912 adds total arrests for each police division for 1912 and a classification of arrests by sex and national origin for those under 16 years of age and between 16 and 21 years of age for the years 1911 and 1912
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.42 Police Court of Inquiry. Hearings Docket.
18 April - 7 December 1911 and 19 October 1921 - 29 May 1922
2 volumes, no index
Vol. 1911 lists hearing number, the name, badge number and rank of officer on trial, charge, names of members of court of inquiry, dates of testimony before the Court, of the Court's finding, and of its verdict; date of transmittal of Court's verdict to the Superintendent of Police, and date of, and nature of, the sentence.
Vol. 1921-1922 lists date, hearing number, name, badge number, rank and Police district of officer on trial; number of Police regulation violated, Court's verdict, penalty, and occasional entries of date restored to duty. ALso included in this volume is a list of policemen who appeared before the Court of Inquiry which lists each officer's name, category of rank, date suspended from duty, date restored to duty, or date discharged.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.42a Police Board of Inquiry Cases
1951-1964
48 cu.ft.
Arranged by case number, cases heard before the Police Board of Inquiry giving date of case, name and badge number of the officer, district in which policeman is assigned, notice of violation, statement of the charges, notice of the hearing, transcript of hearing(s), names of witnesses and counsel, depositions and statements of witnesses and defendant, copies of complaint and arrest sheets, miscellaneous correspondence, and verdict of the Board. Also included are the defendant's permanent record of appointments, reprimands, commendations, etc. The stenographic tapes of the hearings from 1956 to 1965 are also included.
Because of the privileged nature of these records, they are currently not open for archival research.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.42b Commissioner's Direct Action Cases
1958-1964
5 cu.ft., no index
Arranged by case number, disciplinary action taken by the Police Commissioner in relation to violations of the Police Code of Conduct. Cases include statement of the charges, miscellaneous correspondence, and action taken by the Commissioner. Many cases are also heard by the Police Board of Inquiry.
Because of the privileged nature of these records, they are currently not open for archival research.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.43 Officers' and Surgeons' Reports of Sick and Injured
May 1916 - January 1918
1 volume, no index
Monthly entries for each police district list the name and monthly entries of each policemen off duty or on limited duty because of illness or injury, nature of injury or illness, days of the month absent or on limited duty, and remarks.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.44 New Patrolmen's Book
5 April 1887 - 3 December 1895
1 volume, no index
Entries list new patrolman's name, badge number, address, ward number, police district to which attached, the name of the patrolman replaced by the new patrolman and the reason for replacement or other reason for appointment, date confirmed as patrolman, and remarks (e.g., "returned to study of Manual,""failed to pass examination" and "rejected").
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.45 Substitutes Book
6 April 1881 - 18 February 1899, 5 November 1903 - 16 March 1916
3 volumes, partial index
Lists each substitute patrolman's name, age, residence, ward, and date of appointment; and the police division and district to which he was assigned.
Vol. 1881-1887 adds substitute's birthplace.
Vols. 1881-1887 and 1887-1899 adds remarks (e.g., date of promotion, transfer, resignation or discharge)
Entries 1903-1916 add substitute's badge number, rank and date of promotion; the cause of vacancy or promotion, which usually results from the resignation or dismissal of another officer of a Councilmanic ordinance; a list of "substitutes in line for promotion next week but who have cases pending against them." dated 5 April 1910, which lists the Substitute's name, police district to which assigned, date of appointment, and charge; lists of "susbstitutes in line for Appointment in order of appointment" for the following dates: 25 June, 23 July, 20 August, 7 September, 19 September, 19 October, 7 November , 20 November 1908, 21 January, 15 February and 24 March 1909 which include the substitute's name, the police district to which he is assigned, date of discharge, date case reopened, date reinstated to the force, and the name of the patrolman replaced.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.46 Roll Books
31 August 1854 - 15 March 1907
9 volumes, index
Includes each officer's name, badge number or rank, age, place of residence, political ward, Police district to which assigned, date of appointment, and remarks (e.g.: removal, transfer, death, resignation)
Vol. 1854-1858 adds date appointment is returned to City Councils
Vol. 1854-1907 add officer's previous badge number, dates of promotions, and cause for removal.
For similar records 1907-1932, see Roster Books
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.47 Roster Books
1907, 1911, 1921, 1925
8 volumes, index, 1911, 1921, 1925 only
Entries include each officer's name, age, badge number or rank, political ward or division, Police district to which assigned, date of appointment to the Police, date of regular promotion, dates of other promotions or transfers, dates of death, resignation, removal or reinstatement.
Vol. 1907 lists entries under headings of Police districts or special duties to which assigned.
Vols. 1911-1925 list entries by initial of surname and adds each officer's address.
Vols. 1907 & 1911 add date of each officer's commendation, if any.
Names beginning with initials, N-Z, are missing for the year 1925; includes names of officers appointed up to June 17, 1932.
For similar records 1854-1907, see Roll Books
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.48 Police Transfer Book
30 March 1920 - 31 December 1921
1 volume, no index
Lists each transfer's name, rank, badge number, detail from which transferred and new detail, and date of transfer.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.49 Staff Services, Indentification Unit. Indentification Records
1940-1942, 1950-1971
17 cu.ft., no index
For each person arrested there is usually included the following forms: Fingerprint Card (Form F 756 or 75-199),Physical Description Record (Form F 78 or 75-249), Prisoner Master Index Card (Form 75-184 or F 515X, and Prisoner Alias Index Card (Form 75-184or F 515)"
The fingerprint cards, which are color coded to distinguish sex, list photograph number, arrested person's race and sex, fingerprint classification and reference numsers; signatures of the prisoner, person taking fingerprint impressions, and person who searched prisoners and fingerprints of each individual finger, four left fingers together and four right fingers together, and the two thumbs and a note of any amputations. The fingerprint card also occasionally includes a prisoner's name, alias, place of birth, nativity, residence, occupation, and physical description; name of arresting officer and officer's district and division, date of arrest and charge. Occasionally, early fingerprint cards include a mug shot of the prisoner.
Physical Description Records include date of prisoner's arrest, birthplace, nationality (if applicable), age, height, weight, physical description, and occupation; name of arresting officers, charge, remarks, agencies to which prints provided, other references, fingerprint classification and reference numbers, and name of operators. Each card provides spaces for subsequent arrests.
Prisoner Master Index Cards and Prisoner Master Index Cards list prisoner's name and height and weight, photo number, and classification and reference numbers of fingerprints. Often these cards also include a reference fingerprint. She Physical Description Card, Prisoner Master Index Card and Prisoner Alias Index Card often are stamped to indicate the death of the subjects date, morgue number and indication whether death was natural or homicide.
This record series may only be used with the permission of the City Archivist.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.50 Policewomen's Unit, Crime Prevention Division. Annual Reports
1948-1950, no index
These reports are published as part of "The Philadelphia Policewoman" (R.S. 79.51).
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.51 Policewomen's Unit, Crime Prevention Division. "The Philadelphia Policewoman"
1948-1951
9 issues, no index
A newsletter issued by the Policewomen's Unit of the Crime Prevention Division, Bureau of Police, three times a year. This lists the activities of the Policewomen's Unit with statistical details, examples of cases handled, public relations efforts, and other tidbits. Also included are the Annual Reports of the Unit for the years 1948-1950. The City Archives has Vol. 2, # 3 (October -December 1948); Vol. 3, # 1-3 (1949); Vol. 4, # 1-3 (1950); Vol. 5, # 1-2 (January -September 1951).
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.52 Criminal Investigation Division. Annual Report
1954
1 volume, index
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.53 Intelligence Unit. Annual Report
1958
1 volume, index
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.54 Published Reports and Publications
1950-1967
6 volumes, no index
Includes "Report to the Philadelphia, Pa., Bureau of Police", submitted by International Association of Chiefs of Police, Traffic Division. 1950; "Proposed Plan for Decentralization of the Traffic Division" 1953; "Police Report 1952-1954", 1954; "Police Budget 1958", ca. 1957; "Philadelphia's Finest", 1959; "Shield for Society", 1967.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.55 Police Athletic League. Annual Report
1952
1 volume, no index
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.56 Rogues Gallery Books
ca. 1880s - ca. 1920s
4 volumes, no index
Includes 1 vol. dated 1888-1890, 2 vols. ca. 1880s-1890, and 1 vol. ca. 1920s. Each volume includes criminal's photograph, name and aliases; and number of photograph. Vol. ca. 1920s adds criminal's height, weight, color of hair and color of eyes. Vol. 1888-1890 lists notations of authority for removal of photograph.
1 vol. ca. 1890 on loan to Atwater Kent Museum
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.57 Register of Court Appearances by Police Officers
ca. 1924
1 volume, no index
Registered in accordance with Bureau of Police message number 1650 of 7 October 1924, each entry includes officer's name and badge number, date of court appearance, and either Court number or court room number in which he was to appear.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.58 Sick and Injured Officers and Doctors' Certificates
July 1915 - November 1916
1 volume, no index
In this book was entered time lost by officers through sickness. Daily entries for each month list date, police district or unit, name and badge number of sick or injured offiers, codes indicating date on which doctor's certificate received and date illness or injury reported to the police surgeon, and notations of nature of illness or injury.
Location: City Archives, 3101 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
79.59 Training Division, Police Academy, Recruit Notebook
ca. 1955-1956
9 volumes, index
Topics and subjects of each volume are:
Volume I: Criminal Law and Allied Subjects including Pennsylvania criminal statutes, federal statutes, Pennsylvania Liquor Code, laws of arrest, criminal procedure, rules of evidence, and Philadelphia ordinances.
Volume II: Traffic Function including introduction to traffic function, traffic laws, enforcement policies and procedures, traffic arrest procedures, accident investigation, traffic direction and control, traffic engineer, and safe driving habits and attitudes.
Volume III: Departmental Organization & Rules and Regulations including Police Academy rules, policeman's notebook, Philadelphia merit system and employee benefits, and Police Department regulations.
Volume IV: Patrol Function and Mechanics of Arrest including police patrol and observation, crowd control, control of adnormal people and alcoholics, mechanics of arrest defensive tactics, and fugitive search plan.
Volume V: First Aid including Red Cross standard first aid course.
Volume VI: Departmental Forms and Report Writing including Departmental forms and report, report writing and central records and communications.
Volume VII: Court and Court Procedure including organization and jurisdiction of the courts, testifying in court, the Medical Examiner, and the District Attorney.
Volume VIII: Criminal Investigation including organization and administration of the Detective Division, principles of criminal investigation, interviews and interrogations, surveillances, crime scene search; collection, preservation and identification of evidence; drawing and charting; fugitive investigations; auto theft investigations; arson investigations; sex crimes; counterfeiting; homicide investigations; narcotics investigations; robbery investigations; burglary investigations; check frauds and forgery; pickpockets and con games; mobile crime laboratory; police photography; criminal investigation; police chemical laboratory; firearms identification; pawnbrokers' detail; and vice and gambling investigations.
Volume IX: Miscellaneous Subjects including the police career, classroom notetaking and study habits, firearms training, human relations, public relations, police ethics, civil rights, Communism, Philadelphia Law Department, Department of Licenses and Permits (sic), Juvenile Aid Division, law enforcement agencies, civil government, parole and probation, and visitation programs.
There is also included a 1955 Philadelphia Police Department Duty Manual.
For similar records, see Manuals and Books of Rules.
Location: City Archives, 401 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19108

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Last updated on November 9, 2000