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Public Safety, Department of
Medical Division

[Record group 83-2]
Agency Function
Initially, the Medical Division was charged with the medical and physical care of employes under the Department of Public Safety, and later for the Fairmount Park Guards and the County Prison Guards. It was headed by a police and fire surgeon. The Medical Division treated injury or illness incurred in the line of duty, examined personnel for physical fitness at induction and at retirement, and examined motorists, policemen and firemen charged with intoxication.

Agency History
The Medical Division of the Department of Public Safety was constituted a separate agency within the Department in 1924, and attached directly to the Office of the Director of Public Safety. Previously, it had been the office of the Police Surgeon in the Bureau of Police. A reorganization of the Police department by the then-head of the Department of Public Safety, General Smedley D. Butler, resulted in a reduction of the number of police districts and a centralization of the medical responsibilities within the Director's office. In 1932, the division operated seven clinics: nose & throat, eye, neurological, gall bladder, baking and massage, violet-ray treatments, and X-ray. By 1949, this had increased to 12 clinics. The Chief Surgeon and many of the functions of this unit were transferred to the Municipal Medical Dispensary of the Managing Director's Office after the passage of the 1951 Home Rule Charter.

Archival Records
83-2.1 Annual Reports (1948)

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Last updated on November 8, 2000