Camden Courier-Post – June 23, 1933
Citizens Complain to City Commission and Give ‘Hot ‘Tips’
$500,000 DAMAGE TO HOMES CHARGED
Police Act Quickly on Objection to ‘Buck’ Swimming
The Camden police were criticized yesterday at a meeting of the City Commission for relaxing their vigilance in halting damage by vandals in vacant properties which have caused total losses of $500,000 in the city.
A committee representing the North Camden Civic Association appeared before the City Commission and urged an intensive campaign to halt destruction of unoccupied buildings. Among the committee’s recommendations for the drive were greater activity by the police, co-operation by citizens with the police in reporting vandalism, appointment of special officers to watch the buildings and a general educational campaign in the city schools.
Given Hot Clue
Mayor Roy R. Stewart estimated that $500,000 damage had been done to vacant properties, and agreed to give full support to the drive to halt vandalism.
With characteristic suddenness, Frank J. Hartmann, secretary of the civic association, arose in the meeting and told the mayor that if policemen were sent immediately to Tenth and State Streets they would find young men engaged in tearing down an unoccupied factory.
As another evidence of “police negligence,” he said, young men and boys could be found bathing nude at that moment in Cooper River in that vicinity. Acting immediately, Mayor Stewart instructed Capt. John W. Golden, acting police chief, to send policemen to the neighborhood.
14 Nude Bathers Nabbed
A few minutes later, 14 boys and young men, ranging, in age from 12 to 26, were arrested for bathing without clothes.
All bathers over 14 were held in cash security of $10 and those under 14 were released in custody of their parents on charges of disorderly conduct. They are: Leslie Bayne, 26, of 503 Royden street ; Harvey Howell, 16, of 529 Washington Street ; John Grady; 19, of 578 Benson Street ; Roscoe Davis, 15, of 253 North Eleventh Street; James Evans, 15, of 601 North Second Street; William Dempsey, 12, of 1030 Lawrence Street; Robert Farland, 13, of 1112 Federal Street ; Roland Garber, 15, of 537 Birch street ; Edgar Grundlock, 15, of 318 North Tenth Street; Frank Garwood; 13; of 717 Bailey Street ; Eugene Dodelin, 13, of 309 Cole Street; Ralph Skill, 13, of 512 North Seventh Street ; Robert Rudd, 15, of 642 Linwood Street, and Richard Evans, 14 of 601 North Second Street.
Miss Elsie Stein, a member of the committee, handed the mayor a letter from a woman who complained about young men bathing in Cooper River. The letter was turned over to Acting Chief Golden.
“If the police performed the duties they are paid to perform, this vandalism could be stopped,” Miss Stein said.
Mrs. Stephen Pfeil, another committee member, told the mayor she realized the depleted condition of the police force and offered to aid in the educational campaign by talking against vandalism to children in the schools.
Hartmann urged that politicians and public officeholders refrain from using their influence to obtain leniency for children guilty of damaging vacant houses. William Coghlan said he had complained to the police about the practice but had seen no results.
Weed Cleanup Ordered
Other members, of the committee presenting the protest were Vincent Martinelli and Leon Wojtkowiak, representing the South Camden Civic Association.
The city commission adopted on final reading an ordinance requiring property owners to remove from the front of their properties and sidewalks weds and debris. A fine may be imposed as penalty for violation of the ordinance.
A resolution was passed protesting an increase in power authorized by the federal government to Station WORC and WEPS, of Worcester, Mass. An increase to 1280 kilocycles and to 500 watts causes interference in broadcasting, from WCAM, the resolution pointed out.
Wilbur B. Ellis, Edward F. Peard and Thomas C. Wright were reappointed to the city board of assessors as of July 1. George H. Simpson, of 2725 Concord Avenue, was reappointed constable for three years in the Eleventh Ward.
Another resolution was adopted by the commission clarifying to the federal government its position relative to responsibility as to operation of WCAM. It was pointed out in the resolution that the mayor and city clerk had entered a supplemental agreement with the Broadcast Advertising Company, which leases the station from Camden. The government desired to establish that nothing be construed in the agreement which would relieve Camden from responsibility in operation of the station.
Another measure adopted adjourns the city commission until July 13 for a hearing in proposed condemnation proceedings against properties at 332 and 334 Benson street, designated as fire hazards.