Police Force Politics Banned Commissioner Kobus Declares

Mary W Kobus - 1932-06-02

Camden Courier-Post – August 3, 1935

Calls for 100% Efficiency and Promises Square Deal for All in Talk to Commanders; Stresses Fact Colsey is Chief

“I want 100% efficient police department and not a political machine.”

Commissioner Mary W. Kobus, new director of public safety, made that declaration yesterday afternoon at a joint police-press conference in her office at city hall before she was served with a writ restraining her from taking that office.

Commissioner Kobus was the kindly mother talking to her “boys” for the most of the conference — but at times she became the stern parent — with the birchrod in the cupboard — as she instructed the police heads to “divorce themselves from politics.”

“For many years I have nursed in my heart a desire to see Camden with a 100% efficient police department,” the commissioner said. “Now that time is at hand.”

“I have known all of you men for many years,” she told the assembled commanders, “and I don’t care what your respective political affiliations might be. You have a right to you opinions, but I want the police department to divorce itself from politics.

“You must know what is going on in your city and you must let me know. I must have 100 percent cooperation if I am to succeed in this new undertaking.

“If you have any complaints, don’t go around and growl, undermining the department. Lay your cards on the table, I guarantee you a fair deal.

“Chief Colsey is head of the police department and not in name only. You others in the rank you occupy are also commanders in fact and not in name. It is up to you.”

The commissioner urged a closer co-operation between police and the press and concluded by saying she wanted her “family” to be honest-to-goodness policemen “because there is no room in the department for those who are not.”

Attending the conference was Chief Arthur Colsey, Lieutenant Herbert Anderson, chief clerk of the bureau; Lieutenants George Frost, Ralph Bakley, Walter Welch, Samuel E. Johnson and George Ward.


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