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Copyright © 2016-2017 Mary Frances Fisher

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Eliot Ness

Working for the Cleveland Police Department in PFIB, Frank Szabo has a chance encounter with Eliot Ness who promotes him to the rank of detective. Frank subsequently becomes the lead investigator into the Sheridan murder.

 

Eliot Ness was a former Treasury Agent assigned to the Justice Department’s Prohibition Unit best known for capturing organized crime bosses with his “Untouchables.” In 1935, two years after Prohibition was repealed, he was recruited to become Cleveland’s Safety Director—a position he held until 1941. As the fifth largest U. S. metropolitan area, Cleveland was considered the most dangerous city with the worst record for traffic safety in the nation. Under Ness’ capable leadership, the accident rate within two years was drastically reduced as Cleveland became the fourth safest city for traffic accidents. Ness would be instrumental in cracking down on police corruption, modernizing the fire department, and instituting traffic safety measures that earned national acclaim. He also established the first Police Academy and is pictured below in 1938 with officers from the Cleveland Motorcycle Unit.

Pictured below in 1938 is an example of new technology: “Radio-Directed Mobile Police” cars (term coined by Ness.) He identified the need to centralize police districts and eliminated olsolete station houses. Each newly designated zone had the latest equipment to monitor criminal activity and maintain public safety: two-way patrol cars (each with a rotation of three occupants to keep them alert during an eight hour shift), unmarked  detective cars, and accident prevention units.

And a new fleet of improved morotcycles were implemented to patrol streets and promote safety.

The day after Pearl Harbor was attacked, Ness waited for an order from the FBI to begin an enemy alien roundup as part of  Cleveland's plan of defense that was started over a year before. The Department of Justice, through the FBI, was in league with the Department of Immigration and municipal leaders to monitor all aliens of Axis countries. Although it was desogmed tp assire that no one would be arrested without due process, the original plan (modeled after Ellis Island) would be employed to roundup and detain potential enemies.

 

 

After serving for a short-term in Washingbon, DC during the War, Ness returned to Cleveland in 1947 where he campaigned for Mayor. Unfortunately, he earned many enemies when he successfully cleaned up Cleveland's corruption and he lost the bid for Mayor.