Sunday, April 18, 2010


Three of America’s greatest law enforcement leaders – J. Edgar Hoover, William H. Parker and Daryl Gates – have been much maligned by the left and by minority activists when, in fact, they deserve the utmost praise. Hoover and Parker are long dead, while Gates just passed away the other day. I want to take the occasion of Daryl Gates’ death to set the record straight.


Hoover was the first director of the FBI, serving in that capacity from 1924 until his death in 1972. He is credited with building the FBI into one of the best law enforcement agencies in the world. Under his leadership, the most modern crime-fighting technologies were adapted by the bureau.

Hoover’s critics have accused him of exceeding the FBI’s jurisdiction, using the FBI to harass political dissenters and activists, amassing secret files on political leaders, and collecting evidence using illegal methods. Many of those accusations arose from Hoover’s efforts in fighting Soviet communism’s attempts to undermine our country after WWII. Overlooked was the fact that many of those political dissenters and activists engaged in acts of violence against this country.

Hoover was clearly wrong in his efforts to discredit Martin Luther King, Jr. Planting stories about King's alleged womanizing was unforgivable. Imposing King's photo on a picture of the participants at a communist party camp meeting was also unforgivable. There is no excuse for what Hoover did in this case, even though he truly believed that King and other civil rights activists constituted a threat to law and order in this country.

In Hoover's time agents did a lot of "gumshooing", while now they spent much of the time on their butts piddling around with computers. He demanded the utmost integrity from his agents, the underhanded attempts to discredit civil rights leaders aside. There were no scandals when he was in charge. Agents toed the line, both on duty and off duty.

Since his death, the FBI has experienced scandals from the very top to the bottom. Even within the FBI's touted crime laboratories, there have been evidence fabrications and other questionable practices.

Hoover has been the recipient of false and malicious accusations from his left-wing detractors. While there is little doubt that Hoover was a homosexual, one of the allegations was that he partied publicly in Washington as a cross-dresser. That charge is absolutely absurd. The media would have eagerly exposed Hoover as a transvestite if that was true because he would have been easily recognized in public, no matter how he was dressed or what kind of wig he might have been wearing.

Hoover was truly a great man, serving his country to ensure its security and public safety. His efforts to smear Martin Luther King, Jr. should not define the man. It’s too bad that today’s bureau does not measure up to the FBI under the leadership of J. Edgar Hoover.


For 16 years (starting in 1950), William H. Parker served as the head of the Los Angeles Police Department, earning the reputation of "Los Angeles's greatest and most controversial chief of police." Commenting on corruption and police brutality, Parker noted that "We'll always have cases like this because we have one big problem in selecting police officers ... we have to recruit from the human race."

Parker took over a department that was corrupt through and through. With the backing of some “Young Turks” who wanted to serve in a department free of corruption, Parker cleaned up LAPD so that, during his tenure as chief, it became one of the most corrupt-free police agencies in the country. He thoroughly modernized the department. Under his leadership LAPD rightly earned the reputation as this country’s finest police agency.

Parker was a tough law and order advocate. His public pronouncements about who was responsible for most of the serious crime in LA earned him the hatred of black and Latino community activists. His department’s proactive policing in the high-crime neighborhoods of Los Angles led to accusations of police brutality and racial animosity towards minorities. The left and minority leaders claim that Parker’s brand of policing was to blame for the 1965 Watts riots.

When all is said and done, there is not a doubt in my mind that Bill Parker was the greatest police chief this country ever had. He doesn’t deserve the bum rap he got for bearing down hard on the violent hoodlums who threatened his city’s peace and the public’s safety.


Daryl Gates was Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department from 1978 to 1992, Bill Parker having personally groomed him to be his eventual successor. Like his mentor, Gates was a tough law and order advocate who came down hard on the black and Hispanic hoodlums who held sway in South Los Angeles.

Gates truly loved the city he policed. He has been unfairly defined by the Rodney King riots which led him to resign. There is no doubt that Gates failed to take immediate charge when the riots started and that LAPD mishandled its initial response to the chaos. Black and Latino community leaders who hated Gates for his police sweeps of South Los Angeles were quick to jump on his perceived lack of leadership during the riots and demanded his resignation.

Gates, like Parker before him, was outspoken and his remarks were absent of political correctness. He claimed that many officers recruited in the 1980s - a period in which LAPD was subject to a court ordered consent decree which set minimum quotas for the hiring of women and minorities – did not meet the high standards demanded of earlier recruits.

Gates was accused of racism and sexism when he remarked that “If you don't have all of those quotas, you can't hire all the people you need. So you've got to make all of those quotas. And when that happens, you get somebody who is on the borderline, you'd say ‘Yes, he's black, or he's Hispanic, or it's a female, but we want to bring in these additional people when we have the opportunity.’ So we'll err on the side of, ‘We'll take them and hope it works out.' And we made some mistakes. No question about it, we have made some mistakes."

There is no doubt that Gates was one of LA’s best police chiefs. His policing tactics reduced LA’s crime rate and kept the violent gangs of South Los Angeles in check. I agree that it was time for him to leave because of the Rodney King riot fiasco, but it is downright unfair to disregard his many worthy accomplishments as LAPD’s chief. Daryl Gates, like J. Edgar Hoover and Bill Parker, was truly one of America’s greatest law enforcement leaders.

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