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Heath (R. Lee) scrapbook
7117  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Robert Lee Heath (1881-1974) joined the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in 1904 and rose through the ranks to serve as Chief of Police from 1924-1926. The R. Lee Heath scrapbook contains a total of more than 200 newspaper clippings and items of ephemera. Heath began this scrapbook in 1913, at about the time he was placed in command of the Boyle Heights division. He clipped newspaper articles written about or by police (e.g., "Officer Leo W. Marden Commanding the Juvenile Bureau of the Police Department, Writing His Views on How Best to Curb the Forces of the Underworld in Los Angeles") and on unusual or sensational crimes and criminals, incidents in which Los Angeles police were injured or killed, and occasional unrelated subjects. The scrapbook documents Heath's accomplishments in various positions, including as commander of the LAPD's newly created Wilshire Division and as the LAPD's Assistant Chief. Heath's tenure as Chief of Police is not covered in this scrapbook, but he is remembered elsewhere for overseeing the construction of five new police stations and the creation of forensic labs and a new police training division.
Background
Robert Lee Heath (1881-1974) joined the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in 1904 and rose through the ranks to serve as Chief of Police from 1924-1926. Heath began this scrapbook in 1913, at about the time he was placed in command of the Boyle Heights division. He clipped newspaper articles written about or by police (e.g., "Officer Leo W. Marden Commanding the Juvenile Bureau of the Police Department, Writing His Views on How Best to Curb the Forces of the Underworld in Los Angeles") and on unusual or sensational crimes and criminals, incidents in which Los Angeles police were injured or killed, and occasional unrelated subjects. In 1917, two days after the United States entered World War I, Heath was charged with supervising companies of armed citizens who had signed up to be home guardsmen. His scrapbook includes two articles on this work (Home Guard is Ready for Defense," "Many Rush to Join; Home Guards Ready") and another reporting that "Enemy Aliens in Los Angeles Are Ordered to Disarm." Heath's leadership qualities (and ambitions) are further documented by articles from 1918-1920 describing his work as chairman of a new Police Relief Association and head of a new police training school. "The average policeman believes he has a right to arrest anyone, at any time, or at any place," he is quoted as saying. "We are going to instruct the officers on the legal rights of a police officer, and we hope to make all the members of the department familiar with the rights of the citizen, as well as their own."
Extent
1 Linear Feet 1 box
Restrictions
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
Availability
Advance notice required for access.