James E. Davis Chief of Police, Los Angeles, California
ALL persons engaged in law enforcement activities today must of necessity, if they indulge in any serious thought, be deeply disturbed by the spirit of lawlessness everywhere encountered. In no direction is this defiance of law so prevalent or so bold as in the contempt shown for one of our most sacred institutions, the Constitution of the United States. This contempt for the 18th Amendment to the Constitution is not confined to social outlaws. It extends into all branches of our national social and economic structure.
Persons prominent in our social life and holding positions of leadership in our professional, business and industrial worlds seem to have no conception of the contagiously disastrous effect of their own support of an outlaw "industry." Their money gives it power, their known sympathy and patronage give it prestige in places where it should be shown no quarter.
Human psychology is such that contempt for any law, openly indulged in with impunity, breaks down respect for other laws. Defiance of the liquor statutes is menacing the very foundations of government--destroying respect for law and for the agencies charged, not only with liquor law enforcement, but with the administration of all criminal justice.
To one intimately acquainted with conditions as they now exist, the situation is sufficiently grave to demand drastic action. So long as the 18th Amendment remains a part of the Constitution, it is imperative that its enforcement be made vastly more effective than it now is.
To a practical-minded police executive that can be accom-