After much discussion of the relative advantage and disadvantage of this method of relief, on January 15, 1898, was adopted the following order by the Commissioners of the District.
"Ordered : That allotments for relief of the poor, such as have been heretofore distributed through the metro politan police force, shall hereafter be distributed through the Associated Charities under the direction of the central relief committee." Four days earlier by a special order the commissioners had transferred one thousand dollars 01000), the unal lotted balance of the current appropriation of the thirteen hundred dollars ($1300) referred to above, to the central relief committee, so that since the beginning of 1898 police distribution of public relief has been a thing of the past. The sole reason for this change, according to the chief of police and the commissioner who has the police depart ment especially in charge, is that the work of investigating and relieving destitute families is not a police duty, does not properly belong to the police department, and seriously interferes with the legitimate work of the police depart ment. Other than these purely negative objections have been urged by others, but the reason assigned is that which actuated the board. It is understood that in the police force itself the distribution was naturally looked upon with some favor in view of the opportunity which it gave to win friends, and to remove whatever unpopularity might attach to the ordinary work of enforcing laws. It is obvious that whatever objections there are to public outdoor relief are intensified in this particular system. Outdoor relief by police officers not only tends to demor alize its recipients, but obscures the clear conception of duty which is essential to guardians of the peace.
Baltimore. — In Baltimore the police was formerly em ployed, as in Washington, to aid destitute families. No part of the money used for this purpose came, however, from the public treasury. Newspapers and private citizens supplied the funds. On January 12, 1898, representatives of the principal relief agencies of the cities petitioned the board of police commissioners to discourage as far as pos sible the sending of money and supplies to the poor. A let ter was received in reply to the petition, giving the position of the board as follows : . . That the large increase in the area of the city, in the number of buildings therein, and in its population, has imposed upon the police department so much additional work that it is very desirable that it should be relieved as far as possible of all services other than those which are strictly police duties, and I am directed by the board to advise you that while it will not refuse to accept and dis tribute such contributions as may be made by our citizens, we very much prefer, for the reason above given, now that the organized charities of the city have so perfected their organizations and enlarged their facilities as to be able to handle all contributions to advantage, that those who have heretofore asked the police department to dis pense their contributions should send them instead to some one or more of the organized charities of Baltimore, a number of which you represent."
The new charter of the city of Baltimore in 1898 reorganized its charitable administration. It made no change, however, in the long-established policy of the city confining public relief to that given in the almshouse or in private institutions, but, on the contrary, by its terms expressly prohibits adult outdoor relief.
Philadelphia. — Philadelphia, unlike Washington and Baltimore, has been familiar with the system of public out door relief, though it was discontinued there after the corre sponding change which has been described in Brooklyn. Its abolition in Philadelphia is thus described by Charles D. Kellogg, who aided in the establishment of the Phila delphia Society for Organizing Charity, and who soon suc ceeded his brother, Rev. D. 0. Kellogg, as secretary : On January 18, 1878, several gentlemen connected with the soup houses and some of the other relief agencies of Philadelphia met informally to consult concerning means by which all the charities of the city "might be protected from the countless impositions practised upon them." A general meeting of managers and trustees of charitable enterprises of the city was called. At that meeting a committee embracing representatives of all the leading charities of the city was appointed to consider and report on the whole subject. The committee included Joshua L. Baily, Rudolph Blankenburg, Philip C. Garrett, Thomas S. Harrison, William W. Justice, Charles Spencer, and James A. Wright, who a few years later were members of the famous committee of one hundred, which did much at that time to stem the tide of political corruption.