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December 08, 1966 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1966-12-08

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Commissioner Requests Grand Jury Probe To Fight
Rumors and Insinuations about Detroit Police Force

DETROIT P)- Amid reports
that the Mafia is chortling because
of dissenssion in the force, theI
police department of the nation's
fifth largest city yesterday faced
a grand jury probe requested by
its chief.
Police Commissioner Ray Gir-
ardin said he wannted the inves-
tigation to clear away "malicious
rumors, insinuations and distor-
tions of truth" about his 4,400
The rumors have been rampant,
generally attributed to unnamed
people described as informed in-
dividuals on one side of the law or
the other.
Rumors Abound
Chief among them:
-That the force is crippled by
dissension and political scheming
involving Girardinr and the depart-
ment's organized crime expert,
Vincent Piersante, chief of detect-
ives. ..
-That federal agencies have
stopped exchanging information
with Detroit police for - fear of
leaks to the underworld.
-That the Mafia is delighted
with the mess and may have a
hand in it.
Bowles Investigates
Circuit Judge George Bowles,
appointed by Wayne Detroit Coun-
ty in September as a one-man
grand juror, accepted the request
without saying whether, when or
how such an investigation would
be made.
Girardin's request Tuesday was
the latest in a series of incidents
that have raised questions about
the department and thrust it into
the public spotlight.

The questions began to come
up last Jan. 22 when a previous1
grand jury, with Piersante's in-c
formation and help, raided a res-
taurant in the Detroit district call-c
ed "Greektown." -
Past Chargest
Two men were arrested onf
charges of bribing police and a
now notorious "little black book"
was found containing the names1
of an estimated 100 Detroit police-
Some of the officers later wereE
indicted by the grand jury: some
of the charges later were dropped;
other officers, near retirement age,
resigned from the force.
The full police report on thej
book has yet to be made public.
Reputation Grew.
Piersant gained a nationwide
reputation as an expert on organ-
ized crime for his. investigative1
work under former Commissioner
George Edwards, now a federal
judge in Cincinnati.
In 1963, Edwards went before
a U.S. Senate Investigations Sub-'
committee to expose the existence
of a Detroit Mafia. His testimony
was based on Piersante's investiga-
Under Edwards, Piersante rose
rapidly in the department and or-
ganized the Criminal Intelligence
Bureau CIB, a 28-man detachment
specially assigned to surveillance of
underworld figures.'
Girardin Succeeds
Girardin succeeded Edwards as
commissioner. Since then there
have been some changes in the
CIB, which now has only three of
its members assigned to watch or-
ganized crime figures.

Other precincts and bureaus major crimes "for security rea-!
have taken over* some of these sons."
duties, Girardin said. Federal Arrests
Many of the CIB personnel un- Internal Revenue Service agents
der Piersante when the group was Saturday raided 37 locations in
formed have been transferred to and around Detroit, making arrests
other departments. Girardin said and confiscating equipment which
all but one of those transferred they said was part of a $50,000
was being promoted. "Naturally, football betting pool operation.
you can't have all lieutenants in Officials of the IRS could not
the CIB," he said. be reached for comment on the
Bribery Charge Free Press article, which was at-
The Detroit News reported that tributed to "informed sources" who
earlier this year, during the trial asked that they not be identified
of Anthony Tony Jack Giacalone by name.
on police bribery charges, there Detroit police were not advised of
was testimony that Giacalone had the raid. Girardin said an IRS of-
predicted that Piersante would ficial told him that the lack of
soon be "all through" in the de- notification resulted from a mis-
partment. The News did not elabo- understanding. He would not name
rate on the remark. the official.
Giacalone eventually was acquit- Girardin acknowledged this week
ted of the charge when the prose- that he had ordered an investiga-
cution's chief witness, , a police tion of the department's handling
lieutenant, testified that he had of confiscated property, including
lied about where he had tran- the handling of it by Piersante's
scribed his notes on the case. The CIB. The probe revealed careless-
officer later resigned. ness! But no criminal liability, Gi-
The Detroit Free Press reported I rardin said.-

Girardin asked Bowles this week
to make a similar investigation "to
demonstrate the objectivity" of the
department's investigation of itself.
Bowles said he was surprised by
the request, adding: "We are in-
terested in the integrity of law en-
forcement in Detroit and anywhere
else in Wayne County. We will
take appropriate action on this re-
quest. But we will name our own
time and place." He refused to
explain the last remark.
For the best

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that federal
to cooperate

agencies have ceased
with Detroit police on

The police report on the investi-
'gation has yet to be made public.


._ _............
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Everyone at FOLLETT'S wishes you a

X[ Shulman
(By the author of "Rally Round the Flag, Boys!",
"Dobie Gillis," etc.)
I know how busy you are-studying, going to class, help-
ing old grads find their dentures after Homecoming-but,
hark, the Yuletide is almost upon us and it's time we
turned our thoughts to Christmas shopping.
We'll start with the hardest gift problem of all: what to
give the man who has everything. Well sir, here are some
things I'll bet he doesn't have: 1) A dentist's chair. 2) A
Mach number. 3) A street map of Perth, Australia. 4)
Fifty pounds of chicken fat. 5) A pack of Personna Super
Stainless Steel Blades.
"What?" you exclaim, your eyebrows leaping in wild
incredulity. "The man who has everything doesn't have
Personna Super Stainless Steel Blades? What arrant non-
sense!" you scoff, making a coarse gesture.
But I insist. The man who has everything doesn't have
Personna because everyone in the dorm is always borrow-
ing them. And small wonder ! Wouldn't you be there with
an empty razor and a supplicating sidle if you heard some-
body had super-blades that were super-sharp and super-
durable ; that scrape not, neither do they nick; that shave
you easily and breezily, quickly and slickly, scratchlessly
and matchlessly; that come both in Double-Edge style and
Injector style? Of course you would!
So here is our first gift suggestion. If you know a man
who shaves with Personna, give him a safe.
Next let us take up the thorny problem of buying gifts
when you have no money. Well sir, there are many won-
derful gifts which cost hardly anything. A bottle of good
clear water, for example, is always welcome. A nice smooth
rock makes a charming paperweight. In fact, one Christ-
mas back in my own college days, these are exactly the
gifts I gave a beauteous coed named Norma Glebe. I took
a rock, a bottle of water, a bit of ribbon, and attached a
card with this tender sentiment:
Here's some water
And here's a rock.
I love you, daughter,
Around the clock.
Norma was so moved, she seized the rock, smashed the
bottle, and plunged the jagged edge into my sternum.
"/4 . "co/
Here now is a lovely gift for an American History major
-a bronze statuette of Millard Fillmore with a clock in
the stomach. (Mr. Fillmore, incidentally, was the only
American president with a clock in his stomach. James K.
Polk had a stem-winder in his head and William Henry
Harrison chimed the quarter-hour, but only Mr. Fillmore
of all our chief executives had a clock in his stomach.
Franklin Pierce had a sweep second hand and Zachary
Taylor had 17 jewels and Martin Van Buren ticked but, I
repeat, Mr. Fillmore and Mr. Fillmore alone had a clock
in his stomach. Moreover, Mr. Fillmore was the first presi-
dent with power steering. No wonder they called him
"Old Hickory!")
But I digress. Returning to Christmas gifts, here's one
that's sure to please-a gift certificate from the American
Society of Chiropractors. Accompanying each certificate
is this fetching little poem:
M04.. ,hrigtmf~lAQ as n'nHavvuNwYar.





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to 4Utc ase a c C° °t nd t;hday)
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A. yR tatd *Of- p E




and a Happy New Year

We couldnt End
babigtree, sowe
shrunk the kids.

We hope that Santa Claus is good to you, that you
find time to visit friends and relatives, and that
you do your part in spreading good cheer
and peace on earth.
We'll be looking forward to renewing our

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