From the Ashes, 1872-1900
A Selection of Documents from the Illinois State Archives
DOCUMENT 49COMMUNICATION FROM POLICEMEN REQUESTING A SALARY INCREASE
October 28, 1899
Policemen's salaries in 1899 were almost the same as they had been in 1872. For the period 1872-1900 economic downturns with consequent deflation virtually negated any inflationary trends. Wages and salaries simply did not increase significantly over these years. A more accurate estimate of the city's population for 1898 has placed it at 1,641,000.
The senate of the state's general assembly appointed a committee in 1897 to investigate the Chicago police force. And in February of 1898 the senate adopted that committee's report. The report stated in part the following:
Points to Consider
How does this communication argue that Chicago policemen were entitled to a raise?
Rank the cities listed in order of population.
Were Chicago policemen underpaid in 1899?
By which criteria should a police force be judged?