• Steve Barnett

Coffin Promises to Arrest All Loafers


From The Indianapolis News, Tuesday, June 4: At the urging of Mayor Jewett, the Indianapolis city council passed the “war loafer” ordinance last night providing loafers with the alternatives of entering military service, working on farms, engaging in war or munition work, or going to jail. The police department was given discretion in making arrests, but police chief George Coffin promised a thorough cleaning of the city as far as loafers are concerned. A recent census produced the “names of seven or eight hundred men who frequent street corners and poolrooms, all apparently able to work.” Chief Coffin said, “Every able-bodied man or woman must apply himself to some useful occupation, regardless of whether they have money to live on without working. Every one of these men will get an opportunity to go to work before an arrest is made.”

“Coffin Promises to Arrest All Loafers,” The Indianapolis News, 4 June 1918, p. 24:3

#onehundredyearsago #loafers #police #MayorJewett #transients #publicorder

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