Tuesday, July 27, 2021


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Historian Bob Murphy Served in Security:
Old SLI Security Badge to be Retired to Epworth's History Room this Season

THE ABOVE IS A 50% REPRO
OF THE SLI SECURITY BADGE
SLATED TO BE DONATED  THIS
SUMMER TO THE HISTORY
ROOM IN EPWORTH HALL.
"In 1895, the State Legislature gave the Assembly power to make rules and enforce order by the appointment of police officers with full police authority on the grounds and ten rods outside." SLI Police were usually volunteers and served under the Superintendent of the Grounds. 

Because there was no formal police training and no official compensation, the words "police" and "officers" were not used as much as "Security" and "Security Officer. Because there was no Court system or jail, for that matter, neighboring Police Departments were brought in for the more serious violations and disagreements.

As a religious, gated community requiring an enry fee from 1873 or shortly thereafter through the time of the elimination of the ticket booths, the opening of the gates, Perry Ave. becoming a Town of Castile municiple road and the extension of the only two-lane road through the Park and over to Chapman Road--the extension also taking on the name of Perry Ave. 

The Institute was now open to the public 24 hours a day. This made the "security forces" of the Institute all the more essential to control wandering youths acting more like gangs. The docking areas became more vulnerable to vandalism and damage.

Neighbor to neighbor problems were exacerbated on occasion by a volunteer third neighbor being called in who happened to be on Security duty that evening. Serious authority seemed to be lacking in some of these relationships between community members and their equals serving as authority figures. Some Institute security guards had better luck, or personal skills, at keeping order than others. 

This summer season, a Silver Lake Institute Security Badge will be donated to the History Room at Epworth Hall. It had been gifted by Bob Murphy years ago to Frederick Schuknecht. Anyone wishing o make historical gifts should contact Historian Sharon Pratt, curator of the History Room. (Email SLDNewsletter for coverage.)


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