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M-527 St. Louis Police Academy Training Manuscript, 1952

ABSTRACT: Record of training in the St. Louis Police Academy by Robert B. Beimslager.

SCOPE: This manuscript was created by Robert B. Beimslager (1923-2012) during his training as a probationary patrolman in the St. Louis Police Academy from December 15, 1952 to February 2, 1953. The manuscript contains Biemslager's remarkably detailed notes on the individual classes he attended, including the dates and names of instructors. The manuscript provides unrivaled insight into law enforcement training in early-postwar St. Louis and includes sections on report writing, ordinances, the use of force, handling of dead bodies, prostitution, narcotics, etc.

EXTENT: 630 page binder.

HISTORY: Robert B. Biemslager grew up in north St. Louis in the Kingsway West neighborhood. He was the son of a baker and the youngest of four children. He served in the Marine Corps in World War II and then with the City Police, after completing his academy training in 1953. Archived newspaper reports confirm Biemslager had become a detective with the narcotics unit by 1971 and a Sergeant with the tactical anti-crime unit by 1976. At the time Biemslager joined the City Police, St. Louis was experiencing a racially driven exodus that evolved into a seven-decade-long streak of population loss, totaling a decline of nearly 65% from a peak of 850,000 in the late 1940's. Police enforcement of racial capitalism is one facet of this complex history, into which Biemslager's manuscript provides critical insight.

ACCESS: This collection can be viewed on-site in the Rare Book and Manuscripts Reading Room. Some of the material may be photocopied, digitally scanned or photographed, subject to condition and other access restrictions. Information on conducting research with the archival collections of the Library, including current building hours and reading room policies, can be found on our Research page. The St. Louis Mercantile Library is located on levels one and two of the Thomas Jefferson Library building on the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ north campus. 

PREFERRED CITATION: The preferred citation for this collection is “From the Special Collections of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri – St. Louis."