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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. XII - Page 23« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Assistant Chief Charles Batchelor)

There were a number of railroad track workers on this overpass, and we had officers up there, but they considered them to be authorized personnel because they worked for the railroad, and they were all lined along there watching for the parade which never did go under them.

Mr. Griffin.
How many persons do you remember having been up there?
Chief BATCHELOR. I was not there. I heard about it. I understand there were probably 10 or 12 people up there. But actually, there should be nobody over the immediate route the President goes under. But there are certainly, there seems to me, certain generally accepted procedures that, and certain general types of security that every police department ought to be aware of, that is standard operating procedure, plus whatever specific thing that the various circumstances might want done; some sort of suggested procedure on their part, with it published, that might be helpful to police organizations.
Mr. Griffin.
I want to go off the record here a moment. (Discussion off the record. )
Mr. Griffin.
Let's go on the record on this. We have been speaking off the record about other suggestions which Chief Batchelor has, and one of the things that he has pointed out is that there is not enough advance notice of what the Presidential route is going to be to enable' the police department to satisfactorily handle the administrative problems of selecting people to place them at particular intersections.
Do you want to add any more to that statement that I have made of what you have just told me?
Chief BATCHELOR. No. I realize there is another aspect on this too, on the part of the Secret Service, that they want, that is, that they don't want too much advance notice to the public. This is the reason I am not criticizing. (Further discussion off the record. )
Mr. Griffin.
Let me go on the record and ask you a question here. Do you think, Chief, it would have been possible to station people in the middle of the downtown block with the instructions to watch various buildings in a periphery of their vision.
Chief BATCHELOR. Yes. This would be feasible. We did have men in the middle of the downtown, several of them in each block, they were primarily watching the crowd of people rather than the windows.
When you are in an area of skyscrapers and you are standing right at the foot of these skyscrapers, you couldn't see windows too far up more than just a few floors, but we did have men in the middle of the block, but they weren't instructed to watch the windows as much as they were to watch the people.
Mr. Griffin.
Did these men actually have any specific instructions as to how they were to go about watching the people or the windows?
Chief BATCHELOR. We had experienced detectives down there in the immediate block watching in the crowd and then we had some reservists, too, and we had instructed our people in the course of training that when somebody comes by, that you are supposed to secure, that you are not supposed to watch that person, but supposed to watch the crowd. Whether all of them remember this or not--when you don't get a President here but every number of years, why you don't know. That is the reason I think that in some places where they, have these kind of people frequently, this is probably routine.
Mr. Griffin.
Did you have men stationed in the neighborhood of Elm and Houston and the School Book Depository that were instructed to be watching the crowds ?
Chief BATCHELOR. No, sir; I don't think anyone was stationed below Houston Street. At that point, I don't know whether any crowd along that particular point was even anticipated or not. It was away from the business section and it was not any buildings on either side of the street there, actually.
The School Book Depository faces on Elm Street, which is parallel to the Elm Street ramp that goes under the triple underpass.
It is a couple of hundred feet across from the street to that Building and there wasn't anybody placed down there.

731-228 O--64--vol. XII 3
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