August 12, 2018
Los Angeles, California
July 10, 1942 LAPD Police Academy
Dr. George Hodel (at lectern) then Head of the L.A. County Social Hygiene Department
The original 1942 article (left) reads as follows:
ARMY HEALTH PERIL FOUGHT
F.B.I and Southland Police Aid in Conference on Social Disease
In the last war casualties among American fighting men were caused more by tiny, invisible enemies than by the shells and bullets of Germany.
Seeking to prevent a repetition of the proportionate inroads of these microscopic menaces–the spirochetes of syphilis and the gonococci of gonorrhea–United States Army, Feberal Bureau of Investigation and Southland police authorities conferred yesterday.
ATTENDED BY 200
In charge of the conference was Richard B. Hood, chief special agent of the F.B.I. for Sourthen California. Two hundred Los Angeles and Kern County law enforcement officers , and Army representatives participated in the meeting at the Police Departmen’s Elysian Park training center.
After Hood had outlined the scope of the May Act, which empowers military authorities to police any area when local agencies cannot or will not control undesirable conditions, two physicians explained the toll of the two principal social diseases upon the nation’s armed forces.
“The problem of controlling venereal diseases and prostitution is one of finding infected persons and then holding them in custody for treatment,” Dr. G. Hill Hodel, head of the county’s Social Hygience Bureau, told the group.He said that syphilis cases are 10 times more numerous than influenza and 100 times more frequent than infantile paralysis, with gonorrhea even more prevalent.
“In the last war there were 156,000 more disability cases among soldiers than wounds,” Dr. Hodel said. “Health departments all over the United States are working to check venereal disease and prostitution and the co-operation of police is vital to their efforts.
“Dr. H.C. Pulley, city social hygience expert, reported that of 190 women examined in June, more than 60 were found to be infected with social diseases. He gave a breakdown of the source of infection of 1640 other cases reported to his department by physicians.
Lieut. Col. Paul Taylor provost marshal for the Southern California Sector, Western Defense Command, explained the organization and jurisdiction of various military police units in the area. Capt. Carl Williamson of the judge advocate’s office discussed legal details of the same subject.