Federal Bureau of Investigation
United States Department of Justice
Washington, D. C.

December 12, 1942


Mr. Hince and the writer conferred with Phillip M. Glick and John H. Provinse, of the War Relocation Authority, on December 12, 1942, relative to the internal security and police problems in the various war relocation camps.

These men pointed out that the Japanese evacuees include both alien and citizen groups; that when they were evacuated from the West Coast area they were first moved to assembly centers under the jurisdiction of the War Department; that thereafter, when the War Relocation Authority obtained camp facilities, the evacuees were moved from the assembly centers to the relocation centers. The War Relocation Authority has at the present time ten such relocation camps, located at:
Manzanar, California
Poston, Arizona
Tulley [Tule] Lake, California
Gila River, at Rivers, Arizona
Central Utah, at Topaz, Utah
Granada, at Granada, Colorado
Minidoka, at Eden, Idaho
Heart Mountain, Wyoming
Jerome, Arkansas, and
Rohwer, Arkansas
In these camps there are a total of 105,000 Japanese, the individual camps ranging from 8,000 (as the smallest) to the largest in which there are located 20,000 Japanese.

In connection with the policing of these camps they advised that the chief of police and one or two assistants are Caucasians, selected through the Civil Service recruitment program. The balance of the police officers in each camp are selected from the evacuees. The patrolmen function without uniform and merely have an arm band to designate their position. They have not, in connection with their police functions within the camps, endeavored to develop any type of informant coverage whatsoever.

At the present time they have no standardization with reference to the police work. The minor violations of the law are handled individually in the camps as they arise. At the present time a board of elected officials from among the evacuees is endeavoring to draw up in each individual camp a series of violations, together with the recommended punishment. In the event of the commission of a felony in any camp the violator is turned over to the state authorities for prosecution under the state laws.

There is no one head of the police force at the present time for all of the camps, although it was intended that Willard Schmidt, who was chief of police at the Manzanar relocation center, be brought to Washington and placed in charge of this program. The personnel files of Mr. Schmidt and of the other officials designated in charge of the various police departments in these relocation centers were turned over to the writers and an appropriate review is being made of each file, which will be the subject of a separate memorandum to you.

Messrs. Glick and Provinse advised that at the time they received the Japanese at the Relocation Centers, they received no records of their background. Since that time they have had forms executed by them for the purpose of determining the type of employment to which they would be suited and they have since been assigned to suitable work. They further stated that they had no established police record system; that they had not set up any permanent inspection of the police or internal security functions of these camps; that there was little standardization in view of the fact that each camp was run as a separate organization; that there had been no police training program and that there was no one head in Washington or elsewhere in charge of the police or internal security problem as such.

These men stated that they desired assistance in the following matters:
  1. Selection of personnel to head the police systems in each camp.
  2. Organization of a training program for the chief, his Caucasian heads, and the oriental patrolmen.
  3. An inspection and study of the system presently in use in the camp.
  4. Determination as to the kind of informant coverage.
  5. A permanent liaison between the FBI and the WRA in Washington, D. C. in order that information relative to contemplated disturbances or other internal security matters in these camps might be called to the attention of the War Relocation Authority.
The writers are of the opinion that  no action can be taken on the first four points until such time as an inspection of each camp is made and the problems peculiar to each camp studied. It is, therefore, the suggestion of the undersigned that Inspector Gurnea be designated to study each of these camps for the purpose of making definite recommendations as to the size and extent of the police force needed, as to the establishment of a uniform police record system, and with regard to the type and number of informants believed desirable in each camp.

It is recommended that a liaison be established at the Seat of Government between the FBI and the War Relocation Authority and that information relative to the operations of the camps, et cetera, be furnished to War Relocation Authority through the liaison section.

D. M. Ladd
Assistant Director

L. A. Hince


Office of the Solicitor General
Washington, D. C.

December 30, 1942

Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation
RE: Japanese Activity in Relocation Centers
I have your memorandum of December 21 on the above subject and note that the information contained therein with respect to Poston and Manzanar is being furnished to the military authorities and made available to the Director of War Relocation Authority.

The Alien Enemy Control Unit has advised the Director of War Relocation Authority that this Department is willing to accept for internment Japanese aliens who should be removed from Relocation centers in the interest of maintaining safe conditions in such centers; and we have also advised the Director of our view that Japanese citizens who are disturbing elements should be separated. I understand these latter arrangements are being made.
Charles Fahy,
Director, War Division.

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