Legacy of J. Edgar Hoover Essay

1408 WordsJun 13, 20126 Pages
Imagine, a time when law enforcement agents could only watch a criminal walk away. A time when they were unable to return fire in a gunfight. A time when no means for tracking criminals existed. A time when a state line stood as impassible as a great wall for law enforcement. There was a time, when men created legends with their criminal exploits, by name of John Dillinger, Machine Gun Kelly, Baby Face Nelson. They stood unopposed, taking what they wished on a whim. In 1924, a young man, years short of 30, was put in charge of an agency with no bite. By the end of his life, J. Edgar Hoover was the most powerful man in America, at the head of one of the most powerful organizations in America. He held more power than the very presidents of…show more content…
Law enforcements were unable to pursue criminals across state lines. In addition to a total lack of legal necessities, the manner in which the FBI was run prior to Hoover was ineffective at best, once being called "the most corrupt and incompetent agency in Washington" (John Edgar Hoover). Immediately upon his appointment, Hoover set to work. In fact, Hoover would only take the job under the conditions that he would hold singular control over the promotion of his agents, and that no political leverage be used against him to obstruct the agency (John Edgar Hoover). The director established new personnel policies, firing agents that were considered unqualified but hired anyway by previous directors, doing away with promotions based upon seniority, only giving promotions based upon merit, introduced standard performance reviews, and established strict standards of conducts (John Edgar Hoover). Hoover also reorganized the agency in such a way that every officer reported directly to him. The agency became part Hoover just as Hoover became part of the agency, and he did everything that he could to obtain more power for it. Hoover pioneered "personnel training, the use of scientific laboratory techniques, accurate reporting, and filing large volumes of material" (John Edgar Hoover). Hoover established a base from which to create a unprecedented, effective, and powerful crime-fighting organization, the likes of which the world had never seen. Hoover used his newly
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