The system allowed the police to monitor the city and prevent petty crime from becoming a major problem. The agreement reduced large-scale crimes, but encouraged gambling and prostitution. It is interesting to note that it allowed criminals to police their criminal colleagues to ensure that no one ruined something good. If officials were to overturn the Layover agreement, the „heat“ would be too hot to overcome, and its financial gale would end. The over-indebtedness remained in effect for so long because each party benefited financially. As long as the criminals remained in the city, bribes were paid to corrupt officials and the system remained intact. It was so lucrative that criminals were watching their colleagues to make sure no one was ruining anything good. If someone breaks O`Connor`s rules, the „heat“ would be too hot to overcome them, and the financial wind would end quickly. In 1900, Inspector St. Paul John O`Connor was promoted to Chief of Police of the City. At a time when illegal smuggling, gambling and fighting ended, O`Connor developed a plan to keep the crime away from Saint Paul – by transporting criminals. The Layover agreement was an unofficial contract between the criminals and O`Connor, which stipulated that the thugs could flee on three conditions within the city limits: 1) they must register with the police or „register“ when they arrive at the Savoy Hotel in the city centre; 2) they must agree to pay bribes to the police and city officials; 3) they must not commit major crimes within the city. Although the agreement was incredibly corrupt, it was largely successful in preventing the crimes committed in St.
Paul throughout Von O`Connor`s tenure as chief of police. O`Connor retired from the police force on May 29, 1920. A car bomb killed Hogan on December 4, 1928; His murder has not been solved. The transfer system stopped, but without O`Connor`s heavy hand to force him, things began to change. St. Paul`s crime rate eventually increased. The city, which enjoyed a reputation for security in the 1920s, has become a „toxic stain“ of crime in the eyes of the nation. The O`Connor-Layover contract ended in 1935 with the conviction or resignation of many police forces in the city. The old guard was gone, and the new guard made sure that O`Connor`s system did not come back. The arrival of federal agents in St.
Paul marked the beginning of the end of the Layover agreement. Under the authority of a higher authority, local officials could no longer ignore crimes and accept bribes with impunity. In 1934, the federal government passed a series of crime laws that strengthened the FBI`s jurisdiction. This allowed the Bureau to attack the threat of gangsters across the country. But John J. O`Connor`s grand scheme for a model police system based on organized intelligence seems to have turned a wrong turn and gone down a slippery path, because even though he set up a system to monitor the activities of „known crooks“ for eighteen years, the arrangement has become an understanding that has allowed criminals to travel safely inside the city of St. Paul. they have not committed any major offences.
This understanding is known as the O`Connor Layover Agreement. And while I did not find that there was any hard evidence that John J. O`Connor had personally benefited from the Layover agreement financially, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to suggest that he did. There is also speculation that O`Connor`s wife, Annie, was a working mother in the famous Bucket of Blood Saloon, one of the famous Washington Street brothels in St. Paul. It`s reported on the weather when John. J. O`Connor was appointed detective, the city had seven brothels (some estimates say there were at least a dozen6) and 242 salons, while Minneapolis, which had 5,000 more inhabitants, claimed that only four brothels and 176 saloons.7 Upper diving and groggeries, dance halls, playrooms and games rooms o