Cahill's papers document his professional and public life from the 1940s-until his death in 2001, tracing the trajectory of
his career as a San Francisco Police Department officer, homicide inspector, deputy chief of police, and chief of police;
as well as his public life after he retired from SFPD, when he continued to be a prominent public figure and public speaker.
The collection consists of police records, mainly from an undercover vice investigation from the 1950s; correspondence; scheduling
diaries; speech materials; papers from conferences and events; certificates and awards; newspaper clippings and publications,
the bulk of which feature or include Cahill; photographs, and audiorecordings.
Thomas J. Cahill started his working life humbly as an ice-delivery man in San Francisco in 1931. By 1958 he had become San
Francisco's Chief of Police, responsible for the oldest police force west of the Mississippi River. Cahill focused his ambitions
on making San Francisco a safer city, instituting novel and sometimes controversial approaches, working with the FBI and U.S.
Congress, and addressing scores of audiences throughout his career and retirement to discuss crime control and prevention.
7 cartons, 2 oversize flat boxes
(10.7 cubic ft.)
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist.
The collection is open for research, with photographs available during Photo Desk hours. Please call the San Francisco History
Center for hours and information at 415-557-4567.