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Zone from Cristobal to Ancon and La Boca inclusive, as well as the islands belonging to the Zone.
The headquarters of Zone police is located at Ancon, C. Z., as is also the residence of the Chief of Police. The present Chief of Police, who is also Marshal of the Canal Zone, Warden of the Zone Penitentiary, and Coroner of the Canal Zone, is Capt. Geo. R. Shanton. The Chief Clerk of the Department is D. E. McDonald,
McDonald, who is in charge of Police Headquarters during the absence of the Chief of Police.
The strength of the force is 200 officers and men, who are about equally distributed throughout the different districts of the Canal Zone, the principal stations being located at Ancon, Las Sabanas, La Boca, Pedro Miguel, Paraiso, Culebra, Empire, Las Cascadas, Bas Obispo, Gorgona, Tabernilla, Bohio, Gatun and Cristobal.
Each of the above stations is supplied with a jail, and a majority of them have a number of outposts gov
Police Station and Jaii at Cristobai-- Panama.
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erned by the main stations, all stations being in immediate charge of a lieutenant or sergeant, who is required to report daily to Police Headquarters. All stations and outposts are also immediately connected with Police Headquarters by telegraph and telephone.
The present strength of the force is one chief of police, one chief clerk, six clerks, one first lieutenant, one second lieutenant, twelve sergeants, twenty corporals, 80 first class policemen, all of whom are white, and eighty colored policemen.
The uniform worn by the white officers is khaki, with regulation campaign hat; that worn by the colored officers is khaki, with khaki helmet. The side-arms used are the regulation policeman's club, and regulation 38 Colt pistol.
Nearly all of the first class police officers-corporals, sergeants and lieutenants ----are ex-police officers with good records in the States, or are military men with excellent records and credentials from the United States Army. The Zone penitentiary is located at Culebra, C. Z.,
, where all criminals who are sentenced to the penitentiary are incarcerated.
The headquarters of the penitentiary is at Ancon, as the Warder, as stated above, occupies the dual position of Warden and Chief of Police.
The average number of prisoners in the Zone Penitentiary is about 65.
The offices of Coroner and Marshal of the Canal Zone also come under the head of the Police Department, and the headquarters of these offices is also located at Police Headquarters, Ancon.
All police officers in command of stations are, by virtue of their positioni, deputy marshals, and deputy coroners, and report direct to Police Headquarters, Ancon.
THE PEARL INDUSTRY OF PANAMA.
For many, many years prior to the advent of the Conquistadores, the Pearl Islands (Islas de las Perlas), were known and exploited for the rich pearls that abounded in the shoal waters off the shore. These islands constitute an archipelago and lie well out in the Bay of Panama, about ninety miles from Panama City. There are in the neighborhood of 16 islands and 100 islets in the group, the largest of which is the Isla del Rey. San Miguel, the only town of consequence in the archipelago is located on this island.
The pearl fisheries have been worked more less vigorously' ever since the Spanish occupation, and thous. ands upon thousands of beautiful gems have been brought to light. At the present time the grounds not prolific, and it is only now and then that a pearl of exceptional value is discovered. The pearls found in these islands are credited with having a superior brilliancy of lustre, and range in value all the way from $2 to $2,000.
The fishing is done almost entirely by negroes who live on the islands and dive for the pearls in the most primitive fashion. The usual method of fishing is as follows:-Upon reaching the banks which lie from fifteen to cighteen fathoms under water, the diver ties a rope about his body, and with a small weight attached to his person to facilitate sinking, plunges out of the boat straight to the bottom. Landing in the oyster bed, he seizes and
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tucks one oyster under his arm, and holding one in each hand with occasionally one in his mouth, he ascends rapidly to the surface to regain breath. Half a minute is usually consumed in the operation.
The results are often very discouraging. Sometimes upwards of 1,000 oysters are opened before
a pearl of value is found. In early Spanish times, slaves were impressed into the service, and many lost their lives from shårks and mantas that infest these waters. The manta is a fat fish of great size which wraps its fins about the object it seizes upon, and crushes it to death. Octopuses are also found in the vicinity of these waters. This element of risk makes the avocation of a pearl-diver anything but a pleasant one. The divers usually carry knives for protection, but notwithstanding this precaution, they often lose their lives. Most of the diving is done in the rainy season, that is. from May to December, as during the other months of the year the temperature of the water changes, and on account of its coolness, the diver dislikes to go down. Pearl shells are also quite valuable and tons are shipped to the United States and Europe to be made up in buttons and buckles. The Panama Government exacts a license from those engaged in the pearl industry. The life of the mollusc is only nine or ten years, and it is not until the fourth year that the .pearl, formed of accretions, begins to develop.