To the House of Representatives:
I return herewith House bill (No. 4350) to abolish the board of commissioners of the Metropolitan police of the District of Columbia and to transfer its duties to the Commissioners of the District of Columbia, without my approval.
It is my judgment that the police commissioners, while appointed by the Executive, should report to and receive instructions from the District Commissioners. Under other circumstances than those existing at present I would have no objection to the entire abolition of the board and seeing the duties devolved directly upon the District Commissioners. The latter should, in my opinion, have supervision and control over the acts of the police commissioners under any circumstances; but as recent events have shown that gross violations of law have existed in this District for years directly under the eyes of the police, it is highly desirable that the board of police commissioners should be continued in some form until the evil complained of is eradicated and until the police force is put on a footing to prevent, if possible, a recurrence of the evil. The board of police commissioners have recently been charged with the direct object of accomplishing this end.
U. S. GRANT.
Ulysses S. Grant, Veto Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/203785