Quinn Tamm, 75, a former FBI official who became executive director of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and a forceful spokesman for the nation's police officers during the turbulent 1960s, died Jan. 23 at Suburban Hospital after a heart attack. He lived in Kensington.
Mr. Tamm retired from the FBI as an assistant director after nearly 30 years of service and took over the IACP in 1962.
The civil rights revolution was gaining momentum and if the special character of the movement was peaceful protest, it nonetheless placed special responsibilties and burdens on the police. At the same time, the courts were limiting police powers in criminal cases with such rulings as the famous Miranda decision. This requries police to advise suspects of their rights to remain silent and to have counsel present before being questioned.
Crime was on the rise and as the numbers went up so did the cries for law and order in the streets. At the same time there were criticisms that the police were overreacting and there were frequent charges of police brutality.
Mr. Tamm supervised a year-long IACP study in 1965 of crime in Washington for the D.C. Crime Commission. Four years later, he criticized the city's administration for having an "amazing resistance" to implementing the commission's recommendations.
"When one looks at the condition of criminal justice and the state of crime in Washington, progress is not coming slowly, it is not coming at all," he told a Rotary Club luncheon.
When rioting broke out in the Watts section of Los Angeles in 1965 -- and in later years in many other cities -- some said these episodes should be seen in the light of a hundred years of black deprivation. Mr. Tamm took a different view.
"We are tired of sociologists, psychiatrists, militant civil rights leaders and others intoning that because people are deprived and resentful of authority they should be understood when they kill, destroy millions of dollars in property, commit arson, loot and pillage," he told some 3,000 law enforcement officials from around the world at a 1965 meeting in Miami Beach.
"We are tired of the cry that because one segment of our population has been deprived for 100 years, the balance of society must accept 100 years of anarchy. We are tired of the notion that certain causes are sacrosanct and that their rights transcend the law . . . . "
In 1975, Mr. Tamm retired from the IACP and had been a law enforcement consultant since then.
Mr. Tamm's career in the FBI began in 1934. He worked his way up through the ranks from special agent to assistant director of the identification and the training and inspection divisions. When he retired in 1961, he was the assistant director of the laboratory division.
Mr. Tamm was born in Seattle. He graduated from the University of Virginia. He shared his interests in law enforcement with his brother, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Edward A. Tamm, who died in 1985.
He was a member and a past treasurer of the Police Foundation.
Survivors include his wife, Ora Belle Tamm, of Kensington; two sons, Quinn J. Jr., of Cherry Hill, N.J., and Thomas M., of Silver Spring; and two grandsons.