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François Charles De Latour

François De Latour moved to Brussels in 1871, together with his brother Benoît, who would make career in the Ministry of Justice. In 1876, he took up a career in the sûreté publique. Following several promotions he was appointed Director General of Prisons and Public Security (Sûreté publique) in 1890. Among other things, he is concerned with maintaining order during demonstrations for universal suffrage, holding surveillance over incoming anarchists, most particularly from France, and the strengthening of information exchange with foreign services. Therefore, he maintained direct contacts with both the French Sûreté général and the Paris Prefecture, and also with Rotterdam, Rome, the Berlin Presidium and St. Petersburg. Furthermore, he cooperated with foreign embassies (e.g. the British). He received police officials from Britain, Germany and Austria on their study trips. Besides, through his work as general director of prisons, De Latour participated in, and organized, international penitentiary congresses, as for instance in Brussels, 1900. Through this congresses, he maintained relations with officials from around Europe and the United States. Furthermore, he enjoyed a good reputation among the Belgium press and the Ministry of Justice, as well as in the transnational police community. This is reflected in his extensive collection of domestic and foreign decorations.

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