Category Archives: Jewish Police

Chuck Klein – Jewish Author, Policeman and Marksman

Today’s Jewish Marksman is Chuck Klein of Ohio.  Klein is a former police officer and firefighter, and also an author and firearms instructor.  His written works include books on police work, self-defense, as well as fiction.  He has also written many articles and essays, including “Klein’s Laws”, which is a collection of Klein’s acquired life wisdom reduced to single sentences, and while not quite as deep as Pirke Avot, is a good read.  An online Jewish magazine gave Klein’s book “The Badge” a generally positive review.

In a 2005 interview with JPFO:

JPFO: … Do you have any final thoughts on solutions to the problems facing American gun owners and those who feel the need to carry concealed weapons?

CK: Yes. I’m concerned that there are far too many restrictions placed on the decent law-abiding citizen who wants or needs to own and carry firearms. Not only that, but these laws, statutes and court decrees are confusing and not universally applied. Even our 2nd Amendment – our beloved 2nd Amendment – is subject to subjectiveness by persons who have the power to enforce restrictions.

There are people out there who are working everyday to pass restrictive firearm rules and when they can’t muster legislative support they connive to twist and usurp what legal, plain language protections we now have.

Citizens who carry must not only be aware of local as well and national laws, but they must have the wherewithal, the grit to defend themselves in a court of law should some police officer or prosecutor, well intentioned or not, charges them with a gun related crime. Belonging to some of the gun rights organizations, is one way to keep abreast of the intricacies of firearm related legal rulings. 

Check out his website at http://chuckkleinauthor.com.

Fran Saltzman – Jewish Marksmswoman and First Female Jewish Mountie

“I’m a marksman, which means I’m a pretty darned good shot with a gun and a rifle.” 

Today’s Jewish markswoman is Fran Saltzman, who had the distinct honor of being the first Jewish woman in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).  In a recent article she described her experiences in the 1970s:

Saltzman likened her six months of boot camp to scenes in the movies Private Benjamin and GI Jane. As if their rigorous training wasn’t hard enough, women were on the receiving end of every form of sexism, from belittling comments to outright hostility and sexual harassment, she said. Saltzman recalled that one trainer introduced them to ammunition by explaining, “The bullet is like a lipstick; the pointy end goes in first.”

As the first female Jewish officer in the RCMP, Saltzman said, “I experienced very little antisemitism… My major battle was proving that women could do the job. The issue was gender and not religion.”

She spoke of one ugly incident that occurred when her troop was taught how to use gas masks. They donned the equipment and prepared to enter a small building in which gas would be released. According to Saltzman, the sergeant asked, “Are there any Jews in this troop?” When she “proudly” raised her hand, she said, he responded, “Hmm, Aronovitch, your people like gas.”

She refused to give him the satisfaction of crying but was so shaken that she failed the test. However, she stressed, this “was the action of one ignorant, prejudiced sergeant, and was not representative of the attitudes of the RCMP as a whole.”

Saltzman is yet another example of Jews serving proudly on police forces in North America.  She is not the only Jewish Canadian marksperson I know of, but I believe the first Canadian I have covered on the blog.

Lilian Copeland: Olympic Athlete and Jewish Marksman

Lilian Copeland was a top US track and field athlete in the 1920′s and 30′s. She excelled in the weight throwing events like discus and shot put, but also in javelin. She boycotted the 1936 Olympics because of Hitler and the Nazis. However, we at the Jewish Marksmanship blog are far more interested in her later police career, where she worked for the LA County Sheriff and “qualified as an expert marksman in 1938, scoring 274 points out of a possible 300 in a sheriff’s department competition.”

She is the second Jewish law enforcement officer we’ve covered here, the other being Emil Harris.

Emil Harris: Marksman and First Jewish Police Chief of Los Angeles

Today I bring you an interesting Jewish marksman. From Wikipedia:

Emil Harris was the only Jewish police chief in Los Angeles, California. He was appointed to serve for one year from 1877 to 1878. He was born in Prussia and immigrated to Los Angeles in 1869. He helped create the city’s first volunteer fire department. He began on six-person police department where he quickly became a deputy chief. The Yiddish-speaking cop became chief after his leadership in the Chinatown massacre of 1871. He was also a detective. His conduct during the capture of the horse thief Tiburcio Vasquez in 1874 at the present-day intersection of Santa Monica Blvd. and Kings Road led to his promotion to chief.

He had a really amazing and colorful life as a law man, discussed in an article at the Western States Jewish History web site. The article is really worth reading, especially the parts about the Chinese massacre (As a side note, I have always thought that relations between Jews and Chinese have had an interesting history, both in this country and world wide. I joke with my wife that I want our daughter to someday marry a Chinese Jew…). Harris sure had some adventures…and a sense of Yiddish humor. But he was also a skilled Marksman:
The Turn Verein Germania [(sports club)] had a military section. The rifle division listed its officers in 1876: Emil Harris, captain; Conrad Jacoby, lieutenant; E. Neitzke, sergeant; W. Marxsen, first corporal; and Charles Gollmer, second corporal. When Captain Harris received his sword it was in time for the May Day parade in which he led the Turn Vereins military company. When the rifle section planned target practice in East Los Angeles at their own shooting range, Harris assured the public, through the daily press, that every precaution was taken to prevent accidents and “that it is utterly impossible for anything of an untoward nature to happen.” To accommodate the expected crowd at the rifle practice, “Trains on the East Los Angeles Street Railroad will run every half-hour.” The shooting match in the fall of 1876 saw Emil Harris win the top award, the silver medal for rifle marksmanship. “He has to win once again when it will become his permanent property.” In the summer of 1876, Harris had been re-elected to another six months term as rifle section captain. In 1902, J. M. Guinn recorded that Harris was one of ten to organize “the Turner Germania, which has grown to be a very important organization, with five hundred members.”
The Western States Jewish History page is very interesting…I always enjoy reading about Jewish life in America outside of New York and Florida!