Lieutenant Andrew Anewenter
Crime Property Division of the Milwaukee (WI) Police Department
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) has announced the selection of Lieutenant Andrew Anewenter as its Officer of the Month for December 2002. Lieutenant Anewenter is currently assigned to the Crime Property Division of the Milwaukee (WI) Police Department.
We are sad to announce that Lt. Anewenter,perhaps the longest serving officer in our nation's history, passed away at the end of August 2003 after a long and active life in law enforcement.
Lieutenant Anewenter still chokes up recalling the day when he and his partner, Officer Norman Duemling, were transporting two suspects back to the police station. One of the two was able to grab Officer Duemling's firearm, pressed the barrel into his abdomen and threatened to kill him. Convinced that his partner was about to be murdered, Officer Anewenter shot the gunman in the head, killing him instantly, undoubtedly saving his Duemling's life. "Norman was so grateful that for six months after the shooting he picked me up at my home for work," said Anewenter.
Norman Duemling died in 1957 after a long, successful law enforcement career. You see, having recently celebrated his 60th year with the Milwaukee Police Department, at "86 years young" Lieutenant Anewenter is perhaps the oldest active duty law enforcement officer in the nation, and he has no immediate plans to retire.
Andy Anewenter joined the Milwaukee Police Department in June 1944 when the current police chief was only 3 years old. He has walked the beat, patrolled the city and investigated crimes, including murders, assaults, thefts, counterfeiting operations, drug trafficking and a plane crash. He has provided security for Presidents, foreign dignitaries and celebrities, the most notable being Elvis Presley. Anewenter, a slim man with a gray mustache has held supervisory positions with the department for 53 years, the last ten in the property crimes division.
The Lieutenant can still recall the names of those he worked with 50 years ago and the details of decades-old cases. He tells of shooting out street lights in the turbulent 1960's to protect officers from gunmen shooting at them, and witnessing the death of three fellow officers. He admits a few things have changed along the way, like technology - but not the criminal mind. Anewenter stated "Crime doesn't change. Crime is crime. What has changed is that police work is more dangerous today." He attributes this to the drug trade in our nation. He has served under seven Milwaukee police chiefs and six mayors. Captain Darlene Jenkins of the Milwaukee (WI) Police Department states, "I have the utmost respect for Andy. He is an inspiration. He is sharp and a real team player."
It's not known how many departments have mandatory retirement ages as there is no central repository of such information. Jim Pasco, Executive Director of the Fraternal Order of Police, stated that many departments, with the support of law enforcement unions, do maintain a mandatory retirement age. It is commonly believed that with most people physical ability diminishes with age. "The Federal government even mandates that federal law enforcement professions retire at 57," Pasco said. Although Milwaukee doesn't require retirement at any specific age, however, no other officer has stayed on the job past 65. Anewenter attributes his positive attitude, daily walks or swims, and family support has helped him cope with the stress and pressures of his work.