Shomrim (fraternal police organization)

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The NYPD Shomrim Society is a fraternal organization of Jewish members of the New York City Police Department.

NYPD Shomrim

The first Shomrim Society was established in the New York City Police Department in 1924. Capt. Jacob Kaminsky was the first president. It is rumored that a comment made to a young Jewish officer going on patrol was the spark that started this fraternal and charitable organization. It was suggested that he might feel more at home with a salami, rather than a nightstick, under his arm. At that time only 1% of the department was Jewish.

Shomrim blossomed in New York during the depression years. Civil service jobs provided the only secure means of making a living in those days. The civil service lists of 1935-37 added 400 new Shomrim members. One of Shomrim's early presidents, Max Finkelstein, became famous in 1938 when he was selected by New York Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia to oversee security for visiting officials from Nazi Germany and to guard the German consulate.

Today, Shomrim Society members hold many different positions in the NYPD, including almost every rank. The highest ranking uniformed female police officer is a three star chief and she is also the current highest-ranking member of the Shomrim Society.

The goal of the society appears atop its stationery "so that Law Enforcement Officers of the Jewish faith may join together for the Welfare of all."


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