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Ex-Chief Enkemann Dies; Recalled As Firm, Fair, Honest

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Former police chiefs Gainsley (left). Enkemann (center) and Krasny


Ex-chief Enkemann dies; recalled as firm, fair, honest

“He was firm. He was fair. He was honest.”

Such was the laconic tribute paid to Casper (Cap) Enkemann when he retired more than two decades ago after 30 years with the Ann Arbor Police Department, 14 of them as its chief.

Enkemann, whose retirement was declared a “loss for the city” in a 1960 Ann Arbor News editorial, died Thursday at the Saline Evangelical Home. He was 76 years old.

Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Monday at the Bethlehem United Church of Christ with the Rev. Orval L.E. Willimann officiating.

While describing him as a friendly and likeable man who could be firm when the occasion demanded, The News praised Chief Enkemann as a “quiet, but determined and efficient officer,” and noted that the city “should be grateful for having had his services for three decades.”

ENKEMANN CAME TO the department in the summer of 1930 as a patrolman earning $1,800 a year. He worked his way through the ranks and acquired a reputation as a crack marksman and became known as a stubborn and determined investigator. He became chief of the department in 1948.

In 1980 Enkemann and two other former city police chiefs - Rolland (Barney) Gainsley and Walter Krasny - met for a special reunion and reflected on more than a century of city history and police work.

Gainsley, who replaced Enkemann as chief in 1960, died last April.

Krasny left the department in 1980 and still lives in Ann Arbor. He could not be reached this morning.

“Chief Enkemann has excelled in many ways as a law enforcement official,” observed a News editorial writer in 1960. “He not only is capable and honest himself, but he insists on high standards all through the department.

“HIS INVESTIGATIONS were always quick and thorough, and if there was reason for corrective measures in his department he never hesitated to act.

“Ann Arbor has an outstanding Police Department,” the editorial concluded, “and it is likely to continue to be one because of the firm foundation laid by Chief Enkemann.”

Enkemann was born Dec. 9,1905. in Cleveland, Ohio. He was a former member of the Ann Arbor Rotary Club; a past president of the Michigan Chapter of the FBI; a past president of the Michigan Chiefs of Police; and the first person to receive the Human Relations Award from the Junior Chamber of Commerce.

Survivors include Gladys Enkemann, his wife of more than 50 years, a son and four grandchildren.