On this day in Duluth in 1915, Captain Anthony G. Fiskett celebrated 22 years of service with the Duluth Police Department. Born Antonio Gaetano Fischetti in Italy, Fiskett immigrated to the U.S. in 1882 and changed his name in order to join the Duluth police department on October 29, 1893. He worked as a patrolman and jailer until 1903, when he passed the civil service exam and was promoted to sergeant; two years later he was promoted to lieutenant, and a year after that rose to captain. The Duluth News Tribune calculated that by 1915, Fiskett personally had made over 5,000 arrests and arraigned 50,000 prisoners. He was known for his compassion for immigrants such as himself as well as his bravery. On February 7, 1902 Fiskett single-handedly captured known criminal Gus Jordan, who was terrorizing “the inhabitants of a house of ill repute” brandishing a large military pistol and threatening to “kill on sight any police officer who entered the place. Fiskett calmly took the pistol from Jordan and arrested him. In July 1920, following the arrest of Chief John Murphy for liquor smuggling, Fiskett was named Duluth’s interim police chief. It was a tall order: Duluth was still reeling from the June 15 riot that lead to the lynching of three black circus workers accused of rape and tensions were high. Despite his success running the department in the aftermath of the tragedy and Murphy’s downfall, he was passed over for the permanent job as Duluth’s top cop. While Fiskett never officially became Duluth’s leading peace officer, his son Ralph G. Fiskett later served as Duluth’s police chief and as the city’s commissioner of public safety. You can read more about A. G. Fiskett here.
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