In 1915, the life of a policeman was bleak. In many communities they were forced to work 12 hour days, 365 days a year. Police officers didn't like it, but there was little they could do to change their working conditions. There were no organizations to make their voices heard; no other means to make their grievances known.
This soon changed, thanks to the courage and wisdom of two Pittsburgh patrol officers. Martin Toole and Delbert Nagle knew they must first organize police officers, like other labor interests, if they were to be successful in making life better for themselves and their fellow police officers. They and 21 others "who were willing to take a chance" met on May 14, 1915, and held the first meeting of the Fraternal Order of Police. They formed Fort Pitt Lodge #1. They decided on this name due to the anti-union sentiment of the time. However, there was no mistaking their intentions. As they told their city mayor, Joe Armstrong, the FOP would be the means "to bring our grievances before the Mayor or Council and have many things adjusted that we are unable to present in any other way...we could get many things through our legislature that our Council will not, or cannot give us."
And so it began, a tradition of police officers representing police officers. The Fraternal Order of Police was given life by two dedicated police officers determined to better their profession and those who choose to protect and serve our communities, our states, and our country. It was not long afterward that Mayor Armstrong was congratulating the Fraternal Order of Police for their "strong influence in the legislatures in various states,...their considerate and charitable efforts" on behalf of the officers in need and for the FOP's "efforts at increasing the public confidence toward the police to the benefit of the peace, as well as the public."
From that small beginning the Fraternal Order of Police began growing steadily. In 1917, the idea of a National Organization of Police Officers came about. Today, the tradition that was first envisioned more than 100 years ago lives on with more than 2,100 local lodges and more than 325,000 members in the United States. The Fraternal Order of Police has become the largest professional police organization in the country. The FOP continues to grow because we have been true to the tradition and continued to build on it. The Fraternal Order of Police are proud professionals working on behalf of law enforcement officers from all ranks and levels of government.
A book entitled "The Fraternal Order of Police, 1915-1976: A History" by Justin E. Walsh, Ph.D., was first published in 1977. The book was reprinted in 2001 with a new foreword by Past National President Gilbert Gallegos. The reprinted book is available to FOP members by calling the Grand Lodge at 615-399-0900. The Library of Congress Catalog Card Number is 77-89730.
The Five-Cornered Star
The five-cornered star is to remind us of the allegiance we owe to the American flag.
The three colors Blue, Gold, and White signify the official colors of the Fraternal Order of Police. In the Blue field, in the lower left hand corner is the open eye, the eye of vigilance, the ever watchful eye, which notes the danger, and offers protections to the public. In the Blue field in the lower right corner is the handshake, this denotes Friendship.
The Circle surrounding the Star, indicates our never ending efforts to promote the welfare and advancement of this order, and within its bounds we are a one great and powerful unit. In the circle over the centerpiece is our Motto, written in Latin, Jus-FIDUS-Libertatum, Jus meaning Justice, Fidus meaning Friendship and Libertatum means Equality. The center of the Star is the seal of Fort Pitt. This reminds us of where the first lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police was chartered in 1915, Fort Pitt Lodge #1.
The purpose of the Fraternal Order of Police is to bring the highest quality of life to our members and the community we live in. We will push for fair and equitable working conditions and salaries to attract the best people to perform the stressful and often thankless job of being a professional police or corrections officer. We will continue to support our community by supporting charitable organizations and projects, which enhance the quality of life for all citizens of Collier County.
We, the law enforcement officers of the United States and of the several states and political subdivisions thereof, as representatives and delegates of state and subordinate lodges, do hereby associate the several lodges we represent and the members thereof for the following purposes:
To Support and defend the Constitution of the United States; to inculcate loyalty and allegiance to the United States of America; to promote and foster the enforcement of law and order; to improve the individual and collective proficiency of our members in the performance of their duties; to encourage fraternal, educational, charitable and social activities among law enforcement officers; to advocate and strive for uniform application of the civil service merit system for appointment and promotions; to support the improvement of the standard of living and working conditions of the law enforcement profession through every legal and ethical means available; to create and maintain tradition of esprit de corps insuring fidelity to duty under all conditions and circumstances; to cultivate a spirit of fraternalism and mutual helpfulness among our members and the people we serve; to increase the efficiency of the law enforcement profession and thus more firmly to establish the confidence of the public in the service dedicated to the protection of life and property.
“Through organization we have the freedom of mutual interchange of thought and information, and the experience of each become common to all, which results in a higher development of our intellectual, moral and social faculties; and which enables us to share in the gains and honors of advancing civilization”.
Page Last Updated: Aug 22, 2017 (12:04:03)