The Fraternal Order of Police is the largest professional police organization in the U.S. It’s a group that’s 325,000 members strong from more than 2100 lodges. The FOP got its start in 1915, when two Pittsburgh police officers, Martin Toole and Delbert Nagle, had grown tired of working twelve hour days, 365 days a year. They’d also heard similar complaints from their fellow officers.
The two officers put their heads together and came up with the idea to form an organization to serve as the voice of all law enforcement officers. The group operates similar to a trade union, including lobbying Congress and other agencies. The FOP promotes legal defense for police officers, and it provides representation in labor actions involving officers
The organization provides a legal defense plan for its members. The plan pays for the legal defense for a member who’s facing proceedings involving administrative actions, civil defense, criminal cases, or administrative off-duty actions.
(From the FOP website)
The emblem adopted by the National Fraternal Order of Police is designed to remind the membership of the duties that are expected of them as a citizen, a police officer and a member of the lodge. The five-cornered star tends to remind us of the allegiance we owe to our Flag and is a symbol of the authority with which we are entrusted. It is an honor the people we serve bestow upon us. They place their confidence and trust in us; serve them proudly.
Midway between the points and center of the star is a blue field representative of the thin blue line protecting those we serve. The points are of gold, which indicates the position under which we are now serving. The background is white, the unstained color representing the purity with which we should serve. We shall not let anything corrupt be injected into our order. Therefore, our colors are blue, gold and white.
The open eye is the eye of vigilance ever looking for danger and protecting all those under its care while they sleep or while awake. The clasped hands denote friendship. The hand of friendship is always extended to those in need of our comfort.
The circle surrounding the star midway indicates our never ending efforts to promote the welfare and advancement of this order. Within the half circle over the centerpiece is our motto, “Jus, Fidus, Libertatum” which translated means “Law Is a Safeguard of Freedom.”
The Fraternal Order of Police is actively involved in their communities and charities such as Easter Seals, memorials for fallen police officers, Special Olympics, Torch Run, and programs for family members of police officers.
Members of the FOP must be regularly appointed, full time, sworn, active duty police officers. There are provisions for retired law enforcement officers, affiliate members, and associate members.
Other services offered by the FOP to its members are:
Freddie Mac financial education
Political Action Committee
Scholarships for spouses and family members of fallen officers
– Monthly dinner meetings, picnics, and other functions provide opportunities for officers and their families to socialize in a non-working atmosphere.
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Author Terry Odell is giving away a copy of this fine book (It’s the book below, not The Pig’s Picnic. Sorry). Please visit Terry’s website for details.
* My thanks to one of The Graveyard Shift’s loyal readers, SweetieZ, for sending us this photo:
I’ll bet she gets a purrrfect score on her police exam.