History of the Fraternal Order of Police

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
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 aggrievances 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
1955, the idea of a National Organization of Police Officers came about. Today, the
tradition that was first envisioned over 85 years ago lives on with more than 2,100 local
lodges and nearly 300,000 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.

Memorial Lodge 25 continues in this proud tradition by supporting issues that are
both favorable to law enforcement and the community.  Among many charitable causes
we are supporters of
Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Special Olympics New York,
Father Fred Missionary, Police Officers' Widows and Children's Fund, Law
Enforcement Torch Run and Officer In Need.
Robert N. Lucente
Memorial Lodge 25