For police officers in the early 1900's life was difficult to say the least. Many of them had to work 12 hour days, 365 days a year. Of course they didn't like it, but there was little to nothing they could do to improve their working conditions. There were no organizations to make their voices heard; no other means to make their grievances known.

This changed after two Pittsburgh patrol officers had the courage to take a stand. Martin Toole and Delbert Nagle knew that if they could organize police officers, like other labor interests, that they would start to increase the quality of life for themselves and their fellow police officers. Martin and Delbert along with 21 others "who were willing to take a chance" met on May 14, 1915. They held the first meeting of the Fraternal Order of Police. They formed Fort Pitt Lodge #1. The name was influenced by the anti-union sentiment of the time. However, thier goal was clear. And stated to the 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."

So began, a tradition of police officers representing police officers. The Fraternal Order of Police was breathed to life by two dedicated police officers set on bettering their profession and those who choose to protect and serve our communities, our states, and our country. Shortly after 1st Lodge's formation Mayor Armstrong was congratulating the FOP 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 grass roots effort the FOP began growing steadily. In 1917, the thought of a National Governing body for the Police Officers came about. Today, the 90 year old tradition 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.

We are proud professionals working on behalf of law enforcement officers from all ranks and levels of government.