What is the Fraternal Order of Police?
The Fraternal Order of Police was founded on May 14, 1915 thanks to the courage and wisdom of two Pittsburgh police officers, Martin Toole and Delbert Nagle. The FOP is the largest police organization in the world with over 310,000 members. Unlike other police organizations the FOP membership is comprised solely of sworn law enforcement and corrections officers.
All FOP lodges are united by the parent organization known as the Grand Lodge. The Board of Directors are elected at a biennial conference held in odd-numbered years. Each state having a State Lodge is entitled to elect a national trustee to serve on the board. Each local lodge is entitled to send delegates to the national conference to elect the officers and set the course, which the National Lodge will follow.
Under FOP, each local lodge decides for itself whether to engage in collective bargaining, legal defense or function solely as a social, professional organization. Many lodges do both. However, this choice is left strictly to the members of each lodge with no interference or decision-making by the State Lodge, National Lodge, or members of other agencies.
The Florida State Lodge was chartered by the Grand Lodge in 1950, and is headquartered in Tallahassee. We have grown to over 125 local lodges and a statewide membership over 20,000. The Florida State Lodge is then broken down into 7 Districts. Fort Lauderdale FOP Lodge 31 is affiliated with FOP District 5. Through the political process the FOP is responsible for a number of accomplishments:
1. Law Enforcement and Corrections Officer Bill of Rights
2. Collective Bargaining for Public Employees
3. Minimum standards and training for law enforcement and corrections officers
4. Salary incentive programs for law enforcement officers
5. Criminal Code revisions to meet changing needs
6. Mandatory sentences for crimes involving firearms
7. Preservation of state and municipal pension plans
8. Deputy Sheriff’s Bill of Rights
The Fort Lauderdale Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #31 is the state certified Collective Bargaining Unit for Fort Lauderdale police officers, sergeants and captains. The local lodge is the backbone of the FOP and should be in the forefront of any fight to protect and advance their members and the police profession. FOP Lodge 31 provides its members with legal defense arising out of their actions as police officers, union representation in the grievance procedure and provides health and life insurance coverage. FOP Lodge 31 continues to donate to many local charities and youth athletic programs in the greater Fort Lauderdale area.
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.
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 id the handshake, which 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 Fides Libertatum. Jus meaning Justice. Fides meaning Friendship. 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.