Fraternal Order of Police Pinellas Lodge 43
Pinellas Lodge 43 was formed on March 1, 1966 by a group of local municipal police officers. Since its inception, our lodge has provided for the support of its members through its fraternal association with the State and National Lodge and the enduring support of our members. Throughout the past 43 years our lodge has continued to evolve and adjust with the times, some of which have been good and others that have been challenging.
Pinellas Lodge 43 is located in the heart of Largo, Florida where we own our newly renovated administrative office, meeting hall and members lounge. Our nearly 1,400 members represent over a dozen federal, state and local agencies. Our lodge provides a full array of legal and labor support, as well as assistance for unexpected emergiencies and to civic and sports groups throuought our local communities.
As we progress through our 44th year, we are once again facing challenging times led by the worse economy some of us have ever experienced. We will continue to provide the best service we can to our members through legal representation, labor negotiations and a fraternal brothership that has persevered for 43 years.
History of the FOP
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 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 89 years ago lives on with more than 2,100 local lodges and more than 310,000 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.
History of the FOP Star
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, Fides, Libertatum" which translated means, "Law is a Safeguard of Freedom."
Page Last Updated: Apr 01, 2013 (18:37:36)