Fraternal Order of Police

The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) is an organization of sworn law enforcement officers in the United States. It claims a membership of over 325,000 members organized in 2100 local chapters (lodges), organized into local lodges, state lodges, and the national Grand Lodge. The FOP calls itself "the voice of our nations's law enforcement officers."" [http://www.fop.net/about/faq/index.shtml# Frequently Asked Questions] ." Fraternal Order of Police.]

The FOP has some characteristics of a trade union, although it is not described as such and labels itself a "full service member representation organization." It lobbies Congress and regulatory agencies on behalf of law enforcement officers, provides labor representation, promotes legal defense for officers, and offers resources such as legal research. It also sponsors charities such as Easter Seals, Special Olympics, memorials for fallen officers, and support programs for spouses and family members of police officers.

The national organization has three offices: the Labor Services Division in Columbus, Ohio, and the Steve Young Law Enforcement Legislative Advocacy Center in Washington, D.C., and the Atnip-Orms Center National Headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee," [http://www.fop.net/contact/index.shtml Contact Us] ." Fraternal Order of Police.]

History

The Fraternal Order of Police was founded in 1915 by two Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania patrol officers, Martin Toole and Delbert Nagle. They and 21 other members of the Pittsburgh Police met on May 14, 1915, establishing the Fraternal Order of Police its first local, Fort Pitt Lodge #1." [http://www.fop.net/about/history/index.shtml History] ." Fraternal Order of Police.] The FOP official history states that the founders decided to not use the term "union" because of "the anti-union sentiment of the time," but nevertheless acted as a union, telling Pittsburgh mayor Joseph G. Armstrong that the FOP would "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."

tar emblem

The Fraternal Order of Police emblem is a five-pointed star. According to the FOP:

Membership

The FOP constitution and bylaws provide that active membership is open to "any regularly appointed or elected and full-time employed law enforcement officer of the United States, any state or political subdivision thereof, or any agency may be eligible for membership" and that "each state and subordinate lodge shall be the judge of its membership." Local lodge often have provision for retired law enforcement officers." [http://www.fop.net/about/join/index.shtml How to Join] ." Fraternal Order of Police.]

Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary

The Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary (FOPA) is the auxiliary organization of FOP for family members of FOP members. It was formed by a group of wives of Pittsburgh police officers in 1920, and Kathryn M. Milton became its first national president, in 1941 as the Fraternal Order of Police Ladies Auxiliary. It now claims over 2,000 members in 140 Auxiliaries in 25 states. In 1985, non-female members older than 18 were admitted for the first time; in 1987, the current name was adopted, dropping the term "Ladies."" [http://www.fop.net/about/auxiliary/index.shtml Auxiliary] ." Fraternal Order of Police.]

Fraternal Order of Police Associates

The Fraternal Order of Police Associates (FOPA) is a civilian affiliate organization that is made up of FOP supporters not eligible for membership. Its members include friends and family of members, businesspeople, professionals, and other citizens. It is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization." [http://www.fop.net/about/associates/index.shtml Fraternal Order of Police Associates] ." Fraternal Order of Police.]

Political advocacy

Passed legislation supported by FOP includes the Law Enforcement Officers' Safety Act, Law Enforcement Officers Equity Act, and HELPS Retirees Act. Pending legislation that FOP lobbies for include the Social Security Fairness Act, the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act of 2007, and the State and Local Law Enforcement Officers' Discipline, Accountability and Due Process Act.

The FOP distributes questionnaires for candidates for president and Congress asking them about their views on issues relating to police officers." [http://www.fop.net/legislative/congquest08.pdf Congressional Candidate Questionnaire: Model Questionnaire for use by State and Local Lodges] ." Fraternal Order of Police.] " [http://www.fop.net/legislative/president08/McCainQA.pdf Fraternal Order of Police Presidential Questionnaire: John McCain Response] ." Fraternal Order of Police.] " [http://www.fop.net/legislative/president08/ObamaQA.pdf Fraternal Order of Police Presidential Questionnaire: Barack Obama Response] ." Fraternal Order of Police.]

FOP has the following issue positions:
*Supports the Social Security Fairness Act," [http://www.fop.net/legislative/issues/social/index.shtml Social Security Issues] ." Fraternal Order of Police.] which would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and the Government Pension Offset (GPO) in current law." [http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s110-206 H.R. 82: Social Security Fairness Act of 2007] ." GovTrack.] " [http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h110-82 H.R. 82: Social Security Fairness Act of 2007] ." GovTrack.]
*Supports the recommendations of the President's Commission To Strengthen Social Security, and opposes "mandating participation in the Social Security system for either current or newly hired State and local government employees that do not currently participate in Social Security.
*Supports "minimal collective bargaining rights for public safety employees," including law enforcement officers and firefighters, and supports the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act of 2007." [http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h110-980 H.R. 980: Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act of 2007] ." GovTrack.]
*Supports due process rights of law enforcement officers in non-criminal administrative proceedings and supports the State and Local Law Enforcement Discipline, Accountability and Due Process Act." [http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h110-688 H.R. 688: State and Local Law Enforcement Discipline, Accountability, and Due Process Act of 2007] ." GovTrack.] " [http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s110-449 S. 449: State and Local Law Enforcement Discipline, Accountability, and Due Process Act of 2007] ." GovTrack.]
*Supports the Law Enforcement Officers Equity Act, which would expand the definition of "law enforcement officer" under the Civil Service Retirement System and the Federal Employees Retirement System to include all Federal police officers, as well as Customs and Immigration Inspectors." [http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h110-1073 H.R. 1073: Law Enforcement Officers Equity Act] ." GovTrack.] " [http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s110-1354 S. 1354: Law Enforcement Officers Retirement Equity Act] ." GovTrack.]
*Supports the REAL ID Act.

Controversy

The human rights group Amnesty International, among other organizations, has criticized the Fraternal Order of Police in Philadelphia for their vocal support of the death penalty in the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. [ [http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/engAMR510012000] ]

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has called the FOP a "fringe organization" for opposing his efforts to repeal the Tiahrt Amendment. [citeweb|title=N.Y. Triggers Gun Stings Nationwide|publisher=The New York Post|date=May 10, 2007|author=David Seifman|url=http://www.nypost.com/seven/05102007/news/regionalnews/n_y__triggers_gun_stings_nationwide_regionalnews_david_seifman_____city_hall_bureau_chief.htm]

References

External links

* [http://www.fop.net/ Grand Lodge, Fraternal Order of Police]
* [http://www.fed-fop.org/ Federal Officers Coalition of the Fraternal Order of Police]
* [http://www.pittsburghpolicefop.com/ Lodge #1: Pittsburgh Police]


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