History of FOP Lodge 185
The Carmel Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 185 was chartered April 15, 1984 with thirteen members: Ron Adams, Don Allen, Jim Barlow, Luckie Carey, Bill Collins, John Elliott, John Etter, Bruce Graham, Tim Green, Jeff Jellison, Greg Miller, Robert Nibarger and Tim Zellers.
The lodge currently represents over 100 sworn officers of the Carmel and IU Health North Police Departments. The members of the lodge and its executive board work on a completely voluntary basis. Our current executive board has been voted by our membership as follows:
President: Blake Lytle
Vice President: Matthew Broadnax
Treasurer: Nate Hill
Secretary: Chase Larrison
Past presidents include: Tim Zellers, Luckie Carey, Randy Schalburg, Lee Goodman, Nancy Zellers, John Etter, Joe Bickel, John McAllister, John Pirics, Charlie Driver, Rob Harris, D.J. Schoeff and Shane VanNatter.
History of the Fraternal Order of Police
The Fraternal Order of Police is the world's largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers, with more than two thousand lodges and over 325,000 members.
We are the voice of those who dedicate their lives to protecting and serving our communities. We are committed to improving the working conditions of law enforcement officers and the safety of those we serve through education, legislation, information, community involvement, and employee representation.
No one knows the dangers and the difficulties faced by today's police officers better than another officer, and no one knows police officers better than the FOP. Founded in 1915 we are still "Building on a Proud Tradition."
From The Roots of the F.O.P. by John E. McMahon
"We are banded together for our own enjoyment!"
- September 17, 1915
A ride on a Pittsburgh Railways trolley car cost a nickel, you could enjoy a silent movie for a dime, and radio was unheard of. If your parents had a telephone it probably was a "party line" which you shared with someone else. The Blue Laws were strictly obeyed and a lady only went into a saloon when it had a back room with a separate entrance. If you owned a motor car it set jacked up in the garage all winter. The article could go on and on but we are leading up to something dearer to our heart.
Two foot patrolmen Martin Toole and Delbert Nagle were the original Pittsburgh Police Officers who thought of organizing other officers into a body to secure much needed improvement in their way of life. During the era of 1915 Police Officers were underpaid and overworked. Their job security was at the whim of a politician who could fire them at the drop of a hat and they had no recourse for unjustified dismissal.
Police were forced, at times, to work twelve hours a day, three hundred sixty-five days a year and no thought of being paid overtime. Their patience was worn thin and they were ready to organize so as a group they would have strength in seeking justice for their plight.
During the spring of 1915 Martin Toole and Delbert Nagle met nightly at the corner of Second and Flowers Avenue, Hazelwood, and would discuss the problems of the police officer. One particular evening the conversation was about organized labor and suddenly Toole blurted out "What do you say about trying to organize the police?" Nagle replied "What the devil are we waiting for. Let's go."
Considerable planning had to be done in a very secretive manner for if their plans were known "heads could hit the chopping block." Twenty-three men met in secret at 9:00 A.M. at the Wabash Station Building, Ferry Street and Liberty Avenue, Friday May 14, 1915. It was at that meeting that the name Fraternal Order of Police was adopted. Temporary Officers were elected until such time when a Charter for the organization was granted. Twenty-three was adopted as the pass word for the group. This was in recognition of the twenty-three men who realized that they were sticking their necks out. They were determined to have a police organization regardless of the consequences.
Police Superintendent Noble Matthews learned of the meeting that afternoon and was furious. He threatened to sharpen his ax but it was a waste of his time and no doubt played havoc with his blood pressure. History relates after hearing what was in the wind he sent a policemen to Toole's home instructing him to report to headquarters immediately. Marty obeyed the order and told him what had transpired.
According to Toole, Matthews called him an agitator and whatever else came to mind at the moment. He wanted to know why Marty did not talk with him before starting such nonsense. Marty gave him several plausible reasons but he did not wish to hear any of them.
Marty further explained that at the next meeting a committee would be formed to talk things over with him. That blew the cork out of the bottle for Matthews screamed "Oh - so you are going to have another meeting huh, how many men have taken part in this?" Matthews had a dizzy spell when told that over 300 men were actively involved. After regaining his composure he exploded again saying "get out of here, get out and break it up. Do you hear, break it up at once." Marty made no reply but left the office.
Their next important move was to contact Mayor Joseph G. Armstrong and explain directly to him what they had in mind. Superintendent Matthews had to be shown the light of day and labor oriented Mayor Armstrong was the man to enlighten him. According to research Mayor Joseph G. Armstrong, an active member of the Flint Workers Union, helped with the original planning of Pittsburgh Fire Fighters Local No. 1. They were formed May 5, 1903.
Saturday morning President William H. Larking, Vice President Delbert Nagle and Secretary Martin Toole went to Mayor Joseph Armstrong's office and told him what had transpired and it was the desire of the police to organize. After explaining in detail to the Mayor he agreed with them. He stated "Well boys I don't see a thing wrong with this, as long as you adhere strictly to the methods and principles you have adopted.
You will never go wrong. They should carry you through with flying colors. You have my hearty approval and full cooperation." When told that Superintendent Matthews was trying hard to discourage the organization he picked up the phone and asked for the Superintendent of Police. Mayor Armstrong said "Listen Noble, "Let them boys alone! Let them go! Don't interfere - They have as much right to organize as anyone else. Let them go!"
At a meeting Wednesday, November 17, 1915 Attorney Robert G. Woodside read the Charter granted earlier that day by Judge Thomas J. Ford of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.
Immediately plans were formulated to lobby City Council for a reduction of the 365-day work schedule. Council realized that action must be taken on the F.O.P.'s complaint and passed an ordinance Monday October 9, 1916 giving police officers two days off each month with pay. Other police departments took notice and they began to organize under Pittsburgh's leadership.
State Lodges were established and then the Grand Lodge was formed to encompass the United States. From the original 23 members the membership now totals over 222,000 and there are 1,848 local Lodges and one in Dublin, Ireland.
From Fraternal Order of Police
Fort Pitt Lodge #1
At the 5th Annual National Convention, held August 15-18, 1921, at Reading, Pennsylvania, Joseph G. Armstrong was introduced to the assembled body as "The ex-Mayor of Pittsburgh who is the father of the Fraternal Order of Police." When Kathryn M. Milton died in 1960 she was referred to in the National Journal as "The Mother of the Fraternal Order of Police."
Constitution and By-Laws of the Fraternal Order of Police
Article 4 - Membership
Section 1. 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 in the Fraternal Order of Police, subject to the provisions of this Constitution. No person shall be denied membership on account of race, religion, color, creed, sex, age, or national origin.
Section 2. Subject only to the provisions of this Constitution, each state and subordinate lodge shall be the judge of its membership. Each state and subordinate lodge shall establish requirements for membership in good standing of its respective membership, which requirements shall not be inconsistent herewith.
To become a member of Carmel Lodge 185, you need to be a full time paid or retired Law Enforcement Officer on the State or Federal level. Any full-time, sworn law enforcement officer with arrest power who is employed by a government entity may become a member of the Fraternal Order of Police.
An Associate Lodge is a fraternal organization composed of public spirited Carmel citizens who are interested in law enforcement officers; citizens, responsible and respectable residents, business and professional men and women from all walks of life who are willing to devote a portion of their time, monies and efforts toward assisting the various law enforcement agencies in their communities and who have joined together for their common good.
The organization is formed for the purpose of increasing the understanding of the rights, duties and problems of law enforcement officers; of fostering public respect for them; of bettering the conditions under which they serve society; of promoting their interest and welfare in every conceivable way; and of being ever ready to render such lawful assistance as may be required by the Carmel Lodge, Fraternal Order of Police, or any of its subordinate lodges.
If you would like to become an associate member please complete the application here or contact us via the tab at the top of the page.
More information about the FOP can be located by clicking here.