Fraternal Order of Police
In 1915, two Pittsburgh police officers, Martin Toole and Delbert Nagle, tired of long hours and poor working conditions, decided to form a group to provide fellow officers with some form of representation. On May 14, 1915 those two officers along with 21 others met for the first time at the Wabash Station Building, at the corner of Terry Street and Liberty Avenue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was at that first meeting that the name Fraternal Order of Police was adopted. “Twenty Three” was adopted as the password in recognition of the twenty-three men who realized they were sticking their necks out. From those humble beginnings the Fraternal Order of Police has grown into the largest professional police organization in the United States with over 325,000 members and growing.
History of Lodge #113
The St. Johns County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #113 was recognized by the Grand Lodge as a charter on May 5, 1977. Approximately 30 members founded the Lodge when there was concern there may be a need for a collective bargaining unit due to a pending change in administration with the St. Johns County Sheriff. Members originally met on the property on State Road 207, where the National Guard Armory is located. However, the landowner at on SR 207 chose to sell the property to the National Guard causing Lodge #113 to seek an alternative location. Negotiations with the Inman Family led the Lodge to its’ current location in December 1987, when the property at 5050 Inman Road was purchased for $60,000.
Once at this site, the range was quickly established, and the Lodge was a modular building which was donated by the Medical Examiner’s Office. The current lodge was built in 2002. In 2015, the Board of Directors began making significant improvements to the Lodge with the construction of a commercial kitchen, conference room, and technology upgrades which included access control. The range was also upgraded to include covered shooting bays, with timer-controlled lights, and fans, to improve opportunity for night time shooting.
The emblem adopted by the National Fraternal Order of Police is designed to remind the 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 is to remind us of the allegiance we owe 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 and place their confidence and trust in us; serve them proudly.
Midway between the points and center of the star is a blue field representing the thin blue line protecting those we serve. The points are gold, indicating 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, Fidus, Libertatum,” which translates to “Law is the safeguard of freedom.”
Video Courtesy of BJ Hall