The Fraternal Order of Police is the world's largest organization of sworn law enforcement officers, with more than 2,100 lodges and over 318,000 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." The Fraternal Order of Police represents professional, full-time officers from all agencies of law enforcement.
The Fraternal Order of Police State Lodge of Michigan was formed in 1939. We have a membership of 7,500 Active and 5,000 Associate members organized in 70 lodges located throughout the state. It has always been, and remains today, in the forefront of the battle to protect the interests and welfare of law enforcement officers and their families. From the early 1940's when the F.O.P. led the way to the creation of a minimum wage for police officers; in 1965 when the right to bargain was secured; in 1969 the F.O.P. secured passage of P.A. 312 Compulsory and Binding Arbitration; and right up to today when the F.O.P. was the single voice that won the fight to prevent taxation of police officer's pensions. The F.O.P. is recognized as the VOICE of law enforcement in Michigan. The State Lodge is located in Lansing and is right across from the State Capitol.
Lodge 112 was chartered on October 1, 1947. It was started by officers from Macomb County thereby it's name. In the beginning the members met at different businesses each month and this continued until 1969 when the members voted on and purchased the 10 acres we now own. In the early years and until the 1970's women were not allowed to be members of our Lodge. It was about this time that they started becoming more active in the police field and wanted to be part of the F.O.P. There was much discussion on this subject and it finally went to a vote and they were admitted.
The property consisted of an old farmhouse probably built around the turn of the century. There was a small in ground pool, two man made ponds and a large two story wooden barn. The Salt River runs down the East property line and turns onto our property toward the North. The farmhouse consisted of two floors, the upper being a residential home and the bottom floor our meeting hall. The ceiling was very low and if you were six feet tall you could not stand up without hitting your head.
From the day we purchased the property we vowed to tear the old farmhouse down and build a suitable Lodge. We continued to use the old building even though the south end of the building filled with water and mud every time it rained. It had oil heat which did not work well and the fireplace had to be used to get the temperature up.
In the mid 1970's a few dedicated members of the Lodge built a covered pavilion as a picnic area which still stands today.
In 1993 one of the members took it upon himself to look into building a new Lodge on the west side of the property. He approached an artist who drew a colored conception of a building and presented it to the membership at an open meeting. The first response was very negative from a small group of members. They expressed their opinions and tried everything to get the idea voted down. A motion was then brought onto the floor that a project of this size should be voted on by every member of the organization not just the few at the meeting. It was decided that a letter be sent out with a return request asking for opinions and a decision. The response was overwhelming that if we had a member willing to take on a project of this magnitude then we should proceed.
For the next two years we involved ourselves with as many fund raisers as we could find. It was then that we started our Bingo. In 1995 we started on designing a building and meeting with architects. After the plans were finalized and a construction loan was procured the same member who originally proposed the idea stepped forward and assumed the role of general contractor and we finally broke ground.
After three long years we opened the Lodge with a wedding party in June of 2000. We hosted 200 people and found that we were in fact moving in the right direction. At first we stumbled along with a gravel parking lot which went along with the gravel roads in the area. In 2001 the County decided to pave 24 Mile Road and in 2004 we were finally able to pave our parking lot.
We have come a long way and thanks to the continuing dedication and hard work by many of our members our Lodge will improve every year and make our members proud to be a part of it.
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."