FOP in Action

In the Spring of 1915, most police officers in the United States were underpaid and overworked. Officers were prohibited from participating in labor organizations or strikes. During those days, two police officers from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania met and decided there was a need for an organization to improve working conditions and represent the thin blue line between crime and society. From that simple beginning, the Fraternal Order of Police was born and has grown to an organization with 275,000 members. The FOP is the largest law enforcement organization in the United States. Along with civilian associate members from all walks of life; the FOP of today continues to represent the interest of working police officers.

In 1920, a group of wives of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania police officers gathered to discuss issues concerning their husbands and their jobs. This was the birth of the first “FOP Ladies Auxiliary.” In 1941, Kathryn M. Milton became the first national president of the Ladies Auxiliary. Since that time the Auxiliary has grown to over 2,000 members in 140 subordinate Auxiliaries representing 25 states. The Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary was organized to unite families of members of the Fraternal Order of Police; to promote their welfare socially, morally and intellectually; and to encourage them in all things pertaining to their good.

In 1985, membership eligibility that originally allowed only females as members was extended to family members (18 years of age or older) of any member of the Fraternal Order of Police. In 1987, the name of the organization was changed, dropping the word “Ladies” to reflect the growth in membership of the organization. Auxiliary membership is extended to family members, 18 years of age or older, of an active member of the Fraternal Order of Police within their state.

The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge DC #1 was chartered in 1966. The Lodge was later named after the first member killed in the line of duty, Officer Jerrard F. Young. In November of 1977, the FOP Auxiliary to DC Lodge 1 was formed, to promote fellowship between police families. Their objective is to increase understanding between individual officers and their families. The Lodge offers a place to voice ideas and concerns. The Lodge promotes fraternalism and the opportunity to interact with fellow police officers. The Lodge is composed of members from 38 different law enforcement agencies and civilian associate members from all walks of life. The Lodge is involved in many community projects, charities and social functions as well as their efforts to improve law enforcement.

Washington DC Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge #1 Auxiliary President/National Trustee Bonnie Cannon resides on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland with her husband Lou Cannon a former chief of police and two “fur children,” Chester and Beasley. In 2014, Bonnie took over the helm of the FOP Auxiliary. The board consists of Bonnie Cannon, (President/National Trustee) Patty Sucato, (Vice President) Linda Short, (Treasurer/Secretary) Mirella Arroyo, (Sgt. At Arms) and Maureen Curtis, (Chaplain).  Bonnie serves as chairperson of the Safety Education Committee for the National FOP Auxiliary and was recently awarded a Distinguished Service Award from the National FOP Auxiliary in September 2016 for her work accomplished with the Safety Education Committee.

Washington DC FOP Auxiliary continues to co-host the Annual Local Law Enforcement Memorial held in May and volunteers at the annual National Law Enforcement Memorial, they assist law enforcement families during a crisis, donate to fellow FOPs in need, provide graduation cakes to new recruits and holds a food drive during the holiday season to help provide food to local area food pantries. They helped participate in Make A Wish Fundraiser with their parent DC FOP Lodge last year and recently formed a Lois Devlin $500 Scholarship Fund, which will be awarded to a DC FOP Auxiliary member’s child or grandchild. Fundraisers have been developed via a Maurice Cullinane Challenge Coin, which depicts a 1957 Pulitzer Prize photo of retired DC Chief Maurice Cullinane helping a child Andy Weaver out of the street during a Chinese New Year parade in DC. For their members and their family and friends, the Auxiliary has Paint it Forward Nights and hosts the DC FOP annual St. Patrick’s Day corned beef dinner, as well as hold raffles during the year and sell unique law enforcement items at Tent City during Police Week every year.

Persons interested in joining the District of Columbia FOP Auxiliary may call Bonnie Cannon at 410-610-8613 or email her at [email protected] and request a membership application to be sent via mail or email.  Please note, that to become an auxiliary member of the DC Lodge, you need to have an active/retired DC FOP family member in good standing from of the DC lodge sponsor you.  If you would like to be a member of another state Auxiliary lodge that you live in, you would need a active/retired FOP family member in good standing from that lodge to sponsor you. Active status will be verified before accepting any membership applications. This is not only a great way to get your family members involved, but the auxiliary is a major supporter of their local enforcement community.

– Eyvaine Walker-Lindsey, Moms of LEO, Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Auxiliary Member DC Lodge #1