The Fraternal Order of Police is an 100 year-old organization that has a long and colorful history. The first MN lodge was chartered in 1991, and the Minnesota State Lodge was founded in 1993. Minnesota currently has approximately 2500 members in 23 lodges throughout the state. While the FOP is a national organization, each state has autonomy and controls its own activities and finances.
The FOP was founded in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in November of 1915. Since that time it has expanded to 49 states with over 2700 lodges. The total membership is just over 330,000. The organization is much like other fraternal groups such as the Masons and the Elks, only it's exclusively for law enforcement officers. The basic - and most important - unit is the local lodge. Any group of 10 licensed law enforcement officers can charter a lodge. Each lodge meets on a regular basis (usually monthly) and sets its own agenda and calendar. It elects its own officers, and, in turn, sends representatives to the State Lodge. The State Lodge, in turn, provides representation to the Grand (or National) Lodge, and also sends delegates to the biennial national conference - the next one is scheduled for Nashville, TN on August 26th to the 31st 2017. By utilizing this system, the FOP is truly a grass roots organization - it is run by and for the membership.
As mentioned before, there are 23 lodges in Minnesota. Each lodge is a regional body, with members from several agencies. Take a look at the lodges link to the right to locate the lodges around the state of Minnesota. More lodges are planned for the near future.
As a member of the FOP, you literally have brothers and sisters throughout the country. When traveling - if you need assistance or just want to know where a good place to eat is in a particular town - there are people eager and willing to help. A member of Lodge #6 had to quickly fly to New York City so that his wife could get medical treatments. The Lodges in New York met with him, took his family on a tour of the city, brought them to the best restaurants, and provided all types of other assistance. We do the same for visiting brothers and sisters in Minnesota. We have in place a hospital visitation program in Rochester for the Mayo Clinic and Minneapolis for the University of Minnesota Hospitals. A brother from Orlando, FL., needed housing for six months so that his son could undergo a bone marrow transplant at the U of M. The State Lodge obtained housing, a car, and several other things for the family. There are numerous stories such as these that we simply do not have space to list. In most states, the FOP operates private clubs similar to Elks and Eagles lodges. As a member, you are assured a warm welcome - and as a visiting member, you'll usually find that your money is worthless.
Through the Grand Lodge, the FOP offers many services such as credit cards, insurance, investment brokers, travel servicesand legal defense coverage. In addition, the Minnesota FOP has its' own comprehensive legal defense plan that covers members for civil, criminal, and administrative actions whether they are on or off duty. As we all know, we are never truly off duty. Please click on the benefits link to the left to check out what is waiting for you as a member of the FOP.
Our focus in Minnesota has been mutual assistance and fraternalism. We have the MNFOP Foundation that holds a 501c.3 tax status with the IRS. This allows us to solicit tax deductable donations for officers and their families in their time of need. We have assisted officers in need, ranging from giving a few hundred dollars to an officer whose house was damaged by fire, to buying Christmas presents for the family of an officer with terminal cancer. We have several events throughout the year to promote fellowship in the law enforcement ranks. These range from fishing and golf tournaments to meetings with guest speakers.
We also serve several charities, the two primary ones being Easter Seals and Special Olympics. We have fund raising events such as the Polar Plunge where members get pledges and then jump into various lakes throughout Minnesota.
We have also served in an ad hoc advisory capacity to nationally and state elected officials, who ask for law enforcement's opinion on various issues.
Annual dues are $25.00. These dues go to further the FOP's objectives at the state and national levels.
We hope that this short article has provided you an idea of what The Fraternal Order of Police is all about. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact State President Dave Miller via PHONE or EMAIL or National Trustee Ruben Marichalar via PHONE or EMAIL.