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History of FOP 88

By the 1920s, the FOP Grand Lodge was well into expansion and forming new lodges through out the United States. Most expansion efforts were conducted combining journal solicitations with the recruitment of new members. Several subordinate lodges had been formed in northwestern Indiana. The first was the Fort Wayne Lodge #14 on November 27, 1918.

Of the other lodges formed, the Gary Lodge had been formed June 1, 1930 and hosted the FOP National Convention in 1933. On July 18th, 1934, a special session of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodges within Indiana was held in South Bend. With the Gary Lodge taking the lead, it was decided to form the Indiana State Fraternal Order of Police and to be affiliated with the FOP Grand Lodge.

On July 27th, 1938, the University City Lodge No. 88, Fraternal Order of Police was constituted a subordinate lodge with full power to work under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge. At that time, Lodge meetings were held at the City Building located at 122 S Walnut St, where all city offices and the Bloomington Police Department were located. Today, this building is the John Waldron Arts Center.

Grand Lodge President Ben Perry had organized, "the last city with enough police officers for a chapter." This occurred May 11, 1939 when he installed a lodge at Crawfordsville. Perry added, "Indiana has now become 100% Fraternal Order of Police." There were 34 lodges encompassing the police of 70 communities as well as "90% of the State Police." Ben Perry had previously been the President of the Gary Lodge and later the State Lodge from 1932 to 1938. He had been instrumental in organizing most of the Indiana Lodges, including the University City Lodge No. 88.

City records indicate significant improvements for Bloomington Police officers immediately following the formation of the local FOP. On Aug 6, 1938, the Police Pension Fund was created. A portion of the fund established protection for the job security of officers. Prior to the fund, the Chief and all officers were employed "at will" and could be hired or fired at any time by the Mayor. On Nov 7, 1939, City Council passed an ordinance establishing an eight hour work day, which had previously been a twelve hour shift. These improvements are a result of the efforts of the State and Grand Lodge's influence on the Legislatures.

The Twin Lakes Lodge was originally built in 1950, long before the current Twin Lakes Sports Park was envisioned. From the late 1960s, FOP 88 used this building to conduct meetings. Land was purchased from Hubert Robertson on September 28, 1972 which totaled 3.51 acres. In 1974, the building used today was constructed and the University City Lodge No. 88 began conducting all business at this new location.

In 1975, the University City Lodge No. 88 experienced the tragic loss of one of it's members due to a line of duty death. Bloomington Police Department Captain Donald E Owens was shot and killed while escorting a prisoner from court. In honor of Captain Owens and his police service, the lodge name was amended to the Don Owens Memorial Lodge 88 in 1977.

After the property owner immediately north of the Lodge began construction of his home, it was discovered that the land surveyor had made an error. The property boundaries were incorrect and the owner had been building his home on what was FOP 88 property. A decision was made, more in the interests of the neighbor, that a portion of the land owned by the Lodge would be sold so that the neighbor would not have to demolish what had already been constructed. On September 19, 1989, .52 acres was sold to accommodate the neighbor's need.

On May 13, 1992, the property deed name was officially changed from the University City Lodge #88, Fraternal Order of Police, Inc to the Don Owens Memorial Lodge #88, Fraternal Order of Police, Inc. The addition of the covered patio area was constructed in 1995.

Today, the Don Owens Memorial Lodge 88 membership consists of 145 members representing 12 local law enforcement agencies in Monroe and Brown County, which include the city of Bloomington and towns of  Ellettsville, Stinesville, and Nashville. Our primary position is to represent law enforcement officers in matters of wages and salaries, rights, benefits, work hours, and safety. The Lodge is also active with improving the community by making charitable donations to fellow officers in need, youth sport and education programs, disaster/tragedy assistance, and other local charity and fund raising organizations.

The Fraternal Order of Police has become the largest professional police organization in the country. The FOP continues to grow because we have been true to the tradition and continue to build on it. The Fraternal Order of Police are proud professionals working on behalf of law enforcement officers from all ranks and levels of government. The tradition that was first envisioned more than 98 years ago lives on with more than 2,100 local lodges and more than 330,000 members through out the United States.

Publications

Tresslar, Evelyn - Office of Agent, Indianapolis, Ind. Illinois Central Magazine Feb, 1939: Volume XXVII, No. 8, Page 15.
 
"Connie Haugh of the Special Agent's Department at Indianapolis, and John Rollins (Rawlins), chief of police at Bloomington, Ind., were admitted as active members into the Fraternal Order of Police, University City Lodge No. 88 at Bloomington, Ind., on January 4 (1939). Policemen eligible to apply for admittance to active membership in this order have to be regular state, county, city, or railway policemen, and who hold state railway police commissions. Mr. Haugh has held a state police commission since 1927. The Fraternal Order of Police is a national fraternal police order."

 
 
Research of historical documents is ongoing. Please check back periodically as updates will be made to this page. A past Executive Board roster is currently in the works. If you have previously served as an Executive Officer, Trustee, Delegate, or Chaplain or have any other information that could be included, please contact Member Jason Shaevitz.

Updated 1/20/2017