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History

History

From Police Systems in the United States, by Bruce Smith, 1940:

“Its origin was inspired by three apparent needs. The first was that of a general executive arm for the state. The second was closely related to the disturbed industrial conditions in the coal and iron regions, and the demonstrated incapacity of sheriffs, constables, and the organized police forces of small communities generally, to contend with the successfully. The third arose from a realization that the sheriff-constable system had broken down, thereby exposing the rural districts the danger of inadequate police protection.

Recognition of all three conditions in Pennsylvania was to have an important bearing upon later police developments elsewhere, but the rural protection aspect challenged attention from the very outset and has exercised a compelling influence upon state police management in many pars of the country from that day to this.

The distinguishing characteristic of this force consisted in the extensive administrative powers granted to the superintendent of State Police, who was made responsible to the governor of the Commonwealth alone. From the very beginning it operated as a mounted and uniformed body which, using a widely distributed system of troop headquarters and substations as a base of operations, patrolled the rural and semi-rural portions of the entire state, even to the little frequented byways and lanes. In its highly centralized administrative powers, its decentralized scheme of structural organization, and its policy of continuous patrol throughout the rural areas, the Pennsylvania State Police constituted a distinct departure from earlier state practice.”

Lodge Presidents

Patrick S. Ruddy, pruddy@psta.org – Lodge #37
Pioneer Lodge #37 of the Fraternal Order of Police was organized on April 30th, 1946. Lodge #37 has the distinction of being the first organized lodge representative of members of the Pennsylvania State Police. Pioneer Lodge #37 represents members in southeastern Pennsylvania, including Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.

Michael J. Kozma, mkozma@psta.org – Lodge #38
O’Rourke Memorial Lodge #38 of the Fraternal Order of Police was chartered August 19th, 1946 and named in honor of Lawrence O’Rourke, a corporal stationed in Hazleton. Cpl. O’Rourke was a superb and extremely well liked individual who passed away from cancer around age 40, shortly before the formation of the lodge. O’Rourke Memorial Lodge #38 represents members in the counties of Carbon, Columbia, Monroe and Lower Luzerne.


Harry Dannehower, hdannehower@psta.org – Lodge #40
Joseph J. Haggerty Lodge #40 of the Fraternal Order of Police was founded in October of 1946. The lodge covers members in the counties of Bucks, Lehigh and Northampton. The Lodge was named after Trooper Joseph J. Haggerty. Tpr. Haggerty enlisted in the State Police in August 1940. In December 1942, he took a leave of absence and joined the United States Marine corps. As a marine, Tpr. Haggerty took part in the invasion of Okinawa. On May 14th, 1945, at the age of 28, he was mortally wounded.

Douglas Howell, dhowell@psta.org – Lodge #41
Keystone Lodge #41 of the Fraternal Order of Police was founded in 1947. The name was selected because of location in Harrisburg, Pa. Keystone Lodge #41 represents members in the counties of Dauphin, Franklin, Perry, Adams, Cumberland and York.

Stephen Turinski, sturinski@psta.org – Lodge #43
Frank Albert Memorial Lodge #43 of the Fraternal Order of Police was named after Frank L. Albert was assigned to the old Troop “B” Third Squadron in Wyoming, Pa. when he was 21 years old. An exceptional horseman, he later toured as part of the State Police Rodeo Exhibition. With the advent of World War II, Frank enlisted with the U.S. Army Air Corp (Air Force). He was killed in a bombing run over Friedrichshafen, Germany. Unable to release their bombs due to a low group of B-17’s below, Frank elected to make a repeated run over the target. His #4 engine was hit and afire, but rather than break formation and land in Switzerland, he continued the mission on target. Several of his crew was killed. He ordered the rest of this crew to bail out and went down with the plane. Frank Albert memorial Lodge #43 represents members in the counties of Bradford, Sullivan, Wyoming, and Luzerne.

Matthew M. Redick, mredick@psta.org – Lodge #46
John Hancock Memorial Lodge #46 of the Fraternal Order of Police was founded in 1946. The lodge was named after John Hancock, who enlisted in the Pennsylvania Motor Police on August 1st, 1940. Shortly after his assignment to Troop “C”, Blakely, John entered the military during WWII. He died in a plane crash during a training mission. John Hancock Memorial Lodge represents members from northeastern Pennsylvania, which encompasses Lackawanna, Pike, Susquehanna, and Wayne counties.

David M. Bova, dbova@psta.org – Lodge #47
National Trail Lodge #47 of the Fraternal Order of Police was chartered on June 3rd, 1946. The lodge was named for the “National Trail” highway known today as U.S. Route 40. National Trail Lodge #47 represents members located in southwestern Pennsylvania which includes the counties of Washington, Allegheny, Fayette, Greene and Westmoreland.

Richard A. Neiswonger, rneiswonger@psta.org – Lodge #48
Swanson Memorial Lodge #48 of the Fraternal Order of Police as organized on January 19th, 1947. Representing members of Troop “E” the lodge encompasses the counties of Erie, Crawford, Venango, and Warren. Swanson Memorial Lodge was named after Patrolman Russell T. Swanson, enlisted in the Highway Patrol on October 3rd, 1927. On April 19th, 1929, Patrolman Swanson was shot and killed by a man he was taking before the Erie County District Justice. Swanson was the State Highway Patrol’s first murder victim.

Steve Schmit, sschmit@psta.org – Lodge #49
Rosenberger-Welsch Memorial Lodge #49 of the Fraternal Order of Police was chartered on January 28th, 1947. The lodge was named after two troopers who lost their lives in the line of duty. Gary Rosenberger died on December 12th, 1970 during a drug investigation. Joseph Welsch died on September 13th, 1977 when shot during a domestic disturbance. Rosenberger-Welsch Memorial Lodge #49 represents members in the counties of Union, Snyder, Northumberland, Montour, Lycoming, Clinton, Potter and Tioga.

Ronald E. Scott, rscott@psta.org – Lodge #54
Brady Paul Memorial Lodge #54 of the Fraternal Order of Police was named after Corporal Brady C. Paul - Enlisted in the Pennsylvania State Police on January 7, 1926. He was setting up a roadblock on the Butler Highway, 3 miles east of New Castle, at Rose Point, Lawrence County, accompanied by Patrolman Ernest Moore. Corporal Paul and Patrolman Moore stopped a vehicle with Ohio registration, when a woman, one of three individuals in the vehicle, fired a pistol at the two officers. Corporal Paul was killed on December 27, 1929, by Irene Schroeder, who fired the fatal shots. Patrolman Moore was wounded during the altercation. Corporal Paul was 29 years of age.

Douglas B. Evans, devans@psta.org – Lodge #57

Jarred K. Thomas, jthomas@psta.org – Lodge #61
McCluskey-Roynan Memorial Lodge #61 of the Fraternal Order of Police was chartered on December 27th, 1950. The lodge was named after Tprs. McCluskey and Roynan. Both were retired Pennsylvania State Police members from the Troop “C” who passed away just prior to the Lodge’s formation. McCluskey-Roynan Memorial Lodge #61 consists of members in the counties of Jefferson, Clearfield, McKean, elk, Clarion, and Forest.

Ronald A. Zona, rzona@psta.org – Lodge Lodge #62
Frank J. Kelly Memorial Lodge #62 was organized on chartered on March 1st, 1951. The lodge was named in honor of Frank J. Kelly, who enlisted in the Pennsylvania State Police on October 1st, 1936 and was assigned to Troop “A” Greensburg. He was granted military leave on August 16th, 1942 and was killed while serving as 2nd Lieutenant, 182nd Infantry in the Battle of Bougainville, and Solomon Island on October 2nd, 1944. Frank J. Kelly Memorial Lodge #62 encompasses members from Indiana, Cambria, Westmoreland and Somerset (Troop A) counties.

Alexander T. Mohn,  amohn@psta.org  Lodge #65
Philip C. Melley Memorial Lodge #65 of the Fraternal Order of Police was formed in 1952 as the Pagoda Lodge with 85 charter members of Troop "L", many of who were previously affiliated with the local Berks County Lodge. In 1958, the lodge was renamed for Philip C. Melley, who was slain in the line of duty in 1957. Philip C. Melley Memorial Lodge #65 covers members in the counties of Lebanon, Berks and Schuylkill counties.

David Kennedy, dekennedy@psta.org – Lodge #66

The Conestoga Lodge #66 of the Fraternal Order of Police was granted a charter on October 20th, 1952. It covers members from the counties of Lancaster and Chester. The named was changed to the Robert D. Lapp Jr. Memorial Lodge #66 on April 23rd, 1974 to honor the heroic death of 8-year veteran, Robert D. Lapp Jr. While assisting in the apprehension of an escaped murderer from New Jersey, Lapp was shot and killed in a gun battle on October 16th, 1972.

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