Like the Fraternal Order of Police, the Auxiliary’s roots began in Pittsburgh, PA in 1920. What started as the Fort Pitt Ladies Auxiliary, a local police wives’ group, has expanded into a national organization with more than 5,500 members in 31 states.
The Fort Pitt Ladies Auxiliary’s driving force in 1920 was Kathryn Milton, an amazing mother who raised 10 children on a police officer’s salary. Mrs. Milton went on to become the first national president of the Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary in 1941.
As the police profession changed and so did the police family structure between the 1950s through the 1970s, the function of the "ladies" Auxiliary transformed also. Support was solicited throughout the law enforcement community, not just through the wives of police officers. Membership eligibility was opened up to all family members, 18 years of age and older, of any member of the Fraternal Order of Police.
The Auxiliary became instrumental in their support of police officer’s needs with their goals focused on planning the first Police Officer’s Memorial Day Service held in Washington, DC on May 15, 1962. This annual event is now drawing more than 15,000 attendees every year.
The Critical Incident Response Service (CIRS), formed in 1995 by the State F.O.P. of Ohio in conjunction with the Ohio Labor Council, has trained Auxiliary members to be first and follow-up responders. What better members of the police family to call on than Auxiliary members because they share similar life experiences and shared emotions.
The Auxiliary joins forces with the Fraternal Order of Police in raising money for their number one charity, Easter Seals. Each year the Auxiliary raises more than $96,000 nationwide to assist disabled children and adults. This year, for the first time with the assistance of the Auxiliary, the F.O.P. surpassed the million dollar mark for a single year’s donations to this very meritorious charity.
Other interests of the Auxiliary include the National Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial Fund, which the Auxiliary is the only law enforcement support organization that seeds money to this program; the Vested Interest Program, which urges the law enforcement community to wear bullet-resistant vests; and the Kathryn Milton Scholarship Fund, which provided annual grants for children of Auxiliary members.
In the spring of 1995, several family members of officers found a need to re-establish the Auxiliary’s charter. In 1995, Capital City Lodge No. 5 charter was re-instated with the State of Ohio Auxiliary. The members of the local Auxiliary are lending their support of law enforcement officers throughout Franklin County with their fundraising efforts, their political involvement through the House committees and their support of officers and their families during a time of crisis.
The Auxiliary motto is, "never let them walk alone"
Nor should we let the Auxiliary walk alone. Urge your family members to become involved in this organization. They are there to benefit us.