The present organization of the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police is a reincarnation of a dead predecessor. In 1894, a year after the organization of the International Association in Chicago, a meeting of the Chiefs of Police of Pennsylvania was held in the offices of Benjamin J. Linden, then Superintendent of Police at Philadelphia. There was, in attendance at this meeting, some twelve or fifteen police heads. Superintendent Linden was elected President of the Association and William T. Simpson, Chief of Police at Scranton, was elected Secretary. The assemblage was royally entertained by a trip on the Delaware to points of interest aboard a police boat. On this occasion, Hon. Edwin S. Stuart, then Mayor of Philadelphia and afterward Governor of Pennsylvania, and Director of Public Safety, Hon. Abraham M. Beitler, accompanied the party and made stirring addresses at a banquet served at one of the city institutions. Only one subsequent meeting was held as a turn of the political wheel removed a majority of the organizers from active work in the Spring of 1896.
During the sessions of the International Association held at Grand Rapids, Michigan, in June 1914, a meeting of the police heads from Pennsylvania was held aboard the steamer City of Grand Rapids, during a trip on Lake Michigan, the following chiefs being present:
Col. Joseph B. Hutchison, Chief of Police, Harrisburg, PA
Leon B. Day, Supt. of Police, Scranton, PA
Charles F. Evans, Chief of Police, Lehigh Valley R. R., South Bethlehem, PA
J. N. Tillard, Chief of Police, Altoona, PA
James Robinson, Supt. of Police, Philadelphia, PA
William F. Detzel, Chief of Police, Erie, PA
M. W. Swabb, Chief of Police, Johnstown, PA
William B. Thomas, Chief of Police, Jenkintown, PA
G. L. Lever, Chief of Police, Ogontz, PA
George W. Harder, Chief of Police, Williamsport, PA
*John Roberts, Chief of Police, Wilkes-Barre, PA
At this meeting, J. N. Tillard, Chief of Police at Altoona and one of the organizers of the International and the defunct Pennsylvania Association, was elected President; Charles F. Evans, Chief of Police of the Lehigh Valley Railroad System, was elected Vice-President, and George W. Harder, Chief of Police at Williamsport, was elected Secretary-Treasurer. Superintendent James Robinson of Philadelphia, at whose suggestion the meeting had been called, was appointed Chairman of a Committee on Constitution and By-Laws with instructions to report at a State convention to be held at Harrisburg during the month of September.
Today the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association is an organization comprised of over 1200 command level law enforcement officers which includes not only chiefs of police, superintendents and commissioners, but also the commanding officers of federal, state and industrial agencies.
*Roberts is not a member; has not met with us since.