Local FOP lodge helps the needy

Throughout the year, a Kingman police organization raises money and provides a support group for local officers.

The Kingman Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #16 is made up of active and retired officers from the Kingman Police Department, Mohave County Sheriff's Office and the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Other FOP lodges in the county are located in Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City.

The lodges are part of a state and national organization consisting of members of other law enforcement agencies, Mohave County Public Defender Investigator Jim Benson said.

Founded in 1915, the organization represents more than 300,000 law enforcement officers in 2,200 local lodges throughout the country.

FOP exists to improve officer's working conditions, wages and monitoring legislation affecting law enforcement.

The state FOB was founded in 1936 in Phoenix with the first two lodges formed.

The 40-member Kingman lodge offers a safety seat program through the court system that provides child safety seats for needy parents, Benson said.

FOP also assists KPD and collecting and distributing Christmas presents to needy children.

On May 17, FOP will participate in a two-mile cleanup of Interstate 40 about 10 miles east of Kingman.

On New Year's Eve, the Kingman FOP held a safety break on Highway 93 at Grass Hopper Junction.

Road weary travelers were allowed to rest and were offered coffee and donuts.

Next New Year's Eve, a safety break is planned on Highway 68.

Also planned is a dinner-dance fundraiser in the future but no date or location has been set, Benson said.

During the months of January, May and September, the state FOP solicits donations by phone on behalf of the state and local lodges of Arizona.

The Kingman FOP also plans to raise donations through direct mail.

Eunice "EB" Blevins, constable for the Cerbat precinct of Mohave County and treasurer for Kingman's FOP lodge, said the lodge is encouraging younger police officers to join.

Through its dues, FOP offers an officer comradeship, legal information as well as death benefits, Blevins said.

If a donor wants to donate to the local FOP lodge they could mail donations to: Fraternal Order of Police, Mohave Lodge #16, P.O.

Box 6247, Kingman, 86402.

Anyone with interest in joining the FOP can contact Blevins at 753-0751 or Mohave County Sheriff's Office Sgt.

John Slaughter, who is the president of the Kingman FOP at 753-0753.

Part of the money raised by the state FOP organization is returned to Kingman for local charities or scholarships for law enforcement careers at Mohave Community College.

Part of the money goes to administration expenses at the state organization level.