The FOP was first introduced in Delaware on September 20, 1965 with the formation of Wilmington Lodge #1. The Delaware State Lodge was established somewhat later, in 1967. The Delaware State Lodge currently consists of 13 lodges with over 2100 members. They are:
Lodge #1 Wilmington Police Department
Lodge #2 Sussex County
Lodge #3 Kent County Lodge
Lodge #4 Newark Police Department
Lodge #5 New Castle County Lodge
Lodge #7 University of Delaware Police
Lodge #9 Western Sussex County
Lodge #10 Probation and Parole Lodge
Lodge #11 Capitol Police
Lodge #12 Amtrak Police
Lodge #14 Delaware River & Bay Authority Police
Lodge #15 Dover Police
Lodge #16 Bethany Beach Police
Lodge #17 Millsboro Police Department
Lodge #18 Milford Police Department
The following lodges are no longer active lodges:
Lodge #6 Delaware State Police
Lodge #8 Correctional Supervisor’s Lodge
Lodge #13 VA Police
The Wilmington FOP Lodge #1 was formed by several officers who wanted some kind of representation, which they felt would not be addressed by any of the local unions. It soon established itself as an effective voice for its law enforcement officers.
The FOP grew rapidly in the State and Jim Whaley was one of the driving forces behind that growth. Jim was not only a leader in Delaware but was a recognized force on the National level as well. Jim Whaley served as National Guard from 1975-1979, National Conductor from 1979-1983, and National Treasurer from 1983-1985. Jim was elected by the national delegates at five different national conventions and served the Grand Lodge proudly for 10 years as a member of the National Board. During Jim’s years with the FOP, he helped to develop Tela-Mark and various computer programs for the National FOP. He was called upon to serve as a mediator between the States and the National Lodge concerning the use of the FOP logo.
The first National Trustee from Delaware was Bud Mowdy from New Castle County Police Department Lodge #5. He was sworn into office in 1969.
The National Trustees from the State of Delaware are as follows:
1969-1971 Elwood (Bud) Mowdy Lodge #5
1971-1975 Matt Donovan Lodge #1
1975-1977 William Walls Lodge #2
1977-1979 Timothy P. Mullaney Sr. Lodge #3
1979-1981 George Getty Lodge #4
1981-1983 Jim Riggs Lodge #5
1983-1985 Chuck DeTulleo Lodge #6
1985-1987 Richard Armitage Lodge #7
1987-1989 Chuck DeTulleo Lodge #6
1989-1999 Thomas Penoza Lodge #4
1999-2003 Randy DeCampli Lodge #1
Presidents of the Delaware State Lodge are as follows:
1969-1971 Anthony Celano Lodge #1
1971-1974 Robert Forenski Lodge #6
1974-1976 Anthony Grello Lodge #5
1976-1978 Matt Donovan Lodge #1
1978-1980 Steve Smyk Lodge #6
1980-1984 Timothy P. Mullaney Sr. Lodge #3
1984-1986 Thomas Gordon Lodge #5
1986-1988 William Manchester Lodge #6
1988-1994 Timothy P. Mullaney Sr. Lodge #3
1994-1998 Michael Terranova Lodge #5
1998-2002 Kevin Connor Lodge #1
2002-2004 Robert Jameson Lodge #5
FOP Lodge #1 represented the City of Wilmington Police Officers and was very active representing the membership. In 1977 FOP Lodge #1 members protested contract negotiations by staging a Blue Flu outing. Shortly after this action a contract was signed. In 1979 FOP Lodge #1 members packed a City Council meeting opposing the formation of a citizens review board. City Council members attempted this proposal in response to a police shooting of a mentally ill individual who lunged at police with a knife. Action was defeated. In 1979 a new breed of police officer was recognized by the newspapers. Before when the police would disagree with something written by the newspapers they would just complain and mumble about it among themselves. Now they have taken the steps to be heard and recognized by the press by meeting with the editors and voicing their displeasure with what was written. In1980 FOP Lodge #1 members along with local firefighters began a petition drive to get enough signatures for a citywide referendum on binding arbitration. At the same time State House Bill 894 was under consideration for towns with a population over 4,000 which would provide arbitration. Although a petition was filed for a referendum with the Mayor he refused to accept it, the FOP sued in Superior court but the judge ruled the officers could not use a 1907 provision of the city charter to force a referendum. In1980 FOP Lodge #1 approved a new contract calling for a 16.3% wage hike over two years after negotiations began with the help of a federal mediator. In1981 Leaders of police unions throughout the state urged State Senators to pass legislation to allow arbitration to police contract disputes. “We’ve had far too long no rights to go to a bargaining table”, said Tim Mullaney, president of the State FOP Lodge. “They (city and county officials) just don’t want their law enforcement officers to sit across the table from them as equals”. In1993 FOP Lodge #1 sponsored a billboard notifying anyone entering the city of the increase in the number of shooting and the lack of action taken by the city to replace officers who retired. The FOP supports the Chief of Police in his effort to get more police. The Chief is forced to resign. In1996 the plan for a civilian review board again defeated. In 1998 the FOP takes on the issue of residency and wins State legislation support to allow officers to live outside the boundaries of the city limits.
During the 1970s the FOP in Delaware was attempting to establish itself as a force in the area of labor. Collective Bargaining was not widespread and was unheard of in the lower 2/3 of the State. The first real battle for collective bargaining in lower Delaware was fought in Dover, Delaware, which was led by Tim Mullaney, President of Kent County Lodge #3 and a patrolman with the Dover Police Department.
In 1974 Dover Police FOP members manned informational picket lines following the elected members of Dover City Council in an effort to gain collective bargaining rights. Subsequently in 1977 Dover Police FOP members was the first FOP group in the lower 2/3 of the State to sign a collective bargaining agreement with their town government. The work done to accomplish this effort was done under the auspicious of Kent County Lodge #3. Dover Police left Kent County Lodge #3 and formed their own lodge in the late 90s.
Tim Mullaney was involved not only on the labor front in Delaware but was also active on the National Legislative scene serving as a member of the National Legislative Committee. He testified before Congress on numerous issues such as: mandatory social security coverage for law enforcement, collective bargaining, law enforcement officers bill of rights, and death benefits for officers killed in the line of duty to name a few. Tim was also involved in the expansion of the FOP and was involved in the creation and expansion of the Eastern States Labor Coalition. He attended many meetings in Washington DC to help promote and develop the Police Memorial Service.
State President Mullaney was also involved in another important piece of legislation, which involved a police officer by the name of Don Walp. Walp was an officer in the Newark Police Department who had a fatal aneurism after he was called to work. The Insurance Commissioner ruled that his death was not in the line of duty. President Mullaney fought long and hard to resolve this issue and finally Judge Myron Steele of the Delaware State Bench ruled that Officer Walp died in the line of duty giving the appropriate benefits to Walp’s widow.
During President Mullaney’s third term, in 1989, the State Lodge was successful in having a permanent FOP memorial, for law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, erected by the west entrance to Legislative Hall in the State Capitol of Dover.
Tim was elected to five terms as State Lodge President stepping down as President in March 1994 after he was named by President Clinton as U.S. Marshal for the District of Delaware. However, Tim did retain his position as a member of the National Legislative Committee. During the course of Tim’s Presidency and Immediate Past Presidency and with the support and help of a very able Board of Directors (Vice President Jack Cunningham, Vice President Mike Terranova, Secretary Jack Desmond, Treasurer Tom Penoza, and between terms President Thomas Gordon, to name a few) a great deal was accomplished in the name of the State FOP. They pushed legislation for Collective Bargaining Rights, Right of Retired Officers to Carry Firearms, Police Officers Bill of Rights, and making it unlawful to display an FOP emblem unless you were a member. It was during this time that the hard work of the State FOP that the FOP became a very respected voice in our capital and at legislative hall.
During the 1980’s Newark Lodge #4 had many battles with the City of Newark on behalf of Newark Police Officers. The Newark City Charter prohibited Newark Police Officers from engaging in political activity. President Ron Watson and Vice President Thomas Penoza, on behalf of Lodge #4, took the City to court and won, allowing officers to be involved in political activity when off duty. The City set up new rules and implemented restrictions on political activity again. Lodge #4 went back to court and won again. The City changed the rules a third time and prohibited Newark Police Officers from being involved in the City’s non-partisan politics. Watson and Penoza went to court again, but the State Legislature passed the Police Officers Bill of Rights, which allowed Police Officers to participate in political activity and the suit was dropped. Also during the 1980’s, during the Presidency of Thomas Penoza, Lodge #4 had several contract disputes, which caused the Newark Police Officers to work without a contract for long periods of time. Lodge #4 members supported by FOP members from throughout the State of Delaware and FOP members from Philadelphia, picketed City Hall, picketed City Council meetings, and picketed the Mayor of Newark’s place of employment, the DuPont Company. Each time they successfully signed a contract with full retroactivity.
Thomas Penoza of Newark Lodge #4 served two years as Trustee of the Delaware State Lodge, eleven years as Treasurer of the Delaware State Lodge, ten years as Delaware’s National Trustee, and as of the writing of this book, four years as National FOP Treasurer. Tom was very active in Newark Lodge #4, negotiating 7 collective bargaining agreements and serving 7 years as Vice President and 8 years as President. As a National Officer Tom was instrumental in starting the National Police Officers Certification Program. Tom served on the National FOP Benefits Committee that started the National Legal Defense Plan that serves thousands of members throughout the country. As National Treasurer Tom developed an Internet based voucher program that cuts the time it takes for members to get reimbursed for their expenses from weeks to days.
During the term of President Thomas Gordon the Police Officers Bill of Rights was signed into law on May 13, 1985. After the bill was signed President Gordon gave special thanks to the FOP Legislative Committee co-chairman Robert Mooney and Jim Weldin. President Gordon also thanked State Senator Jake Zimmerman and Representative Bill Oberle for their efforts in passing this legislation. This effort to pass the Law Enforcement Bill of Rights was a collective project started during President Mullaney’s first term of office and worked on by numerous members of the Delaware FOP. It was only through this collective effort that the FOP was able to pass this very important legislation. This piece of legislation became the centerpiece for the National Bill of Rights Legislation introduced by Senator Biden in Washington DC. President Gordon also successfully chartered Lodge #10, Probation and Parole Officers.
At the 1993 State FOP Convention, the delegates voted to endorse Governor Clinton for President, Joe Biden for U.S. Senate, and Tom Carper as Governor. All these candidates were victorious at the general election.
Throughout the history of the FOP one name consistently was prominent in the support of Law Enforcement. That name was Joe Biden. Delaware FOP has supported Senator Biden for approximately 30 years in recognition of his outstanding service to law enforcement. Senator Biden has been praised for his work to pass: The Drug Czar Bill, Cop Killer Bullet Bill, and Biden Crime Bill to name a few. He has consistently been out front of the pack in seeing that law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty were recognized and their families compensated in a fair manner.
Vice President Michael Terranova became President in 1994 when President Mullaney stepped down. Mike was reelected President in 1995. During that year a very important piece of legislation was passed. House Bill 119 allowed police officers, whose cities employed 25 or more municipal employees, to collectively bargain with their city. Mike thanked the Legislative committee that assisted in getting this bill passed with special thanks to Bob Jameson, Steve Flicker and Larry Mitchell. One of the first lodges to take advantage of this new law was Lodge 9. Fred Thornton of The Western Sussex County Lodge 9 assisted in the labor negotiations of the Seaford Police Department. Also during this term the Delaware State Lodge was successful in getting State of Delaware vehicle license plates for FOP members.
In 1995 New Castle County Lodge #5 formed the first associate lodge in Delaware, FOPA Lodge #5 and State Lodge President Terranova swore in Tom Pease as President.
Kevin Connor was elected President in 1998. During his first term as President another very important piece of legislation was passed. This legislation provides for binding arbitration in the collective bargaining process. This legislation had been sought by the Delaware State Lodge for many years. During 2001-2002 the Western Sussex County Lodge participated in the State’s first Binding Arbitration hearings in front of the State of Delaware Public Employee’s Relations Board. Glenn Van Fleet was the lead negotiator. Newark Lodge 4 was the second lodge to participate in the new binding arbitration process. Another piece of legislation that was passed was initiated by Lodge 15, Dover Police officers, and was managed by Steve Flicker, State Lodge Vice President and Legislative Chairman. It affects officers from at least nine police departments in Delaware. This legislation decreased the Delaware County and Municipal Police and Firefighters Pension from 25 to 20 years service. The plan allows an officer to retire after 20 years or remain for 25 years with no contribution to the plan for the last 5 years.
During the last term of President Mullaney, the terms of Mike Terranova, and the last term of Kevin Connor, Robert Jameson was the Chairman of the Delaware State Lodge Legislative Committee. During his tenure, with the help of the State Lodge Presidents, and the Legislative Committee, the following legislation was passed:
1992 HB 640/1996 HB 590 – STATE FUNDING FOR PENSIONS (3 FOR 1 MATCH)
1993 SB 39 – PERMITTED PROBATION OFFICERS TO BE ARMED
1994 HB 332 – CCDW PERMITS FOR RETIRED POLICE OFFICER’S
1995 HB 119 – COLLECTIVE BARGAINING FOR SMALLER DEPTS.
1995 HB 252/1996 HB 574 – PROTECTION OF I.A. FILES FROM THE PUBLIC AND CIVIL PROCEEDINGS
1998 SB 217 – MODIFIED WILM.’S RESIDENCY LAW
1999 BINDING ARBITRATION
1999 REDUCTION FROM 25 TO 20 YRS. FOR THE COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL POLICE PLAN
Over the course of the last twenty years, the Delaware FOP has been very fortunate in having support in the Legislature. Some of those strong supporters in the State Senate included: Senate Majority Leader Tom Sharp, Senator Jim Vaughn, Senator Herman Holloway (deceased), and Senator Jake Zimmerman (deceased) just to name a few. In the State House of Representatives our strong supporters included: Speaker of the House Terry Spence, Representative Bill Oberle, Representative John VanZant, Representative Casmere Jonkiert (deceased), and Representative Bruce Ennis to name a few. The endorsement of the Delaware State FOP is a very sought after commodity, which does translate into votes. The Delaware State FOP at their State Conference have been known to stage debates between candidates for Governor. We are proud to point out that the FOP endorsed candidates are usually victorious. U.S. Senator Tom Carper is an example of an FOP endorsed candidate who has successfully been elected as U.S. Representative, Governor and now Senator. Of course, Senator Joe Biden has been a perennial favorite of the FOP not only in Delaware but across the country.