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HCPA_Circle History Of Hamilton County Police Association

The following historical account of the early days of the HCPA is reprinted from the 1954 Constitution And Bylaws of the Hamilton County Police Association.


The Hamilton County Police Association was organized September 23, 1937, through the initiative and foresight of some of Hamilton County’s most progressive police officials. It was born of necessity, pointed out by the fact that most of those attending the initial organizational meeting were meeting each other for the first time.
There was jealousy and friction between many adjacent political subdivisions, the cause of which was buried in history, but kept alive by political tradition. The first noble feature of the first drafting of the Association Constitution recognized this common need in this manner: “This Association is formed for the primary purpose of promoting and bettering police work, to cultivate friendly and cooperative relations among law enforcement agencies, collecting and circulating valuable and useful information, to encourage enactment of laws, to further the benefits to the citizens, and to aid law enforcement officers in the apprehension, prosecution and conviction of law violators.” This was adopted as Article III of the Constitution and is the foundation of the organization and the guide for all organizational operation.
Membership was originally limited to Mayors, Safety Directors, and Police. However, with success came a realization of these limitations and many related functional organizations are now eligible.
A General Alarm System, effecting road blocks by forces throughout Hamilton County, adjacent cities and counties in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky was organized by this Association and was put into practical use on May 16, 1938. This alarm system was used successfully for several years and still has its purpose, although it has been dormant since the advent of the Quadrant System for Emergency Patrol.
On April 14, 1938, Pistol Matches were established to improve the marksmanship of members and further the cause of a friendly competition between Member Units. This has given the desired result over the years and remains one of our most binding forces.
September 9, 1938, this organization was recognized by F.B.I. Director J. Edgar Hoover as a unique and powerful combine for law and order. Very soon thereafter he graciously accepted Honorary Membership.
Before the Association was a year old it was becoming nationally known as a new and powerful way of aligning regional forces and developing interest and cooperation in the fight against crime. Many queries were received from different parts of the country for the necessary information to create a similar merging of regional forces.
March 9, 1939, the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Sheriffs of adjoining counties were invited to accept Honorary Membership and attend Regular Meetings, which they did, and thus, the arm of the law was further extended by the relationship so created.
August 10, 1939, The Annual Family Basket Picnic was established as an annual affair, affording more relationship of members and families.
September 14, 1939, this Association promoted the organization of the first School Boy Patrols in the county.
May 11, 1944, The Hamilton County Police Association was Incorporated.
January 1, 1945, the Association comprised 50 Member Units. January 1, 1955, we are 65 Member Units.
Prior to May 13, 1948, the Association met at different towns, villages, or cities each month by invitation of a Member Unit. Starting on this date a regular schedule of Meeting Hosts has been maintained, with neighboring Units acting as co-hosts.
February 8, 1951, this Association promoted and established Schools of Instruction and Training for Civil Defense Volunteers and it has been one of the main factors in keeping Civil Defense alive in this area.
February 8, 1951, this Association appointed a committee who initiated the first movement to install a Hamilton County Bureau of Records and Identification as a clearing house for factual police information. All participating units contribute crime information and aid in the operational costs. This Bureau operates under the direction of the Sheriff’s Office with financial aid from the County Commissioners.
June 12, 1952, it was established by the State Auditor that the Yearly Dues of $10.00 may be paid out of public funds by means of an ordinance of the political subdivision involved.
This Association now represents a combined force of approximately 1600 officers engaged in the different phases of law enforcement. Attendance at our regular meetings is usually about 100. They consist of a regular business meeting, an educational feature, followed by refreshments and a social hour.
The activity of this Association has done more to combine the law enforcement agencies into one powerful working unit than anything the mind can conceive. We believe, the unity of purpose in this cooperative group is the power which has kept organized crime from gaining a foothold in this metropolitan area.
The Hamilton County Police Association Inc. Hamilton County Cincinnati, Ohio

Today, more than 80 years later, The Hamilton County Police Association remains a vital organization, dedicated to further the interests of all local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in Hamilton County, and to serve the citizens and visitors of Hamilton County.¬† The motto “Cooperation In Operation” is as true today as it was many years ago.