The Fraternal Order of Police Kane County Sheriff’s Police Lodge #14 was chartered on April 1, 1966. It’s first President was Sgt Henry “Hank” Swanson. His son Alan, has served as our Lodge President for many years and was instrumental in achieving Henry’s dream of being able to purchase our own lodge building The Lodge was initially formed as a bargaining agent to improve the wages and working conditions of the officers of the Sheriff’s Dept. The Lodge was able to improve working conditions at that time. The founders of the lodge were also instrumental in getting the state law changed to improve retirement benefits for all Sheriff’s deputies throughout the state. Although changes have been made to it, this plan is still in effect today.
In the early years of the Lodge, the primary goals were work related. As those goals were accomplished, the Lodge began to set goals that touched parts of the communities throughout the county. Over the years, the Lodge prospered and grew, sponsoring more activities. Various events were held to raise funds for charity and sponsorships. The Lodge began to sponsor a Country and Western Show to raise funds for these events.
Some of the events sponsored by the Lodge were taking disabled children to the county fair and providing Christmas gifts to the elderly in nursing homes. However, these events were limited and only able to deal with 20-30 people per event.
When the members of the Sheriff’s Office formed a union, the Lodge became devoted to fraternal and community activities only. Changes were made and new events were sponsored. The Lodge began to sponsor Little League baseball teams throughout the county and contributed to other activities that benefited the children. The Lodge also chose the local Easter Seals facilities as it’s primary charity.
Currently the Lodge still holds the annual Country and Western Show to raise funds to operate the Lodge. This allows the Lodge to sponsor various activities and in 1995 the Lodge was able to purchase its own building to call home. The Lodge also started a program called Shop with a Cop in 1989. This program replaced taking the children the the fair as only 20-30 children were able to participate in that event. Shop with Sheriff was designed to take children, whose families needed help, Christmas shopping. The first year 400 children from throughout the county benefited from the program.
The program was a great success and grew even beyond our expectations. the past two years 2000 children were invited to “Shop,” and we averaged 1800 actually coming out to the shopping days. We learned that the need in our county was great and without our program many children would not have had a Christmas.
The Lodge has prospered and changed over the last 31 years. The change has been for the better. We strive to show that we are more than just police officers. We live in the community and care about what takes place there.