Lincoln law enforcement officers have always had to travel to Gaston County for their local Fraternal Order of Police meetings.
Now, some members are working to start up a local lodge here.
The Lincolnton-Lincoln County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 85 will be one of 304,000 lodges nationwide, said Brian Greene of the Lincolnton Police Department.
The FOP is a brotherhood for officers and provides them with benefits and support, including a legal defense fund, Greene said.
Anyone can become a member of the lodge. Those with arrest powers are considered active, and anyone else can join as an associate member.
Dues are $40 for the remainder of this year, Greene said.
Meetings are planned for the first Thursday of every month at the Senior Center.
The next meeting for active members will be March 25. Officers will be elected and yearly dues will be decided.
There has already been interest in the organization, Greene said.
Rules require at least 10 people to start a lodge, and during the lodgeâ€™s first meeting last week those numbers were exceeded, Greene said.
He expects members to be drawn from the Lincolnton Police Department, Lincoln County Sheriffâ€™s Office, state Highway Patrol and the local probation and parole office, as well as the rest of the community.
After becoming established, Greene plans for the FOP to work to raise funds for local charities.
â€œThatâ€™s what most lodges do, and thatâ€™s what we hope to do, too,â€ Greene said.
For more information and to find out how to join, contact Greene.by Alice Smith