Fraternal Order of Police Birmingham Lodge No. 1

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The Fraternal Order of Police Birmingham Lodge No. 1 is Alabama's oldest and largest social and fraternal organization for law enforcement officers, with over 1,100 members. The lodge was founded in 1941 by a group of 31 officers of the Birmingham Police Department. It was chartered by the National Fraternal Order of Police on December 1 of that year with 235 active members on the rolls.

The Lodge's first meeting hall was located in downtown Birmingham on the 2100 block of 5th Avenue North. It moved to a new building at 2275 Green Springs Highway in the 1960s. The new building included meeting and banquet halls as well as a recreation center with an Olympic sized swimming pool.

In 1989 the Birmingham FOP Lodge commissioned the Centurion statue as a memorial to law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. The memorial was dedicated in 1991 in the plaza in front of Jefferson County's Mel Bailey Criminal Justice Center.

In the 1990s the Lodge decided to sell its property on Green Springs and relocate, staying within the Birmingham city limits. A new site on Winewood Road off Alabama Highway 79 was chosen. The Lodge held its first meeting there on February 6, 2001.

In May 2021 the executive board and board of trustees of Lodge No. 1 passed an unprecedented joint resolution expressing a lack of confidence in Birmingham Chief of Police Patrick Smith and Assistant Chief Darnell Davenport, alleging that their tenure had been marked by rising rates of violent crime and a drop in officer morale. Lawrence Billups, a Birmingham Police corporal and chair of the FOP Lodge's board of trustees claimed that the two executives were responsible for "constant harassment, retaliation and mistreatment," of officers. In responding to the resolution, Smith disputed the claim that violent crime was rising, as well as the allegations of harassment, and noted that the resolutions were not voted on by the wider membership of the Lodge. He blamed the action on individuals with grudges, and suggested that members of the board were resisting necessary changes in training and tactics meant to preserve the safety and well-being of officers and the public.

On June 2 a group of several dozen officers gathered in support of Smith's leadership and questioned how the FOP boards' votes were conducted. Spokespersons from both groups indicated that they would support holding a full vote of the Lodge's membership.

Member's units

Fraternal Order of Police Birmingham Lodge No. 1 consists of members from the following units:


  • Robinson, Carol (May 26, 2021) "Fraternal Order of Police issues historic no-confidence vote against Birmingham Chief Patrick Smith." The Birmingham News
  • Robinson, Carol (June 2, 2021) "Dozens of Birmingham police officers say they disagree with FOP’s no-confidence vote on chief." The Birmingham News

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