"For many years, the retired officers from the Montgomery County Department of Police looked forward to getting together for their annual dinner at the Knights of Columbus hall in Derwood. It was always held over the Columbus Day weekend in October, but by the Fall of 1998, the number of retirees attending had dwindled down to fewer than fifty. Phil Caswell and I decided to move the location to Damascus and we were able to get a good deal at the Fire Department activities building. The firemen there were famous for their fried chicken dinners; and we were able to provide beer, wine and setups, all for the low price of twenty bucks. Cops know a good deal when they see one! We changed the title to "Reunion" and the response was phenomenal. We had over 250 people at that first reunion in October of 1999.
To say that there was tremendous enthusiasm for continuing this theme of a "reunion" would be an understatement. A growing exchange of e-mail by December would eventually lead to the establishment of the weekly newsletter, which formally began in January, 2000. The list of "contacts" continued to grow and by May of 2000, the retired folks living in Florida organized their very first reunion. Folks in Delaware and Maryland's Eastern Shore had already been getting together each year, having first organized as a "decoy carver's" club, but later changed the name to MCP Stake-Out. With help from Ted Parker in Delaware, Joe Divver in Florida and Marvin Jessee in Maryland, I was able to garner an impressive list of retired personnel with addresses, phone and e-mail. And the List continued to Grow!
As I said earlier, there was a tremendous amount of enthusiasm to continue reaching out and to stay in touch with each other. Instead of finding out months (or years) later that someone had died, we were able to stay in touch and "be there" for someone in distress. It was very comforting, I know, for the family to have contact with the official MCP as well as the retired officers that their loved one used to work with. It was also during this time that Scott Burton put his talents to good use and helped the association create a web site. This is an important means of communication and continues as a vital link today.
The impetus for an annual reunion dinner also led to the creation of a monthly get-together for breakfast at Jim Mahoney's Ledo Pizza in Damascus. This in turn led to breakfast and lunch get-togethers in Delaware, South Carolina and Florida. Don't tell me Cops don't like to eat.
But then there also came the realization that we (as a group) needed to organize, have a treasury, and develop some protection by incorporating. We were deeply indebted to Richard Mayer, retired MCP, a lawyer familiar with incorporation papers, and, willing to help us out. Richard got us incorporated in Baltimore in 2003. Part of the incorporation process included having an executive board. Jerry Bromley was the obvious choice as President because of his leadership ability as an Executive Officer with the department. Richard Fried agreed to serve as Treasurer and I agreed to be Secretary. Jim Eckenrode, Ron Scott and "Buzz" Burroughs filled out the remaining slots. Eckenrode initiated the efforts to obtain the organizational tags which the board approved and that was one of the first things we accomplished.
Overall, the Montgomery County Police Alumni Association has accomplished a great deal in a short period of time. We modeled ourselves after the Maryland State Police Alumni Association in name and in the organizational tags. But you would be hard-pressed to find another organization that even comes close to ours."
© Montgomery County Police Alumni Association
PO Box 431, Damascus, MD 20872-0431