The History of the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association

In 1894, a year after the organization of the International Association in Chicago, a meeting of the Chiefs of Police of Pennsylvania was held in the offices of Benjamin J. Linden, then Superintendent of Police at Philadelphia. In attendance were twelve or fifteen police chiefs. Superintendent Linden was elected President of the Association and William T. Simpson, Chief of Scranton Police, was elected Secretary. This group met for a second and final time in the spring of 1896.


During the sessions of the International Association held at Grand Rapids, Michigan, in June 1914, the police chiefs from Pennsylvania met aboard the Steamer “City of Grand Rapids,” during a trip on Lake Michigan.


At this meeting, J. N. Tillard, Chief of Police at Altoona and one of the organizers of the International was elected President; Charles F. Evans, Chief of Police of the Lehigh Valley Railroad System, was elected Vice-President, and George W. Harder, Chief of Police at Williamsport, was elected Secretary-Treasurer. Superintendent James Robinson of Philadelphia, at whose suggestion the meeting had been called, was appointed Chairman of a Committee on Constitution and By-Laws with instructions to report at a State convention to be held at Harrisburg during the month of September. The PCPA has been operating continuously since that time.


Today the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association is an organization comprised of over 1,200 command level law enforcement officers which includes not only chiefs of police, superintendents and commissioners, but also the commanding officers of federal, state and industrial agencies. The Association goal is to be regarded as a world class resource for professional Law Enforcement leadership and a respected voice for Pennsylvania’s law enforcement community.


The Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association mission is to promote excellence in service and expertise in law enforcement and public safety services, to advocate for Law Enforcement leaders, and to provide innovative programs and training for our members.