Prior to the formation of today’s chapter, the charter was issued for the Maryland and District of Columbia Chapter. Charter members attending the initial meeting held on May 28, 1947, were: Lt. Frank Bell-District of Columbia PD Radio; Louis Rice-Engineer, WTOP; Chief Holmes; Chief Chatham-Salisbury City Police Dept.; L. W. McDonald-Montgomery County; Lt. L. J. Mackall-Prince Georges County; Officer R. P. Austin-Prince Georges County; Chief Ralph Brown-Prince Georges County; Louis Bloom, Acting Chairman-Maryland State Police; W. C. McVey, Acting Sec-Treas.-Maryland State Police. The Chapter received its letter of recognition from National APCO on October 25, 1947, which was the beginning of its long association as an active part of APCO. From its inception, it was active in frequency coordination and the Chapter was recognized for this purpose by the Federal Communications Commission on August 8, 1947.
New members were drawn into the Maryland and District of Columbia Chapter from un-chartered states. As the Chapter grew, a contest was held to create a name representing all members, and on November 13, 1969, National President Cecil Ratcliff presented then Chapter President Weldon Hale the charter to the Mid-Eastern Chapter of APCO (Delaware, District of Columbia and Maryland) during a regular meeting at Prince Georges County Country Club.
The Mid-Eastern Chapter has been a forerunner in many areas, notably those of frequency coordination, 9-1-1, Local Government 10 Signals, Citizens Band use, and participation in the 1983 APCO Pilot Program regarding frequencies. The latter was a very complex area of operations including members who provide security and communications for the Nation’s Capitol police force. This Chapter has been active in NLETS (National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System) since its beginning under the guidance of member Tom Allen of the Maryland State Police, whose perseverance resulted in greater efficiency and routing of communications information.
Mid-Eastern Chapter members have been quite active on National/International Committees of the past as well as current assignments. In more recent years members have actively participated in many of the special projects and have chaired some of the regional areas involved. We currently have a member participating as an online instructor for the APCO Institute.
The Mid-Eastern Chapter has hosted both Regional and National/International conferences for APCO. The Chapter was included in the first three-state meeting along with North Carolina and Virginia at the Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach, VA in May 1970, from which the APCO East Coast Regional concept became reality. Mid-Eastern hosted regional conferences in 1971 in Ocean City, MD; in 1974 in Pikesville, MD in conjunction with the NLETS Conference; in 1980 in Baltimore, MD; and in 1995 in Hunt Valley, MD. Mid-Eastern hosted its first National Conference in Baltimore, MD in 1958 where the MANAPCO (Manufacturers and APCO) night tradition began; again in 1975 Bicentennial Celebration in Washington, DC; and in 1987 at the Inner Harbor, Baltimore MD. We are currently preparing to host the 2007 International APCO conference in Baltimore, MD.
The Chapter currently holds quarterly membership meetings. Our fall meeting incorporates a training conference in an effort to reach those members who are not capable of attending regional and international conferences.
Note: Excerpts used from “Hardy Historicals” by Lin Hardy, APCO Bulletin, April 1984.