History of Wisconsin APCO

In accordance with decisions made by the membership quorum meeting at the 1938 Annual Convention in Houston, national APCO postponed the formal recognition of any APCO chapters until after the association could be incorporated.  APCO was then incorporated at the stroke of noon on February 16th, 1939 at the office of the Secretary of State in Indianapolis, Indiana (ref. Feb. 1939 APCO BULLETIN, page 6, column 1).

The March, 1939 APCO BULLETIN (page 1, column 3) included a report from Herbert F. Wareing (Radio Engineer for the Milwaukee P.D., and an APCO association Charter Member and the only representative from Wisconsin to attend that first APCO Annual Convention in St. Louis when APCO was formed Jan. 21-24, 1935) that 45 Wisconsin police communications men had met in Madison on Feb. 20, 1939 to organize themselves as the Wisconsin Police Communication Officers Association and passed a resolution to take immediate steps to affiliate with A.P.C.O., Incorporated.  Elected President of this organization was Joseph A. Dorr, sheriff of (would you believe?) Walworth County.  Vice-President was Ray Gronier, chief engineer of Madison P.D.; Secretary was E. Zimdars, technician for Walworth County; Treasurer was R. E. Lathrop, technician for Waukesha County; and Herbert F. Wareing was one of three men elected to the Executive Committee.

The April, 1939 APCO BULLETIN (page 7, column 1) included another report from Herb Wareing that 138 Wisconsin Chiefs of Police, Sheriffs and Communications Officers attended an April 3, 1939 meeting of the Wisconsin Police Communication Officers Association in Milwaukee.  A long list of notable speakers were in attendance - including Deputy Inspector Robert Batts from the Indianapolis, Ind. P.D. and past APCO President (1935-36); Milwaukee Police Chief Kluchesky; the Radio Engineer from the Illinois State Police; the Wisconsin Secretary of State; a State Senator; and L. Fletcher of the Association for Police Communications in the Chicago (IL) Area.  "Upon Inspector Batts' recommendation that action be postponed until APCO has decided on the matter of chapter affiliations, the question of a constitution was not taken up at this meeting.  The Wisconsin chapter desires to be the first affiliated with APCO and will call another meeting just as soon as information on affiliation of chapters is received."

The August, 1939 APCO BULLETIN reported that the Wisconsin Police Communication Officers Association unanimously voted on August 3, 1939 to submit their application for the issuance of CHAPTER CHARTER NUMBER ONE in the National Organization.  "The petition, when officially approved, in accordance with the findings of the Houston Convention, and placed in effect at the '39 National Convention at Kansas City, on October 2-3-4 and 5, will be the means of changing the name of the Wisconsin group
from their present one to: ASSOCIATED POLICE COMMUNICATION OFFICERS, INCORPORATED, WISCONSIN CHAPTER."  Another report from Wareing on page 7, column 2, of the same August issue "...reports a meeting of the Executive Committee of APCO, Inc., Wisconsin Chapter, at Waukesha on August 2, at which time the petition for chapter charter affiliation was approved and signed.  The Committee also discussed their constitution at great length and expect to adopt it at the next meeting which is scheduled for the latter part of August at Lake Lawn on Lake Delavan in Walworth County."
We have, in the APCO Historical Collection at Bradley University in Peoria, a court stenographer's transcription of all business activities that occurred during that October 2-5, 1939 annual convention in Kansas City, MO. 

Your members might also be interested in knowing that the October, 1939 APCO BULLETIN (page 1, column 4 carried an article that Herbert F. Wareing, Radio Engineer for the Milwaukee P.D., was elected president of APCO National, Incorporated organization at that 1939 annual convention in Kansas City.
All of the references quoted in this e-mail can be found within the PDF images of past APCO BULLETIN magazines on the www.apcohistory.org web site, where you can also discover many other fascinating nuances about the Wisconsin APCO early leaders and that state's communications history in those and other contemporary articles there as well.