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Biography of the APCO-Atlantic Chapter:
A Long and Proud History


The name "Atlantic Chapter APCO" goes back to August 1966, but the chapter history can be traced to APCO's beginning in January 1935.

APCO (Associated Police Communication Officers) was born as a national organization on January 21, 1935. Among the 30 communications people and three advisors at its first meeting in St. Louis, Mo., were George Searle of the New York State Police and William Nelson and Myron Eck of Niagara Falls, N.Y.

On March 25, 1944, a group of police communication workers from all areas of New York State met in Endicott, N.Y., to discuss state radio problems and organized the New York Chapter of APCO.

In April 1948, its members recognized the meetings of the New York Chapter had increasing numbers of communication workers from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut. At its April 3rd meeting, members changed the name to the Four State Chapter.

In May 1966, a group of Four State Chapter members met to discuss the possibility of the Eastern States Police Radio League (ESPRL) and the Four State Chapter merging. In August 1966, after considerable discussion, the name "Atlantic Chapter APCO" was born.

Since early in APCO's history, Atlantic Chapter members have been active in the business of the association. On February 11, 1935, George Searle of Albany, N.Y. was appointed a member of the Executive Committee and William Nelson of Niagara Falls, N.Y. a member of the Resolutions Committee.

The Chapter has hosted nine national conferences, starting in 1937 in New York City, then elsewhere in 1946, 1949, 1954, 1960, 1972, 1976, 1990 and 2000. It has hosted nine East Coast Regional conferences.

The Atlantic Chapter has been active on the local and national levels. APCO's Project 26 (August 1990) was the result of the chapter's concerns over radio-spectrum relief in urban areas experiencing spectrum shortfall. Project 26 was successful; public safety agencies for the New York metropolitan area, Suffolk County and Nassau County benefited. This project opened the doors for relief in other major U.S. metropolitan areas.

Chapter Member (and APCO Life & Senior Member) Robert Schlieman is considered a technical expert in the area of national spectrum and technological issues. His expertise has been noted in Washington, D.C., on numerous occasions as he has spoken on these issues for APCO.

Our chapter members serve at the national level in many varied leadership positions. Members have served on the International Board of Directors as East Coast Regional Representatives, Group Leaders, Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs, and Task Force Chairs and Vice Chairs.

The Atlantic Chapter is no stranger to doing things differently. In Boston at the 2000 Conference & Exposition, the chapter produced a video of pictures and film clips from the week's events that was shown during the closing banquet. Through the efforts of Carol Pustorino, wife of member Blair Sutherland, the video captured the spirit, pride and professionalism of the APCO family. This type of video has been produced and shown at every national conference since. We hope this will remain a long lasting tradition.

In 2004 the Atlantic Chapter set up a scholarship awards program named for James F. Blesso, a deceased International Life Member and APCO's first Senior Member, to develop its members and invest in the future. The program gives recipients the opportunity to pursue training to enhance their careers. To ensure the program continues, the chapter voted to apply half its annual dues income to the program.

These few examples of individuals who are part of the proud Atlantic Chapter History must represent the many who are unnamed here for lack of space. As an active member of the chapter you to will come to recognized the many public safety professionals within the chapter.

Because of the chapter's large size, it is hard to hold monthly meetings. It holds an annual conference and business meeting in the fall. It runs for 2 ½ days with training sessions, an exhibitor's area and the chapter's business meeting. A second chapter business meeting is held during the annual national conference. In addition we have provided financial support for individual training sessions by state or local associations within our chapter area.

The Atlantic Chapter has a long and proud history with APCO. Its members are proud to serve on every level. We are honored to be part of this great association and will continue to serve for the good of the entire association.

- Richard Boettcher, RPL - Chapter Historian

APCO History Makers


The Atlantic Chapter has provided 12 APCO presidents:


Gerald S. Morris Oct 1938 - Oct 1939 NY
Martin W. Joyce Feb 1941 - Jun 1941 MA
Vincent J. Doyle Sept 1948 - Aug 1949 NJ
Claire Yeager Aug 1951 - Dec 1952 NY
Francis Burns Aug 1954 - Aug 1955 NY
William Gamble Aug 1958 - Aug 1959 PA*
(*Pennsylvania was then part of the Atlantic Chapter.)
Irving McAndrew Aug 1972 - Aug 1973 VT
Frank J. Devine Aug 1975 - Aug 1976 NY
Alan L. Armitage Aug 1976 - Aug 1977 NJ
Joseph W. Gallelli Aug 1982 - Aug 1983 NY
Joseph McNeil Aug 1997 - Aug 1998 MA**
(**Joseph McNeil was APCO's first president from the fire service.)
Vincent R. Stile Mar. 2003 - Aug 2004 NY