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The Historical section of the Atlantic Chapter website is dedicated to RICHARD BOETTCHER, RPL who left this Chapter a rich legacy of historical data which he had researched and accumulated over many years as our Chapter Historian.

Because of his efforts the original Charter from APCO International was recovered and is back where it belongs with the chapter

There are SENIOR and LIFE MEMBERS of the Chapter who would not have those prestigious titles after their names except for Rich's diligence in documenting their efforts on behalf of the Chapter and APCO International. The Chaptér has provided twelve International Presidents and documented twenty-three Life Members, and forty-three Senior Members of APCO International.

The history of this Chapter of APCO International is rich in tradition and service to APCO International. The Chapter has hosted nine International Conferences as well as nine Regional Conferences that benefited Chapters from South Carolina to Our own Atlantic Chapter.

The Atlantic Chapter is the largest Chapter in APCO. Because of Rich's dedication to our history all these events and the members who lived them are recognized here in the Historical Section.


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

RPL Questions and Answers


Does your Chapter have a Historian? If no, who maintains records?

The Chapters first Historian was Richard Boettcher of Andover MA (Past President, Past Secretary, Past Executive Council Representative and Past East Coast Representative to the APCO Board of Directors.).  After his passing in August of 2021, Maureen Will RPL, CPE of Newtown CT (Past President) was appointed Historian.

Where is our Chapter Charter located and has it recently been on display for our chapter membership?

The charter is in the possession of Ms. Will and was last displayed on the Chapter History Table at the 2019 Atlantic Chapter Conference in North Falmouth MA. It will be back on display at the 2022 Conference in Bretton Woods, NH.

When was our APCO chapter actually established?

The Atlantic Chapter was established in 1966.  (It originated as the New York Chapter in 1944 and became the Four State Chapter in 1948.)

Who were the people who petitioned APCO to establish our chapter and what leadership roles did each of them later play in the growth of the chapter?

The petitioning group included Byron McCollum, George Paul and Irving McAndrew of the Four State Chapter who met with members of the Eastern States Police Radio League (ESPRL) and formed the Atlantic Chapter in August 1966 at a meeting in Boston, MA.  McCollum and McAndrew became Atlantic Chapter Presidents and McAndrew served as APCO National President from August 1972 to August 1973.

Has anyone ever compiled a complete listing of all past officers for the chapter? When was that list last updated? Is a copy of the list available for the chapter membership?

Thomas Emmons of Monmouth Co, NJ past Chapter Historian completed a list of Atlantic Chapter Officers in 1996 and is in the custody of the current Chapter Historian. 

All Atlantic Chapter Past Presidents are displayed on a plaque that is part of the portable podium that is in the custody of the current President and is displayed at all Chapter meetings held during Conference.

Without referring back to any membership directory listings, do you know if anyone from our chapter ever served as an association-level APCO President or on APCO's Board of Officers? Who and when?

Board of Directors:

Rich Boettcher           
Charlene Fisk
Brian LaMonica