OUR GOAL IS
TO BRING TOGETHER, IN A SOCIAL ATMOSPHERE, LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND FRIENDS THAT ARE MOTORCYCLE ENTHUSIAST WITH COMMON INTERESTS AND VALUES. THIS INCLUDES REGULAR GROUP RIDES, MEETINGS, AND OTHER SOCIAL EVENTS.
TO FOSTER IN THE COMMUNITY THE POSITIVE IMAGE OF BOTH LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND MOTORCYCLE ENTHUSIASTS.
TO ENCOURAGE AND DEVELOP LAWFUL AND SAFE MOTORCYCLE RIDING PRACTICES.
THE CLUB IS ORGANIZED AND OPERATED EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE FRATERNAL AND CHARITABLE PURPOSES STATED HEREIN, AND FOR OTHER NON-PROFIT PURPOSE.
A POLICE ORGANIZED MOTORCYCLE CLUB
The oldest law enforcement motorcycle club in the USA. Being established in 1973 in Camden NJ the South Jersey Chapter was born.
The original club has grown and currently has chapters in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina, Delaware, Missouri, Central Texas, Louisiana, Georgia and Canada.
Our organization is a police oriented Group of motorcycle enthusiasts who Get together to socialize and enjoy the wind in our faces We are however, not all about PLAY. We support and are active in numerous charity efforts throughout the United States.
The History of the Centurions Motorcycle Club
by Warren (Jersey Larry) Worrell
(written with the input of of Founding Member Al Silbaugh)
The Club was started by seven Camden City, NJ cops in the Spring of 1973 and Incorporated formally in 1974. The name was taken from The New Centurions, written by Joseph Wambaugh in 1971.
The Original Seven Members:
The original seven guys form the Club, picked the name, design, the colors and wrote the By-Laws. The Club was founded in the Spring of 1973 in New Jersey.
The South Jersey Chapter was the Original Chapter and authorized all the other Chapters over the years including the Philadelphia Chapter in or about 1984. The Philadelphia Chapter at that time was known as the South Philadelphia Chapter.
The first Philadelphia President was (Lt.) Jim Hall and his Vice was Ed Ash (both were stakeout guys). Jim retired after the Move incident, Jimmie Gleason followed Jim Hall as President. There was also a Northeast Philadelphia Chapter for awhile. We also chartered Burlington County and Trenton in the early years.
The South Jersey Chapter and the South Philadelphia Chapter were very tight in the early years. We attended each others monthly Meetings and had a joint run every year to New Hope.
The Centurions were established a year before the formation of the Blue Knights. The guys that were forming the Knights in Maine had heard of us and came down to Camden to meet with us (they were considering becoming Centurions). We explained that we were a “Police Sponsored” Club (and the officers has to be cops or retired cops) but we allowed members to ride with us and become members that are not cops. These guys wanted a Club exclusive to cops, so they formed the Blue Knights. The Centurions may have been the first Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club in America! I don’t know that as fact – but I have never heard of one started before us.
The Centurions M/C Center Patch was the Roman Helmet that the Roman Centurion Guard wore. (Again, the name of the Club from the title of Joseph Wambaugh’s book “The New Centurions” about the LAPD in 1971). Wambaugh, a LA cop considered the Roman Centurion Guard to be the first “peace keepers of a society” (the Roman Empire) and that cops patrolling and keeping the peace in America are, in his view, the “New Centurions”.
The original emblem we used was from a picture we found in a history book at the local library. When we had the “First”Center Patch made in Jersey we used that picture. We had all the lettering and outline done in blue (police blue of course). We used yellow for the other color because most PD’S wore a blue shirt and pants at that time with a yellow stripe on their pants like the State Police. Thus the emblem was Police Blue and Yellow. There is a little question as to who first added the Skull to the helmet, it started that both Philly and Jersey had the Skull design on just t-shirts and hats and then later Philly changed their Center Patch to the Red Eye Skull. As of 2014, all Chapters, except Suncoast and Georgia, have the Skull Center Patch except with the Blue Eye. Both are recognized as “official” Centurion Center Patches by all other Centurions!
You may be curious as to why the Original Chapter of the Centurions in 1973 made the choice to have “South Jersey” as the bottom rocker rather than just “Jersey”. Well, That was just a regional deal; South Jersey folks do not like North Jersey folks! So, we wanted everybody to know we were in the “good” part of the State. It was certainly not because in 1973 we thought the Centurions would ever be a M/C that expanded outside the Camden area at all. We only made the bottom rocker “South Jersey” rather than “Camden NJ” was that although we were all Camden cops, only one of us lived in the City.
South Jersey chartered to Philadelphia Chapter on the late 70’s or early 80’s. Their first President was Jim Hall, a Philly Lt. (now retired) that I am still in touch with. Jim was a hell of a cop with the Stake Out Unit. He retired shortly after the “Move” incident. Jim Gleason, another Philly cop took over the Philly Chapter after Jim Hall. Our two Chapters were very close in those days. I believe Grove Gipple was the South Jersey President in those days.
In 2007 Philadelphia Chapter became the Mother Chapter. South Jersey Chapter still has the distinction and honor of being the Founding Chapter.
One small idea from seven Camden Cops, who created the Centurions, continues to grow. From the start of the South Jersey Chapter and the Leadership of the Philadelphia Chapter, as of December 2014 there are 14 Chapters.
The Centurions are still growing, a Brotherhood that cannot be duplicated.
Bucks County, PA.
Delaware County PA.
Chester County PA.
Montgomery County, PA