In September, 1941, Dr. Vivian Anderson Leonard was asked by the president of Washington State University if he would accept the directorship of a Police Science Academic Program at Washington State. Dr. Leonard accepted the offer and became responsible for developing a four year curriculum which would lead to a Bachelor's Degree in Police Administration.
Upon his arrival at Washington State, Dr. Leonard began to realize how important it was that a Police Science Honorary be established. The purpose of this honorary would be to promote excellence in scholarship and performance. In January, 1942, Dr. Leonard met with seventeen Police Science majors at Washington state and Alpha Phi Sigma was established. Glenn Hill was elected as the first president and appointed a committee to draft the first Constitution and By-laws.
During its initial years Alpha Phi Sigma experienced only limited growth, but on March 24, 1976 in Dallas, Texas, the Executive Board of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences voted unanimously to designate Alpha Phi Sigma as the National Criminal Justice Honor Society. At this time, Alpha Phi Sigma had only fourteen chapters; however, since then, Alpha Phi Sigma has continued to grow and prosper at a very rapid rate and there are now over three hundred and sixty Chapters.
Over the years the National Officers have been located at Universities across the country, such as, Washington State University, Midwestern State University, Eastern Kentucky University, Texas Woman's University, Fairmont State College, Marshall University, Tarleton State University, Florida International University, Boise State University, University of Houston ~ Downtown.