Outside of work, law enforcement personnel may be involved in charitable activities as members of professional organizations or labor unions. But generally speaking, police and fire departments are supported by your tax dollars and, do not engage in solicitation activities. Sham charities and fundraisers often claim to raise money in support of veterans and law enforcement charities but instead pocket the proceeds to fuel their own greed.
In addition to DOJ’s Wise Giving Guide, consider the following if you are being asked to support a law enforcement or veterans charity:
Do not be intimidated. Only contribute to the organization if you are interested in supporting its activities. You will not be denied protection because you declined to contribute to a law enforcement or veteran’s charity. If you receive a threatening solicitation please report the event to the Attorney General's office – most likely the solicitor is an imposter.
Check the solicitor’s status. It is very rare for solicitations to be conducted directly by law enforcement personnel. More often they are conducted by a professional fundraiser. If they are working on behalf of a nonprofit organization not only must they tell you as much, they must also be registered as a professional fundraiser with the Attorney General's office. Confirm that a solicitor is properly registered by calling DOJ’s Charitable Activities Section at (971) 673-1880.
Confirm with the organization. If the solicitor claims to be working in conjunction with a local charity or school program, check with the organization and confirm that they are aware of any fundraising being conducted on their behalf. In a significant number of cases, there is no working relationship or the claims of cooperation are exaggerated.
Advertising in law enforcement publications. Business owners may be asked to purchase an advertisement in law enforcement publications. Many of these solicitations have no connection to any bona fide law enforcement organization or any meaningful method of distribution to a local law audience. Be wary about contributing to these types of publications as, more often than not, no one but the publishers and solicitors will benefit. For more information about charitable activities in the workplace please see Giving Back: Tips for Business Owners.
If you have concerns about a solicitation, please file a complaint online or call the Charitable Activities Section at (971) 673-1880.