Thursday, December 1, 2022

This letter has been circulating in the area but the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office is not affiliated with it. Have you received one?

If you have received a letter from an organization claiming to raise money for families of police officers killed in the line of duty, tagging it as their 2020 York County Area Annual Appeal for the Police Family Survivors Fund, you might want to check on it.

The York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office is not affiliated with the organization — the American Federation of Police and Concerned Citizens.

As a matter of fact, the sheriff’s office received several calls from residents about it.

Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Shelly Ward said several residents recently reported receiving phone calls and letters from the organization. The letters asked residents to donate money to the 2020 York County Area Annual Appeal for the Police Family Survivors Fund.

Ward said the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office is not affiliated with the organization.

“I can’t say that this American Federation of Police and Concerned Citizens is 100 percent a scam. I can just tell you that our organization has not ever received any money from them,” Ward said.

Ward also advises residents to look up the organization on Charity Navigator, a website that lists registered charities and their rankings, before donating.

Charity Navigator gave the American Federation of Police and Concerned Citizens a single star and added a moderate concern advisory due to allegations of possible illegal activity, improper conduct, organizational mismanagement, or other matters of concern.

(WYDaily/Courtesy of the York-Poquoson Sheriff's Office.)
Letters sent out to York County residents asked for donations to the the 2020 York County Area Annual Appeal for the Police Family Survivors Fund. (WYDaily/Courtesy of the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office.)

According to the organization’s website, their goal is to “promote and support the law enforcement profession.”

The organization also claims to be out of Titusville, Florida.

Ward said when they looked up the address for the charity, the American Police Hall of Fame & Museum came up instead.

“Always investigate just as we did to see if the organization is legitimate or not,” Ward said.

When WYDaily Staff called the number on the organization’s contact page, a recorded message answered with the full name of the charity and asked the caller to dial for the extension’s number.

The letter did not specify extension numbers for the people listed as members of its national “advisory board.”

If residents do wish to donate to local law enforcement, then they should contact the sheriff’s office directly, Ward added.

She also said the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association is currently sending out letters looking for donations. Proceeds to the Virginia Sheriffs’ Association go toward public safety officers, law enforcement legislation, and enhancing the criminal justice system.

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