Police debunk fundraising claim
The Madison Police Department has received several inquiries from concerned citizens about a detectives benevolent association soliciting donations.
Mail outs have been sent throughout the northern part of Alabama asking contributors to send their donation to an address in Madison. The company states in their mailing material that the funds they solicit go toward sponsoring street survival schools for law enforcement officers, providing child identification kits for parents and providing for a "Shop with a Detective" activity for underprivileged children.
The packet contains a one-page sheet titled "Child Identification Information" for parents to fill out and keep for themselves.
Investigators by the Madison Police Department found the Madison address to be that of a private mailbox company. The mailbox was rented by a Missouri company that collects the contributions and forwards them to Detectives Benevolent Association in Washington, D.C. Further investigation also found that none of the money collected by the association in 2000 went to any charities, but was instead reported to have been used for business and fundraising expenses. Information about their 2001 files could not be obtained.
When the owner, J.C. Stamps, was contacted and asked about this, he eluded the question and stated he had a contact with the Mobile Police Department to raise funds on their behalf. When contacted, no one at the Mobile Police Department had ever heard of the association. Stamps was asked if any of the money collected locally would go toward law enforcement in this area and he stated his contact was only with the Mobile Police Department.
At the time this investigation started, the company had asked for and was granted an extension for registration as a charitable organization with the State of Alabama because the company had not filed a financial disclosure with the State Attorney General's Office. Since that time, they have complied with the rules for registration and are currently registered in the State of Alabama.
Even though the company is operating within the perimeters of the law, no law enforcement agency or underprivileged children in this area stands to benefit from any of the donations.
Chief Dan Busken
City of Madison Police Department