INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
Police departments in at least four states have raised concerns about an
Indianapolis-based nonprofit, alleging the group conducts fundraising scams
targeting vulnerable people under the guise of raising money for law
The Trenton Police
Department in Michigan is among the agencies that have issued scam alerts
about letters sent by the National Police Association, The Indianapolis Star
indicate the group is raising money for law enforcement in the Trenton area,
but the police department has never received any funds, said Police Chief
Todd Scheffler. The association’s affiliations with any police organizations
are undefined and last month National Fraternal Order of Police Executive
Director Jim Pasco said he was not familiar with the organization.
they’re doing something beneficial to the community (by donating) and the
community doesn’t see any benefit from this,” Scheffler said. “They’re just
giving money to somebody. We don’t know who this is. It comes back to a P.O.
Wisconsin, Florida and Indiana have also raised concerns about the group’s
president is 59-year-old Eddie Hutchison of Hamilton County, Indiana.
Hutchison works for the Indiana attorney general’s office as a fraud
investigator and says he volunteers for the nonprofit a few hours a week.
attorney, Derek Peterson, said the association isn’t a scam.
“The Police Chiefs
that you refer to have not made those assertions to the NPA,” Peterson said.
“The NPA does not know the basis of such alleged comments, nor the context
of such comments.”
According to a tax
filing, Peterson and Hutchinson are not paid a salary by the association.
In response to
questions from the IndyStar, the National Police Association insisted it
does not misrepresent itself. The nonprofit, which first incorporated in
Delaware and then registered in Indiana, also said it does not raise money
or advocate for policy positions in Indiana.
“The NPA utilizes a
third-party company to conduct fundraising,” Peterson said. “The NPA has
been advised that through the third-party fundraising company, the NPA does
not solicit funds on behalf of local police departments.”
company, Direct Response Consulting Services, declined to comment on the
record regarding its fundraising letters for the National Police
Critics also said
the nonprofit’s letters target vulnerable people and use fear-mongering
language, citing instances in which the organization sent letters wrongly
telling the recipients that they lived in a “sanctuary city,” a term that
generally means a locality that limits cooperation with federal immigration
Americans have already been robbed, mugged, raped and even murdered as a
direct result of Sanctuary policies of allowing known criminals to remain on
the streets,” one National Police Association letter said.
Chief Peter Hoell said residents in his Wisconsin village received such
letters, though it isn’t a sanctuary city.
“It’s a scam,”
Hoell said. “It’s no different than any other scam - just a different
Hoell said he
reported the case to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for fraudulent mail,
but hasn’t received an update on the issue.