Suwannee Democrat

Branford News

March 12, 2012

Local law enforcement wary of phone solicitation

Live Oak — A number of people continue to get solicitation calls from individuals claiming to represent the Live Oak Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies, Live Oak Police Chief Buddy Williams stated in a press release.

“The Live Oak Police Department never solicits funds by telephone for any reason,” Williams said.

The only time the LOPD asks anyone for money is during the fundraising for the Live Oak Police Department Charity Ball, the press release stated. These monies are solicited by members of the LOPD and mostly consists of business solicitation. Almost always, this is done in person.

According to Williams, only certain members of the department solicits for the charity ball and the money is used for charity organizations, not the police department.

Williams stated the LOPD is fully funded by the city of Live Oak and has no reason to solicit money from the general public.

Suwannee County Sheriff Tony Cameron said the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office does not solicit money either. According to Cameron, the only group affiliated with the SCSO that might contact residents is the Florida Sheriff’s Association.

“The only contact then is a letter in the mail,” Cameron said.

Cameron explained that when the Florida Sheriff’s Association contacts residents by mail, it is to solicit membership.

“The Live Oak Police Department does not and has not ever had any affiliation with organizations such as the Fraternal Order of Police, Police Benevolent Association, Association of State Troopers or others,” Williams explained in the press release. “If anyone is contacted by these organizations they will promptly tell you they are collecting money for the Live Oak Police Department, but we assure you that is not the case.”

The LOPD urges residents not to donate money to organizations solely based on the fact the money will not stay within local departments. According to Williams, if anyone wishes to donate to these groups, they should be aware that the solicitations are not provided to local law enforcement.

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