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Post date: September 26 2006

Police Chiefs' Association Agrees To Modify Fundraising Practices

Attorney General Spitzer today announced an agreement with an association of police chiefs to resolve an investigation into its solicitation practices.

Under the agreement, the 400-member New York Police Chiefs’ Benevolent Association, Inc., a group of active and retired command-rank law enforcement officers, will reform its solicitation practices to accurately describe how it uses the public donations it receives.

"All charitable solicitations in New York should be free from any misleading statement or implication," Spitzer said. "It should be clear to donors how their contributions will be used."

The Attorney General’s office began its probe of the association in 2004 in response to public complaints. The investigation revealed that during its fundraising campaigns, the association:

  • Represented that contributions were specifically targeted to an anti-drunk driving program, however, in fact, these donations were used also to benefit the Association’s members;
  • Failed to disclose that donations were not tax deductible; and
  • Failed to disclose that donations might be transferred to other organizations.

In settling the matter, the association has agreed: 1) Not to misrepresent the use of donations for anti-drunk driving programs, 2) Disclose that donations are not tax deductible, and 3) Disclose that it uses gifts to support other groups. The association also agreed not to use the phrase "state police" in identifying itself.

From March 2005 to March 2006, the association received nearly $1.1 million in donations, of which $921,967 – or 84 percent – was paid to its professional fund raiser. The balance, $176,267 – or only 16 percent -- was delivered to the association for its administration and programs.

This case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Timothy Lennon of the Charities Bureau, under the direction of Section Litigation Counsel James Robert Pigott, Jr. and Bureau Chief Gerald Rosenberg.