Washington State Fraternal Order of Police and the Ethics of Car Decals

I received a robocall from the Washington State Fraternal Order of Police today that really makes me wonder about the ethics of that organization.  While it is always annoying to receive an automated telemarketing sales pitch, this call was particularly offensive in that it offered to send or deliver a sticker for my car window if I made a donation.   Why would anyone offer you a sticker for your car?  Why not offer a sticker for your refrigerator, or home window, or lunchbox?  Well, what the Washington State Fraternal Order of Police is seemingly offering is the implicit promise that you would receive lenient treatment the next time you get pulled over for a traffic infraction.   Yuck.  That is pretty sleazy in my opinion, and I would hope that officers would not be swayed by such a sticker.  As a prosecutor, I always hoped that the police enforced speeding laws evenly and fairly.  Whenever I was pulled over, I would not identify myself as a prosecuting attorney to try to get out of a ticket.  That just seemed tacky.

When I checked out this Washington State Fraternal Order of Police “charity” online, I did not like what I saw. According to the listing with the Secretary of State, only 20% of any donation goes to program services.  Other police charities, such as Concerns of Police Survivors Inc. at 80%, have much higher levels.

I haven’t been the only person to complain about the Washington State Fraternal Order of Police, there is a site that tracks complaints on this group.

What do people think?  Am I missing something about this group?  Am I wrong about what the group implies by offering a sticker?  Does anyone know of a more reputable charity that people can donate to in order to support the police?

11 Responses to “Washington State Fraternal Order of Police and the Ethics of Car Decals”

  • M Davidson:

    The primary reason charities (including OPB, etc.) send out stickers for your care is to increase awareness that the charities exist in order to increase future donations. This requires a public aware and curious enough to bother to look into the charities.

    Seeing the FOP and other support-police stickers has never led me to believe I could say, “But officer, I support xyz. Could you overlook this instance?”

  • Jean Jacob:

    I received a call from a human, not a recording, soliciting a donation. I told him I was on social security and could not contribute. He told me that my police protection could be limited if I didn’t donate something. I am furious. I told him I was hanging up and he continued to use coercing language until I hung up. I will never never ever contribute to this organization.

  • Jerry Mcgee:

    I got a very, VERY pushie call the other nite, a little b4 9pm!!,He ask for a donation,I told him I was on SSI, he finally said, not even $25.00 I stated that I did not have it, he than said, well, send what you can, 10,15,or 25. and mailed me letter/pledge letter for $25.00
    I also notice that the address they want me to send it to is in Olympia, not Kennewick as the letter head reads……..
    and I just found out that only 20% goes to ppl, were does the rest go??
    I am NOT sending anything, cause it just does not feel rite !!

    • Steve Graham:

      Thanks for sharing this info Jerry. Yes the Washington State Fraternal Order of Police are up to their old tricks again.

    • ms:

      cops these days suck! they are nothing more than little man syndrome with a badge to hind behind, I can say this caue my beloved brother servced on thw HPD doe 30years in pear city HI.

      Edit if you like to make yourself look better but people need to know the good along with the bad!!!

  • Lynn:

    I listened to the caller (4 years now in a row) and say to him that it is a great cause, he then tries to commit me to a $25.00 donation and I say that would be fine. He then asks for what credit card do I want to use… I simply say, I do not use credit cards. He said, If I send you the pledge for $25.00 will you send the money? I simply say “YES”…

    A few days later I receive the pledge form for payment, accompanied by the automobile window.

    THANKS BUDDY…4 years in a row… and not one dime sent to them.

    Maybe they will learn on day to remove me from their list… if not, THANKS FOR NEW STICKER !!

    Semper Fi’

  • Thanks Lynn. That comment made my day!

  • Brian:

    I’ve given a few times to the Fraternal Order of the Police in the past, but I had no idea they were only passing on about 10% to 33% to the supported charity! (//www.columbian.com/news/2011/dec/18/report-be-wary-when-donating-to-charity/) The bottom of the heap are at the bottom of the article.

    Personally, I don’t mind donating money to help fire fighters, police, etc., but these guys are cheating the charity!

Leave a Reply

Steve Graham is a criminal defense lawyer, and he splits his time between Spokane and Seattle, Washington. Visit his website by clicking: www.grahamdefense.com
Law Office of Steve Graham
1312 North Monroe Street, #140
Spokane, WA 99201
(509) 252-9167
Blogs I Read