Solicitation letter not endorsed by Ahoskie PD

Published 9:35 am Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Updated Story

(Editor’s Note: This article, published in the June 26 edition of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, needs correcting. Its opening sentence has been changed to reflect that the “pledge of support” requested by the National Police Association (NPA) does not directly benefit the Ahoskie Police Department. The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald apologizes for the inaccurate statement in our original story and is happy to set the record straight.)

AHOSKIE – A letter received by at least one local resident asking for a “pledge of support” for law enforcement agencies does not specifically benefit the Ahoskie Police Department

Recently, Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh shared information with this newspaper regarding a letter mailed to an Ahoskie resident from an organization identifying itself as the National Police Association.

In the letter – which shows an “item” listed as the “2019 Ahoskie Annual Appeal” – asks the recipient to make a “suggested” $10 donation.

“Police are being attacked in the news media. Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against individual police officers and whole departments. And politicians are forcing police to give up many of the methods and techniques that have law enforcement reduce crime in America by over 50% over the last 26 years. As a result, law enforcement officers across the nation are quitting in record numbers. Police morale is at an all-time low. Now, experts say we could see a massive increase in crime in the U.S,” a portion of the letter states.

Fitzhugh said the Ahoskie Police Department and the Town of Ahoskie are not affiliated with the National Police Association.

“This particular association is not endorsed by my department or by this town,” Fitzhugh said. “We have never been asked to become a member of the National Police Association, requested funds from them, or have never received any funding from them. It leads me to believe that our name is being used in a fraudulent manner.”

Fitzhugh said the local recipient of the letter did write a personal check in the amount of $15 as a donation. However, instead of mailing it directly to the National Police Association, this individual took it by the Ahoskie Police Department.

“That’s when we were made aware of such a letter being mailed to our local citizens,” said Fitzhugh. “Had this person mailed it directly to the NPA, not only would his donation never find its way back to Ahoskie, but the group or individual receiving the personal check would have access to the bank’s name and account number that’s printed on the check. Who knows what would have happened at that point.”

As far as others who received such a letter, Fitzhugh requested they contact the Ahoskie Police.

“Please, do not mail them a check; they are not representing the Ahoskie Police Department,” Fitzhugh stressed.

A casual reader of the letter may have overlooked the following two sentences included in the solicitation: “Sign and return the enclosed Pledge of Support Card. Your card along with the cards of others will be presented to a police department that has been especially hit hard by media attacks, officer resignations and low morale.”



About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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