Caribou Police Department alerts resident about misleading mailer

5 years ago

CARIBOU, Maine — The Caribou Police Department is warning residents not to respond to a mail fundraising request that targets residents based on their municipality. 

According to a post on the police department’s Facebook page, a Caribou resident turned over a solicitation for donations that had been mailed to the individual’s address. The envelope contained a request for the resident to donate to the annual Caribou campaign for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

An asterisk next to Caribou leads to the following statement: “Donations do not go to local law enforcement agencies, but honor ALL sworn officers across America by supporting the memorial to their fallen colleagues.”

Laura Adams, administrative assistant for the Caribou Police Department said that because the letter discloses that donations do not support local law enforcement, and also because the organization is legitimate, she does not believe the letter is technically a scam, but that it can easily mislead recipients by targeting their municipality and giving the impression that funds will directly support their local police.

If the letter was sent to a resident in Presque Isle, for example, Adams said it would likely state that it is part of the “annual Presque Isle campaign,” along with the small print statement indicating that Presque Isle’s police would not directly benefit from the funds. The mailer urges recipients to send their donations to a P.O. box in Washington, D.C.

The documents also included car decals bearing the phrase, “I’m Tired of Our Cops Getting Killed,” and promised that if the recipient donated to the fund within 10 days he would be contributing to the addition of a new name on the memorial wall, to the beginning of new officer safety programs, and to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

The Caribou Police Department encourages Caribou residents to not respond to the request for donations, as the department does not participate in any such fundraising.

“Although these documents look official, they are not. Caribou Police Department does not solicit funds, nor does the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund by using local police departments,” the department Facebook post states.

Any individuals interested in supporting the memorial fund should check organization’s official website for more information before donating to the cause.

Anyone wishing to report information related to this or any other suspicious mailer or call should contact the Caribou Police Department at (207) 493-3301.

Staff writer Melissa Lizotte contributed to this report.