Committee for Police Officers Defense

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Committe For Police Officers Defense

Your phone rings and you answer it, and you hear.
“Oh, I’m glad you picked up. I was getting my answering machine voice ready, haha. Good morning this is Steve Savage calling for the Committee for Police Officers Defense. This Call is recorded for quality assurance Ok…Hello…..Hello”

So who is the Committee for Police Officers Defense? It sounds like it is an advocacy group for police officers. A look at their website shows that they are based in Fairfax, Virginia, and are a Political Action Committee (PAC). Quoting from its website, the “Committee for Police Officers’ Defense is a 527 Committee designed to seek out radical prosecutors, judges and district attorneys.” Another organization is named on the website as well — The Police Officers’ Defense Coalition.

The Committee for Police Officers Defense is run by James J. Fotis, who is a retired New York Police officer, who ran unsuccessfully in 2007 for Sheriff of Manassas City / Manassas Park City / Prince William County. Now I’m not knocking on Mr. Fotis, I’m just reporting on what I have found and I thank him for his service in the Army and as a Police Officer. I’m using this organization for my post, as I have personally received this robocall a good dozen or more times in the past few years.

Little can be found online about the ‘Committee for Police Officers Defense‘, Charity Navigator doesn’t show them as a Charity. Nothing on either. and nada on Ballotpedia either. A Google search comes up with links to police forces and law enforcement websites. Except for several very interesting news stories.

Charity Navigator is a charity assessment organization that evaluates hundreds of thousands of charitable organizations based in the United States, operating as a free 501 organization.
OpenSecrets, a database that tracks spending in U.S. politics run by the Center for Responsive Politics.
CBS 58 in Milwaukee has a story called, ‘Telemarketers pulling at heart strings to get to your wallet’, which doesn’t directly call out the Committee for Police Officers Defense, but it does show up on page one in Google. As does CNN’s article called ‘Donations have surged to a ‘scam’ political group that claims to help police officers‘. Times of San Diego, directly calls out the Committee and Mr. Fotis, in their ‘Beware: That Call for Police Donations May Be from a Political Action Committee‘ article. All three articles appear on the first page of Google for the search terms “committee for police officers defense”. And all three call this group or similar groups PACs.

There are other PACs that are raising funds for police officers such as the Police Officers Defense Alliance, Police Officers Defense Coalition, Inc., or The American Police Officers Alliance, and OpenSecrets is showing these organizations as raising millions of dollars last year.
A little more research shows that the Police Officers Defense Alliance changed its name to Police Officers Defense Coalition, Inc. and James Fotis is the president of the Alliance.
In fact, James J. Fotis is the President of:
And Executive Director of:
So Who Cares?
The problem is with Mr. Fotis or the associations he operates, the problem exists that there are so many names for the same purpose. The problem exists that they are PAC and not what they claim to be. The problem exists that they do not honor the Do Not Call Registry (if the police don’t honor it, then who does?). The problem exists that they are using high-pressure call tactics to seek donations. And the problem exists that there are dozens of similarly named groups, claiming that they are raising money for police when they aren’t. So this all begs the question of who they are really.

*** For the record I support the police any way I can, but I would prefer to donate in a more direct manner than any of these groups ***

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