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Phone Solicitor Concerns
Thursday, April 30, 2009

For Immediate Release
Clay County Sheriff Concerned About Phone Solicitors’ Behavior

(Release Date April 30, 2009) Clay County Sheriff Rick Beseler would like to warn and inform Clay County residents about the latest round of phone solicitations being made that claim to benefit the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

Our department received several calls recently from citizens complaining about rude and even intimidating phone solicitors. This happens at least twice a year. Specifically, recent complaints focus on solicitors claiming to represent either the Police Benevolence Association or the Regional Fraternal Order of Police and that donations directly benefit the residents’ local law enforcement agency. Although similar complaints of “badgering” have surfaced in years past, it appears that it has become an even more troublesome problem recently. It appears that the solicitors, none of which are police officers, are in fact hired to raise this money. However, many of these calls misrepresent the intended use of the funds and leave some residents feeling intimidated and pressured. Some residents assume the solicitor is affiliated with their local law enforcement agency, which is not the case.

In an incident last year, one such solicitor unwittingly called Sheriff Beseler’s own home and lied to the Sheriff himself about the intended use of the requested donation. These types of calls are unnecessary and there is a need to warn our community so they are not again misled.

Ø The Clay County Sheriff's Office neither endorses nor participates in any form of phone solicitation and receives no funding from their collections.

Ø Sheriff Beseler does endorse the fundraising efforts of the Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranches and the Florida Sheriffs Association – but these campaigns are conducted by mail only.

Ø The Clay County Police Activities League and the CCSO Humanitarian Fund are local, legitimate, not-for-profit organizations that accept donations.

Sheriff Beseler believes the majority of Clay County residents can differentiate between these types of high-pressure fundraising companies and the more grass-roots level efforts that truly do have a very beneficial local impact. No one should tolerate rude or aggressive phone solicitors. Sheriff Beseler recommends hanging up the phone on anyone using these sorts of tactics.



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