Garland Mayor Scott LeMay says he received questions about a fundraising letter landing in North Texas mailboxes this week from a nonprofit group called the National Police Association.
“At the very top of the letter it has my name and title: Scott LeMay, Mayor of Garland needs to hear from you,” LeMay said.
“A couple of citizens texted me pictures of the letter that they had received or a friend of theirs had received in the mail, essentially asking me, 'What’s up with this letter?' My response was, 'What letter?' Because I had no prior knowledge of the existence or the creation of this letter,” LeMay said.
The letter addresses what it calls “quality of life policing” and says, in part, “But now, dozens of well-financed groups like Black Lives Matter, the ACLU and George Soros Open Society Foundation are determined to stop quality of life policing across America."
The letter also says, “Your mayor likely appoints your police chief and also gives the police in Garland their marching orders so your mayor can either keep your neighborhoods clean and safe OR do what many big-city mayors are doing – bowing to anti-law enforcement pressure and ordering their police to stop quality of life policing.”
The mailer asks the reader to add their name to a “Police Pledge of Support” to be presented to LeMay.
“One of the things that bothered me the most about it is this unknown third party was going to collect information or concerns about the city of Garland and then forward that somehow to me,” LeMay said.
LeMay published a post on Facebook, sharing a photo of the first page of the letter and said he supported the police. He added that residents could reach him directly through the city’s website.
“You can have a direct line to me, you don’t need anybody else to filter your information,” LeMay said.
The letter also asks for a donation to the National Police Association.
Tuesday, the Garland Police Department tweeted the first three pages of the letter and wrote that the organization has no affiliation with Garland police or Garland Police Association.
“Nothing has been coming through the Garland Police Department,” Ofc. Felicia Jones said. “They have not contacted the Garland Police Department, we are unaware of who the organization is and we are not affiliated with them whatsoever.”
In an email exchange with NBC 5, the National Police Association, with an address on Bash Street in Indianapolis, said the letters state the NPA is not affiliated with your local police department.
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Its website says the nonprofit was founded “to educate supporters of law enforcement in how to help police departments accomplish their goals.”
The NPA tells NBC 5, in its last fiscal year, the nonprofit raised just over $3.1 million dollars with 3.74% spent on program services and 32.25% on public education in conjunction with fundraising appeals.
LeMay said he offers the following advice in response to any solicitation, “If you’re going to donate money to any organization, do your homework. Check out the organization, what they do, how much of the funding goes to the actual cause they’re promoting.”
The National Police Association said the average turnaround time for presenting Police Pledge of Support reply forms to the mayor is somewhere between 90 and 120 days.
It added that due to the “small number” of Garland mailings, there’s a possibility it will receive no forms.