A protester holds up a authorize as mountain Diego police policemans follow a in march on bicycles in June 2020. Photo by chris Stone

The man on the other finish of the phone call is asking for money because that the defense of police officers. It no the usual automated call, and hearing a human voice preserved me top top the line.

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The caller stated he was phoning on instead of of the Committee for Police Officers’ Defense. Many voices can be heard in the background. That sounded like the solicitor was calling native a “boiler room,” where people dial native a list of working phone numbers. In this case, the pitch was for money because that “helping police police officers in the continuing war against cops.”

As our conversation continued, the caller would lower the quantity of funding he to be requesting. He originally solicited $95 and also eventually stated he would accept a $15 contribution as an sell of “’goodwill’ on mine part. This would allow me a opportunity to “talk to your wife” around considering additional contributions. 

I later learned the company is based in Fairfax, VA, and is a political activity committee, or PAC. Quoting native its website, the “Committee because that Police Officers’ Defense is a 527 Committee draft to look for out radical prosecutors, judges and district attorneys.” another organization is named on the website too — The Police Officers’ Defense Coalition.

In researching the organizations, ns discovered plenty of similar-sounding names because that PACs increasing funds because that police officers. The Police policemans Defense Alliance, because that example, elevated $3.2 million in 2020, and The American Police officers Alliance raised $4.3 million. The source of the funding information was OpenSecrets, a database the tracks safety in U.S. Politics run by the facility for Responsive Politics.

The Committee because that Police Officers’ Defense, the telemarketers who called me, applied for tax exemption in California. The application also included the surname Police police officers Defense Coalition, and the Police policemans Defense Alliance. The latter is the name of the PAC I found earlier that had raised $3.2 million in contributions.

Virginia incorporation papers present James Fotis is chairman of the Alliance and adjusted the surname to the Defense Coalition. It appears there space a variety of nonprofits up and also running under the noticeable control of Fotis.

Also worth noting is the while his company is based in Virginia, and gets its letter in Stafford, TX, Fotis stays in Lake Worth, FL. The websites explain his job in regulation enforcement and his duty as the creator that the “police police officers safety act” legislation lugged by previous San Diego Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham.

One the Fotis’ website solicits money for individuals who to be “guilty of a crime for doing their task the method they were trained to do it.” as an example, he cites former Sheriff Joe Arpaio that Maricopa county in Arizona. President Trump pardoned the sheriff even after the department of Justice defined Arpaio as being responsible because that the worst case of gyeongju profiling in U.S. History. 

The website soliciting funds because that Arpaio says, “Liberals have targeted Sheriff Joe Arpaio with a multi-million dollar lawsuit (that can even an outcome in prison time) due to the fact that he to be upholding the regulation of the land.”

Tax records show the Fotis company that phoned me elevated $75,000 in 2021, increase from $50,000 the year before.

Three calls to his Virginia office because that comment have gone unanswered also as an email sent straight to his address detailed in his filings through California.

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For everyone interested in supporting law enforcement, professionals say, think local. Nothing send her money come a national team collecting for reasons that may not always be clear. If they room PACs, the fundraising effort is politics motivated and won’t necessarily support San Diego-area police officers or deputies or your families. 

Local establishments that progressive money on behalf of san Diego regulation enforcement include: Star/Pal for san Diego Police, which gives educational and also recreational services for inner-city youth, and also the san Diego county Deputy Sheriffs’ Foundation, which provides support services for sheriff’s personnel and families.