Fairfax County Police Chief Carroll D. Buracker yesterday accused a Fraternal Order of Police Lodge of "unconscionable" fund-raising tactics, charging it had sent numerous bills and past-due notices to businesses in Northern Virginia for unordered tickets to a variety show.
Buracker said that the lodge was incorrectly claiming that proceeds from the show were going to benefit local community activities, including neighborhood watch and home security programs. "Lodge No. 35 did not contribute in any way to these activities in Fairfax County," he said in a statement.
Bob Brown, president of Lodge No. 35, refused to comment on the chief's specific charges last night. "We have done nothing to cheat the county," he said. "Everything we do is for the benefit of our members and the community. We don't solicit money from anybody."
He said the lodge held its 10th annual variety show Aug. 16.
Lodge No. 35, located in Falls Church, with about 700 members from Northern Virginia, is a social club for law enforcement officers, and sponsors local community activities such as Little League baseball teams.
Its members are all law enforcement officers who have the power to make arrests, according to a lodge spokesman. Area police departments have no formal relationships with the lodge, the spokesman said.
Buracker said that the lodge had sent bills and past due notices to various businesses, including branch locations of local banks. He advised the businesses not to pay the bills inadvertently.
The chief called the lodge's fund-raising tactics "a gross misuse of the fine reputation of the police profession to raise money for an organization not sanctioned by the Fairfax County Police Department.
"It's my hope," he said, "that business persons and individuals will not be misled into thinking they're helping the Fairfax County Police Department by contributing to Lodge No. 35."