As Iowans become more wary of anyone who calls asking for money, they’ll soon be getting letters in the mail as a statewide law enforcement group launches its fund drive. Atlantic Police Chief Roger Muri, president of the Iowa Association of Chiefs of Police and Peace Officers, says they’ve used telemarketers to raise money in the past, but Chief Muri says they scraped that approach this year and decided to go with the letters. No matter how professional you try to be, he says telemarketers always generate complaints. Besides, he says too large of a percentage of the money raised has to go toward the telemarkers’ wages, phone bills, etc. Chief Muri says telemarketers just didn’t provide enough return to local law enforcement agencies compared to what people donated. He says it’s especially important to get as much as possible to local agencies now, with many police departments facing budget cuts. Muri says the organization supports programs like child safety seat inspections, the Safe Walk to School program and bicycle safety programs, in addition to providing training and bullet-proof vests for law officers and lobbying the legislature on law enforcement issues. Bud Nelson, the former Police Chief in Hampton, is helping promote the fundraising effort. He says they’d like to raise $200,000. Muri says the letters will start going out this week to some locations, and will eventually be sent statewide. For more information about the Chiefs Association, visit “www.iowachiefs.org”.
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