Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Correction: DeKalb County Police Alliance - Good Cause willing to open the books.


The DeKalb County Police Alliance is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that provides additional resources to help DeKalb County police officers perform at their highest level, promote community partnership, reduce crime, help retain and attract the best qualified officers, and promote safety and peace in our community.

In 2007, they provided a three year life insurance policy valued at $100,000 for every police officer working in DeKalb County and they would like to renew this policy again in 2010. Due to the sad fact that this policy was used twice in recent history it is inevitable that the cost of the policy will be going up.

The Dunwoody Crier has a story about the fund raising drive that is about to begin for this insurance policy which includes a "Hometown Heroes" event on October 3rd and a County Wide, Church Collection.

I asked a ranking DeKalb Officer I know about the organization, he stated, that anything started by Vernon Jones, involving Chief Terrell Bolton and having a couple of questionable characters on the board; probably doesn't pass the smell test. I believe he stated that it was the DeKalb Officers themselves who questioned the organizations funding vs. expenses but the details from the non-profit were never made public. Correction, Mr. David Allison who serves on the DCPA Board of Directors states in a comment down below that the financial books are, and always have been open.

Since the anonymous authors of the DeKalb Officers Blog can't personally make inquires without giving away their identity, they were hoping that some respected journalist somewhere could take on this endeavor to assure that the money being raised and requested in the pews is properly and effectively spent.

As a side note, I'm told last year's ball was more directed at politicians slapping each other on the back. The event did honor the most recent officers killed in the line of duty as well as service awards like officer/detective of the year, but the political backslapping over shadowed the event.

Sadly the ticket price for the "Hometown Heroes" benefit was raised from $50 to $100 which puts it out of the price range of most police officers working in the county. Maybe DeKalb CEO, Burrell Ellis can return some dignity to this year's event, encourage discount pricing for officers in order to allow them to be present and just maybe he could find a way to encourage a private non-profit organization to be transparent in their financial dealings with the citizens of DeKalb who are trusting that the money donated is being spent as intended. Update: former DeKalb CEO Liane Levetan called me to discuss this matter and informed me that there will be a $50.00 "Hometown Heroes" ticket price for police officers serving in DeKalb.

13 comments:

Rick Callihan said...

Disclosure Requirements
Upon solicitation, a charitable organization, paid solicitor or solicitor agent is required to disclose its name and location, and disclose that the following information will be sent upon request:
(a) A full and fair description of the charitable program for which the solicitation campaign is
being carried out and, if different, a full and fair description of the programs and activities of the
charitable organization on whose behalf the solicitation is being carried out; and
(b) A financial statement or summary which shall be consistent with the financial statement required to be filed with the Secretary of State pursuant to Code Section 43-17-5.. O.C.G.A. § 43-17-8.

Dunwoody Mom said...

I thought charities were required by law to "open their books"?

This seems, on the surface, to be a wonderful thing for our police officers. However, skepticism creeps in with any idea initiated by Vernon Jones and Terrell Bolton. And, is there anything in Dekalb County that Sembler does not have their hand in?

David said...

I am David Allison, editor of Atlanta Business Chronicle and a founding member of the DeKalb County Police Alliance.
DCPA's books are not closed and never have been closed. Your blog is a hurtful lie.
Mr. Heneghan, did you attempt to contact anyone at the DCPA before publishing this slander? My name and those of all other DCPA board members are plainly listed on the DCPA's web site at www.dekalb-police.org. You didn't call me. Our treasurer, Arnie Silverman, states to me that you didn't contact him. Did you attempt to call DCPA's executive director, Nicole Blackshear, whose phone number and email are plainly listed on our web site? She states to me that you never tried to reach her.
Did you try to reach Dunwoody Chief Grogan, who was at our event last week?
Or how about CEO Ellis and Public Safety Commissioner Miller? Did you make any effort to ask them about DCPA before publishing this slander?
For the past five years, we the board members of the DCPA - led by former DeKalb CEO Liane Levetan - have devoted our time and personal resources to try to support DeKalb's finest. Every dollar we raise is spent with the utmost concern. I personally just gave $1,000 to the group to try to help it survive.
Two years ago we purchased a $100,000 life insurance policy for all sworn officers in DeKalb (and by the way Mr. Heneghan, it covers Dunwoody's officers.) This policy paid $100,000 to each of the families of the two officers gunned down in south DeKalb at the beginning of 2009.
Now, in the face of a horrible economy, we are trying to raise funds to continue this policy so that DeKalb's finest can go to work with a little more security that their families will be protected in the event the worst happens. This is our Faith Sunday event, which notable faith leaders have agreed to support.
Mr. Heneghan, your blog undermines our efforts and hurts DeKalb's finest. You should be ashamed of yourself.

John Heneghan said...

Mr. Allison thank you for your efforts on behalf of law enforcement, coming from a family with a law enforcement background I fully appreciate the actions of the DeKalb County Police Alliance. I would also like to thank you for clarifying that your organization’s books are not closed and if I in any way can help you to rectify my error I am happy to do so.

Liane Levetan and I had a nice conversation today regarding the history of the organization and its noble works, during which she assured me that there would be a police officer rate of $50.00 vs. the published $100.00 individual rate. Due to this change I would like to see a sold out room of financial benefactors and the officers they honor.

This is a new era in DeKalb County, under new political leadership with new police management at the helm; therefore I must believe the status quo policies of the past are gone. It was never my intention to undermine your organizations efforts nor hurt DeKalb’s finest, in fact in rectifying my error, your financial needs and expenses can be publicized to show the true value of the peoples donations.

I look forward to meeting you October 3rd.

Rick Callihan said...

Mr. Allison,

Instead of name-dropping, how about having your group's financial information disclosed on your next Blog Post here.

Show us what percentage of funds collected go toward the insurance policies and let us make informed decisions.

You may also want to register your organization with one of the folks here:
FTC charities

Ellen Fix said...

David, the alleged incompetence and lack of service by the DeKalb police was used as a scare tactic and became the main driving force behind Dunwoody's cityhood. It has remained fashionable among Dunwoody residents and politicians to degrade the DeKalb force.

TwoDogsTrucking said...

Mr. Heneghan, Yours and other civic leaders consistent negative and often unfactual comments regarding items or issues related to DeKalb PD have now taken root. The discussion board on the city's web site is filled with defamatory and untruthful comments and now the city employees have joined in, "Furman said since the police department has been created, police have noticed Dunwoody citizens were used to a slower response, if one at all, from DeKalb authorities."-latest Dunwoody Crier. DKPD provided police services that most of this nation's other county/city gov'ts will never provide. Just replay the unfortunate home invasion from a couple of months ago but this time have DPD respond. Could DPD muster a similar responce, K9,helicopter, specialized detectives,...etc. FYI..I understand DKPD obtained an arrest warrant in that case.

Steve Barton said...

John:

Thanks for re-posting this item with the updates/corrections highlighted, as that allows those of us who follow you with a feed reader (probably the majority of your readers) to see the new info.

Oh okay, this comment is really for the benefit of David Allison. Dave, this is how transparency and interaction is done. John writes up some information he deems credible and then shares all the responses. Truth is approached.

Hey, David Allison, you didn't defend the organization from the semi-anonymous comment that there are "questionable characters" on the DCPA board!

Given the vagueness of the charge, that's the appropriate non-response. I've looked at the DCPA board and I mostly see familiar names of business leaders.

John, who has the "question marks" hanging over them?

Nicole Blackshear the executive director of DCPA? She is the Deputy Chief of Staff of DeKalb County who Vernon put into that position at the age of (probably) 26.

Arnie Silverman? Never heard of him and he is the treasurer so is he questionable? His firm worked on that gaudy Michael C. Carlos mausoleum at Arlington Memorial Park in Sandy Springs. I have never ever liked that structure dominating the entrance to the lovely cemetery, but that doesn't make me question Mr. Silverman.

If you can share the ranking officer's olfactory suspicions, great. If I need a clue-bat to see the ??s in that list of board members, give me a thwack. Me, I'll always be suspicious of anything connected with Vernon Jones (hi Ellen!), even though I still think he is/was an extremely able politician. So I'm ready to be suspicious, but if you can't indicate anything questionable about that DCPA board, then that fact should go into the record along with the ranking officer's smeller.

Thanks!

Stephanie said...

David,

I used to work for you at the ABC and while I respect your concerns, I don't see where you or the DCPA have been slandered. As one journalist to another, could you please point out specifically where that is?

--Stephanie Ramage

Ken Thompson said...

2DT: I have had no encounters (yet) with the DPD, so outside of observing that they do nothing to curtail speeding in my neighborhood school zone, yet find the time to convert 285 to a 'Troll tollway, I can't really comment.

As for DKPD I have had two experiences. My daughter was in a collision, hit from behind, near our home in the northwestern most part of Dunwoody on a Saturday morning. DKPD responded in about 30 mins. There were no injuries, so that was fine. The officer was courteous and professional. They dropped the ball in court where the officer was seen before court but had made herself absent when this case came up. The other situation involved my neighbors who had left their front door open (recent transplants from the midwest where you might do that). My wife called and the DKPD arrived in short order. The first officer waited for backup before entering and was considerate of the fact there was a large, old dog (they didn't shoot him) inside. Again, the officers were courteous and professional.

Don't know what most folks expect from their police officers but I had no substantial complaints with DKPD that Dunwoody has addressed.

mykidsmom said...
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mykidsmom said...
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David said...

DCPA's tax return is now posted on our web site at
http://www.dekalb-police.org/about_us.php