A Philadelphia man was charged with impersonating a police officer after trying to solicit a local business by claiming to be a Cinnaminson officer looking for donations, Public Safety Director Michael P. King announced today.
Jeffrey D. Stokes, 51, of Snyder Avenue, allegedly called a Cinnaminson business Dec. 6 and identified himself as Tim Callahan. There is no Tim Callahan with the Cinnaminson Police Department.
Police said Stokes was soliciting funds for a police calendar. Further, Stokes told the business it would receive an "official" police receipt which was tax deductible.
The solicitor also offered Fraternal Order of Police courtesy cards for donations.
This is the third complaint Cinnaminson Police received regarding solicitation from someone pretending to be a Cinnaminson officer or detective, officials said.
Local detectives identified the accused through an investigation. Stokes surrendered to police Dec. 7 and was processed for one count of impersonation of a police officer. He was released pending an appearance in court.
UPDATE 5:30 P.M., 12/7: Pete Alfinito, president of the New Jersey Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 2 in Burlington County, said FOP #2 uses a marketing group to call local businesses for donations.
Alfinito said Stokes was an employee of that marketing group but "took it too far" when identifying himself as a Cinnaminson police officer. A phone call to a representative of the marketing group for verification was not immediately returned.
However Director King told Cinnaminson Patch that no one from the Cinnaminson Police Department will call residents or business owners to solicit funds. If such a call is received, they residents or business owners should document the name, time of call and the phone number, and call the Cinnaminson Police.