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Old 04-02-2019, 10:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2010
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Default Trouble Giving Away Thin Blue Line Pens

Just curious if others have had trouble giving TBL pens to officers.
Issue related to officers not accepting gifts.

No problem with the city and county so far.

I made an enquiry into the Ohio Highway Patrol, wanting to send pens to troopers involved in 'incidents'.
The answer was they would have to return it, notify their supervisor etc..
I understand the issue.
Today a pen, tomorrow a car, boat or vacation homes in Florida.

Maybe the mistake was asking.
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Old 04-02-2019, 12:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Iím a deputy sheriff. Our policies state that we can not receive any gifts or discounts. This policy is not enforced unless you receive the gift as a bribe. The policy is an ethical policy. I would suggest making several and give them out to a group of officers that way it doesnít look like you are trying to get a favor from one certain officer. Also try smaller departments rather then the state police agency.


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Old 04-02-2019, 12:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I absolutely understand the policy, and the reasons.
As the email said they have to be consistent.
I wonder if I would have gotten a different answer if I had started with the superintendent?
A letter with an included pen.
(PSI TEC gunmetal and a blue line flag label make stunning pens.)

The county sheriff's office so far is ok with this, as well as the city PD.
I even have an email from the Cols. PD to that effect. The Asst. to the Chief forwards pens for me.
I sent pens to the Therapy K9 unit with their dog's pics on the pen.

Most of my pens have gone to injured officers.
Some as the result of an article in the paper or FB post of something positive they have done.
Actually none have been face to face.

I work in Columbus, but live in a small village.
I'm thinking a making a pen for all of the village officers for Police Week.
All 10 of them. We'll see how that goes.
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Old 04-02-2019, 01:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Cut and paste from the Columbus, OH Division of Police Rules of Conduct. (I spent 35 years there with supervisory assignments in Internal Affairs and Professional Standards)



1.23 Gratuities
Division personnel shall not solicit or accept from any person, business,
or organization any tangible or intangible property, promise, or service, or
in any way use their official position if it may be reasonably inferred that
private interests conflict with police duties and responsibilities.


The key issue is whether "it may be reasonably inferred that
private interests conflict with police duties and responsibilities." Sending the pens to the office of the chief, as you do for Columbus PD, removes that inference. Perhaps you should try that route with any PD of an officer you wish to send a pen to.


Thank you for your support of police officers.


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Old 04-02-2019, 01:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Good idea!
Probably doesn't hurt for the chief to know that good things done by an officer are noticed.
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Old 04-02-2019, 03:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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From my experience, a 27 year stretch in a Sheriff's Office and current administrator, I can say it doesn't surprise me that you got a response like that from a State Agency. That's politics. I'm sure most of those guys would really appreciate the thought and your generous gift, they just don't want to risk getting in trouble from the top.

When in doubt, mail some to the department with a nice letter. Let them hand them out. I'm sure they would appreciate your support. I know I do.
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Old 04-02-2019, 03:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Greg, I applaud your efforts. Not enough stuff like this can ever be done.

Well done.
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Old 04-02-2019, 05:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnU View Post
From my experience, a 27 year stretch in a Sheriff's Office and current administrator, I can say it doesn't surprise me that you got a response like that from a State Agency. That's politics. I'm sure most of those guys would really appreciate the thought and your generous gift, they just don't want to risk getting in trouble from the top.

When in doubt, mail some to the department with a nice letter. Let them hand them out. I'm sure they would appreciate your support. I know I do.
As a retiree from a state agency, I agree with you about the politics at the top. I have to disagree with mailing some to the department and letting them hand them out. Too many times, things wind up in the hands of the brass and the good old boys at HQ and never make it to the rank and file, who would deserve and appreciate the gesture.
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Old 04-02-2019, 08:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
1.23 Gratuities
Division personnel shall not solicit or accept from any person, business,
or organization any tangible or intangible property, promise, or service, or
in any way use their official position if it may be reasonably inferred that
private interests conflict with police duties and responsibilities.
Sell them for a dollar. They have to buy pens somewhere.
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Old 04-02-2019, 08:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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I haven't given up on the OSHP, will keep any eye out for an alternate approach. Maybe make friends in the governor's office. I know they won't turn down pens.
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