Apr 9, 2014

Can police departments give away gift cards?

While perusing on Facebook, I clicked on the Sandusky Police Department's page and noticed they were giving away a $25 gift card to a batch of restaurants. The card would randomly go to one of the people "liking" their post. Can they do this? Mike in Sandusky

We relayed Mike's concern along with a couple others to Sandusky police Chief John Orzech.

The questions:

• How is the police department receiving these gift cards? Did the department buy them, confiscate them or receive them through a donation?

• How many gift cards, and what is the total collective value, in the police department's possession.

• Why would a police department give out gift cards to random people rather than donating them to a homeless shelter or some other nonprofit organization?

• Is this a standard practice of the police department to give away gift cards?

Orzech provided the following response:

The gift cards have been sitting in a desk drawer for over two years. I was advised they were from donations, although I wasn't around when they were received, so I'm not sure how all of them were donated to the department. 

The gift cards have been raffled off in the past at local events, such as the Senior Triad or other such events.

The cards that are in the possession of the police department have about $300 value through 14 cards.

The cards have been raffled off at community events in the past. Quite frankly, I forgot they existed and will throughout the summer at events get rid of them as raffle things, such as Wightman Wieber, Touch A Truck, which is going to be  announced soon or other such events. I really like one of your suggestions as there are Target cards so I will be  giving those to the organizer of the back to school event at the Sandusky High School in August, so they can purchase school supplies for the kids

The Mailbag is a daily feature on sanduskyregister.com. Each weekday at noon, we will post one question from a reader and answer it. To ask a question, send a letter to The Mailbag at 314 W. Market St., or email mailbag@sanduskyregister.com. Please include your first name and a location in the email, e.g. “John from Decatur Street."

Comments

Julie R.

Wasn't that one of the idiot reasons behind the firing of the Sandusky police chief Kim Nuesse? She accepted a "gift certificate" (i.e Cedar Point tickets) from a Cedar Point cop?

seeit

Your an idiot! Nuesse used it for personal gain! Cheif is donating them. There is a HUGE difference!!!!

Julie R.

One could argue that point by saying the Cedar Point cop was donating the tickets, too!

milemarkerzero

Heck Julie R., they may have been Nuesse's. At least Chief Orzech is taking the right and honest way to circulate them while raising charitable money at the same time. When is everybody going to realize that Sandusky was cured of a cancer when she departed.

OMG.LOL.WT_