The Fraternal Order of Police and the Police Wives of Utah want nothing to do with a Police Officer Appreciation Ball scheduled to take place in May.
According to these organizations, there are too many red flags behind the person, CaLeanna Gray, who is organizing the event.
The Utah Department of Commerce has shut the event down unless Gray registers as an official charitable event. The Mayor of Midvale, who was to be the featured speaker at the event, told Gray that he is backing out because Unified Police are not supporting the event.
“Who would know, who would guess you have to fill out a form to be able to say thank you,” a tearful CaLeanna Gray told 2News. “Why do we have to go through all these steps to say look you guys do all this for us every day we want to give you back one night.”
For months Gray, a former officer in Kentucky, has been meeting with police agencies across Salt Lake and Tooele Counties promoting her free event for officers.
“I’ve gone to every police department to say, ‘hey this is what I’m doing,” Gray said.
Support for her event is very minimal, raising only $300 and receiving two RSVP’S.
“The Fraternal Order of Police is not involved,” Shante Johnson the spokesperson for FOP said.
She says FOP sent Gray a cease and desist email saying she was not allowed to use their name when fundraising.
“Anyone who wants to support the local police officers is fantastic but we don’t know anything about this person or her organization or the legitimacy of it,” Johnson said.
Gray’s website, www.poab.com also lists a large number of businesses and school districts and even the LDS church as organizations involved, but the majority say they had no idea about the event. Gray says she purchased gift cards from many of these organization and that’s how they are involved.
According to court records, she owes thousands of dollars in child support.
“I’ve been thousands of dollars in debt my whole life, it doesn’t make me a bad person,” Gray said.
Gray insists this is not a scam and she plans to move forward with the event scheduled to take place on May 16. She showed 2New the deposit slip she’s made at the venue but does not yet want to announce it publicly.
“If someone was going to fraud the police would that really be a smart move to make? Would that person give your address and phone number?” Gray said.