Shakedown of Arlington Residents by the Arlington County Sheriff?

2 Mar
Arlington County's Beth Arthur solicits for Virginia Sheriff's Institute

Arlington County’s Beth Arthur solicits for Virginia Sheriff’s Institute

Arlington residents were surprised to receive a letter from “Sheriff Beth Arthur” of “Arlington County”…

The envelope also loudly screams in bold print: “Annual Membership Documents Enclosed”

You better open that letter because it looks like it is from the Arlington County Sheriff and it looks like it involves Arlington County official business.

When you open the letter, it is revealed it is indeed from Sheriff Arthur of Arlington County, acting as an official at the Virginia Sheriff’s Institute in Richmond.

Deceptive at best, fraudulent at worst, Arlington County Sheriff Arthur, is (or was) an official of the Virginia Sheriff’s Institute.  That Institute has nothing official to  do with Arlington County!

That institute (according to the website) is “a 501(c)3 organization that encourages charitable and educational activities among the sheriffs and deputies within the Commonwealth of Virginia to educate the public and to do any and all things to promote the enforcement of law and order and the suppression of crime.”    [Wasn’t that what the Commonwealth government is supposed to do with our tax dollars!]

The letter even has a “membership card” (with the Arlington resident’s name already  preprinted on it) presumably so  that resident will feel obligated to “renew” and also so they can show the next Sheriff’s deputy that they encounter that you have a “commitment to law enforcement”

Certainly it is (or should be) illegal for any not for profit and for any Arlington County official to solicit donations under the guise of correspondence that strongly implies it has some official association with Arlington County or that Arlington official’s official position.

So, it is our opinion that Sheriff Beth Arthur — who is supposed to uphold all laws (not simply those that others violate) — to clean up the act of this “institute” and stop all such fraudulent solicitation.   In addition, Sheriff Arthur should send out an apology letter (on her own dime) to every resident of Arlington County for the improper use of her Arlington County title and affiliation.

The law, including requirements for truth in advertising, applies to everyone — even Sheriff Arthur and this Sheriff’s Institute….Hopefully the Commonwealth Attorney of Arlington will prosecute this one and the Board of Arlington will take action to assure that this does not happen again.