A Boston charity dedicated to community policing is putting the arm on area businesses to pay for a convention of police chiefs hosted by Boston Police Commissioner Kathleen O'Toole, the Boston Herald reports. The International Association of Chiefs of Police conference – scheduled to flood Boston with 15,000 law enforcement professionals in October is raising eyebrows because corporate sponsors have been asked to help sponsor it, the Herald says. Solicitations sent to 200 Bay State businesses offer sponsorship packages ranging from $100,000 for “title sponsors” to $10,000 for “bronze sponsorships.”
Title sponsors are given tickets to an intimate dinner with O'Toole and 60 other top cops from around the country. Another $100,000 package offers an “elaborate event” with “O'Toole and members of her command staff,” during which guests will “take with them a gift assortment of 'Cheers' souvenirs.” “It's not corrupt, but it's tacky. It gives the appearance of selling influence with police commanders,” said a high-ranking New York police official. “The events smell of corporate CEOs buying face time with Boston police officials.” New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly canceled a similiar dinner three years ago because the nonprofit group Finest Foundation was selling a $50,000 “Commissioner's Package” that included “the opportunity to have a high-ranking law enforcement official at your table.” O'Toole said she “purposely directed”” fund-raisers not to use her name in solicitation materials, but her name appears throughout.