Milliken Police Department
1201 Broad Street
Milliken, Colorado 80543
Phone: (970) 587-2772
Fax: (970) 587-8522
Be Safe & Wear a Seatbelt!
Milliken is shared with people and animals as you may have noticed. Animals often lie behind a fence and are safeguarded, but this is not always the case. They do escape and can be on the roads and highways sometimes at night. It is important to continually stay alert and focused and in doing such, wear a seatbelt. This could ultimately be the difference that saves your life in spite of a collision with an animal.
The Police Department participates in Buckle-Up America week and the national Click-it or Ticket campaign. Officers on patrol continue to educate motorists about the importance of buckling-up, enforcing Colorado’s mandatory seatbelt law, and checking for child seats. By choosing to buckle-up each time you enter the vehicle, the habit you develop can ultimately be the one that saves your life.
Fraud and Charitable Solicitations
Scams are especially insidious because they play on our human instinct to trust others. Seniors can possess a lifetime of accumulated wealth and so there is no shortage of scam-artists who may attempt to separate you from your money.
Here are some tips to keep you from being a victim. Be skeptical of any offer by door-to-door sales people or telephone solicitors. Get everything in writing. If you have any question about an offer or deal, run it by someone you know and trust. Chief Burack has a special interest in consumer fraud because as a U.S. Marine Corps Judge Advocate (lawyer), he has handled a lot of consumer cases, protecting Marines and sailors, their families and military retirees. Feel free to call or visit with him if you think he can be of assistance to you.
A particular concern of Chief Burack are the calls from organizations professing to represent police. Rest assured there are no organizations raising money directly on behalf of your Milliken police officers. If anyone calls and makes that representation, please let him know right away. The Chief received a call once requesting a donation for a police association based in Colorado Springs. While it is an established and reputable organization that provides some services mostly for officers in Pueblo,Aurora, Colorado Springs and Grand Junction, only 15% of the funds raised end up in the association's coffers. The fundraising company working out of a telephone bank in Beckley, WV keeps the remaining 85%. You can see that charitable giving is big business. If you want to support your favorite charitable cause, sending money directly to the organization such as the Red Cross or American Heart Association without a professional fundraising company in the middle yields more dollars for the organization's good works. Call the Chief if you ever have any questions or suggestions.
Both nationally and in Colorado, there is a continued concern with identity theft. Across the United States, nearly three-quarters of a million people are victimized each year. Typically this means that a criminal takes your name and social security number, obtains identification in your name, and with that establishes lines of credit, purchasing goods and services. How do you avoid being next?
No-Call list by clicking the icon below.
Keeping Your Dog on a Leash
You might have noticed that Milliken has a lot of free-spirited domestic creatures running around. Indeed, one day during a town staff meeting in the Community Room at Town Hall, we watched a piglet and a pack of dogs romping in the grass by the gazebo. Unfortunately it’s not good for the animals or us. The major problem is dogs and the owners who let them run. Here are some reasons residents need to keep their dogs restrained.
Responsible pet ownership is about taking care of the animal and being considerate to ones’ neighbors. Of course accidents can happen and our animals may sometimes, despite our best efforts, be mischievous and escape. So be sure your dog has a collar with contact phone numbers at home and work. Additionally, dogs must have a current rabies tag and a Town of Milliken dog license (both renewed annually.)
Ride-Alongs with the Police Department
The Police Department knows it has to earn the community’s trust and confidence every day. We want you to know the ways we serve the town. Come by and visit us at the station, or come “ride-along,” accompanying an officer on patrol so you can see the town from the front seat of a Milliken police car. I am proud of our police officers, and we thought you might be interested to see “up close and personal” how they do their job. Of course, there may be scheduling and other restrictions to ensure your safety, but if you are interested or would like to know more information, please see Maria Zuniga at the Police Department and she will provide you with an application to do so.
Scams Targeting the Elderly
The Police Department wants to be your partner in preventing fraud aimed at our seniors. We can never emphasize strongly enough the importance of remaining skeptical of telephone marketers and door-to-door salespeople. If you ever have questions, Milliken police officers are only a phone call away. We also plan to work closely with the Milliken Senior Director to provide education on scams aimed at the elderly. An informed public is our very best weapon.
If you are like most people in this country, from time to time you receive telephone calls at home from telemarketers, some pushing commercial products and some asking for money on behalf of charities or political candidates. With the recent institution of the ColoradoNoCall list (and now National No Call list), subscribers are typically only hearing from charitable and political solicitors because they are exempted from the law. Some of those charitable calls are on behalf of police-related organizations. Because many of us are generous and support what police do on behalf of communities, we are inclined to donate.
The purpose of this tip is to explain how most of these calls are generated and who benefits, so that the next time you receive a call ostensibly on behalf of police officers asking for your hard-earned money you can make an educated decision before you pledge or write a check.
Some calls are just scams. In the past, for example, several Johnstownresidents have reportedly received calls over the past few couple weeks, purportedly on behalf of the “Johnstown Police Association” for the annual banquet and dance. Chief Mayes said no such organization exists nor is there an annual dance. Unfortunately several residents donated. These unnecessary calls have caused the Johnstown Police to investigate. Erieresidents have reported the same scam at that time.
More often though, calls are made on behalf of a legitimate organization, typically a police labor union or employee association. The union then contracts with a for-profit telemarketing firm to raise money on its behalf. Calls are typically made from a call-center, usually out-of-state, where callers working on commission dial hundreds of numbers until they find their prey – someone willing to listen and give. The union receives a cut of the donations, sometimes as little as .15¢ of each dollar, while .85¢ goes to the telemarketer.
The next question to ask is whether your .15¢ is funding a worthwhile cause. You should always require the solicitor to mail you literature before you pledge anything or send money. Then you can make an educated decision. One union’s literature said the money would assist families of officers injured or killed in the line of duty – a worthwhile cause for sure. While police departments and the federal government provide insurance and benefits for victim families, the extra assistance is a nice gesture. But the flyer raised some red flags. It claimed to raise money on behalf of Children’s Hospital and Easter Seals. Does it make sense to send your money to the telemarketing firm that takes their substantial slice before a smaller slice goes to the union who in turn makes a small contribution to two worthwhile charities? It claimed support for a Child ID program to locate missing kids. Another good cause, but Milliken P.D. receives help from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and has never received any offers of funding for missing kids programs from other organizations. Other causes include bullet proof vests for officers and an essay contest on crime prevention for children. These may be noble causes but no one directly benefits in Milliken as far as I know. Milliken taxpayers, with federal grant support, buy their officers up-to-date ballistic vests. No organization sponsors an essay contest for our local children of which we’re aware. Perhaps somewhere in Colorado a police officer or his or her family benefits, but not here. The cynic would suggest those causes are listed by organizations to encourage donations because the real goal is to raise money for the organization’s overhead and operations, while the out-of-state fundraising firm usually takes the biggest cut of all.
But fundraising can serve a beneficial purpose for a legitimate organization with a legitimate cause. I was affiliated with the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund that supports the operations and maintenance for a national fallen officers’ memorial in Washington, D.C. They never used telemarketing, but they did engage in direct mail solicitations. They are in the midst of a major campaign to raise money for a national law enforcement museum in Washington. Fundraising firms will be critical in helping to raise the needed dollars. They can play a useful role if it’s done in an honest and straightforward manner.
There are other troubling aspects of police fundraising. One, some residents may feel a sense of obligation to donate because the caller claims to be representing the “police.” Two, some police charities send a window decal to the donor, apparently intended for the back window of your car. Do they mean to suggest that you will receive special consideration by a police officer should you be contacted on the road? If you donate to the American Cancer Society or the Heart Association do you put their decals in the back window of your car?
Chief Burack’s suggestion is to resist appeals from telephone solicitors, unless you know the organization and you ask them to send you the request by mail. Do not feel intimidated should someone call asking for money on behalf of the “Police.” If you have “pledged” over the phone, and you later receive the form to mail in your pledge, you may disregard it. There is no legal obligation to send the check, nor need to explain anything to anybody.
We’re dealing with persistent professional fundraisers who know how to pull at your heartstrings and appeal to your good nature. They do not represent police and I believe they diminish the credibility of an honorable profession. Americans pay their taxes to fund police operations, and as custodians of public money and guardians of the public trust, we endeavor to spend it wisely on your behalf. There are of course times when we can use additional assistance on behalf of local causes, typically involving youth initiatives or events, so if you want to help, please think locally first.
You should know that most professional police agencies discourage plainclothes officers from making traffic stops in unmarked cars. The Colorado State Patrol does use unmarked patrol cars for traffic enforcement, but they are staffed with uniformed troopers. Incidents of those being pulled over with unmarked cars and not being law enforcement is exceedingly rare and can erode public trust in law enforcement. If you see an unmarked police car with police emergency lights on in your rearview mirror signaling you to stop, you should:
Vaccinate Your Dog!
Distemper is typically carried by raccoons, skunks and fox, and is transmitted to dogs like some other diseases – droplets of saliva pass from the mouth or sinuses of the infected animal to the pet, which means a lick, bite or sneeze is all it takes. According to the Health Dept. and local veterinarians, distemper is not uncommon in the area. The typical concern is rabies, because humans, as well as dogs, are susceptible. Distemper on the other hand generally does not threaten humans, while dogs are vulnerable. Because of the diminished risk to humans, many pet owners only vaccinate against rabies. But one only had to witness the death of the skunks to recognize that the distemper vaccination is a good precaution to prevent a horrible death for your pet. Knowing how dogs behave, it is easy to understand how dogs could become infected. Here is how to protect your dog:
To report dogs at large or unlicensed dogs, please call the Police Department. These municipal laws are sensible regulations designed to prevent a tragedy. As always, please feel free to stop by the Police Department if you have any concerns, questions or information.
While in the winter season, it is a good time to remind ourselves of the dangers that this time brings for those of you who travel.