One of the more unattractive if not downright insidious practices we've come across here in Florida is the police handout. About six or 7 P .M. you'll get a call from somebody who knows your name and address saying that they are calling for the Fraternal Order ofPolice or the State Troopers Local with some identifying local union number like 1000 and are asking for a donation of $25 or $35 and without a hitch asking if they can count on your support. In return you'll receive some decals and maybe a card saying that you are a member or a donor of their cause. This you can probably stick in your wallet with your driver's license and if you are ever stopped and asked for your papers you can flash your donor card and receive on the spot clemency. I'm only speculating at the degree of clemency you'll receive. However you can see SUV's and other interesting vehicles sporting one of these decals. You can wonder if they also can carry weapons.
It is possible to refuse but one may wonder what could befall at such refusal. You might ask if you could find out more about the program, go to some meetings, get involved as you love the police, and then someone will say something like 'thank you and good bye'. All the alarms in the world won't protect you.
I don't recall this practice in civilized countries in Europe; France, Ireland, Britain, Germany, etc.. and wonder where it exists elsewhere.
G.Kelley, Anthropology, U.S.A.