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California Highway Patrol Group Suspends Issuing License Plate Frames for Donors

October 02, 2008

FULLERTON, CA --- The California Highway Patrol 11-99 Foundation said it will stop issuing special license plate frames to donors because of  concerns that drivers with those frames have long drawn preferential treatment from officers, the Los Angeles Times reported.

There have long been rumors that CHP officers let drivers with those license frames off with warnings, instead of tickets, when they are pulled over for speeding. In response to inquiries from the Times, CHP Commissioner J.A. Farrow recently issued a memo stressing the CHP policy against giving anyone special consideration.  

In response to Farrow's concerns, the foundation board voted to stop issuing the frames by January. The foundation, based in Orange County, has accepted millions of dollars in tax-free donations for more than 25 years to assist families of CHP employees. The foundation draws its name from the emergency code for "officer needs assistance."

In the past, the group has given special license frames to foundation supporters who donate a minimum of $5,000. In online message boards, some of these donors have spread the word that CHP officers give them preferential treatment. The frames have also popped up for sale on Craigslist and EBay, the L.A. Times reported.

The foundation's leaders say the license plate frames have been a valuable marketing tool to raise money for the charity. The money raised is used to help children and spouses of CHP employees pay for college, to provide cash assistance to families of officers killed or injured on the job, and to assist employees or their families in other times of crisis.



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