Tulsa Police chastised for fundraising in uniform

The Freedom From Religion Foundation has informed the Tulsa police department that they are violating the law by fundraising for the Salvation Army in uniform. (KTUL)

It's an annual competition between the cops and the firefighters, who can raise the most money ringing the bell for the Salvation Army.

"They raise an average of between $5,000 and $8,000 in a day when they do this," said Captain Ken Chapman, Area Commander of the Salvation Army.

But this year, they've also raised the ire of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

"We've just told them that they are violating the law," said FFRF Legal Fellow Chris Line.

Separation of Church and State, that's what's being violated they say with cops in uniform raising money for the Salvation Army.

"The core of the matter is the police department cannot be supporting a religious charity," said Line.

"I think the world is going upside down with political correctness," said Chapman.

At the Salvation Army headquarters, the mission statement makes no bones about the importance of religion in what they do.

"Our message is based on the bible and the love of God," Chapman said.

Their message to the Freedom From Religion foundation?

"We're going to weather this OK, and we're going to love on the people that are trying to make life difficult for us," said Chapman.

The organization sent a letter to TPD asking that tweets promoting the fundraising be removed. As of Friday evening they're still there.

Meanwhile, back at the salvation army, the captain is committed to not getting distracted by the buzz over the controversy.

"We're not going to let this little gnat fly in our ear and be a problem," said Chapman.

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