GREENWOOD, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – One day after a fire claimed the life of the wife of a Greenwood police officer, the police department is warning that a GoFundMe page set up in the officer’s name is not legitimate.
“Some people are just evil and take advantage of any situation,” Chief Shane Gibson wrote in a message posted Saturday on the official Greenwood Police Department Facebook page.
The police department on Friday set up a donation account at a local bank to help defray costs for Sr. Ofc. Dale Harris, whose wife died in the fire at their Bossier City home. Their teenage grandson was injured, and they lost their family pets.
In their Facebook post on Saturday, Greenwood PD quoted a message Harris had shared on his personal Facebook page that thanked a friend for alerting him to a GoFundMe page seeking donations in his name.
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“Family and friends if you see a go fund me asking for money in my name it is a scam, please do not give any money to a go fund me in mine and my grandson’s name. The only donation set up is what the Greenwood Police Dept. set up through a local bank located in Greenwood. **** I DO NOT DO GO FUND ME PAGES!!!**** It’s really a shame that my first post after losing my wife is this one because criminals exist! Unbelievable. Thank you Ashley Thurman for alerting me.”
The Louisiana State Fire Marshal and Bossier City Fire Department are investigating the fire.
As of Saturday afternoon, no GoFundMe accounts in the officer’s name could be found on the fundraising website.
Donations to the only authorized account dedicated to raising funds in support of Officer Harris can be made in person or emailed to the “Laun Dale Harris, Jr Benefit Fund” at the Whitney Hancock Bank at 8360 W. 70th Street, Greenwood La. 71033.
Parkway High School is also collecting gift cards at the field house for the teen injured in the fire, who is a freshman football player. He is now out of the hospital and recovering but lost all of his belongings and clothing. Marco’s Pizza on Jimmy Davis Highway is also holding a fundraiser on March 5, from 2 – 4 p.m.