To President James Fotis and the NCPD Board Members,
It has been almost 4 years since my trial and vindication. Sometimes I still wonder how could that situation have happened to me? How could criminal charges be filed against me for doing what I was trained to do? Sometimes I would like to forget about the past and the terrible ordeal my family and I went through during my indictment and trial, but it did happen and we had to endure almost a year long nightmare. Fortunately all the details of the trial were revealed and I was found Not Guilty on all charges.
My life has slowly been returning back to normal. I patrol my area with pride and I continue to be well received by the residents that I swore to protect and serve. I could never imagine being in a different profession, I truly believe that being a Police Officer was my calling in life. I’ve been a police officer for approximately 17 years now and have always tried my best to be honest, loyal and dedicated to my profession. I had always looked for guidance from my older brother, Paul, who was a highly decorated NYPD Detective. He always gave me good advice and taught me how to do my job honorably. He was always a strong influence in both my professional and personal life.
During my trial I tried to focus on all the good people I meet and the multiple events that showed support for me. The outpouring of support that I received from law enforcement and citizens across the country was humbling to say the least.
However, there was one particular moment that stands out above all. In the first few weeks after my indictment I was distraught. I worked for a small police department and my police union didn’t have the financial means to cover the hundreds of thousands of dollars that it would cost to have a criminal defense team to represent me. My wife and I recently bought a new home and had a 2 year old boy named Antonio at that time. I didn’t know who I could turn to for help. It was at my darkest moment that I received a phone call from Jim Fotis, a retired cop from the Lynbrook Police Department, and he was looking to offer his help. At first I didn’t know how to respond. Who was Jim? What could he do to help me? It was awkward for me to ask for help, I’ve always worked hard and tried to do everything on my own. When I spoke to Jim he was very soft spoken and put me at ease. He explained to me what his organization, the National Center for Police Defense (NCPD) does for law enforcement and that he could help me. Jim told me about some major cases he was involved with, PO Betty Shelby, from Oklahoma City, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Maricopa County, Arizona, Sgt.Hugh Barry NYPD and many others. I wasn’t even aware that there was an organization like the National Center for Police Defense. This was a godsend! Jim arranged for several large donations to be sent directly to my criminal defense team, which alleviated a tremendous amount of financial burden and stress for me. For the first time in weeks I felt my head was above water and I could breathe a little easier. As the months went by Jim was right there with me, always checking in to see how I was doing. He wanted to make sure my state of mind was good and always asked if my family needed anything.
I consider myself very lucky that the National Center for Police Defense looked at my case and wanted to support me. It was so important to me that they believed in me. They truly felt that I was a good Police Officer doing my job and that I was being unjustly prosecuted. It really lifted my spirit and I am forever grateful for what Jim and the NCPD did for us. Jim and his wife Mona continue to keep in touch with us and I’m honored to call them my friends. I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart, I couldn’t have done it without you guys!
“This is to thank you and the National Center for Police Defense, Inc. for the generous assistance with funding you provided to Officer Andrew Delke and his family over much of this three-year criminal case. As you are aware, Officer Delke was charged with murder in the first degree, which carries a life sentence, for firing at a fleeing suspect who was fully armed and refused all orders to drop his weapon. There was significant amount of video evidence which highly distorted the facts. Of course, we were also dealing with a very different environment for police officers today. We were successful in getting a highly reduced resolution to the case, from life imprisonment to three years (to serve 18 months). While we had insurance coverage for some of the legal defense costs, there were enormous personal expenses that needed to be covered for Officer Delke and his family. He was placed on administrative leave with pay, but of course, he could not work a second job, and had to expend significant resources for travel, hotels, and security. The National Center for Police Defense, Inc. stepped up and raised funds for Officer Delke and his wife so they could focus on our case and come to a successful resolution. There are not enough words in the dictionary to thank you for all that you did for this good man and his family. We are very thankful that there are still organizations who support police officers in this dangerous profession.”
David L. Raybin, Attorney at Law for Officer Andrew Delke