ENGLAND, Ark. – The Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Wednesday that an investigation is underway regarding an England police officer who has been said to have received money from people in his community for a leukemia diagnosis he never had.
Attorney Bill James told KARK 4 News the officer’s name is Sgt. Eric Caffey. He worked as a school resource officer at England High School at the time of the donations.
James said Caffey was originally told he had cancer, though after going to CARTI, he was told it was actually a heart and blood pressure condition, for which he is still receiving treatment.
According to the interim superintendent for England School District, in 2022, the school collected more than $4,000 in donations for Caffey through fundraisers, with the understanding that he had cancer. James also said a local church raised money as well.
Two women at a local flower shop also told KARK 4 News they had raised money for Caffey. The two were cancer survivors, themselves, so wanted to raise money when word got out around town that the beloved officer had received a leukemia diagnosis.
It wasn’t until Monday, after the investigation began, that the two said they learned he never had cancer. James said to his knowledge, it was at the start of 2023 when Caffey learned he did not have leukemia.
“This town is very good at just outpouring love and support and with our cancer journeys,” one of the women said. “We would never ever want anybody to be in our shoes or make up a situation like that.”
James spoke on Caffey’s behalf in an interview Wednesday and said as far as he knows, Caffey never outright asked for money. Once the donations started coming in, he took it as a “love offering.”
James said all the money is in a trust fund, which he showed proof of, and they are able to give it back to anyone who would like their donations back.
He also noted that the person likely pointing a finger at Caffey and prompting this investigation has a personal motive against him.
Officials with the Lonoke County Sheriff’s Office said Caffey is on administrative leave with the England Police Department while the investigation is open. England PD declined to comment on the matter.