The National Public Safety Football League (NPSFL) is a union of public safety agency football teams located throughout the United States.We recently chatted with the NPSFL’s Director of Marketing, Joe Medina, to learn more about the league. Read on.
JOE MEDINA: First, thank you for reaching out to us. I am currently the Director of Marketing for the NPSFL. I am in charge of promoting the league and assisting teams with promoting their games and charity events. I also run the league’s website and Facebook pages and try to engage with our fans, supporters and players. Ultimately, we would love to bring business and sponsors to our league to help offset our cost, so we may give more back to the communities.
Besides the Director of Marketing for the NPSFL, I am also the team President of the Orange County Lawmen. The Lawmen are based in Orange County, California. I am a player with the team, in my seventh season with the organization. I am also a Deputy Sheriff for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, currently working North Patrol. I have been with the Sheriff’s Department since 2005.
Tell us about the National Public Safety Football League and how it began?
JOE MEDINA: In 1996, law enforcement representatives throughout the country held a meeting in St. Louis, MO. The purpose was to form an organization dedicated to raising social awareness and to develop cohesion with other agencies through spirited contact sport. As a result, the National Law Enforcement Football League (N.L.E.F.L.) was formed. The league’s first season was spring of 1997. Its mission of developing cohesion was met, yet the league was vastly under-funded.
Undaunted by the lack of financial support, the league expanded in 1998 to allow participation from firefighters, and emergency medical personnel. As a result, the league was renamed the National Public Safety Football League, (N.P.S.F.L.). During the 1998 regular season the N.Y.P.D. Finest and the Houston Police Gunners, played their championship game in Washington D.C. as part of the festivities during National Police Week. At the beginning of the 2016 season, the NPSFL had 21 teams competing.
The National Public Safety Football League is a union of public safety agency football teams located throughout the United States. The teams are united in promoting a positive self-image to the public by raising funds for charity through spirited competition. The players, coaches, and staff members of each of the teams don’t play for money, but for the love of the game and the desire to help raise money for the various charities in the communities that they serve.
The league is incorporated in New York State and is recognized as a not for profit organization by the Internal Revenue Service under 501c3 statute.
What was the sole purpose of the NPSFL when it was founded and how has that changed over time?
JOE MEDINA: The purpose of the NPSFL has always been dual. The primary focus of the NPSFL is to have a positive impact on the community. Each team has different avenues and different charities they work with. Teams will give back by raising money, volunteering time, and assisting with fundraising events throughout the year. Now more than ever, first responders want to show the community that we care.
The secondary purpose of the NPSFL was to connect first responders from around the country and create a sense of unity and comradery. We all love to compete on the field playing a game we love, but at the end of the day, we are all on the same team with the same purpose of being first responders in our communities. Knowing that we are a part of the front line of serving and helping people across the country brings us pride and creates friendships that would not otherwise exist.
The NPSFL’s chosen charity is the Ronald McDonald House Charities. How did you get involved with this charity and why is it an important cause to the league?
JOE MEDINA: Every year, we hold an annual league meeting to discuss the state of the league, rule changes, scheduling, and other league business. Chief among the discussions is the choosing of the charity which the NPSFL as a whole will support. Since each team has individual charities that they invest and support in their local communities, the NPSFL as a league chooses a National based charity in which to support. We choose the Ronald McDonald House Charities because we believe in their mission of supporting and assisting children and families.
How can someone go about starting a public safety team and how do they get involved with the NPSFL?
JOE MEDINA: In order to join the NPSFL, teams need to incorporate as a registered 501c3 Non-profit organizati1on. Additionally, the team roster has to conform to the NPSFL’s player eligibility requirements of Police, Fire, Paramedic, EMT, Corrections, and other specified public safety personnel. To find out more information, please visit our website at npsfl.org, and contact us through our contact page.
During your time with the NPSFL, what accomplishments are you most proud of?
JOE MEDINA:During my time with the NPSFL, I am most proud of the men and women of our league, which are public servants, who go out and have a positive impact on their communities. Not only do they perform at a high level while at work, they take the time and energy to dedicate time from their personal lives to impact the people around them in unique ways. Sport has always brought diverse groups of people together through lively competition. This league is a different way for us as first responders to show who we are and do something we love to do, compete and give back. Secondly, I am proud of the relationships that we build with other first responders, both within our community and throughout the nation. I have met some of my best friends from different agencies through this league. Likewise, I have built a national network of first responders around the country that I can reach out to both for work or personal matters.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else you would like to add?
JOE MEDINA:The NPSFL and its individual teams are all non-profit organizations who are ran by volunteers who do not receive compensation. We are always looking for different and new ways to partner with people, organizations, and businesses to have a positive impact on our communities. Sponsorship and donations are humbly accepted and would greatly help offset the cost to run the league. I would encourage anyone and everyone that supports first responders to check out an NPSFL game or become involved by contacting us through our website (www.npsfl.org). Thank you again for your time.