CRESTVIEW — Several residents have asked the Crestview Police Department about the National Police Association, an organization from which they received recent solicitation mail, and whether the mailing is a scam.

While the Indianapolis, Indiana-based organization is registered with the state and holds a Florida non-profit’s “begging license,” through inaccurate statements, the mailings imply the organization financially supports the Crestview Police Department.

“We’ve never heard of this organization, and we certainly do not receive financial support from them,” CPD Commander Andrew Schneider said.

The NPA’s “Solicitation for Charitable Purposes Card” included in the mailing states that the organization estimates it will spend 50 percent of the contributions it receives on fundraising, 25 percent on “public education in conjunction with fundraising appeals,” 20 percent on administration and five percent on “program services.”

There is no indication that the NPA distributes any funds to law enforcement agencies.

The mailing also encourages recipients to volunteer at the police department and suggests a variety of ways people can “help,” such as counseling crime victims, programming computers, investigating financial fraud, and training K9 units.

“These and most other areas in which the organization suggests volunteers can help are highly specialized fields in which we use trained and certified law enforcement officers, specialized contract professionals and existing social services and other licensed agencies,” Schneider said.

The Crestview Citizens Police Academy Alumni group, a registered non-profit organization, is the sole provider of fundraising and volunteer services for the police department, Schneider said.

Its members are graduates of the Citizens Police Academy, in which they received a thorough overview of the agency, and are vetted before being allowed to perform support services for the police.

Anyone can sign up to take the department’s free Citizens Police Academy course, held each spring from February through April. Watch for announcements toward the end of the year of application availability for the 2019 academy.