The National Police Association (NPA), a nationwide non-profit that advocates for law enforcement, is accused of fear-mongering and using political controversies to collect donations.

The Satsuma Police Department responded to a letter from the NPA to residents by saying it has no affiliation with the organization. The letter stated that funds would be sent directly to the local police department to increase patrol efforts.

"The letter seems to use fear mongering tactics and [controversial] political issues to persuade people to donate," the department stated. "In this letter, they are using the topic of quality of life issues, cities allowing neighborhoods to fall into disrepair, which in turn could bring crime into the area. I think that in itself would show they have absolutely no knowledge of our beautiful city, the Satsuma City Council, nor the Satsuma Police Department."

According to the NPA's website, the advocacy group provides education to law enforcement supporters to help police departments accomplish their goals. The non-profit is also known for making robocalls asking for donations.

Roanoke Police Chief Jonathan Caldwell told 1819 News that his department had never directly benefited from the NPA.

"I don't know if it's a scam, and I don't know what they actually do, but I do know it doesn't go to local police departments," said Caldwell. "If we need donations, we come around personally to do it."

The NPA has been actively involved in federal lawsuits, including the appeal of Daniel Kinsinger v. Sherelle Thomas, in which a woman successfully sued a police officer for taking a man who was under the influence of drugs but showing no sign of distress to jail, where he died. Even after the man denied taking drugs, it was later discovered that he ingested them prior to making contact with officers to avoid arrest.

"The effect of this ruling is officers are going to be waiting at hospitals until anyone suspected of drug use gets the all-clear, overwhelming emergency rooms, delaying their ability to treat the public, and creating a lack of officers on the street doing their jobs," the NPA claimed.

Still, Satsuma Police said a search of the company found they were considered a "zero-star" charity, according to Charity Navigator.

"It was also discovered there are multiple articles that question its legitimacy, along with multiple Chiefs of Police, who have cited these solicitations as a scam praying on the older, or more vulnerable citizens," the department added.

Police say the best way to donate to a legitimate cause is to do your research.

"If you have any issues that hinder your abilities to research a charity, ask a family member, friend or contact your local Police Department for assistance," they said.

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