The National Public Safety Football League: www.NPSFL.com
In 1996, law enforcement representatives from throughout the country held a meeting in St. Louis, MO. with the purpose of forming an organization dedicated to raising social awareness and to developing 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 leagues 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.
Today, three of the original seven teams, (Houston, N.Y.P.D., and L.A.P.D.) are still in the league. 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. Source: www.NPSFL.com, visit for more information.
The DC Generals Team History
In spring of 2006, Officer Victor Dobro from the Prince George's County Police Department had the vision of bringing a public safety football team to the Washington DC metropolitan area. After much hard work, stacks of paperwork, community involvement, and pure dedication, the DC Generals Police and Fire Football Team was formed. Getting the word out to the multitude of public safety agencies was a daunting task and took lots of legwork. A handful of interested policemen and firefighters showed up at the first practice on a cold wet morning and the momentum began.
The DC Generals registered with the National Public Safety Football League (NPSFL) and was put on probation its first year in existence. The team proudly became an official member of the league in 2007, joining over 20 other teams from across the country. Since those early days, a growing number of law enforcement and firefighter personnel continue to don two uniforms â€“ the uniform they wear to work and the uniform of the DC Generals. Even though team members play for the pure adrenalin rush of tough competition, their primary goal is to raise funds for two area charities: the Washington DC Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors (DC-COPS) and the D.C. Firefighters Burn Foundation.
"The team puts an amazing amount of time and energy into their practices and games. They definitely play to win, but are dedicated to their goal of raising funds for our public safety charities," said Sterling Spangler, president of DC-COPS. Spangler recalls the DC Generals' first away game in 2007 when the team played the Cobras in North Carolina. The evening following the game, two Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers were shot and killed while on duty. Less than two weeks later, the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department lost one of its own. "Since that tough time, the team has become even more dedicated to its charities and competitions."
Another team in the league, the Philadelphia Blue Flame, faced loss when Sergeant Patrick McDonald, #34, was killed by gunfire while on duty on September 23, 2008. The Blue Flame has been a tough competitor for the DC Generals and in a game played in Philadelphia on April 25th, Sgt. McDonald was honored by his team of brothers. The DC Generals was proud to play in that game and wore #34 on their helmets.
These incidents are part of the history of police and fire football and remind everyone involved in the DC Generals why the team was founded. For example, in 2008 alone, over 103 firefighters and 140 law enforcement officers gave their lives in the line of duty across the United States. Countless more have been seriously injured and are unable to return to their vocations. The ripple effect of these losses is enormous, with some families not getting any type of support, financially or emotionally. As it matures, the DC Generals Police and Fire Football Team continues to increase its support of its chosen charities that help the public safety workers and their families in the Washington DC Metropolitan area.
The team looks forward to future seasons filled with challenging games, community events, rewarding fundraisers, charity support, and the chance to strengthen current bonds.