Five months after Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump netted the official approval of the border patrol officers union, the National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) has also announced its endorsement of Trump.
“Obviously, this is an unusual election. We have a candidate who declined to seek an endorsement and a candidate without any record as an elected official,” FOP president Chuck Canterbury said in a statement released Friday (September 16). “Mr. Trump, however, has seriously looked at the issues facing law enforcement today. He understands and supports our priorities and our members believe he will make America safe again.”
The FOP has 330,000 members, making it the nation’s largest labor organization for law enforcement officers. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton reportedly refused to complete the organization’s questionnaire, which is the first step in seeking the union’s backing.
“You would think with law enforcement issues so much in the news that even if she had disagreements with our positions, that she would’ve been willing to say that,” Canterbury told The Hill in August.
The FOP previously endorsed Bill Clinton in 1996, George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004, and John McCain in 2008. It didn’t support a candidate in 2012, as neither then-Senator Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney received the support of two-thirds of its membership in the group’s internal vote.
Trump does not currently have a statement on policing in the positions section of his campaign website, but he did post a 43-second video titled “Law Enforcement Respect,” which is introduced with the following text on his website: “The police in our country do not get respect. Our law enforcement officers deserve our appreciation for the incredible job they do.” You can watch it below.
Clinton has a section of her campaign website dedicated to her views on law enforcement and criminal justice reform. On it, she discusses the need to retrain police on issues of “use of force, de-escalation, community police and problem solving” and commits $1 billion to tackling implicit racial bias in police departments across the country.
(H/t The Root)
*Updated to correct the name of the 2012 candidates.