The Fraternal Order of Police, which bills itself as the largest police union in the world, endorsed Donald J. Trump for president last week, saying that Trump "understands and supports our priorities, and our members believe he will make America safe again."
"His representations to us," said Jim Pasco, the union's executive director, "both in his public statements about police and in our meeting with him as a follow-up to the questionnaire, he made commitments to us that he would support law enforcement if he was elected, and keep our views in mind as he undertook to uphold the threshold responsibility of a president, which is to protect public safety."
In his response to the questionnaire, wrote the Washington Post's Tom Jackman, Trump offered strong support for the Second Amendment, saying that "Gun control laws are not the answer to gun violence," and he said he would rescind an executive order by President Obama which limited the transfer of military equipment to local law enforcement, saying the transfers were "an excellent program that enhances community safety."
John McNesby, the President of the Philadelphia FOP, told CBS Philadelphia his organization was following the national organizations endorsement because Hillary Clinton "just disregarded and blew the police off. You can't go in and expect to get respect when you didn't give it to us. We gave a very fair process, we thought. We put out a questionnaire and she absolutely refused outright refused, with a nasty campaign rebuttal to why she wouldn't. Simple as that, we went in and we participated with the candidate that cooperated. He filled it out. We met with him."
"Police and law enforcement, I will never, ever, let them down," Trump said, when accepting the endorsement in New Hampshire.
Trump told the crowd there is no more time for political correctness. He referenced his recent comments about Muslims by comparing them to when he announced his run for presidency and promised to build a wall between the United States and Mexico.
Solomon Jones, writing for Philly.com noted the Fraternal Order of Police has joined white supremacists like David Duke in endorsing the candidacy of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
The officers of the Brattleboro Police Department are members of the New England Police Benevolent Association, which endorsed Trump last December. So, in Jones' words, the union representing Brattleboro police officers is basically on the same side as white supremacists.
We doubt the professionals in Brattleboro share the views of white supremacists, and we hope they are as dismayed as we are by their union's endorsement. We urge the department's officers and union representatives to disavow (if they haven't done so already) their union's endorsement of Trump, a man who has implied he would like to see the unconstitutional stop and frisk instituted nationally. Trump has also stated that he would like to see waterboarding, "and worse," used against terrorists.
Last year, the New England Police Benevolent Association announced a boycott of President Barack Obama's Labor Day speech in Boston because it felt his administration was silent on violence against police officers.
"Our members are enraged at his lack of support of law enforcement,'' the group's executive director, Jerry Flynn, told The Boston Herald. "It's clear that he has an agenda and unfortunately, the police are not part of his agenda.''
"In endorsing Trump, a candidate who has proposed enough unconstitutional tactics to make one's head spin, the FOP is damaging the reputations of the many good officers within its ranks," wrote Jones.
We feel the same way about the New England Police Benevolent Association. The Brattleboro Police Department is staffed with professional, honest, hard-working men and women who make this town proud. We would urge town residents not to hold the union's endorsement against these fine officers. But we are also asking those officers to speak out against the endorsement.