The nation’s largest police union on Friday endorsed Donald Trump for president, lauding his commitment to police officers.
The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) gave the GOP presidential nominee its endorsement after he received support from more than two-thirds of the group’s national board.
“[Trump] 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,” said Chuck Canterbury, the FOP’s national president.
“He’s made a real commitment to America’s law enforcement and we’re proud to make a commitment to him and his campaign by endorsing his candidacy today.”
With labor groups overwhelmingly behind Clinton, Trump made an aggressive play for support from the police union.
He met with top officials from the FOP at Trump Tower in May, and he has made stops on the campaign trail at the union’s local chapters.
“I’m on your side 1,000 percent,” Trump told an FOP chapter in North Carolina in August. “What you do is incredible.”
The group characterized Clinton’s refusal as a snub, and Canterbury referenced it in his statement Friday.
“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,” he said.
“Donald Trump may not ever have been elected to public but he is a proven leader and that’s what we need for the next four years — a leader unafraid to make tough choices and see them through.”
Trump has made “law and order” part of his campaign message while portraying Clinton as not supportive of law enforcement. Clinton has fought back against that charge with the help of officials like outgoing New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.