The National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) endorsed President Trump’s reelection Wednesday, praising his “steadfast and very public support” for law enforcement.
NAPO did not endorse a candidate in the 2016 election but endorsed former President Barack Obama and then-Vice President Joe Biden in both the 2008 and 2012 elections.
NAPO President Michael McHale said Trump's support is needed “during this time of unfair and inaccurate opprobrium being directed at our members by so many.”
“We particularly value your directing the Attorney General to aggressively prosecute those who attack our officers,” McHale wrote in a letter.
The police association, which represents more than 1,000 police associations and 241,000 officers, met with Trump on Monday.
Officers have faced routine disparaging in wake of nationwide racial injustice protests, and some have called out presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden for not condemning anti-police rhetoric.
While Biden’s campaign has staunchly opposed the idea of abolishing police departments, the candidate said that some funding should “absolutely” be redirected from the police.
In a Now This interview with activist Ady Barkan, the presumptive Democratic nominee said police forces don’t need surplus military equipment, saying this is what leads them to “become the enemy” in a community.
Biden campaign Rapid Response Director Andrew Bates said last month that the former vice president supports “the urgent need for reform,” which he said includes “funding for public schools, summer programs, and mental health and substance abuse treatment separate from funding for policing -- so that officers can focus on the job of policing.”
The Biden campaign has pointed to the former vice president’s criminal justice plan, which proposes an additional $300 million for community policing. Bates said that the funding would “improve relationships between officers and residents” and would “provide the training that is needed to avert tragic, unjustifiable deaths.”
Trump, for his part, has billed himself as the president of “law and order.” During the NAPO meeting Trump on Monday planned to make his pitch to the National Association of Police Organizations as to why the group should endorse him.
“Our officers have been under vicious assault,” Trump said Monday during a roundtable with people whose lives have been positively impacted by law enforcement. “Reckless politicians have defamed our heroes as the enemy…These radical politicians want to defund and abolish the police.”
Trump added: “My administration is pro-safety, pro-police and anti-crime.”
Despite Biden’s efforts to align with both the protestors and the police, it appears that some police unions are rethinking their backing of him amid concerns that he’s embraced “anti-police rhetoric.”
“Joe Biden was a very strong supporter of them years ago, and he's been kidnapped now by the anti-police rhetoric,” Paul Digiacomo, the president of the Detective Endowment Association, told Fox Business. “There's a big question amongst our members if Joe Biden is going to stand up and support the police.”
Fox News' Hillary Vaughn and Andrew O'Reilly contributed to this report.