The National Fraternal Order of Police, the largest police union in the United States, on Friday endorsed Republican nominee Donald Trump for president.
According to Chuck Canterbury, the union’s president, 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.”
“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,” Canterbury wrote in the endorsement letter.
The union has more than 330,000 members, but the endorsement was decided by the National Board, whose 45 members gathered in Nashville, Tennessee.
Trump has called himself the “law and order candidate” during the 2016 campaign for the presidency. He has also been criticized for suggesting that Black activists, not police officers, were to blame for the numerous deaths of unarmed Blacks in the country.
“Police are the most mistreated people in this country,” Trump said during a debate in January. “We have to give power back to the police because crime is rampant.”
That is not true, however. According to the U.S. government’s Congressional Research Service, “homicide and violent crime rates have been trending downward for more than two decades, and both rates are at historic lows.”
Nonetheless, U.S. police—who are also facing record-low rates of violence against them—insist they are under attack. The country’s major police unions have been particularly critical of the Obama administration, saying that by acknowledging discriminatory practices inside law enforcement it has effected sided with activists over cops.
The union has previously Republicans George W. Bush and John McCain. In 1996 it endorsed Hillary Clinton’s husband, Democrat Bill Clinton.