NAPO President Michael McHale made the announcement in a letter Wednesday, addressed to the White House.
“Our endorsement recognizes your steadfast and very public support for our men and woman on the front lines, especially during this time of unfair and inaccurate opprobrium being directed at our members by so many,” wrote McHale in the letter.
The move to endorse Trump’s reelection bid is a significant change for the NAPO. The organization had previously supported the Obama-Biden presidential ticket in 2008 and 2012 – though it did not endorse a candidate in 2016.
According to McHale, one of the reasons that the organization is endorsing Trump is because how the Justice Department under the latter has prosecuted individuals who have attacked police officers. In addition, the letter also cited the signing of the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act and the support for the 9/11 first responders fund as reasons for the NAPO’s support.
Police officers have face routine disparagement as part of the nationwide protests that followed the killing of George Floyd while under police custody in Minneapolis. As part of this, some have called out Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, for not condemning anti-police rhetoric.
While Biden’s campaign has opposed the idea of police departments, the former Vice President has said that some funds should “absolutely” be redirected away from the police.
Last month, Biden campaign Rapid Response Director Andrew Bates said that the presumptive Democratic nominee supports “the urgent need for reform,” which he said includes separating funding for policing from that for public schools, summer programs, and mental health and substance abuse treatment, “so that officers can focus on the job of policing.” (Related: Biden promises to “diversify” America’s suburbs even more than Obama did - bring on the crime!)
Despite the Biden campaign’s best efforts to align with both the protestors and the police, it seems that police unions are now concerned that he has embraced “anti-police rhetoric,” causing many to throw their support behind Trump instead.
“Joe Biden was a very strong supporter of them years ago, and he’s been kidnapped now by the anti-police rhetoric,” stated Paul Digiacomo, the president of the Detective Endowment Association, to Fox Business. “There’s a big question amongst our members if Joe Biden is going to stand up and support the police.”
Trump, who has billed himself as the “law and order” president, met with the NAPO on Monday to make his pitch for why the organization should endorse him.
“Our officers have been under vicious assault,” Trump said Monday. “Reckless politicians have defamed our heroes as the enemy … These radical politicians want to defund and abolish the police.”
“My administration is pro-safety, pro-police and anti-crime,” he added.
Following the organization’s endorsement of the President, Trump 2020 Senior Advisor for Law Enforcement and Labor Unions Bob Paduchik sent out a statement, thanking the NAPO, while also taking shots at the Biden’s unwillingness to take action.
“Joe Biden has done nothing to stop his party’s ‘defund the police’ movement and remains silent as police officers across the country are being attacked by violent rioters and protesters,” Paduchik said. “This endorsement for President Trump highlights that as the Law and Order President, he is defending the hardworking people who risk their own lives every day to keep our communities safe.”