Police officers now have an ally in the Oval Office who respects and admires their sacrifices, rather than second-guessing the difficult decisions they make in order to keep us all safe, and the impact has been profound.
As this year’s National Police Week comes to an end, it’s important to celebrate the progress we’ve made since 2016, when officers were being targeted for assassination and President Obama poured gasoline on the fire with his repeated criticisms of cops. Now, though, we have a president who not only supports law enforcement, but also understands the importance of pushing back against the divisive rhetoric of anti-cop activists.
In 2016, 21 police officers were killed in ambush-style shootings — the highest level in nearly 30 years. In 2018, ambush attacks took the lives of five officers, a decrease of more than 70 percent in just two years.
“Today, I stand before you, as the President of the United States, to tell you that my administration will always honor, cherish, and support the men and women in blue,” President Trump said last year in a rebuke of the establishment politicians who have tried to distort the image of our law enforcement for political gain.
“For too many years, we have watched politicians escalate political attacks on our courageous police officers,” he observed, adding that, “Politicians who spread this dangerous anti-police sentiment make life easier for criminals and more dangerous for law-abiding citizens.”
The president is right — demonizing police officers as racists is a dangerous distortion of the truth that implicitly condones lawlessness and violence without doing anything to foster improvements in the relationships between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.
As a former law enforcement official, I was honored to work alongside brave men and women of all ethnicities, faiths, and backgrounds who were united by one goal — to help our communities. We simply wanted to make our streets safer for our children.
The so-called “social justice” movement has perverted the way many Americans see law enforcement. By maligning our brave police officers, the Democrats encourage criminals to disobey the law in the name of ideological resistance.
President Trump is helping us counteract that trend, reminding Americans of the good that police officers do every day and making it clear that he will not tolerate violence against them. During this year’s National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day service, the president even called for imposing the death penalty on cop killers — a powerful signal of support from the most powerful man in the country.
Fortunately, the future of law enforcement in this country isn’t as bleak as it was just a few short years ago.
In Fiscal Year 2018, the Trump administration indicted more violent criminals than ever before in America’s history — proving that the president was serious about locking up dangerous criminals who pose a risk to our society. The Department of Justice also allocated $100 million in grants to hire hundreds of police officers across the country last year.
More importantly, however, the White House managed to reform our criminal justice system by successfully spearheading the FIRST STEP Act, which created dozens of programs to rehabilitate non-violent criminals and improve their chances of successfully reintegrating into society by helping them develop basic life and professional skills.
Former inmates are also enjoying unprecedented opportunities to find employment instead of returning to criminal activity thanks to the booming labor market, which is also restoring hope and purpose to communities that once suffered from persistently high joblessness. Economic desperation is a major predictor of criminal activity, so President Trump’s pro-growth economic agenda is actually an important element of his criminal justice reforms.
The hostile anti-cop rhetoric of the Obama years inflicted real pain on the law enforcement community, but now that police officers have a true friend in the Oval Office, we can say with confidence and gratitude that he’s got our back.
As New York City’s 40th Police Commissioner, Bernard Kerik was in command of the NYPD on September 11, 2001, and responsible for the city’s response, rescue, recovery, and the investigative efforts of the most substantial terror attack in world history. His 35-year career has been recognized in more than 100 awards for meritorious and heroic service, including a presidential commendation for heroism by President Ronald Reagan, two Distinguished Service Awards from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, The Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and an appointment as Honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.