By Chuck Canterbury, President, National Fraternal Order of Police
The most recent Standing Resolution of the Grand Lodge provides that the National president and vice president will appoint a U.S. Presidential Screening Committee. This has been done. Both campaigns were provided with a presidential screening questionnaire developed with the cooperation of the National Legislative Office. The responses to the questionnaire are provided to the members via the FOP Journal, as well as electronically through our website and other platforms.
The Trump for President campaign returned a completed questionnaire, but the Clinton campaign declined to do so and has not provided a reason or explanation as to why they are not seeking the endorsement of the FOP. This lack of response came in spite of repeated requests and reminders, both in writing and by telephone.
Prior to the fall meeting of the National Board of Trustees, the members of the Screening Committee traditionally meet with the candidates who completed the presidential questionnaire. That having been said, in a previous election cycle in which one candidate declined to complete our questionnaire, the Screening Committee opted not to meet with either campaign and let the completed and uncompleted questionnaires speak for themselves.
This, however, is only part of the process. Each State Lodge has (or should have) a process by which the members of the local lodges within it convey their preference for a candidate to their National trustee. It is important that each member know about their State Lodge’s process for instructing their National trustee, so that all FOP members can meaningfully participate in this process.
Following each State Lodge’s evaluation of the candidates for president, the National trustees will consider the report of the Screening Committee at the fall meeting of the National Board of Trustees and a formal vote on the endorsement will be taken. Each trustee must cast a vote for a candidate or for “no endorsement.” A candidate who receives a two-thirds majority of the votes by the National Board of Trustees receives the endorsement of the National Fraternal Order of Police.
The Fraternal Order of Police is the oldest, largest and most influential organization of law enforcement professionals in the United States. As such, we play a prominent role in the formation of national law enforcement policy. The endorsement of the FOP is a statement to the nation as well as our members that our aims and goals — an emphasis on officer safety, fair treatment for law enforcement as public employees and tough anti-crime measures — are the same as our candidate’s, and that we believe our candidate will best serve the interests of the law enforcement community.
It is important to recognize that there is not and never will be a candidate with whom we will agree 100% of the time. Our goal here is to carefully and deliberately review the candidates, their responses and their history on the issues that matter to us, and then make an informed decision as to which would best serve the interests of our fraternity. When that decision is made, that candidate will receive our active and enthusiastic support.
Presidential Candidate Questionnaire
Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. Questionnaire, Fraternal Order of Police
The following questionnaire prepared by the National Legislative Office is being provided to the Presidential Screening Committee at the direction of National President Chuck Canterbury.
The following is a brief summation of the top legislative priorities of the Fraternal Order of Police:
Social Security issues: Support H.R. 973/S. 1651, the “Social Security Fairness Act,” and Oppose Mandatory Participation in Social Security
The FOP strongly supports the repeal of both the “Windfall Elimination Provision” (WEP) and the “Government Pension Offset” (GPO). The FOP vehemently opposes legislation which would mandate participation in Social Security for public employees or new hires who are currently outside the Social Security system.
Support H.R. 2254/S. 2946, the “Law Enforcement Officers’ Equity Act”
The FOP strongly supports legislation expanding the definition of “law enforcement officer” for salary and retirement benefits to include all Federal law enforcement officers.
Support the “Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act”
The FOP strongly supports legislation which would guarantee the right of public employees to bargain collectively with their employers over hours, wages, and conditions of employment. The goal of this legislation is to have each State pass a law providing minimum collective bargaining rights to their public safety employees and outlines certain provisions to be included in those laws. Strikes and lockouts would be prohibited and States with collective bargaining laws already on the books will be exempt from any Federal statute.
Support the “State and Local Law Enforcement Discipline, Accountability and Due Process Act”
The FOP strongly supports a “bill of rights” for law enforcement officers who are, in a number of jurisdictions, denied their due process rights by police administrators and management in noncriminal proceedings. There is a need for a minimum level of procedural protections for law enforcement officers accused of administrative wrongdoing because of the gravity of potential harm to officers created by this lack of uniform safeguards.
EMPLOYEES’ RIGHTS ISSUES
1. The Fraternal Order of Police strongly supports H.R. 973/S. 1651, the “Social Security Fairness Act,” which would repeal both the “Windfall Elimination Provision” (WEP) and the “Government Pension Offset” (GPO) in current law. The WEP penalizes certain public employees who also worked in the private sector and paid into the Social Security system, through a substantial reduction in their benefits because they also collect a government pension. The GPO provision in current law causes the reduction or elimination of the spouse’s or widow(er)’s benefit from Social Security by two-thirds of the monthly amount received from the government pension. Are you or have you ever cosponsored of this legislation? If elected, will your Administration actively support its enactment and will you sign the bill if it is passed by Congress?
TRUMP: As I have never been elected to office before, I have not sponsored or co-sponsored any legislation. The actions you are asking me to support are those that should be considered by Congress without the interference or influence of the President or others in the executive branch. We have, in this country, had far too much of imperialism in the chief executive. Congress, which represents the people, should do their jobs. If the legislation comes to my desk with bi-partisan support, I will sign the legislation as long as it does not burden taxpayers with costs not otherwise anticipated or for which we have not budgeted.
2. In the past few years, politicians at the Federal, State and local level have demonized public sector unions — including unions representing law enforcement officers. Law enforcement officers, who put themselves in harm’s way to protect their neighborhoods and communities, are being held up as objects of scorn and ridicule by these politicians who cite the cost of their hard-earned pensions and benefits as the reason for the government’s fiscal woes. What will you and your Administration do to halt these politically motivated attacks on public safety unions and how will your Administration bolster these organizations?
TRUMP: I have the utmost respect for organizations, public and private, and the right to collectively bargain. However, it is not the role of the President to involve him- or herself in activities at the local or state level. There are ample elected representatives and plenty of state laws that govern the collective bargaining process at those levels. The executive branch of the federal government has to deal with public unions at that level and should not be involved in government business where there is no Constitutional authority.
3. In 2001, the Commission to Strengthen Social Security (CSSS) issued a report which rejected a scheme to mandate participation in Social Security for newly hired State and local government employees currently outside the Social Security system. Will you pledge to oppose any plan and veto any legislation which includes a provision mandating participation in the Social Security system for either current or newly hired State and local government employees that do not currently participate in Social Security?
TRUMP: The national government — Congress or the President — should not interfere in state and local activities. Agreements struck at those levels that do not violate the Constitution should be left alone by those at the federal level. This includes rule makers and non-elected members of the executive branch.
4. The Fraternal Order of Police strongly supports legislation which provides minimal collective bargaining rights for public safety employees (i.e., law enforcement officers and firefighters). What is your position on public employee collective bargaining? In the 111th Congress, the FOP strongly supported H.R. 413/S. 1611, the “Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act.” If elected, will your Administration actively support the enactment of similar legislation and will you sign the bill if it is passed by Congress? Would you also support similar provisions that would allow uniform and non-uniform Federal law enforcement officers to unionize and engage in collective bargaining?
TRUMP: The President does not have Constitutional authority to interfere in matters that are to be decided and adjudicated at the state or local level. I respect the right of organizations to engage in collective bargaining if that is what is determined to be in the mutual interests of both sides. This should be applied at the local, state and federal level.
5. The Fraternal Order of Police strongly supports legislation which would articulate the rights of law enforcement officers who are, in a number of jurisdictions, denied their due process rights by police administrators and management. If elected, will your Administration actively support its enactment and will you sign the bill if it is passed by Congress?
TRUMP: It is beyond the Constitutional purview of the President to interfere in state and local matters. It should also be beyond the enumerated powers of Congress to pass legislation that deals with local and state government matters. We have had far too much of that in recent administration. The best government is that which is closest to the people.
6. The Fraternal Order of Police strongly supports H.R. 2254, the “Law Enforcement Officers Equity Act,” which would expand the definition of “law enforcement officer” under the Civil Service Retirement System and the Federal Employees Retirement System to include all Federal police officers as well as Customs and Immigration Inspectors. What is your position regarding the current disparity in the pay and benefits provided to law enforcement officers across the Federal government and what measures will you support to ensure parity among the Federal government’s public safety officers? If elected, will your Administration actively support its enactment? Will you sign the bill if it is passed by Congress?
TRUMP: If Congress passes legislation that will level the playing field for all federal law enforcement officers and the legislation is bi-partisan, I will consider signing the legislation into law if it is in the best interest of America and all Americans.
7. The FOP is strongly opposed to legislation reducing pay and benefits for our Federal law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line every day. If elected, will you pledge to oppose and, if necessary, veto legislation like H.R. 1137, the “Paid for Progress Act,” which slashes salaries for Federal employees?
TRUMP: I will support, or oppose as the case may be, legislation that is not in the best interest of America and Americans. Any legislation that reaches my desk that does pass this simple test will not be signed.
8. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes an excise tax on high cost employer-sponsored health coverage. Even though this tax is levied against the insurance provider and the tax does not go into effect until January 2020, the provision is strongly opposed by the Fraternal Order of Police because it could result in a decrease in the quality or increase the cost of plans for law enforcement officers. The provision imposes a forty percent (40%) tax to premiums above $27,500 for family plans and $10,200 for individuals. (For example an individual plan worth $11,200 would pay a $400 tax.) There is an increased threshold for employees engaged in high risk professions, which includes law enforcement, of $3,000 for family plans and $1,350 for individual plans. Essentially any plan for a law enforcement officer that is under $30,500 (for a family) or $11,550 (for an individual) would be exempt from the tax. Also, the thresholds are indexed to increase at the rate of inflation. As President, what steps will you take to repeal this tax and will you pledge to oppose any direct or indirect tax on health plans?
TRUMP: I have pledged to work to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with initiatives that are market-driven and citizen friendly. I am also working on tax reform that will put more money in people’s pockets and that will bring millions of jobs back to America. I will support only that legislation that is best for America and Americans.
9. The Fraternal Order of Police strongly supports the use of Defined Benefit (DB) pension plans for public employees and is concerned that these plans are under fire at the State and local level in favor of Defined Contribution (DC) plans which do not have guaranteed benefits for retirees. Many State lawmakers have proposed legislation which would replace existing Defined Benefit plans with Defined Contribution plans, thereby reducing retirement benefits for employees. What is your position in respect to Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution plans and how might your Administration address this issue at the Federal level?
TRUMP: The federal government should have no role, nor should it interfere, in state and local collective bargaining arrangements. To ask that state and local activities be elevated to the national level would require activities outside those allowed by the Constitution. That I will not do.
10. One of the newer pieces of equipment available to law enforcement is a Body-Worn Camera (BWC). It can be used as a valuable investigative and evidence-gathering tool, but it is also important that the officer’s privacy, when he is on break or interacting with his collective bargaining representative, be protected. It would be an abuse of this important tool, too, if law enforcement supervisors were to search through video footage in an effort to discredit an officer or his record. The FOP recognizes that these issues and policies must be worked out at the agency level but will your Administration pledge to set an example and ensure that Federal law enforcement agencies who choose to deploy BWCs have protections in place for officers especially when interacting with their bargaining unit?
TRUMP: The federal law enforcement agencies that will be using Body-Worn Cameras will do so with the proper balance between good management and protection of privacy. Abuse of power is never tolerated, whether such actions are taken by individual officers in the performance of their duties or by supervisors following up on procedure and protocol.
11. The Fraternal Order of Police is the largest labor organization representing this country’s law enforcement professionals and, as such, we have been involved with the Administration on a wide range of labor issues, including serving as a member of the Labor Advisory Council for Trade Negotiations and Trade Policy. We were also involved in an effort to evaluate a law enforcement training program in Iraq. As President, how will you involve and consult with our leadership relating to labor issues?
TRUMP: The FOP will always have a place at the table when discussing policing and public safety in the United States or wherever we might be involved.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE ISSUES
1. Law enforcement is facing a high level of hostility from the communities we protect and serve. Hateful rhetoric and those calling for violence are having an impact — ambush attacks on law enforcement and police shootings have spiked tremendously in the past few years. Fringe organizations have been given a platform by the media to convey the message that police officers are a “militarized” enemy and it is time to attack that enemy. Social media accounts are full of hatred and calls to target and kill police officers. The vitriol, the hateful screeds and statements of those we are sworn to protect and defend, as well as public calls to kill and injure police officers, are horrifying. There is a very real and very deliberate campaign to terrorize our nation’s law enforcement officers and no one has come to our defense. How will you and your Administration demonstrate support and commitment to our nation’s law enforcement officers?
TRUMP: I have been unwavering in my support of law enforcement officers across this country. I will work tirelessly to build strong communities where local citizens and law enforcement officers will have the tools to build stronger bonds and greater security for everyone. As much as federal agencies can provide support for stronger communities, I will commit every asset at my disposal to make America and Americans safer and more secure.
2. Following the assassinations of New York City Police Officers Rafael Ramos and [Wenjian] Liu, the FOP called on the Congress and the Obama Administration to expand Federal hate crimes law to protect law enforcement officers. At this writing, a House bill, H.R. 4760, has been introduced. Will you pledge that your Administration will work with the FOP and Congress to enact a bill like H.R. 4760?
TRUMP: Hate crimes across the board should be examined and legislation brought up to date. It is far too easy for the rhetoric to outstrip the actions of otherwise responsible individuals on all sides of this argument. If Congress sends bi-partisan legislation to me that provides a more comprehensive understanding of what hate crimes might be, I will gladly sign that legislation.
3. The FOP supports legislation that would increase the penalties for threats and violence against law enforcement officers, judges, and courtroom personnel — including making the murder or attempted murder of a law enforcement officer employed by an agency that receives Federal funds a capital offense. The legislation would also impose time and other substantive limits on Federal courts’ review of habeas corpus petitions challenging a State court conviction for killing a law enforcement officer, judge, or other public safety officer and incorporate an existing provision of the Federal habeas statute that is used to determine whether a defendant may file a successive petition or seek a new evidentiary hearing in Federal court. If elected, will your Administration actively support such legislation and will you sign the bill if it is passed by Congress?
TRUMP: To federalize crimes against all law enforcement officers would be the same as federalizing those agencies and making local and state law enforcement officers extensions of federal law enforcement. This is not the structure of government that was intended at the founding. However, I will advocate for stronger penalties at the federal level for any attacks on federal law enforcement officers. As President, I cannot advocate for changing the federalism balance in so sensitive an area.
4. The Fraternal Order of Police supports legislation that would limit the amount of damages a criminal defendant could recover as a result of injuries that the criminal incurred in the course of committing or being apprehended for a felony or a crime of violence. Would your Administration support such legislation if it were introduced? Will you pledge to sign such a bill if it is passed by Congress?
TRUMP: I will sign into law any legislation that is in the best interest of America and Americans.
5. For what crimes do you believe that the death penalty is appropriate?
TRUMP: Existing law already prescribes penalties at the federal, state and local level. The legislative process will determine what crimes will have a death penalty attached.
6. How will you and your Administration guarantee that the Fraternal Order of Police and the interests of its members are represented on the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) and on the advisory councils of the Federal Communications Commission which oversees FirstNet?
TRUMP: Law enforcement will always have a place at the table when those interests are part of the stakeholder community involved.
7. The Fraternal Order of Police was a major participant in the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. Unfortunately, the Task Force did not have a rank-and-file representative but the FOP supports many of the recommendation in its final report. What will your Administration do with the recommendations and will you pledge that your Administration will include the views of rank-and-file officers in future studies?
TRUMP: My administration will study the plan and will bring forward those initiatives that are in the best interest of America and Americans. We will also make sure that in the future, law enforcement rank and file members from all levels of government will be involved in actions and decisions to be made by my administration.
8. The FOP has long been concerned about foreign governments providing shelter for criminals who commit murder or other serious violent crimes in this country, and subsequently flee to another. The FOP strongly opposed normalization of relations with Cuba until this issue is resolved, but travel restrictions that were in place for decades have recently been relaxed and the current Administration is intent on “normalizing” our relations with Cuba. We have been equally critical of other governments, including France, Israel, and Mexico, on this same point. At the FOP’s Biennial National Conference in 2007, our membership adopted a resolution urging the President of the United States and the Congress to take any and all measures necessary to enforce the 1978 Extradition Treaty made between the United Mexican States and the United States of America, “including, but not limited to the cancellation or renegotiation of the Extradition Treaty” and imposition of sanctions “including but not limited to rescinding all financial aid and support to that Government and any and all benefits afforded to that Government under the North American Free Trade Agreement” to ensure that those who commit crimes of violence in the United States are extradited and prosecuted under the laws of the United States. What steps will you and your Administration take to place pressure on Cuba, Mexico and other foreign governments that provide safe harbor for those who commit crimes of violence in the U.S.? Will you pledge to make sure that your Administration fully addresses the issue of extradition of existing and future fugitives when considering agreements with foreign governments?
TRUMP: My administration will pursue those individuals who commit crimes in America to the farthest reaches of the earth. Those criminals will be returned to the United States to face the legal system as established in our Constitution and our laws. We will pursue this goal with whatever actions are required.
9. “Racial profiling,” once a political buzzword and a favorite topic of the media, disappeared from the headlines following the attacks on the United States on 11 September 2001. The FOP has condemned the practice and asserted that it is not the policy of any U.S. law enforcement agency to base enforcement decisions solely on race. However, legislation like H.R. 1933/S. 1056/S. 1610, the “End Racial Profiling Act,” continues to be introduced in Congress. How do you define “racial profiling”? Do you believe that Federal legislation is necessary to address this issue and if so, what would the legislation do and how would affect law enforcement activity at the State and local level?
TRUMP: Civil rights legislation should be advanced if there is a clear need for edification of certain civil rights that are being violated. Current law and judicial precedent provide a great deal of civil rights protection. This process needs to be fulfilled in Congress first. I will determine if I will sign such legislation, if it reaches my desk, based on what is best for America and Americans.
10. Would your Administration impose race-collection criteria on Federal law enforcement officers during enforcement actions?
TRUMP: Law enforcement, regardless of level, should be aware of the circumstances. If race collection activity is determined to improve policing and other activities, then that should be part of the protocols officers use. This should be determined by the management and elected officials to whom the officers report. At the federal level, that is Congress and the agency heads in the executive branch.
11. Federal funding for State and local law enforcement is a very real concern, especially given the increased homeland security responsibilities of State and local agencies and the impact of deep cuts to our most critical programs in the past two years. How will you work to restore full Federal funding for traditional law enforcement programs like the hiring program administered by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne-JAG) programs, the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP), and the Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP) program?
TRUMP: Funding priorities are to be determined by cooperation between the executive branch and the Congress. If these programs are determined to receive increased funding and we are still able to reduce the deficit, balance the budget and begin to buy down the federal debt, then they will receive the attention they deserve.
12. As a result of an increased awareness of the potential for DNA analysis evidence to help solve criminal cases, the demand for DNA testing continues to grow nationwide. Crime laboratories now process more DNA than ever before but their expanded capacity cannot meet the increased demand. In August of 2015, according to the Federal government’s best estimates, there are at least 350,000 DNA samples from murder and rape cases that remain untested. The Fraternal Order of Police supports legislation such as S. 2348, the “Rapid DNA Act,” that will help prevent adding even more cases to the already overwhelming backlog. What steps will you take as President to present a resolution to this continually expanding issue?
TRUMP: If such bi-partisan legislation reaches my desk, I will sign it into law.
13. Several organizations and many fringe groups have accused State and local law enforcement agencies receiving Federal assistance through the 287(g) program of using these funds to “target communities of color, including disproportionate numbers of Latinos in particular places, for arrest.” The FOP rejects these assertions as hateful and counter to the law enforcement mission. The 287(g) program is a powerful example of a successful cooperative effort between State and local law enforcement and the Federal government. For State and local agencies, the Federal resources provided by the program allow them to pursue investigations relating to violent crimes, human trafficking, gang/organized crime activity, sexual-related offenses, narcotics trafficking and money laundering. It also allows the Federal government to tap into the resources and capabilities of State and local agencies to identify and remove serious and violent criminals who have illegally entered the United States. Would your Administration continue to support or expand this program?
TRUMP: As one of my principal campaign issues has been enforcement of immigration law, I will work to ensure that the 287(g) program is adequately funded so that state and local law enforcement agencies might partner with federal authorities in apprehending and detaining those who are in this country illegally. This program ought to be a model of how state and local authorities cooperate with federal authorities to make America and Americans more secure.
14. True immigration reform requires action by the Federal government. The FOP believes that any legislation reforming our nation’s immigration system must provide for greater security at our nation’s borders, aggressive enforcement of immigration law internally, and enhanced penalties against businesses and individuals that exploit and traffic in illegal laborers. Do you agree? What elements do you see as most important for a comprehensive reform of our immigration laws and what steps will your Administration undertake to enact reform?
TRUMP: My administration will pursue the law of the land to its logical extent. We will build a wall on the southern border. We will apprehend, detain and deport those who are here illegally and we will work to ensure that our legal system of immigration provides security as well as opportunity to those who might want to come be part of the American dream.
15. Because of the increased politicization of firearms issues and the lack of any meaningful public safety component in many legislative proposals, the FOP took a position that it would not support any additional “gun control” measures until after a full evaluation of the effectiveness of the sweeping changes to firearms law which passed in 1994. Will your Administration seek to push any additional “gun control” measures? If so, what public safety benefit do you expect to achieve and why should the FOP reconsider its current position on this issue?
TRUMP: The Second Amendment is sacrosanct and will in no way be modified in my administration. Gun control laws are not the answer to gun violence.
16. We certainly recognize the prevalence of the term “first responder” to cover the gamut of public safety disciplines but the reality is that law enforcement officers are usually the first to respond to any scene or incident. It is the responding law enforcement officer that assesses the situation and then calls for the appropriate public safety response, be it additional law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians or hazardous material response. Every public safety discipline is vital when responding to a critical incident but we must recognize that, in almost every instance, it is the rank-and-file law enforcement officer who is the first on the scene. The FOP has consistently maintained, throughout the several debates on homeland security funding legislation, that the first priority of the homeland security effort is preventing a terrorist attack and that the “all hazards” approach of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) compromises this priority. The FOP believes that Federal funding does not sufficiently reflect the prevention goal and is geared instead towards purchasing equipment and training to respond to the aftermath of a critical incident. What is your view on the “all hazards” approach and how do you think it impacts law enforcement’s role in the war on terror in terms of access to Federal funds?
TRUMP: Homeland security should be divided into three mission spaces — anti- and counter-terrorism, immigration enforcement and all-hazards preparedness. The FOP is correct in that right now, mission space in homeland security is murky, at best. My administration will clearly define mission space and will see that funding is applied appropriately.
17. Law enforcement is an exceedingly dangerous profession, with an average of one hundred and fifty (150) officers who die in the line of duty every year. Since 1962, the Federal government has recognized the sacrifices of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty by designating 15 May as “National Peace Officers Memorial Day.” Thirty-five years ago, the National FOP began holding a Memorial Service on this day to honor the memories of the fallen officers and their loved ones. This event is held on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol and is attended by the family of the officer as well as thousands of fellow officers and friends. For most of the last 20 years, the keynote speaker for this event has been the President of the United States. Will you pledge to attend the May 15th Memorial Service event honoring the families and memory of our nation’s slain heroes?
TRUMP: The President should show his or her support for all fallen officers by making that speech on May 15th. To the best of my ability, I will make that pledge.
18. The families of law enforcement officers and other public safety officers who are killed in the line of duty are eligible to receive a one-time death benefit from the Public Safety Officers’ Benefit (PSOB) program. Yet many of our survivor families have faced great difficulty or suffered through very lengthy delays because of the internal processes of the program and seemingly endless legal reviews. At a recent Senate hearing, Karol V. Mason, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs, offered no defense for the PSOB’s backlog of cases — many of which have been delayed for years. The Fraternal Order of Police is working with our allies on Capitol Hill to examine what reforms might be needed at the PSOB program. What steps will you take as President to expedite the payment of the PSOB death benefit?
TRUMP: I pledge that the backlog will be cleared before the end of my first year in office and that procedures and protocols will be put in place to make sure that timely adjudication of these cases takes place to ease the suffering of grieving families.
19. The FOP was the primary supporter of the Law Enforcement Officers’ Safety Act (LEOSA) in 2004 as well as amendments to the statute enacted in 2010 and 2013. The law exempts qualified active and retired law enforcement officers who are properly trained and credentialed from State or local laws prohibiting the carriage of concealed firearms. The FOP is working to expand this exemption to include magazine capacity and other concerns. Would your Administration support this effort and sign such legislation into law?
TRUMP: Active and retired law enforcement officers should be able to carry weapons, concealed or otherwise, if they have passed appropriate screening. I will support such legislation.
20. The FOP is seeing a growing trend on the part of Congress to write legislation withholding Federal assistance to State, local and tribal law enforcement agencies unless they comply with certain policy conditions. These tactics are used by both parties and the issues range from sanctuary cities to data collection. The vast majority of our nation’s law enforcement officers serve local governments and these decisions should be made at the local level. Will you pledge to oppose this type of legislative coercion and work with the FOP to develop ways to provide incentives instead of penalties?
TRUMP: Grants to state and local governments should come with no strings. State and local authorities know best how to spend the money, so the federal government should have little to say other than “thank you for your service.”
21. The FOP has long supported programs like the 1033 program, which is a surplus equipment program administered by the Defense Logistics Agencies (DLA) and the Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO) at the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). In reaction to unfavorable news coverage of law enforcement response to large demonstrations, the current Administration was suddenly concerned about our nation’s police becoming too “militarized.” In an effort to “de-militarize” the police, the Administration and Members of Congress identified this long-established program for elimination or reduction simply because it was administered by the DoD. By Executive Order, the President established a Law Enforcement Equipment Working Group (LEEWG) and tasked it with improving all existing Federal programs which provide local, State, tribal and Federal law enforcement agencies (LEA) with equipment. The FOP believes that the recommendations reduce the availability of defensive, life-saving equipment available to law enforcement. In some cases, pieces of equipment have been made unavailable at all and this newly prohibited equipment was recalled and removed from agencies by the DoD. The recommendations of the LEEWG apply to all Federal assistance programs, not just those administered by the DoD. The FOP also finds offensive the central premise which drove the LEEWG to identify what equipment should be prohibited and controlled list: the potential that the equipment would be misapplied. The FOP believes that programs like the 1033 program are very valuable to State and local law enforcement and we have worked with Members of Congress to introduce and pass legislation that would roll back the Executive Order. If elected, will you undo this Executive Order and restore access to the equipment we need?
TRUMP: The 1033 program is an excellent program that enhances community safety. I will rescind the current executive order.
22. Since the Fraternal Order of Police is the largest labor organization representing this country’s law enforcement professionals, how will you involve and consult with our leadership concerning any legislation, regulations, or other Administration activity relating to law enforcement or criminal justice issues?
TRUMP: The FOP will always have a seat at the table when law enforcement issues are in play. I have long been an outspoken supporter of law enforcement in this country and will continue as President of the United States.