October 14, 2004
Police Call on Kerry to Stop Misrepresenting Their Support
Today Chuck Canterbury, the President of the nation's largest police labor organization, called on John Kerry to stop making misleading statements regarding his support from the law enforcement community. Both on the campaign trail and in Wednesday night's debate in Tempe, AZ, Senator Kerry has alluded that he has the support of the majority of these brave men and women.
"As the elected leader of the largest organization representing America's Federal, State and local law enforcement officers, I believe it's important to point out yet again that we do not support his candidacy for President," Canterbury said. "And to be perfectly frank, the groups which do support him actually share the same membership rolls and, taken together, probably comprise less than one-quarter of our nation's police officers."
Canterbury further noted that unlike the organizations which Senator Kerry touts, F.O.P. members as a whole decided that the Fraternal Order of Police would endorse the reelection of President George W. Bush. They based their decision, he said, on the record of the Bush Administration in supporting America's first responders¬-including helping to secure passage earlier this year of H.R. 218, the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act, the organization's top legislative priority. Bush also successfully fought to greatly enhance the benefits for the families of officers killed in the line of duty.
"While Kerry was flying around the country campaigning and leaving the actual work of the nation to his colleagues in the Senate, the President was out there working on our behalf," Canterbury said. "Senators Kerry and Edwards have missed so many crucial votes this Congress that I was beginning to believe there were only 98 members of the U.S. Senate."
Canterbury also said it was the height of irony that Kerry would use his position on the reauthorization of the assault weapons ban as a reflection of his support from police. "First, if a police officer is killed by an AK-47, Kerry would oppose the death penalty for the killer," Canterbury said. "In addition, where was he when this issue was being discussed in the 108th Congress? Where was he when we were working to pass H.R. 218? When it came time to help push for final passage of legislation important to law enforcement, Senator Kerry was regrettably A.W.O.L."
"Given the facts, I would greatly appreciate it if Senator Kerry would refrain from making similar whimsical assertions regarding his support from the law enforcement community," Canterbury said. "The real majority of my fellow officers are standing behind President Bush, because he has been there for us."
The Fraternal Order of Police is the nation's largest law enforcement labor organization, representing more than 318,000 members.
For more information or elaboration, please do not hesitate to contact the National F.O.P. Legislative Office at 202.547.8189