When it comes to the issue of policing in America, President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden have stated that they don’t want to defund or abolish law enforcement.
A closer look at their policies and rhetoric shows the candidates are taking different approaches.
He also says he would establish a new, independent task force on prosecutorial discretion outside of the DOJ that will make recommendations on handling discrimination.
According to his campaign website, Biden would create a new $20 billion competitive grant program that would “spur states to shift from incarceration to prevention.” Under this program, states that want to receive this funding must “eliminate mandatory minimums for non-violent crimes,” among other steps.
Trump’s position toward policing, meanwhile, has been one of “law and order” and of support for officers.
While he hasn’t pushed for any major changes to policing systems or funding, he did say the vast majority of officers are “great men and women” who deserve respect, while signing an executive order on police reform in June.
“I strongly oppose” the “radical” effort to dismantle and disband police forces, Trump said at the time.
A senior White House official told reporters that the package would create a database to track officers who have multiple instances of misconduct and would also use federal grants to incentivize departments to meet certain standards.
During a previous roundtable event where Americans shared stories about how they and their families have been helped by law enforcement, Trump said his administration’s stance is one of “pro-safety, pro-police, and anti-crime.”
Trump said at the roundtable that “radical politicians” who want to defund and abolish the police have “defamed our law enforcement heroes as ‘the enemy,'” and noted that efforts pushing to defund and abolish law enforcement appear to be happening in “many, many Democrat-run areas.”
Law Enforcement StanceThe law enforcement community has largely expressed support for Trump, with major police unions and organizations endorsing the president.
Early last month, the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the U.S.’s biggest police union, unanimously endorsed Trump, commending him for his calls for law and order. The FOP has more than 355,000 members in 2,100 lodges.
“Public safety will undoubtedly be a main focus for voters in this year’s election,” FOP President Patrick Yoes said in a Sept. 4 statement.
“Look at what the national discourse has focused on for the last six months. President Trump has shown time after time that he supports our law enforcement officers and understands the issues our members face every day.”
The group previously endorsed Barack Obama for president in both 2008 and 2012; Biden was Obama’s running mate for both elections.
Trump has also won the endorsement of the largest union representing New York City Police Department officers, as well as New Jersey’s largest police union.
The Southern States Police Benevolent Association Inc., a group of more than 60,000 officers employed by federal, state, county, and municipal governments, endorsed Trump in September. It was the association’s first presidential endorsement in over 20 years.
“We believe that President Trump and Vice President Pence have demonstrated that they understand and appreciate the honor and sacrifice of serving as a law enforcement officer.”