National Fraternal Order of Police President Chuck Canterbury had some words for President Barack Obama on what it means to be a police officer.
Canterbury told The Daily Caller News Foundation that police officers don’t trust politicians and their management, fearing they’ll become a scapegoat if something goes awry. He said the president blames police officers and emphasizes de-escalation due to a lack of understanding of what it’s like to be a cop.
“All we’re hearing from the Obama administration is de-escalate,” Canterbury told TheDCNF. “That’s coming from somebody who has never been on the ground getting the crap beat out of them.”
Canterbury referenced President Obama’s comments since Ferguson and the 21st Century Policing Report, saying they “all want to look at law enforcement as kinder and gentler, but that’s looking at the world through rose-colored glasses. If I’m on the scene and a suspect has a knife, I can’t look at him and say ‘the president of the United States wants us to de-escalate so why don’t you put the knife down.'”
The FOP is launching a campaign called “Our True Heroes.” The initiative will feature a website where the positive stories of police officers are told. He said he wants a central hub for these positive stories.
Canterbury went on to say that he believes the president is doing his best to improve the quality of life, but that he doesn’t understand that law enforcement is not the problem. He advocates a holistic approach that includes issues like housing and poverty.
“I think that he does not have an understanding of the profession, and I don’t think that he has done that much to try to learn what happens in the everyday life of a police officer,” Canterbury told TheDCNF.
The new initiative will collect stories from the roughly 2100 lodges around the country.
“We want to personalize police,” Canterbury told TheDCNF. “We want people to understand that we are your neighbors, your soccer coaches … the people going to church with you. We are you.”
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