- The Washington Times
Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The press and Hollywood once applauded the family tradition of becoming a cop. Remember? A parent wore the badge with pride and was a lifelong member of the law enforcement community, then the kids often heard the same calling. That tradition appears to have suffered following weeks of social unrest and riots which injured some 700 police officers across the nation, according to the Department of Justice. Calls from activist groups to “defund” the police continue.

President Trump has taken a clear stand on the evolving situation.


“My administration is pro-safety, pro-police, and anti-crime,” Mr. Trump told a group of law enforcement officers assembled at the White House earlier this week.

“I can assure you that while some are talking about defunding the police, under this president and this administration, we’re going to defend the police. We’re going to back the blue,” Vice President Mike Pence told the group.

But what about that family tradition?

“Two major police union officials said law enforcement morale is declining so sharply that they wouldn’t want their own sons to join the force, particularly as violence targeting police officers increases,” wroteJake Dima, reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“The pair said things have gotten so volatile for police that they’d outright discourage anyone from becoming a police officer until the situation becomes safer,” Mr. Dima said.

“I took this job after my father did, and I will not let my sons take this job,” said Sergeants Benevolent Association Vice President Vincent Vallelong — who served 25 years in as a New York Police Department officer — told the news organization.

He cited his sons, ages 19 and 17.

“I don’t know one parent who was a cop who wants his kid to be a cop,” said Dennis Slocum, the International Union of Police Association’s vice president emeritus and a 32-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

His son, he said, had aspired to be a cop since he was a toddler. Both executives fear for their fellow officers.

“I would tell them to stay clear,” said Mr. Vallelong. “It’s just a thankless, awful job right now. I would tell them to just go into the fire department or become a truck driver or something,” said Mr. Slocum — adding that morale was “in the toilet.”

WHAT THE WHITE HOUSE SAYS

President Trump signed an executive order June 16 titled “Safe Policing for Safe Communities” which incentivizes law enforcement agencies to “secure lasting relationships” with their surrounding communities and adopt “best practices in the use of force” and in other areas.

“We have to give law enforcement more support, more training and resources. And I think the executive order that the president signed last month strikes exactly the right balance: It’s supportive of the police, and it also addresses legitimate concerns about excessive force. So our nation needs to gain a renewed appreciation of the noble work done by our police officers in protecting our communities,” Attorney General William Barr said in his review of the order.

Mr. Trump’s campaign, meanwhile, has just launched a new TV spot which takes Joseph R. Biden and his allies to task “for their irresponsible undermining of law enforcement, encouraging lawlessness, and contributing to rising violent crime.”

‘HAS-BEENS OR NEVER-WERES’

A new voting bloc has emerged: Republicans who can’t bring themselves to vote for President Trump have organized into several formal organizations which promote their preference for Joseph R. Biden instead.

“All the chief architects of the Never Trump movement are either has-beens or never-weres,” writes American Spectator editor in chief R. Emmett Tyrell, who says he has been a conservative for 50 years but has never heard of some of these “organizers,” most described as conservative by the press.

“None of the Never Trumpers could come up with up a compelling reason to vote for Joe Biden as an alternative to the president when Joe finally emerges from his basement to challenge him. Donald, his tweets aside, brought us to a robust economy. He is doing it again,” Mr. Tyrell observes.

THE BIDEN LEAD SHRINKS

In previous weeks, many news organizations were reporting that presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden held a commanding lead over President Trump which ran as high as 14%. But the presidential race has tightened up considerably in just a matter of days, according to one pollster.

“President Trump has jumped back into the race and now trails Joe Biden by just three percentage points,” says the Rasmussen Reports’ weekly White House Watch survey.

It found that Mr. Biden has 47% support among likely U.S. voters while Mr. Trump has earned 44% of their support. Another 5% prefer some other candidate while 4% remain undecided.

Only a week ago, the previous White House Watch survey found Mr. Biden with a 10-point lead over the president — 50% to 40%.

“The new survey finds Trump with 79% of the Republican vote. Biden has the support of 76% of Democrats. Among voters not affiliated with either major party, it’s Biden 44%, Trump 38%. A week ago, Biden had a 12-point lead among independents,” the pollster said.

The survey of 1,500 likely voters was conducted July 8-9 and July 12-14.

POLL DU JOUR

36% of registered U.S. voters “strongly oppose” opening K-12 schools for in-person instruction in the fall; 19% of Republicans, 35% of independents and 52% of Democrats agree.

17% “somewhat oppose” the in-person reopening; 14% of Republicans, 17% of independents and 21% of Democrats agree.

18% “somewhat support” the reopening; 24% of Republicans, 16% of independents and 12% of Democrats agree.

20% “strongly support” the reopening; 36% of Republicans, 18% of independents and 7% of Democrats agree.

9% don’t know or have no opinion; 7% of Republicans, 14% of independents and 8% of Democrats agree.

Source: A Politico/Morning Consult poll of 1,992 registered U.S. voters conducted July 10-12.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com.


Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC.