FOP Welcomes Action on Sanctuary Cities: Communities Safer When Law Enforcement at all Levels Cooperate to Combat Crime

Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, welcomed news that President Donald J. Trump issued an Executive Order addressing the issue of “sanctuary cities” which refuse to cooperate with Federal law enforcement agencies to enforce Federal laws.

“The FOP has been very vocal on this issue and we’ve been adamant that local and State law enforcement agencies should always seek to cooperate with the Federal colleagues and vice versa,” Canterbury said. “Previous solutions called for an unequivocal end to all Federal grants for recalcitrant jurisdictions and there was a real concern about this approach on the part of the FOP. Instead, today’s order makes the suspension of Federal grants discretionary and we support this balanced approach.”

The FOP opposed several bills in the previous Congress which would have blocked State and local law enforcement grants to sanctuary cities because in most cases these “sanctuary” jurisdictions were established by policymakers at the local level. The FOP argued that it was unfair to penalize the law enforcement agencies serving these jurisdictions for the political decisions of elected officials which prohibited or impeded cooperation with Federal agencies. The Executive Order allows the U.S. Attorney General and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to make an informed decision about the public safety impact without an automatic suspension from Federal grant programs.

“I think the bottom line here is the Administration agreed with us. We cannot automatically punish those whose sworn duty is to carry out policy, which may compromise the safety of the public,” Canterbury said. “However, we do need to encourage cooperation between all levels of law enforcement to ensure that arbitrary policies do not put a dangerous person back on the streets.”

The Fraternal Order of Police is the largest law enforcement labor organization in the United States with more than 330,000 members in every region of the country.