PRESS RELEASE from National Association of Police Organizations

For Immediate Release

September 22, 2008

Contact: Andy Mournighan


ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA: The National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO), representing 238,000 rank-and-file law enforcement officers from across the United States, is pleased to formally announce its endorsement of Senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden for President and Vice President of the United States.

"Senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden have a proven record of standing with the law enforcement community, from giving our officers on the front lines the resources and tools they need in the fight against drugs and crime in our communities to supporting law enforcement officers' right to work place protections", stated Tom Nee. "NAPO believes that Senators Obama and Biden will make giving our nation's law enforcement officers every protection they need a top priority of their administration."

"I am extremely pleased to accept the endorsement of the National Association of Police Organizations. Day and night, America’s police work tirelessly to make sure that our families are safe and our communities are strong. It’s a basic responsibility to make sure that our officers have the support they need to fight crime and bring criminals to justice. Too often under the Bush Administration, we’ve failed to live up to that obligation. I’m proud to be running alongside the author of the landmark 1994 crime bill, and when I’m President I’ll support law enforcement by fully funding the COPS program, facilitating better information-sharing between agencies, toughening enforcement and prevention measures to fight gang violence, and doubling funding for afterschool programs that let kids stay off the streets. NAPO's position as the leader of America's national law enforcement organizations makes their endorsement particularly welcome to Joe Biden and me and I look forward to fighting for them and all of America’s police officers as President," said Senator Barack Obama.

NAPO is proud to endorse Senators Obama and Biden. We look forward to working with their administration over the next four years to support the interests of America’s law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.

NAPO is a coalition of police unions and associations from across the United States that serves to advance the interests of America’s law enforcement through legislative and legal advocacy, political action and education. Founded in 1978, NAPO now represents more than 2,000 police units and associations, 238,000 sworn law enforcement officers, 11,000 retired officers and more than 100,000 citizens who share a common dedication to fair and effective crime control and law enforcement.




With the 2008 Presidential elections quickly approaching, presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama have made substantial efforts to reach out to NAPO to win our endorsement.  NAPO makes its presidential endorsement during our annual convention that takes place the summer of the election year, which, this year, was NAPO’s 30th Annual Convention in Puerto Rico, July 30 – August 4. 

On July 31, during NAPO’s Executive Board meeting, both candidates called in separately for a conference call with NAPO’s elected officers and area vice presidents.  Executive Director Bill Johnson took the lead on the conference calls, asking both candidates questions regarding the Association’s top priorities.  Topics discussed included the creation of a national Law Enforcement Officer Bill of Rights, collective bargaining, funding for state and local law enforcement grant programs, the extradition of cop-killers from Mexico, racial profiling legislation and the importance of giving NAPO a seat at the table when it comes to making decisions that affect the rank-and-file law enforcement community.   

Both candidates voiced their strong support and gratitude toward America’s law enforcement and promised that NAPO’s voice would be heard when it came to developing and implementing policies that concern state and local law enforcement.  Their positions on NAPO’s priorities reflect the beliefs and goals of their respective party platforms, each of which focus federal support of state and local law enforcement in different ways.  John McCain believes that most decisions regarding state and local law enforcement belong at the state and local level, while Barack Obama believes that the federal government has a larger role to play in regards to state and local law enforcement.   

Both candidates made impressive arguments to our Executive Board as to why NAPO should endorse them.  In addition to the conference calls, both campaigns sent surrogates to address NAPO’s 200 assembled delegates during the last day of the convention.  Former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating spoke on behalf of the McCain campaign and Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. represented the Obama campaign.  After Governor Keating and Senator Biden spoke, the NAPO delegates, representing NAPO’s member organizations, cast votes first on a motion for NAPO to endorse Barack Obama for President.  This vote did not get the two-thirds majority necessary to pass.  After that vote failed, the delegates cast votes on a motion for NAPO to endorse John McCain for President, which also was not able to get a two-thirds majority.  According to NAPO’s bylaws, due to the inability to get a two-thirds majority in favor of either candidate, the vote now goes to the Executive Board.  It only requires a simple majority vote by the Board to endorse a candidate.  The Executive Board will meet on September 20, 2008, to decide who NAPO will endorse for President for the 2008 elections. 

If you have any questions or would like further information on NAPO’s endorsement process, please contact NAPO’s Director of Governmental Affairs, Andy Mournighan, at 703-549-0775.