It's not often that you see "union," "endorsement" and "Republican" in the same sentence, but that's what happened today with the Fraternal Order of Police's endorsement of Patrick Mara:
The Fraternal Order of Police, Metropolitan Police Department Labor Committee (FOP) has announced its endorsement of Patrick Mara for At-Large councilmember for the Council of the District of Columbia. The FOP is the police union that represents the more than 3,500 police officers, detectives, and sergeants of the Metropolitan Police Department.
In issuing the endorsement FOP Chairman Kristopher Baumann stated: "Patrick Mara is the one candidate that has been willing to discuss and address the serious public safety issues facing the District, as well as the ethical issues that are undermining the District government."
Chairman Baumann noted that: "There has to be voice on the Council that is committed to public safety, both in the short and long term. We have become so complacent and accepting of the level of crime in the District that we have forgotten that enduring crime is not an acceptable trade-off for living in this city."
Despite having an authorized force of 4,200 officers, the Metropolitan Police Department is on the brink of falling below 3,800 sworn police officers. A staffing level that has been described as unacceptable and dangerous. At the same time, property crimes are up city-wide and certain neighborhoods continue to struggle with unacceptable levels of violence.
Patrick Mara is committed to serious reforms of the ethics laws and regulations that govern District employees and elected officials. Creating real immediate consequences for ethical violations will begin the long process of rebuilding public trust in the District government. "As police officers, we believe it is critical that the public can trust its elected officials and the government. The District and its officials have severely damaged that relationship. Patrick offers all of us the best chance to begin restoring that trust." - added Chairman Baumann.
Baumann himself is a registered Republican, it should be noted. (Update, 2:20 p.m.: That being said, Baumann doesn't decide the endorsement, so that he's a Republican shouldn't take away from the fact that a larger group of roughly 30 police officers -- many of them Democrats -- voted on the decision.)