You can count among Donald Trump's supporters the executive board of the New England Police Benevolent Association, a union that represents police and corrections officers. The New England police union endorsed Trump for president in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on Thursday night, and Trump returned the favor by promising to allow local police departments to start acquiring castoff military vehicles and equipment, and promising that "one of the first things I'd do in terms of executive order if I win will be sign a strong, strong statement that will go out to the country, out to the world, that anybody killing policemen, police woman, police officer, anybody killing a police officer, death penalty is going to happen, okay?"
The executive board of the NEPBA, which represents almost 5,000 people in 200 locals in New England, met behind closed doors to decide on whom to endorse. Trump's proposal to ban all Muslims from traveling to the U.S. did come up briefly, said union executive director Jerry Flynn, but the board decided on Trump because of his past verbal support of police. "Listen, our message [is] very clear: It's what is the next president of the United States going to do to unite this country in an effort to save police officers?" Flynn said. "Because it’s open season on police officers." He added that the NEPBA had invited several candidates to attend the board's meeting, including Jeb Bush, but Trump was the only one who showed up. You can watch parts of his speech to the union below. Peter Weber