PORTSMOUTH — Vice President Mike Pence told a group gathered at the Cops For Trump event in Portsmouth on Monday that the administration will always stand behind the men and women who walk the thin blue line.
“Every day, this president stands without apology for the courageous men and women in law enforcement at every level,” Pence said.
Pence said that since Donald Trump took office, federal firearm prosecutions have increased by 44 percent and because of the “courage and sacrifice” of police, violent crime is down.
Pence said that the shooting of two on-duty New York Police Department officers in the Bronx over the weekend is a reminder of the danger law enforcement officers across the nation face every day.
“Violence against police officers must stop and it must stop now,” Pence said, receiving a standing ovation.
Those in the crowd said prior to the event that the weekend shootings were on their minds.
Retired corrections officer Nick Riccuito of Gilford said times are changing and people have a different attitude toward law enforcement today.
“They’re relaxing the laws and not letting police do their jobs,” Riccuito said.
Stephen Arnold, the New Hampshire state and legislative director for the New England Police Benevolent Association, said since former President Barack Obama took office, the public’s attitude toward law enforcement has changed.
“Eight years under the Obama administration was devastating to law enforcement,” Arnold said.
Arnold said he believes the tide is being turned under the Trump administration.
The New England Police Benevolent Association endorsed Trump in December 2015.
He accepted that endorsement in person.
Pence was in Portsmouth on Monday to accept the endorsement for Trump, who was preparing for a massive rally in Manchester.
The vice president was joined by Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump during the event.
Ivanka Trump said New Hampshire has such a low violent crime rate because of law enforcement’s vigilance and professionalism.