In what could be viewed as a snub toward a newly revised policy in Minneapolis prohibiting police officers from wearing their uniforms at political events while off duty or making political endorsements while in uniform, the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis (POFM) has rolled out a “Cops for Trump” t-shirt available for sale at their northeast Minneapolis headquarters location.
The new uniform policy change was enacted by Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo after President Donald Trump recently announced a campaign rally stop in Minneapolis scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 10 at Target Center in downtown Minneapolis.
The sudden change in policy has created waves within the police department according to POFM president Lt. Bob Kroll who appeared on national media last week. He said that “for decades” the police federation has been allowed to appear in political ads and has been allowed to align themselves with political parties for endorsements from the POFM.
Kroll further explained that when the unions, including the POFM, have supported the DFL (Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party) in the past it’s never been a problem, “but because [the DFL] have kind of turned their back on police and many other working people,” he said, the federation has shifted gears and started endorsing Republicans.
Kroll said that in the past all that was required was that the federation had to give notice to the chief that they were going to appear with a candidate and that they could wear their uniform and support a party or candidate. He said that has now been prohibited within hours of the president’s rally announcement.
Kroll posted the t-shirt sales information on his personal Facebook page on Saturday, saying that the t-shirts would be available for sale at the POFM headquarters on University Avenue Northeast and that they would also be available for online ordering on the POFM website shortly. Kroll had also posted pictures on his Facebook page of officers in uniform standing behind former President Barack Obama in an apparent attempt to highlight what has previously been acceptable or even encouraged for uniformed officers.
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey also weighed in on the new policy change saying, “the Minneapolis Police Department is charged with keeping people in our city safe – period – and we don’t want politics to get anywhere near that.”
The statement by Frey came just days after he declared on social media that the “entire city” of Minneapolis “will not stand behind the President,” and seemed to bemoan the fact that there is no legal recourse to stop the president from visiting Minneapolis.
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