WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) — As calls for police reform grow louder — some law enforcement leaders say that push has gone too far.
And a few of them brought that message to the White House.
“People are demonizing New York City police officers and law enforcement across this country,” Patrick Lynch said.
Police union leaders met with the president Friday to ask for help.
They say calls for sweeping police reform — have gone too far — and President Trump agrees.
“You’re not allowed to do your job. That’s the problem,” President Trump said. “And you’re dying to do your job.”
“We can no longer touch the criminal, otherwise we become the charged one,” Patrick Lynch said.
Patrick Lynch is head of New York City’s Police Benevolent Association.
He says his city over-reached on its reforms.
“Demonize the police, we lose the streets,” Lynch said. “If you lose the streets, you lose business. You lose residents who move out.”
Lynch says most police aren’t opposed to making reasonable changes.
And the law enforcement leaders here say there is room for reform, they simply need a seat at the table when it happens.
Congressman John Garamendi says some reforms are long overdue, like tracking officers with a record of misconduct.
“A policeman that’s acting inappropriately in Florida, when they move to California, their record of inappropriate action should follow,” Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., said.
Rep. Garamendi says police training must improve.
And while he says police should never be de-funded, he says too often police respond instead of mental health professionals.
“What we’re talking about here is how to properly use financial resources to deal with everything from mental health to just health issues,” Rep. Garamendi said.
Garamendi supports federal police reform, but says most change happens on a local level.