The nation's largest police union on Friday endorsed Donald TrumpDonald TrumpBipartisan group of mayors asks for immigration reform Obama offers laments and optimism at last presser Overnight Energy: Trump's EPA pick faces Congress | 2016 is the hottest year on record MORE for president, lauding his commitment to police officers.
"[Trump] has seriously looked at the issues facing law enforcement today. He understands and supports our priorities and our members believe he will make America safe again," said Chuck Canterbury, the FOP's national president.
"He's made a real commitment to America's law enforcement and we're proud to make a commitment to him and his campaign by endorsing his candidacy today."
With labor groups overwhelmingly behind Clinton, Trump made an aggressive play for support from the police union.
He met with top officials from the FOP at Trump Tower in May, and he has made stops on the campaign trail at the union's local chapters.
"I'm on your side 1,000 percent," Trump told an FOP chapter in North Carolina in August. "What you do is incredible."
The FOP had expressed anger at Trump's rival, Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham Clinton Fox News was Trump voters' top source for election news: Pew Democrats remind Trump that he must govern for all citizens Chelsea Manning's redemption proves how far WikiLeaks has fallen MORE, for declining to fill out a questionnaire necessary to win the group's endorsement.
The group characterized Clinton's refusal as a snub, and Canterbury referenced it in his statement Friday.
"Obviously this is an unusual election. We have a candidate who declined to seek an endorsement and a candidate without any record as an elected official," he said.
"Donald Trump may not ever have been elected to public [office] but he is a proven leader and that's what we need for the next four years — a leader unafraid to make tough choices and see them through."
Trump has made "law and order" part of his campaign message while portraying Clinton as not supportive of law enforcement. Clinton has fought back against that charge with the help of officials like outgoing New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.
The FOP did not endorse a presidential candidate in 2012 after backing Sen. John McCainJohn McCainUS democracy is in crisis. Trump voters must help us get past it. The rise of Carlson, and the fall of Van Susteren Booker to vote against Tillerson MORE (R-Ariz.) in 2008. The group has not endorsed a Democratic presidential nominee since Bill ClintonBill ClintonNY gov: Eliminating state and local tax deduction would be 'devastating' Lanny Davis: Farewell, President Obama: Your legacy as one of the best presidents is secure Bill Clinton sends get well wishes to Bush family MORE in 1996.