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Eight Alabama sheriffs, police groups from 11 major cities endorse Sessions

Jeff Sessions

Monday, eight Alabama Sheriffs and representatives from police groups in eleven major American cities held a joint press conference to announce that they are endorsing Jeff Sessions for the U.S. Senate.

Madison County Sheriff Kevin Turner said that Sessions has a proven track record of strong support for law enforcement in Alabama.

“Law enforcement officers trust Jeff Sessions because we know that he has our back,” Sheriff Turner said in a statement. “As Senator, Jeff Sessions has gone to bat in Washington to fight for the funding that we need. A good example of that is the National Computer Forensics Institute in Hoover, which has trained hundreds of law enforcement officers right here in Alabama, on how to apprehend and prosecute criminals who are engaging in the human trafficking of children.”

Shelby County Sheriff John Samaniego said that Sessions’ background as a prosecutor makes him uniquely qualified to advocate for law enforcement in the U.S. Senate.

“I have known Jeff Sessions for over 30 years. We met when he was a U.S. Attorney down in Mobile prosecuting criminal cases, and I was cutting my teeth as a young narcotics detective in Tuscaloosa,” Sheriff Samaniego said. “Jeff had a backbone of steel, and an unwavering commitment to the law and getting criminals and thugs off the street. Jeff is that same man of character and principle today. I am proud to endorse Jeff Sessions for the U.S. Senate. There is no question in my mind that he is the best qualified person for the job.”

The Alabama Sheriffs who are endorsing Sessions include:

Ray Norris of Clarke County; Kevin Turner of Madison County; Shannon Oliver of Franklin County; John Samaniego of Shelby County; Jonathon W. Horton of Etowah County; Heath Taylor of Russell County, who also serves as President of the Alabama Sheriffs Association; Billy Murray of St. Clair County; and Don Valenza of Houston County.

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Sessions said he was humbled by the support, and ready to fight for law enforcement again in the U.S. Senate

“For far too long, the radical left has used rhetoric that undermines and vilifies law enforcement officers, and we have seen unprecedented violence directed against our sheriffs and police officers, as a culture of disrespect for law enforcement has taken root in some parts of America,” Sessions said. “That has to end. Alabama needs a U.S. Senator who deeply understands the challenges law enforcement faces today, a senator who has proven to be willing to stand up and defend our sheriffs, deputies, and police. My message to law enforcement is this: you do heroic work, you have my thanks, and I will always have your back.”

Bill Partridge, Oxford Police Chief and President of the Alabama Association of Police Chiefs, spoke at the press conference and pointed to Sessions’ experience and track record.

“The U.S. Senate is a serious job, and police chiefs and sheriffs across Alabama know that we have to have a tough leader in that position, who knows how to get things done for Alabama law enforcement. Jeff Sessions’ door has always been open to Alabama law enforcement officers — whenever there has been a need, he has answered the call, which is why I am proud to support his campaign for the U.S. Senate,” Partridge said. “We need Jeff Sessions back in Washington, fighting for Alabama.”

Police from eleven major American cities were represented at the press conference, endorsing Sessions in his bid for the U.S. Senate.

Edward Mullins is the President of the New York City Sergeants Benevolent Association. He spoke about Sessions’ work as U.S. Attorney General to fight gangs like MS-13 and crackdown on sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants.

“As U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions expertly executed President Trump’s directive to restore the rule of law and reduce violent crime,” Mullins said. “Through his words and his actions, Jeff Sessions made it clear to police in every community that the nation’s highest law enforcement official once again had our backs and that we were not the enemy.”

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“I cannot envision any other leader who could have so quickly restored the morale of American law enforcement after such a dark period under the previous administration,” Mullins added. “Because of his vigorous pursuit of violent criminals and common sense policies, criminal alien gangs like MS-13 were put on notice that they could no longer spread terror with impunity, as the Justice Department made sweeping arrests of violent gang members, and so-called “sanctuary cities” were held accountable for ignoring Immigration and Customs detainers on violent criminal aliens and releasing them back into our communities.”

Sessions is a recipient of the National Sheriffs Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award; and has been honored as a lifetime honorary member of the Sergeants Benevolent Association.

Stephen Schola with the Police Benevolent Association said that in Sessions tenure as Senator he, “Was the voice for common sense” in the Senate. The previous administration did a number of things at the Justice Department “that encouraged distrust of law enforcement. That led to a spike in ambush attacks on our police officers. Morale was at an all time low.” When Sessions took over he demonstrated that “he had our backs and we were not the enemy.”

Ted Sexton is the retired Sheriff of Tuscaloosa County and a Past President of the Alabama Sheriff’s Association. He also is a former Assistant Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

“My community was devastated by a tornado in 2011,” Sexton said. Sessions had our backs and was committed to supporting us during the recovery. He has a “Long commitment to law enforcement.”

Sessions said that in San Francisco the administration is now referring to persons arrested by police as “clients” rather than criminals.

Sessions said that he has always supported law enforcement over the criminals who break the laws.

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Sessions defended “stop and frisk” policies saying that “it can be abused; but it is an effective tool at reducing crime.” Police find drugs and weapons that otherwise would not have been. New York had over 1,100 murders a year; the Rudi Giuliani took over and implemented new more aggressive policing, which “Saved New York.” The numbers dropped to just 300 homicides per year. With stop and frisk felons don’t carry a gun or knife so when they get in a scuffle they don’t kill someone.

Sessions was critical of new changes in policing in New York City under Bill de Blasio and blamed those policies for an uptick in crime in New York.

The Alabama Political Reporter asked if that was responsible for recent Census numbers showing that New York state lost 48,000 people in the last year with 40,000 of those leaving the city.

“I got to tell you whether it is a neighborhood in New York or in Montgomery, if they don’t feel safe, people with the means will leave,” Sessions said. “Crime surges, and people leave that area. People if they have a choice, will not live in a high crime area. You don’t have grocery stories and shopping centers and housing values can drop by half. That particularly impacts the poor.”

Mullins said, “It is more like 90,000.”

“Often when arrests were down it is because politicians are telling police not to arrest people,” Sessions said. “Who suffers the most from crime? It is poorer people. African American and Hispanic people they are the ones who are the victims of crime and suffer the most.”

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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