At the CNBC Republican debate, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie suggested it's more dangerous to be a police officer under the Obama administration — even though there's nothing to support this claim.
The FBI director — the president's appointed FBI director — has said this week that because of a lack of support from politicians like the president of the United States that police officers are afraid to get out of their cars, that they're afraid to enforce the law. He says — the president's appointee — that crime is going up because of this. And when the president of the United States gets up to speak about it, does he support police officers? Does he stand up for law enforcement? No, he doesn't, I'll tell you this: The number one job of the president of the United States is to protect the safety and the security of the American people. This president has failed. And when I'm in the Oval Office, police officers will know that they will have the support of the president of the United States.
There's no sign that it's more dangerous to be a cop. The Officer Down Memorial Page, which tracks police officer deaths, estimates that there have been 101 line-of-duty deaths among police this year — down 5 percent from the same time period in 2014. Gunfire deaths in particular are at 31, down 18 percent from the same time period last year.
This is part of a historical trend. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund reported that on-duty police fatalities in 2014 totaled 117, up from a historic low of 107 in 2013 but down nearly 60 percent from a peak of 280 in 1974.
There's also no evidence that reduced police activity has led to an increase in crime, as Christie claimed. As criminal justice experts previously told me, it's unclear if there even is a significant increase in crime so far this year. And the historical data shows that crime rates have been at historic lows during the Obama administration.
But many conservatives, including Christie, have perpetuated the idea that the Obama administration has endangered police officers and the public. It's even a popular talking point on Fox News. Unfortunately for them, there's no evidence to support the claim.