Leaders of major U.S. policing organizations, with a conspicuous exception, met Wednesday with a longtime ally, Vice President Joe Biden. The informal session was notable because the Bush White House never held such a gathering. President Bush never addressed the International Association of Chiefs of Police, which routinely invites the President to speak to its annual convention. The gathering early in the Obama presidency signals much better relations between law enforcement and the executive branch than has occurred in the last eight years, when Bush stressed antiterrorism activities over traditional policing.
Biden has had long ties to law enforcement as former Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and more recently chairman of its crime subcommittee. He has vowed to continue his anticrime portfolio as Vice President. Wednesday’s session was not public. Crime & Justice News learned that among participants were leaders of the IACP, National Sheriffs Association, Police Executive Research Forum, National Association of Police Organizations, and National Organization of Black Law Enforcement. Absent was the Fraternal Order of Police, which had endorsed Bush for president and backed John McCain last year.