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As a 34-year NYPD member and president of the New York City Sergeants Benevolent Association, I can say without equivocation that the law-enforcement profession has never been more daunting and downright frightening.
I stood shoulder to shoulder last week with my fellow police leaders and endorsed Nassau County Legislator Mazi Pilip for Tuesday’s special election for New York’s 3rd Congressional District.
The current crises reflect a complete breakdown of law and order in our communities and are powerful reminders that elections matter. The situation we are facing is too dire to place hope over experience.
We need public officials with a consistent record of supporting law enforcement and the men and women who risk their lives to preserve it.
Whether it’s her support for funding more police, her opposition to cashless bail for dangerous criminals or her efforts to address the migrant catastrophe, Mazi Pilip has been unwavering in her fight to keep New Yorkers safe and support the men and women of law enforcement.
Simply put, her campaign rhetoric matches her past actions. She’s been a consistent voice of reason in a sea of political panderers.
This is why the law-enforcement organizations that serve her district support Mazi Pilip. This is why former Rep. Peter King — the greatest public-safety advocate New York has ever had in Congress — supports her.
Mazi Pilip’s opponent, Tom Suozzi, is a career politician who is saying all the right things. But when he was Nassau County executive, he pushed deep cuts to law enforcement.
When he served in Congress and the political winds shifted in his party, he sought to identify with the “Squad” of US representatives leading efforts to defund police departments.
We simply cannot risk hoping that he will match his actions to his recent rhetoric. We cannot be sure if the partisan political winds of Washington will again blow him off the course New Yorkers need him to follow. The disparity between his present rhetoric and his past conduct compels us to look elsewhere for someone to fight for the safety of our communities and our families.
This is why the SBA is proud to stand with many other distinguished law enforcement professionals in support of Mazi Pilip. She is the right candidate at the right time for New York.
Vincent J. Vallelong is president of the 13,000-member New York City Sergeants Benevolent Association.