- The Washington Times - Friday, July 22, 2016

President Obama told a group of police officers Friday afternoon that ignoring the causes of tension between police and minorities “is not going to make things better.”

“Our job is to support you every way that we can,” Mr. Obama said after dropping in on the officers’ meeting at the White House. “It is my view, and let’s be honest sometimes this is a controversial view, one of the best ways to provide support to put police officers is to make sure we are addressing potential underlying tensions between officers and the communities where they’re serving.”

He said bringing both sides together will “make the lives of the police officers on a day-to-day basis just a little bit easier” and “keep our streets safer.”

The White House has been holding a series of meetings with police, civil-rights leaders, Black Lives Matter activists and other in the wake of police shootings of black men and assassinations of police officers. The president, who’s been accused of not showing enough support for police, has made several public statements this week about his appreciation for law enforcement.

“I wanted to come by to make sure all of you knew how grateful the American people are for you service,” Mr. Obama told the officers.

The president said violent crime in the U.S. is substantially lower than 30 years ago because police have been “working with communities in all kinds of smart ways.”

“And we can build on that progress, but it’s going to require us to … figure out how we can work together to ensure that our police departments are aligned in what we all want,” which is safe, law-abiding communities, the president said.

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