Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5 on Monday endorsed Republican Mehmet Oz in the U.S. Senate race.
Oz’s main opponent is Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Democrat.
The emcee for the event, which took place at FOP headquarters at 11630 Caroline Road, was George Bochetto, whom the FOP endorsed in the Senate GOP primary. Also on hand was Jim Hasher, Republican candidate in the upcoming special election for a City Council at-large seat.
John McNesby, the FOP president, said Philadelphia is in an “unprecedented crime wave” and said too many violent criminals are released after being arrested. He believes District Attorney Larry Krasner coddles criminals.
McNesby said the FOP backs Oz because he will support giving officers resources to make streets safe and because of Fetterman’s votes on the Board of Pardons.
“His opponent is Larry Krasner’s best friend,” McNesby said. “Fetterman is Krasner’s biggest cheerleader.”
Lodge 5 represents about 16,000 active and retired officers. The state FOP, which endorsed Oz in August, represents some 40,000 members. Joseph Regan, president of the state FOP, also spoke on Monday.
McNesby ripped Fetterman for appointing Celeste Trusty, a “buddy” of convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, as secretary of the pardons board. Bochetto, a lawyer, has represented Maureen Faulkner, widow of Daniel Faulkner, killed by Abu-Jamal in 1981.
“She wholeheartedly endorses Dr. Oz,” Bochetto said.
Oz said it’s becoming normal for Philadelphians to expect murders, such as the three killings on South Street in June. He added that it’s not safe to ride a bike in West Philly or walk around North Philly.
Oz recently visited Kensington to check out the drug scene, and he said small businesses are hurt by the number of addicts on the streets. He suggested deadly fentanyl is coming across the open southern border and making it to places like Kensington.
Oz faults Fetterman for supporting heroin injection sites and voting to pardon some criminals.
“He’s clearly way outside the norms,” he said.
Oz hopes for more respect for police officers and supports an increase in the number of body cameras, a larger emphasis on community policing and funding for more cops.
“There’s not enough police officers,” he said. ••