Four years after throwing its support behind Gregg Bernstein in his quest to become Baltimore state's attorney, the Baltimore Police union has chosen to stay neutral for his re-election campaign.
Robert F. Cherry, the union's president, said a committee of officers recently voted not to endorse Bernstein or his primary election challenger, attorney Marilyn Mosby. He noted that the union stayed neutral in the race eight years ago, and said the decision this time should not be viewed as a lack of support for Bernstein.
"I think that our relationship remains strong, particularly between the officers and line prosecutors," Cherry said, adding: "If we weren't supporting Gregg, we would endorse Marilyn."
Bernstein is again running on a platform that includes better working relationships with police. His campaign materials include the slogan, "Fight Crime First," an allusion to the perception that his predecessor, Patricia C. Jessamy, too often publicly sparred with police. Bernstein's television ads also prominently feature former Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III.
The FOP has contributed money to both candidates, though it has given slightly more to Bernstein. The FOP's "Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police PAC Fund" gave $250 to Mosby last June, and another $1,000 on Feb. 21.
Bernstein received $2,000, also on Feb. 21, the records show.
In a statement, Bernstein's campaign said the candidate appreciated the union's "financial support."
"Our prosecutors have never before had such a good working relationship with the police. Everyday, my prosecutors are working side-by-side with police officers and detectives to build cases, obtain convictions, and make Baltimore safer. I appreciate the generous financial support the Fraternal Order of Police has made to my campaign, and I look forward to continuing our work together."