Republican County Executive Allan Kittleman has received re-election endorsements from three police unions, support he did not have in his first run for the job in 2014.
Kittleman received endorsements from the Howard County Police Officers’ Association, the Police Supervisors’ Alliance Fraternal Order of Police and the Sheriff’s Fraternal Order of Police. Together, the three organizations represent nearly 500 law enforcement officials in the county, Kittleman’s campaign announced.
“I’m very excited, very appreciative, I certainly have worked very closely with the Howard County Police Officers’ Association. I think it’s really meaningful to me because its the Police Supervisors, the Sheriffs’ Association and the Police Officers’ Association, it really is the trifecta,” Kittleman said. “To have all of our public safety unions supporting me is really special. I think it goes to show the way we’ve worked together and the confidence they have in me and the confidence I have in them.”
Kittleman is running against Democratic District 2 County Councilman Calvin Ball. In April, Ball got the endorsement of Howard County’s teachers’ union.
Ball congratulated Kittleman on the endorsement in a statement.
“I have a long and consistent record for supporting our first responders and making public safety a priority,” Ball said in the statement. “Should I be successful, I will continue to ensure every resident and visitor in Howard County feels safe.”
The endorsements are the second round of public safety union endorsements Kittleman has received this campaign season. In November, the Howard County Professional Fire Fighters Association endorsed the county executive.
Police Officers’ Association President Chris Davis said it’s the first time in his 23 years with the union that it has endorsed a Republican, however he said the union has a long history of endorsing incumbents for county executive.
“Staying away from politics as much as he can and just doing what’s right resonates with police,” Davis said.
Davis highlighted the Public Safety Officer Tax Credit that took effect this year as a sign of support from Kittleman. Late last year Kittleman and Ball introduced their own versions of the $2,500 property tax credit, before combining their efforts into co-sponsored legislation that was passed unanimously by the council.
“Nothing bridges that gap [between officers and the community] more than when our police officers are living in the same communities where they work,” Davis said. “Where we’re not just police officers or uniforms, we’re members of the community, we’re serving as leaders in scout groups and as coaches on sports teams, just actively involved with our neighbors.”