ORLANDO, Florida — President Donald Trump touted a nationwide drop in crime and chastised Democrats as he addressed a gathering of 1,500 law enforcement officers in Orlando on Monday.
- Trump speaks to gathering of law enforcement in Orlando
- In 30-minute speech, Trump blames Dems for ongoing problems
- Florida Gov. Rick Scott attends, has been distant on campaign trail
The president delivered a 30-minute speech at the International Association of Chiefs of Police at the Orange County Convention Center.
Trump spoke about a range of issues, including school safety, as well as the relationship between the public and law enforcement. The president also referenced the latest shooting in Florence, South Carolina, that left one officer dead and six others injured.
"When an officer is killed, it's a wound inflicted on our entire nation," Trump said.
"Today, I stand before you as president of the United States. We will always honor and cherish and support the men and women in blue and proud to do it," he said.
Trump also touted the positive impacts that law enforcement agencies have had around the country, as well as a nationwide drop in crime.
"We are taking back our streets, being tough, being smart. Murders in major cities are estimated to drop by 10 percent from levels from 2016," Trump said.
Getting political, the president blamed Democrats for constant budget, supply, and crime problems. He cited Chicago's ongoing crime issues but countered with citations of record arrests, prosecutions, and funding.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who's in a tight U.S. Senate race with Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson, introduced Trump.
Trump also brought up the newest member of the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh. He told the crowd they have an ally in Justice Kavanaugh who will defend the Constitution.
Democrats, meanwhile, used the president's visit to blast his record on health care.
Outside the convention center Monday morning, Democratic lawmakers and candidates blasted Trump's record on health care.
They claimed that fights to block the Affordable Care Act are hurting Floridians.
They also took jabs at Scott, who's running for Senate. They said the governor has rejected Medicaid expansion money, hurting hundreds of thousands of low income residents seeking health care.
"He cares more about cozying up to Trump than to fight for Floridians and to fight for women," Florida Sen. Linda Stewart of District 13 said.
Democrats also said Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court should be a wake-up call for women to vote next month.
The IACP is the largest gathering of police leaders, displaying the latest technology. Some of that equipment will debut at the conference, such as a 180-degree immersive simulator.
It is designed to teach law enforcement when to shoot and when not too.
"It allows them to make mistakes in a training environment, so the instructors have the ability to escalate the situation and deescalate it depending on what the officer is doing. So, if the officer has to use force, he can then select the correct use of force be it the Taser or lethal," said Matthew Cunningham, the director of virtual system sales at Meggitt Training Systems.
Spectrum News reporter Jerry Hume contributed to this story.