For many in our polarized nation, acknowledging anything offered by this president as “useful” is akin to selling one’s soul to Satan himself. But on Monday, President Trump acknowledged what innumerable law enforcement professionals understand to be an irrefutable truism. Trump described the relentlessly violent “crime spree” in Chicago and called for an immediate reinstatement of the policing methodology “Stop, Question, and Frisk.” This bold action would save countless lives in the warzone that currently masquerades as a polite American city.

Trump made the pronouncement in front of a sympathetic audience of senior police officials at the annual convention of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, held in Orlando, Fla. Certainly missed in his call for a wholesale return of the policy in Chicago was his caveat that his support was contingent on the methodology being “properly applied.”

And by “properly applied,” the president was referring to the 1968 Supreme Court decision in Terry v. Ohio. In Terry, the Supreme Court ruled that the Fourth Amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures does not apply in certain instances. Most common for this exception is when a law enforcement professional stops a suspect, questions them, and then subjects them to a frisk (search) predicated not on “probable cause” to arrest, but on a “reasonable suspicion” that the suspect is in possession of contraband.

Progressive attack dogs, of course, immediately leapt to denounce the president’s recommendation, with one Chicago Tribune reporter penning a dismissive column entitled, “Donald Trump, butt out of Chicago’s business!” And Essence reflexively countered the president’s assertion by pointing to Chicago’s 20 percent reduction in murders this year, when contrasted to the same point in 2017. But last year saw 517 slaughtered in a city of just 2.7 million people. Contrast that with New York City’s population of 8.6 million people and a 2017 homicide total that signaled a 70-year record low of just 290 murders.

So what gives? Both cities have endured an onslaught of efforts from the left to discredit the proactive policing program. New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio successfully ran his first-term campaign on the shameful trope that the NYPD was inherently “racist” and targeted communities of color with oppressive tactics based on skin hue alone. He cynically employed his biracial son, Dante, in an infamous television ad where Dante proudly proclaims that his father is “the only one who will end a stop-and-frisk era that unfairly targets people of color.”

Ray Kelly, the police commissioner in New York who oversaw much of the New York Police Department’s successful crime suppression efforts under the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, released a book in 2015, Vigilance: My Life Serving America and Protecting Its Empire City, and defended his department’s use of the tactic. Kelly describes his efforts to defend “Stop, Question and Frisk,” and was prepared to advocate for it all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, if not for De Blasio’s victory, and his being dropped as a defendant in the case to overturn the policy.

U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin’s 2013 195-page decision ruling against “Stop, Question and Frisk” accused the NYPD of a “policy of indirect racial profiling,” and she ordered that the NYPD accede to sweeping reforms and oversight from an outside monitoring agency. It is a lost footnote to history that a bipartisan appeals panel later ruled that Scheindlin had shed any pretense of impartiality for her handling of the case. She had shamelessly lobbied to hear the case, steering it to her courtroom, and then had engaged in untoward engagements with the media -- something jurists typically avoid.

Maybe the disparate results in two cities that have turned their backs on the successful policing tool is related to messaging, and how criminals discern tactical adjustments made by the police.

Media coverage certainly aids in branding and messaging; two most powerful tools. The actual title of the policy is “Stop, Question, and Frisk.” But the lazier, or purposefully deceitful, description of the same is “Stop and Frisk.” By eliminating the “question” component, policy opponents can disingenuously portray it as racial profiling. And in as diverse a city as New York, where the police department reflects its constituency -- officers hail from 106 different countries and consist of every imaginable race -- to pretend to think racism is at play, is absurd.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel also was quick to knock down Trump’s suggestion on Monday. He most certainly assumed the president was unaware of a 2015 agreement in Chicago that while not eradicating “Stop, Question and Frisk” as policy within the Chicago Police Department, severely restricted it, rendering it essentially impotent and unusable. Emanuel has faced severe criticism for his part in withholding from public release a videotape of a police encounter with Laquan McDonald, an African-American teenager who was shot 16 times by Officer Jason Van Dyke, who was just (rightly) convicted on second-degree murder charges. Emanuel has wisely elected not to seek re-election. But he was only too willing to challenge Trump on this issue:

“The failed policies he’s talking about have no place for a city that’s working together with communities about how to build — not only trust, but a collaborative and cooperative relationship.”

Failed? Um, okay.

Here is what the Chicago mayor got right: Police must work harder to build rapport and seek collaboration within the communities they are sworn to protect and serve.

But this acknowledgement doesn’t counter the undeniable effectiveness of “Stop, Question and Frisk.” Again, it is predicated on an officer’s clear articulation that there is reasonable suspicion that a suspect has committed, or is about to commit, a crime, and the officer believes the suspect may be armed with a concealed weapon.

The deterrent effect it has on those inclined to be on the street with a deadly weapon is impossible to knock down. In Kelly’s aforementioned memoir, he proclaims his wariness of “governmental power and overreach.” He notes that American citizens “should never be subjected to harassment or unlawful invasions of privacy.” But if black lives truly matter -- as the activists so vociferously argue – why wouldn’t we support “properly applied” law enforcement methods that predominantly help communities of color stay safe?

Trump is right. Unshackle the police in Chicago. Demand that “Stop, Question and Frisk” continue to remain lawfully applied under Terry v. Ohio. Encourage police and inner-cities to maintain postures of mutual respect. And for the media: cease with the exploitative false narrative that cops are the problem and dispense with the tired canard that “Stop, Question and Frisk” is racial profiling. Law enforcement must endeavor to reduce crime and save lives in communities with the highest crime rates. This makes undeniable sense.

Let’s work together to protect our communities under siege. Let’s start with Chicago.

James A. Gagliano (@JamesAGagliano) worked in the FBI for 25 years. He is a law enforcement analyst for CNN and an adjunct assistant professor in homeland security and criminal justice at St. John's University.