Donald Trump spent Monday afternoon meeting with local members of the Fraternal Order of Police in Akron, Ohio, just one month before the national police union is expected to make its presidential endorsement.
Trump, who is working to solidify his image as the "law and order" candidate, could benefit tremendously if he succeeds in securing the 330,000-member union's support. The group is said to be working toward scheduling a meeting with Hillary Clinton, but not until she completes a questionnaire that FOP officials sent her campaign earlier this summer.
After a brief photo-op, Trump patiently fielded questions from Akron police during a roundtable about his relationship with law enforcement, whether he would reverse President Obama's recall of military gear for police and how he plans to combat poverty and crime in urban areas.
"We've had a tremendous relationship with law enforcement. I appreciate everything that is going on," Trump told the officers on Monday. "We've had many endorsements from many different groups all over the country and we have tremendous support for them.
"I'm with you 100 percent," he added. "It's an honor to be here."
Trump met with FOP President Chuck Canterbury and executive director Jim Pasco at his Manhattan skyscraper earlier this month. The group, which has chapters across battleground states that are crucial to Trump's path to the White House, is slated to announce its endorsement after board members convene in early September.
After endorsing Bill Clinton's re-election bid in 1996, the FOP backed George W. Bush in both 2000 and 2004, and John McCain in 2008. Neither President Obama nor GOP nominee Mitt Romney received the group's endorsement in the last election cycle.
According to Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, there is an opening for Trump to win the support of the FOP and union voters "if he doesn't squander it."
"I think Donald Trump has an opportunity if he talks about those issues. If he gets off on Gold Star families or whatever, he's not going to be able to get as much support," Portman told the Washington Examiner after his own meeting with the Akron FOP chapter last week. "If he's talking about the New York Times, I don't think it works."
Al Weaver contributed to this report.