With recent high-profile gun crimes in the national news, gun control is a hot political topic. But New York City’s Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, and its president Norman Seabrook, have long been strong supporters of anti-gun movement, reports The Brooklyn Ink.
As the second-largest law enforcement union in the state, representing approximately 15,000 correction officers in New York City, COBA has been also vocal in its endorsements of and donations to candidates in the city’s political sphere, where gun control has become one of the most highly debated topics in recent years.
“Anybody that wants to receive an endorsement from the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association has got to have a few things on the agenda,” said Seabrook. “One of these things that must be on the agenda, and not just rhetoric, is a solid plan to combat gun violence. The bottom line to it is all of those who want to lead must step up and show the public, the people, who they are and be transparent about how they feel about gun violence.”
The union has unusually deep pockets when it comes to political donations, The Brooklyn Ink reported.
COBA, which endorsed Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2001, has given almost 40,000 dollars in political donations during the current political cycle. Many of the beneficiaries, including Jumaane Williams, a Democratic incumbent City Council member from New York’s 45th District, and Democratic State Sen. Eric Adams, are supporters or proponents of anti-gun violence initiatives.
The donations dwarf those of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the largest law enforcement union in New York, which has given $9,050 to candidates this election cycle, The Brooklyn Ink reported.
COBA’s Seabrook applauded Bloomberg for his attempts to call upon Obama and Romney for answers about their stance on gun control.
“You have to give credit where credit is due,” said Seabrook, whose association was the first union outside of Illinois to endorse Obama in his presidential campaign, according to Skelly. “The mayor of the city of New York is trying, you know. He is pushing the envelope to tell me what the President, or the candidate for President, of the United States is going to do about gun violence. What are they going to do about guns? Neither of them seem to have an answer to this. Neither one of them seem to be saying anything.”
In their own ways, the majority of law enforcement officers and members of government work to protect their constituents from danger. “I will not sit by,” Seabrook said, “and watch another member of New York’s Boldest or any other New Yorker become yet another fatal statistic.”