Presidential candidate Donald Trump called Cleveland police Chief Calvin Williams on Friday afternoon to thank the department for its work patrolling this year’s Republican National Convention.
Williams received the call outside the Quicken Loans Arena, when the officers who worked as a bike patrol were gathered for photos and a media availability. Several officers crowded around the chief when Trump made the call, and Williams put the candidate on speakerphone.
“He just wanted to thank us, the Cleveland Division of Police and law enforcement here, for a nice safe week for everybody,” Williams said. “That it wasn’t like people predicted. Even not like he predicted.”
An officer who crowded around Williams captured audio of Trump’s call on speakerphone. Williams and police spokeswoman Sgt. Jennifer Ciaccia said they would release the video with permission from Trump’s campaign.
A Trump spokesman said he would have to run the request by the candidate to give permission to release the audio.
But Fox 8 news, which had a reporter and cameraman outside the Q at the time Trump called, posted a video with audio of the phone call.
In the call, Trump told the officers that he “just called the chief to say what a great job he did. He’s more famous than I am because I think he has more television time than I did.”
This was a nice, gracious gesture by Trump, especially in these awful times for our nation’s law enforcement officers.
The mood leading up to the RNC couldn’t have been more tense, and many of the people I know who went were quite nervous before they left. It’s a credit to Chief Williams, his officers and the many officers from around the country who helped that the week was so remarkably uneventful. It’s a relief not only that the convention-goers were safe, but that the police were as well.