By NWV Senior Political News Writer, Jim Kouri

“The only thing more idiotic than Beto O’Rourke suggesting that we should go door-to-door and seize citizens’ — who are following the laws — firearms, is his current presidential run,” said FOP VP Joe Gamaldi, adding, “I think he’s polling at two percent.

Shortly after the election results came in Thursday, Joe Gamaldi stepped up to a podium at a New Orleans convention center to thank the sea of cops who tapped him as the Fraternal Order of Police’s next vice president.

He thanked his wife, mentors and opponent, a retired Los Angeles Police Department sergeant. Then after dispensing with pleasantries, he voiced a promise: “We will push back on the things attacking us for the last five years,” he said. “And we will be a new bold voice for law enforcement in this country.”

The vote to help lead the nation’s largest law enforcement group representing rank-and-file officers marked the latest step in Gamaldi’s swift and sometimes controversial ascent as a union boss. The 36-year-old native New Yorker moved to Houston in 2008 and was elected vice president of the Houston Police Officer’s Union in 2013. Officers voted him union president in late 2017.

His election now puts him at the top of one of the nation’s most conservative law enforcement organizations, which in 2017 called on Trump to reverse a past federal ban on racial profiling, repeal the Affordable Care Act, deport immigrants in the U.S. illegally and end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allowed some children brought in illegally by their parents to receive work permits.

On Friday, news of Gamaldi’s election surprised some local civil rights advocates.

“They feel attacked by the mainstream media, they feel as if no one is speaking up for them,” Gamaldi said Friday, as he was returning from the FOP’s annual convention in New Orleans. “They want someone to step up, remind everyone they’re out there putting their lives on the line every single day, and they don’t deserve to be treated this way.”

His election to the board was surprising, observers said, because older or retired law enforcement officers traditionally run the organization, which represents about 350,000 officers across the country.

Presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s proposal to have the police show up at gun owners’ homes and enforce a mandatory assault weapons buyback is a “joke” and would put officers in harm’s way, National Vice President of the Fraternal Order of Police Joe Gamaldi said Tuesday, Fox News reports.

Appearing on “Fox & Friends” with hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, and Brian Kilmeade, Gamaldi said that in a time where “everyone is asking [law enforcement] to bridge the gap with the community,” O’Rourke’s idea is ridiculous and “reeks of desperation.”

“I’m calling on every other candidate in this race — and every member of our party in Congress — to meet the boldness of the American people and sign onto the March For Our Lives Peace Plan,” he wrote.

FOP National Vice President Joe Gamaldi was born and raised on Long Island, NY. Following high school he attended the University of Hartford, where he earned a degree in Criminal Justice, with minors in Political Science and Sociology. After graduation, Officer Gamaldi was hired by the NYPD in 2005 where he worked as an officer for approximately three years. He then transferred to the Houston Police Department in 2008 and graduated from Class #197.

Shortly after graduation from the academy, he completed his Master’s Degree from Long Island University in Homeland Security Management. Officer Gamaldi then went on to serve as a Board Member of the Houston Police Officers’ Union (HPOU) before being elected the Second Vice President, serving in that capacity for five years before being elected President of the Houston Police Officers’ Union. Officer Gamaldi was elected National Vice President of the Fraternal Order of Police in August of 2019 in New Orleans.

Within FOP Lodge 110 Officer Gamaldi is the chair of the Labor Relations Committee and the Ways and Means Committee. He has served on the bargaining team for several contract negotiations and served as lead negotiator for the most recent negotiations. He also coordinates the Safe Ride Home program, founded the Houston Officers Peer Assistance (HOPA)—a stand-alone non-profit dedicated to providing per assistance to police officers, assisted in the creation of the HPOU mobile app and assists in running the social media platforms for the Lodge.

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Contact Jim Kouri – E-Mail: COPmagazine@aol.com

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