John Teichert, Candidate for U.S. Senate in Maryland
I took command of Edwards Air Force Base, the second largest base in the United States Air
Force, in July of 2018. It was during a time where the DoD was facing a rash of illegal and
dangerous base incursions by gate runners and others who found themselves improperly inside
the perimeters of our highly protected and sensitive military bases.
On the day that I took command, I felt the weightiness of responsibility and a clamoring of
demands upon my time. Yet, I knew that my presence demonstrated commitment and my
schedule proved priority. Thus, on that first day I took the time to meet with the commander of
my Security Forces unit, and took the time to speak to a guard mount that included about 50 of
the Airmen who were headed out to their posts on the afternoon shift of that day. It was a
small portion of the 400 or so professionals who were responsible for protecting our base and
maintaining law and order, but I knew the word would spread. My message to them was simple
– I trusted them, I appreciated them, and I fully supported them.
As the previous commander of Joint Base Andrews, the highest visibility base on the planet, I
had marveled at the professionalism of our Security Forces personnel. There, they were 700
people strong, and I spent some time working alongside of them on post – day and night – and
made a particular point to join them during the worst weather conditions possible. I even got to
stuff-and-cuff (handcuff and place in a patrol car) a criminal at our front gate. Through my
words, my actions, and my frequent notes of appreciation, I regularly provided them an
important message – I trusted them, I appreciated them, and I fully supported them.
The words and actions of many politicians, including my opponents, offer a message to our law
enforcement personnel that is just the opposite – they don’t trust them, they don’t appreciate
them, and they don’t support them. They enact pro-criminal policies through what has been
described as a pro-criminal legislature. In doing so, they trample on the needs of communities
and violate their responsibilities to law abiding citizens.
The lack of trust, appreciation and support undermines and erodes law and order in our
communities, our state, and our nation. It creates an epidemic of problems in recruiting and
retaining law enforcement professionals, and spurs a public safety crisis that we recognize all
around us through statistics and stories of skyrocketing crime. As a result, we all suffer.
Our law enforcement leaders and their brave men and women are on the front lines of public
safety. They are selfless servants to our communities. They are heroes whose actions provide a
critical buffer between the law-abiding and the law-breaking members of our society. They run
towards danger while the rest of us run away from it.
In order to retake our crime-ridden streets, protect our communities, and foster the conditions
of law and order that are necessary for human flourishing, we need leaders, not politicians,
who will trust, appreciate, and fully support the members of our law enforcement community!