President Trump honors law enforcement officers during Orlando visit

Trump also discusses Hurricane Michael, Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation

By Brianna Volz - Web producer

ORLANDO, Fla. - During a visit to Orlando Monday, President Donald Trump delivered a speech honoring law enforcement officers across the country.

Trump began his remarks at a conference for the International Association of Chiefs of Police, which was held at the Orange County Convention Center, around 2 p.m. and praised officers -- including Orlando Police Chief John Mina -- for the work they do to protect their communities.

The president said he's proud to have an administration that supports law enforcement officers nationwide and that, through its cooperation, the U.S. has made great strides toward a safer country.

"My administration will always honor, cherish and support the men and women in blue and we are proud to do it," Trump said. "Working together, we have achieved extraordinary progress in reducing crime."

Trump thanked the officers and their families for their sacrifices and commitment to keeping America safe.

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The president also honored several officers from around the country who faced life-threatening situations, including an officer from the Doral Police Department. 

He also offered his condolences to the family of Terrence Carraway, who was fatally shot last week while responding to a hostage situation in South Carolina.

In addition to recognizing the officers, president Trump said the people of Florida were lucky to have Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi, both of whom he said have fought to increase funding for Florida officers.

At the beginning of his speech, president Trump also mentioned that he is working with state and local officials to prepare for Hurricane Michael, which is currently a Category 1 storm. 

[Hurricane Michael: 'This storm will be life-threatening' | LIVE RADAR, TRACK, UPDATES: Hurricane Michael]

“I told Rick Scott that we are ready for you. We have already briefed FEMA and FEMA is getting prepared," Trump said. It looks like another big one, can you believe that?"

The storm is on a projected path to make landfall sometime Wednesday near the Florida Panhandle, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The president's speech also comes days after the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court was confirmed, despite weeks of controversy surrounding allegations of sexual misconduct.

Trump said during his speech Monday that he was proud to stand behind Kavanaugh the entire time. 

"He’s a great person and it’s very, very unfair what happened to him," the president said. "It was a disgraceful situation brought about by people who are evil and he toughed it out.”

Trump praised the Republican senators who fought to confirm Kavanaugh and said he is looking forward to returning to the White House Monday afternoon to officially swear in Kavanaugh.

"He’s going to be a great Supreme Court justice. Watch, he will be a great one,” Trump said.

The president also said he and his administration are committed to improving school safety and fighting the opioid crisis.

Before president Trump took the stage, Scott shared a few remarks with the crowd.

Scott praised Florida officers and credited them with the 47-year low crime rate in the state. 

The governor also asked the crowd to continue praying for OPD Officer Kevin Valencia, who is still recovering after being shot in the head while responding to a hostage situation earlier this year.

Scott also honored the families of fallen Florida officers, including that of officer Matthew Baxter, who was gunned down last year in a Kissimmee neighborhood.

[MORE: Widow of slain Kissimmee officer sworn in as FDLE special agentVideo shows interaction between Kissimmee officer, suspect before shooting]

President Trump, after leaving the conference Monday afternoon, said he was thankful for the opportunity to speak at the event.

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