President Obama speaks at a press conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on July 17, 2016 in Washington, DC. Obama remarked on the shooting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in which three officers were killed and three more wounded by armed suspects. Leigh Vogel—Getty Images
Leigh Vogel—Getty Images
July 19, 2016 12:04 PM EDT

President Obama has faced criticism for his approach to issues involving police officers and communities of color in the wake of a recent series of violent confrontations. Five officers were killed in Dallas earlier this month and another three were killed in Baton Rouge on Sunday, in what authorities say was retaliation for earlier fatal shootings by police officers. This year alone, 31 officers have been killed by gunfire in the line of duty.

Obama has voiced support for both Black Lives Matter protesters and police officers, but some have criticized him, saying he’s more sympathetic to protesters than police.

To combat that view, the National Fraternal Order of Police on Monday posted the full text of an open letter Obama wrote to the nation’s law enforcement officers, thanking them for facing danger every day so that Americans remain safe.

“Every day, you accept this responsibility and you see your colleagues do their difficult, dangerous jobs with equal valor,” he wrote. “I want you to know that the American people see it, too. We recognize it, we respect it, we appreciate it, and we depend on you.”

Read the full text of the letter below:

More Must-Read Stories From TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com.

Read More From TIME
You May Also Like
EDIT POST