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The Los Angeles Police Protective League on Thursday endorsed Rick Caruso for mayor, a coveted nod for the businessman because of the union’s considerable political clout.

It represents the first major endorsement for Caruso since entering the race this month. He previously served as president of the Los Angeles Police Commission, where he maintained a good relationship with the union leadership.

“We believe that the people of Los Angeles and the members of the LAPD agree: Our approach to public safety needs to change. Rick is not a typical politician, and we believe that he can fix L.A.,” Lt. Craig Lally, the union president, said in a news release put out by the Caruso campaign.

Caruso was unanimously selected by the the union’s political action committee and board of directors. Lally said. The union represents about 9,500 rank-and-file officers at the Los Angeles Police Department.

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