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Pence praises police officers in twist on White House visit

Vice President Mike Pence visited New York City police headquarters and heralded its football team for winning a recent national championship among public safety agencies.

It was a twist Thursday on White House sports team visits that have become increasingly rare as athletes protest the Trump administration.

Pence said he added the meet-and-greet to a day of events in the city after receiving a letter stating that the NYPD team "was more than willing to come to the White House if we were looking to have a team there."

Vice President Mike Pence, right, meets with members of the New York Police Department's football team, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. Pence met earlier with the NYPD for a counterterrorism briefing. (AP PhotoMark Lennihan)

Pence also received a counterterrorism briefing and praised the department for keeping the city free from a major terrorist attack since Sept. 11, 2001.

The football team defeated the rival fire department squad in June for its 11th National Public Safety Football League title.

Follow Michael Sisak at twitter.com/mikesisak

New York Police Commissioner James O'Neill, left, introduces Vice President Mike Pence during a visit with the NYPD's football team, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. Pence met earlier with the NYPD for a counterterrorism briefing. (AP PhotoMark Lennihan)

Vice President Mike Pence visits the New York Police Department headquarters, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019 for a counterterrorism meeting. (AP PhotoMark Lennihan)

Vice President Mike Pence, left, meets with James O'Neill, right, New York Police Department Commissioner, and staff Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019 for a counterterrorism meeting. (AP PhotoMark Lennihan)