Ulster County Sheriff Paul VanBlarcum, who met Trump at the White House in May, said he is sure the president was "joking around" and that the news media have taken the comments "totally out of context". "I said, 'You can take the hand away, okay?'"
The International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Police Foundation have also criticized Trump's remarks, as did police chiefs in Boston, New Orleans, Houston, Los Angeles and NY. "Like, don't hit their head, and they just killed somebody - don't hit their head".
The controversy all started on Friday, when Trump spoke in front of a crowd of cops at Suffolk County Community College on Long Island, New York.
So far, only two Miami-area police chiefs have stepped up and said publicly that Trump's comments were wrong, and none did so voluntarily.
Trump then said that "these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon", seemingly endorsing the illegal police practice known as a "rough ride" or "nickel ride", in which cops throw suspects in the back of cop cars with their hands cuffed and jerk the auto around, so the suspect crashes into the walls.
Trump delivered his controversial remarks to an audience of police officers, and del Pozo says it's regrettable the speech went over as well as it did.
The bigger issue, he said, is the public's perception of law enforcement in light of those remarks. "I think it sends out a poor message to the community".
In a telephone interview Monday, del Pozo said he was "disappointed", but "not surprised" by Trump's remarks. "Why would you even joke around about this?" It's just unfortunate we had to ask before anyone said anything.
Anderson said the philosophy in his office has always been "treat people the way you want to be treated", and the president's remarks won't change that.
"We treat everybody the same, whether you're a gang member or a banker", Van Blarcum said.
But he said the police department, like many agencies, has rules and standards for treating people in custody. "But I'll say that here about this, because it bears on the work my police do and it bears on how they're viewed by the public".
"The SCPD values community policing and cherishes the positive partnerships and relationships we have with all segments of our community", the statement said. After five black and Latino teenagers were wrongly accused of assaulting and raping a white woman in Central Park, in 1989, Trump spent more than $80,000 on full-page ads in NY newspapers calling for reinstatement of the death penalty.
"We can arrest people and still do our job and remain professional".