THE WHITE HOUSE AT WORK
Tuesday, June 16, 1998
PROTECTING OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT
PROTECTING OUR COMMUNITIES
The line of fire will always be a dangerous place. But today we are making it less dangerous for those brave enough to walk that line. Every day you protect all of us; now there is something we can do to help protect all of you. Twenty-five percent of state and local law enforcement officers do not have the body armor to protect their lives; this legislation will help police departments provide them with bulletproof vests. This is a critical investment in the safety of those who have to be in harm's way.
President Bill Clinton
June 16, 1998
Today, at a White House event, President Clinton is joined by Vice President Al Gore, Attorney General Janet Reno, and members of Congress, in signing two bills, the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act, and the Care for Police Survivors Act. In addition, the President renews his call for Congress to support legislation that provides college scholarships to the dependents of slain law enforcement officers and announces his support for legislation that promotes the deployment of police officers to work in and with local school districts.
Protecting the Officers Who Protect Our Lives. The FBI estimates that the risk of a gun-related fatality is 14 times higher for a police officer who does not wear a bulletproof vest than for an officer who does, yet more than 25 percent of state and local law enforcement officers do not have bulletproof vests. To ensure that this life-saving equipment is made more available to law enforcement, the President is signing the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act, which provides federal matching grants to help states and localities defray the costs of purchasing bulletproof vests.
Honoring Our Slain Officers. When tragedy strikes and an officer falls in the line of duty, we have a responsibility to the family they leave behind. The President will sign the Care for Police Survivors Act, which guarantees a minimum level of funding be made available to maintain and enhance counseling programs that assist the families of slain officers. In addition, the President renews his call for Congress to pass legislation to provide college scholarships to the dependents of slain state and local law enforcement officers.
Putting More Police On Our Streets And In Our Schools. In 1994, President Clinton led the fight to hire 100,000 new police officers throughout the country. With today's announcement of grant money to hire 383 police officers, the Community Oriented Policing Services Program (COPS) has helped fund the hiring of over 76,000 police officers. In addition, the President will:
- Call on the Attorney General and the Secretary of Education to report back to him before the beginning of the next school year with a plan to ensure that COPS funding is available to bring community based police officers to all interested schools;
- Announce his support for legislation to promote the deployment of community police officers to work in and with school districts.
Building On A Record Of Crime Reduction And Police Protection. Police officers make our streets and schools safer, our homes and people more secure. The President's leadership in crime fighting has helped lead to a dramatic decline in overall crime, murder, and violent crime rates. Today's bill signing helps ensure that police officers have access to the bulletproof protection they need, values the lives of those who must mourn the death of a fallen officer, and continues the work of putting more police officers on our streets and in our communities.
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