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May 19, 1998

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If we are going to fight the criminals of the future, we need to develop the crime fighting tools of the future. We must put the best possible tools in the hands of our law enforcement community so they can quickly and effectively identify, apprehend, and prosecute criminals.

-Vice President Al Gore
May 19, 1998

Today, Vice President Al Gore joins Attorney General Janet Reno, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Energy Secretary Federico Pe a in announcing the "Partnership for a Safer America", a cooperative effort amongst the Departments of Justice, Treasury, and Energy to share cutting-edge law enforcement technologies.

Working Toward a Safer America. Ensuring that all Americans are safe in their homes and communities requires constant innovation from law enforcement. While the crime rate in America has dropped consistently for six years, the Administration continues to develop ways to give law enforcement officials the tools they need to keep our streets safe. The Partnership for a Safer America will give federal, state, and local law enforcement officials the opportunity to access cutting edge technology being developed by the Department of Energy.

Crime Fighting Technology For the 21st Century. Today's announcement will provide police officers with new techniques to fight crime, including:

  • Team Leader: Multimedia Data Collection and Communication System: This device gives officers enormous flexibility when investigating crime scenes. The Team Leader gives officers the ability to communicate, transmit, and receive evidence from other investigators, make voice and digital video recordings, scan evidence through a digital barcoding system which can be accessed by other Team Leader members, and forward all of this information to remote locations or site locations where other aspects of the investigation are ongoing.
  • Computer Forensics Technology: The Department of Energy's national laboratory offers assistance to law enforcement officials who investigate computer-related crimes. With the laboratory's assistance, law enforcement officials have investigated and prosecuted criminals engaged in cellular phone fraud, Internet pedophilia, and the theft of trade secrets from NASA.
  • Radiation Detection Devices: The Department of Energy has already begun a collaborative effort to assist the Customs Agency in the detection and prevention of radioactive material which might be transported across our borders, or through our airports and seaports. This partnership also encompasses private sector firms who are working with the Energy Department to develop pager-size radiation detectors and a radiation alarm which can be attached to luggage scanners at airports.

Building On A Record Of Accomplishment. The Administration has made crime fighting a top priority. Since the passage of the President's Crime Bill in 1994, funding for 73,000 new police officers has been approved; an estimated 300,000 felons, fugitives, and stalkers have been denied guns under the Brady Bill; and the importation and manufacture of 19 different assault weapons has been banned. With today's announcement, the Administration continues its commitment to a safer America.

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