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May 29, 1998

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We have reached a milestone -- in only four years, we have now funded 75,000 of 100,000 community police. We're ahead of schedule on the thing that is doing the most to make America a safer place, thanks to those of you in law enforcement.

- President Bill Clinton
May 29, 1998

Today, at a Rose Garden event, President Clinton is joined by Vice President Al Gore, Attorney General Janet Reno, Cleveland Mayor Michael White, and Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department Terry Hillard, in announcing the launch of a new initiative to hire more community police in high-crime, high-need neighborhoods.

More Police Officers In High Crime Areas. While crime is down in cities and regions all over the nation, some neighborhoods have not shared the same level of progress in crime reduction. The President is addressing this problem through a new initiative which targets cities with specific law enforcement needs and will:

  • Put more police officers in high-crime areas. The President's new COPS initiative will provide funding for 18 cities to hire over 700 new police officers;
  • Put resources where they are most needed, allowing cities to deploy these officers to help meet the unique law enforcement needs of their own communities.
Hiring More Police Officers, Reducing Crime Rates. In 1994, President Clinton led the fight to hire 100,000 new police officers throughout the country. This initiative, the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) has now helped fund over 75,000 police officers across America. The COPS program is:
  • Expanding innovative policing techniques which bring officers closer to the communities they serve;
  • Giving law enforcement officials additional resources to fight crime, including new officer hiring and technology, redeployment of veteran officers, and strategies to fight juvenile crime, gangs, and domestic violence.

Community Policing Helps Neighborhoods Reduce Crime. Since the inception of the COPS program, the number of police departments engaged in community policing has grown from hundreds to over 10,000. During that time, these officers have worked with neighborhood residents to reduce crime, school violence, gang activity and drug trafficking.

Cutting Crime Rates to the Lowest Levels in a Generation. The President's leadership in crime fighting has produced impressive results. Earlier this month, the Justice Department released preliminary data showing that in 1997 crime rates dropped in for the sixth year in a row, the longest period of decline in a generation. Since 1993, violent crimes have dropped more than 15 percent, and murder rates have fallen by over 25 percent.

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