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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release January 15, 1998


January 15, 1998


Today, President Clinton announced that the Justice Department will: 1) provide New York City with a $120 million grant to fund 1,600 additional police officers; and 2) provide another 620 law enforcement agencies with $118 million in grants to fund an additional 1,700 police officers. President Clinton's COPS Initiative has now helped fund more than 70,000 police officers in communities across the country.

Making Our Streets Safe

100,000 More Police. In 1992, President Clinton pledged to help cities hire 100,000 more police officers and to expand community policing. He proposed and fought for a nearly $9 billion COPS Initiative as part of the 1994 Crime Act. With today's announcement, the COPS Initiative will have helped to fund over 70,000 additional police officers in more than 10,000 cities. Funding for the President's goal of 100,000 officers remains a protected priority in the 1997 Balanced Budget Agreement.

Lowest Crime Rates in 25 years. Crime rates have dropped for five years in a row, to their lowest levels in 25 years. Since 1993, violent crime has dropped 16% -- and the murder rate has plummeted by more than 20%. In city after city, community policing is playing a key role in driving down the crime rates.

New York City: A National Model. Nowhere has the President's COPS Initiative made a bigger difference than in New York City. To date, COPS has provided New York City with $400 million to hire and redeploy over 5,800 police officers, and crime rates have dropped dramatically. In the past four years, crime has declined by an estimated 44%, and murder has dropped by 61%.

A Record of Success in Fighting Crime

Tough, Smart Anti-Crime Strategy. President Clinton has worked closely with police, prosecutors, and community leaders to give communities the tools they need to cut crime. He worked to keep guns out of the hands of criminals by banning 19 deadly assault weapons, and preventing more than 300,000 fugitives and felons from purchasing guns through Brady background checks. He fought for tougher penalties for violent and sex offenders, and more prisons to incarcerate them. And he has pushed to keep schools open late, so that kids can be supervised during the high-crime hours after class.