THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
VICE PRESIDENT GORE ANNOUNCES NEW EFFORTS TO PROTECT AND STRENGTHEN AMERICA'S OFFICERS AND ITS COMMUNITIES
Honors America's Police Officers At Peace Officers Memorial Services
Washington, DC--Vice President Gore today announced new efforts to protect our law enforcement officials and our families, and honored America's police officers during his speech at the 17th Annual Peace Officers Memorial Services.
The Vice President announced three efforts by the Clinton Administration including: calling for increased prison sentences for criminals who commit Federal crimes while wearing bulletproof vests; urging Congress to enact legislation to provide funding for the purchase of bulletproof vests for State and local police officers; and endorsing the Fraternal Order of Police's proposal to create a law enforcement medal of valor to honor those Federal, State, and local law enforcement officers who fall in the line of duty.
Our country's law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to make our communities are safe and healthy places to raise a family, Vice President Gore said. Today, we must continue to do everything possible to empower and honor America's law enforcement officers. When it comes to enforcement, we need to do all we can to give American's officers every possible advantage.
INCREASED SENTENCES FOR CRIMINALS THAT WEAR BULLETPROOF VESTS
President Clinton and Vice President Gore are calling for legislation that provides for sentence enhancement, including increased maximum penalty and a minimum mandatory penalty, for any individual who commits a Federal crime while wearing a bulletproof vest. The Administration is also calling on governors and State legislatures to pass similar legislation.
MORE BULLETPROOF VESTS FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS
The Administration supports the concept advanced in legislation sponsored by Senators Patrick Leahy and Ben Nighthorse Campbell and Congressman Peter Visclosky that would establish a Federal grant program to help State, local and tribal law enforcement agencies purchase bulletproof vests for their officers. Specifically, the legislation authorizes the Bureau of Justice Assistance to make grants to States, local governments and Indian tribes to purchase bulletproof vests.
A LAW ENFORCEMENT MEDAL OF VALOR FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS
President Clinton and Vice President Gore are calling for legislation to create a lawenforcement medal of valor to honor those federal, state and local officers who die in the line of duty, while also inspiring those men and women who continue to serve their country as members of the law enforcement community. Virginia law enforcement officer Jeffrey Muller first called for the award and the Fraternal Order of the Police (FOP) is advocating it. The Administration supports legislation that is consistent with the concept envisioned by Officer Muller and the FOP.