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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release June 16,1998
             Keeping Our Law Enforcement and Schools Safe
                             June 16, 1998

Announcement: Today, the President will: (1) sign two bills to provide needed assistance to law enforcement officers and their families; (2) release $27 million in COPS grants to hire nearly 400 new officers; and (3) ask the Justice Department and Congress to fund more community police officers for our schools.

Protecting Our Officers with Bulletproof Vests

      Saving Officers' Lives with Bulletproof Vests.  The President will
     sign the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act of 1997, which
     provides $75 million in grants to help state and local governments
     defray the costs of purchasing bulletproof vests.  The FBI 
     estimates that the risk of a gun-related fatality is 14 times 
     higher for an officer who does not wear a bulletproof vest than 
     for an officer who does, yet more than 25% of state and local law 
     enforcement officers do not have this life saving equipment.  This 
     bill is sponsored by Senators Leahy and Campbell and Reps. 
     Visclosky and LoBiondo.

Honoring Our Slain Officers

      Funding Needed Counseling Support for Survivors. The President 
     will sign the Care for Police Survivors Act, sponsored by 
     Representatives McCollum and Schumer and Senators Biden and Hatch. 
     The legislation guarantees that a minimum level of funding be made 
     available to maintain and enhance counseling programs that assist 
     the families of public safety officers who die in the line of duty.

      Fighting for College Scholarships for the Children of Slain 
     Officers.  The President also will reiterate his call to 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

      On Track to 100,000 COPS.  The President will announce that over 
     $27 million in grants will be released to 73 local and state law
     enforcement agencies to hire 369 full-time and 29 part-time 
     officers.  The total number of officers funded through the COPS 
     Program is over 76,000, putting the initiative ahead of schedule 
     to meet the President's pledge to provide 100,000 officers.  The 
     new officers and deputies will be added to the streets of Alaska, 
     Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, 
     Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, 
     Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New 
     Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, 
     Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, 
     Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, West 
     Virginia, and Wyoming.

      Forging Partnerships Between Schools and Law Enforcement.  As 
     part of his ongoing effort to make our schools safer, the 
     President will call on the Attorney General and Secretary of 
     Education to report back before the beginning of the next school 
     year with a plan to ensure that COPS funding is available to bring 
     community police officers to all interested schools.  The 
     President also will announce his support for legislation 
     introduced by Representative James Maloney (D-CT) to promote the 
     deployment of community police officers to work in and with local 
     school districts.