THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
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.