THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
VICE PRESIDENT GORE ANNOUNCES $229 MILLION TO HELP POLICE BUY NEW TECHNOLOGY EQUIPMENT, HIRE STAFF Also Unveils Funds for Crime Mapping, Tougher Penalties for Criminals who Use Body Armor
Washington, DC -- Vice President Gore announced today that hundreds of police departments and localities nation-wide will receive $229 million to buy new equipment and hire staff to better serve America's communities.
"If we are going to reduce crime once and for all, we must work to give law enforcement the 21st Century tools and technology they need to fight crime more effectively," Vice President Gore said. "Sophisticated technology makes it harder for criminals to get away with their crimes and allows officers to do their job quicker and more effectively so they can spend more time on the streets -- working with the community to fight crime."
The funds, to be distributed to 605 police departments and localities across 48 states, come from the Justice Department's program, "Community Oriented Policing Services - Making Officer Redeployment Effective" (COPS MORE). Agencies may use the funds either to buy equipment -- such as laptops, radios, and upgraded dispatch systems -- or hire civilians for administrative tasks, giving officers more time to patrol the communities they serve.
The Vice President also released a new Commerce Department study -- Safety Nets: Protecting Lives and Property in the Information Age -- that shows that new technologies can save law enforcement both time and money. For example, according to the study, network technologies now allow officers to find and obtain photographs from other jurisdictions in minutes, rather than several days.
The Vice President also revealed two other Administration crime-fighting initiatives: Increased Funding for, and New Task Force on, Advanced Crime
Mapping The Vice President announced that the Justice Department recently provided $1.1 million to five universities to conduct advanced crime mapping in seven cities and two counties. The grantees and the communities they serve are: University of Virginia -- Charlottesville, Richmond, and Abermarle County; University of Texas -- Austin; State University of New York -- Buffalo; Carnegie-Mellon University -- Pittsburgh, PA and Rochester, NY; and Arizona State University -- Phoenix and Maricopa County.
The Vice President also announced the creation of a joint taskforce between the Justice Department and the National Partnership for Reinventing Government to study crime mapping and develop strategies to speed the use of data-driven management systems to improve law enforcement.
Tougher Penalties for Criminals who Use Body Armor The Vice President announced that the Administration will send Congress legislation calling for increased penalties for criminals who commit federal crimes while wearing body armor. Under this legislation, any person prosecuted in a federal court for committing a crime of violence or a drug trafficking crime while using body armor would receive a minimum additional five years beyond whatever sentence is imposed for the underlying crime. The Vice President called for this legislation in May in remarks at the National Police Officers Memorial Service.