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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release June 17, 1999

               Criticizes Senate Republicans for Planning 
                 to Zero Out Community Policing Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Vice President Gore today announced that 45 communities in 23 states nationwide will receive $12 million to add an additional 170 community policing officers to our nation's streets.

The 23 states that will receive funding include: Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

"Our nation's crime rate is now at its lowest levels in a quarter of a century," Vice President Gore said. "And make no mistake: community policing played a significant role in that decline. By putting more community policing officers on our streets, we will continue to make America's neighborhoods safer and better places to live. That is why I am pleased to announce the latest round of COPS grants."

The funds, awarded under the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Universal Hiring Program, are part of the Clinton/Gore Administration's initiative to add 100,000 community policing officers to the beat and advance community policing nationwide. Community policing is a crime fighting strategy that encourages law enforcement to work in partnership with the community to solve crime problems. To date, the COPS Office has funded more than 100,000 community policing officers.

The Vice President also called on Senate Republicans -- who have proposed to "zero" out the community policing program -- to focus on the success and safety the program has brought to millions of Americans.

"The American people must be scratching their heads watching Republicans this week," Vice President Gore said. "First, the Republicans in the House wanted to keep the gun show loophole open and now the Republicans in the Senate want to zero out the Community Policing Program."

"They've got it backwards," Vice President Gore continued. "Our approach, more police and fewer guns, has given the country its lowest levels of crime in a generation. We must continue that success, continue to put more police on our streets, take guns out of the hands of criminals and put America's safety first."

Today's grants will provide funding for 75 percent of the total salary and benefits of each officer hired for three years, up to a maximum of $75,000 per officer. The remainder is paid with state or local funds.