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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release October 21, 1999
                           PRESIDENT CLINTON:
                            October 21, 1999

Today, President Clinton will commemorate the 5th anniversary of the Administration's Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program by honoring this year's recipients of the "Top Cops" awards. The awards are given annually by the National Association of Police Organizations to law enforcement officers for outstanding service to their communities.

At today's event, the President will urge Congress to provide full funding for the COPS program, which has funded over 100,000 community police officers to date and spread community policing to thousands of police departments nationwide. He will also endorse legislation by Sen. Joseph Biden to extend the successful COPS program for five more years.

RECOGNIZING OUTSTANDING LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS. The "Top Cop" awards given by NAPO pay tribute to law enforcement officers from across the country for their exceptional service during the preceding year. "Top Cops" are nominated by their fellow officers and are selected from hundreds of nominations. This year, 32 officers from 9 states and the District of Columbia will receive the distinguished Top Cops award, including 5 officers that are funded through the COPS program.

FIGHTING FOR RESOURCES TO KEEP OUR STREETS SAFE. This week, the FBI announced that serious crime fell in 1998 for the seventh year in a row -- the longest continuous decline in crime on record. The murder rate has dropped to its lowest point in 31 years. The President will point out today that community policing has been a key part of the Administration strategy to turn the tide on crime -- and he will call on Republicans not to undermine the future of community policing and the COPS program.

TAKING THE NEXT STEP ON COMMUNITY POLICING. The COPS Program, created in the historic 1994 Crime Act, expires next year by statute. Today, the President will endorse bipartisan legislation to be introduced by Senator Biden with the support of 45 co-sponsors to extend COPS through the year 2005.

A RECORD OF PARTNERSHIP WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT. The Clinton Administration has built the COPS program with the strong support of mayors and police chiefs from across the country, NAPO, and every major national law enforcement organization in America. In addition to COPS, the Clinton Administration has helped to dramatically expand resources for state and local law enforcement.