THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
Today, the Department of Justice released the 1999 National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) which shows that last year, the nation's violent crime rate experienced the single largest one-year drop in the survey's history and is at its lowest level in over 25 years. This news is further proof that the Clinton-Gore Administration's anti-crime strategy of more police on our streets and fewer guns in the wrong hands has helped to create the safest America in a generation. Since the Vice President and I took office in 1993, every major category of violent and property crime has decreased significantly according to today's NCVS, with the overall violent crime rate down by one-third, and the rates for rape, and robberies and assaults with injuries down by more than one-third.
Despite our extraordinary progress, we can and must make America even safer. Every year, our nation loses nearly 30,000 Americans -- including 10 children every day -- to gun violence. That is why I call on Congress to continue our success by funding our Administration's proposals to put up to an additional 50,000 community police officers on the street, and hire 1,000 new federal, state and local gun prosecutors and 500 ATF firearms agents and inspectors to crack down on gun criminals. Congress also must make passage of the long-stalled common sense gun safety legislation a top priority as our children prepare to return to school. Together, we can continue to drive down the nation's crime rates and improve the quality of life for American families for generations to come.