THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
The final 1999 Uniform Crime Report released today by the FBI confirms that for the eighth year in a row -- and for the longest period ever recorded -- crime has fallen all across the country, improving the quality of life and safety of American families. The report shows that overall crime, as well as violent and property crime, fell more than 7 percent from 1998 and 1999. Crime is down in communities of every region and size across the nation.
Crime rates rose steadily through much of the 1980s. Since Vice President Gore and I took office, our nation has come together to reverse those trends. Our Administration focused on giving communities more and better tools to improve public safety, including 100,000 more police for our streets, stronger gun laws, and smart prevention. Combined with the dedication of police and communities across the country, these tools are making a major difference. The overall crime rate is at a 26 year-low, the murder rate is at a 33-year low, and the violent crime rate is down to its lowest point in over two decades.
We must do more to ensure that these downward trends continue. Today, I call on Congress to reauthorize the COPS program to hire up to 50,000 more community police officers, send me a budget that funds our COPS program and other vital crime-fighting initiatives, and pass common-sense gun legislation to keep guns out of the wrong hands. By working together, we can continue our nation's unprecedented success in reducing crime and make America's streets even safer.