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May 12, 1999

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“Today, I will send to Congress a new Crime Bill for the 21st Century. This bill builds on the successes of the 1994 Crime Bill. We know what works; and we should make certain that those efforts are continued and expanded.”

President Bill Clinton
May 12, 1999

Today, at the White House, President Clinton announced that his COPS program has achieved an important milestone by helping communities to fund the hiring or redeployment of 100,000 police officers across the nation. The President also proposed the 21st Century Law Enforcement and Public Safety Act -- new legislation that builds on the successful 1994 Crime Act, which has helped to cut the crime rate dramatically across the nation. This new legislation will renew the Justice Department's COPS program and include new provisions to reduce juvenile and drug crime, protect crime victims, and combat international crime and terrorism.

Reaching the 100,000 Milestone. Today, President Clinton announced grants of more than $95 million for 526 communities to hire approximately 1,500 new police officers. With these new grants, the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program will have provided 11,300 cities with $5.9 billion to help hire and redeploy more than 100,000 police officers across the country -- fulfilling the President's 1992 pledge to do so. More than half of these officers are already patrolling America's streets.

Crime Prevention for the 21st Century. The President also proposed new legislation -- The 21st Century Law Enforcement and Public Safety Act -- that builds on the successful programs enacted as part of the 1994 Crime Act. The President's new legislation will:

Keep our commitment to law enforcement by:

  • renewing the COPS program and providing funds to hire or redeploy 30,000-50,000 more police;
  • giving police access to new crime-fighting technologies; and
  • hiring more local prosecutors to target local crime problems.

    Punish and prevent youth crime and violence by:

  • giving prosecutors new tools to punish the most violent juveniles and curb witness intimidation;
  • promoting swift and certain punishment for all juvenile offenders; and
  • working to prevent at-risk youth from committing serious crimes in the first place.

    Break the cycle of drugs and crime by:

  • expanding drug courts;
  • helping states and localities implement “zero tolerance” drug supervision programs; and
  • putting into place tough provisions on money laundering to help stop the flow of illegal drug profits.

    Protect all crime victims by:

  • enhancing penalties for child abusers and adults who commit violent crimes in the presence of a child; providing new protections for older Americans from illegal telemarketing, nursing home neglect and abuse, retirement rip-offs, and health care fraud; and
  • keeping up the fight against domestic violence.

Combat international crime and terrorism by:

  • prohibiting certain possession and unsafe handling of biological agents and toxins; and
  • making it more difficult for these agents to fall into the hands of terrorists.

Building on What Works. President Clinton's crime-fighting strategy has resulted in the lowest violent crime rate in 25 years, and the lowest murder rate in 30 years. The President's accomplishments include:

  • passage of the Brady Bill;
  • a ban on assault weapons;
  • increased penalties for criminals who use guns; and
  • passage of the Violence Against Women Act.

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