As Prepared for Delivery:
Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining today’s call.
Throughout his career, President Biden has been focused on making communities safer. That means investing in community policing and crime prevention.
From Day One of this Administration, he’s taken a comprehensive approach—one that puts more officers on the beat for community policing. One that emphasizes community violence intervention programs and other proven strategies for preventing and reducing crime.
Thus far, thanks to the President’s American Rescue Plan, communities across the country have committed more than $15 billion to public safety.
And we know that these strategies and investments are working. Nationwide violent crime rates are falling, with homicide rates falling more than 9% in the first half of this year compared to 2022. The previous year, homicides fell by more than 6%.
Today, President Biden is proud to announce $334 million in grants that will build on the progress we’ve made to tackle violet crime, as well as strengthen public safety and public trust in 700 communities across the country.
In addition, the Administration is adding five cities to more than 50 others who are part of the National Public Safety Partnership, a federal program proven to reduce violent crime and strengthen communities. Now, Knoxville, Tennessee; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Raleigh, North Carolina; San Antonio, Texas; and Vallejo, California will benefit from the specialized federal law enforcement expertise and dedicated prosecutors to promote community safety.
As the President has consistently said, public safety and public trust are mutually reinforcing values.
Without public trust, witnesses don’t come forward, cases aren’t solved, and justice isn’t done.
These new grants are vital to ensuring that communities have what they need to hire much-needed officers, make our schools safer, fight violent crime, and continue to advance community policing nationwide.
Throughout his career in public service, President Biden has been laser-focused on making our communities safer, preventing crime, strengthening public safety, and building public trust in policing.
In fact, when he was a Senator, the President was a chief architect of the bill creating the Community-Oriented Policing Services office, better known as the COPS Office.
The COPS Hiring Program is providing more than $200 million in grants today to fund 1,730 new officers in nearly 400 communities.
So it is appropriate that, today, the President is helping to reinvigorate federal investment in community policing strategies—the very strategies for which he has long advocated.
While we have much to celebrate under this Administration, we also have more to do.
That’s why the President proposed his Safer America plan, which would fund 100,000 police officers to engage in community policing, improve retention and training, and provide more mental health and wellness services for law enforcement.
It also calls for $5 billion for community violence intervention programs, which have been shown to reduce violence by up to 60%.
Today’s grants support proven strategies for fighting crime and building public trust. As the President has said, “The answer is not to defund the police, but to fund them with the resources and training they need to protect our communities.”
With that, it is my pleasure to turn it over to Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. Thank you, Deputy Attorney General Monaco, for your incredible leadership to help make America safer.