[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1995, Book I)]
[February 11, 1995]
[Pages 191-192]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

The President's Radio Address
February 11, 1995

    Good morning. Today I've asked Attorney General Reno and Drug 
Control Director Lee Brown to join me here at the White House. I want to 
discuss the crime and drugs that plague almost every community in our 
    I ran for President because I believe it's the responsibility of our 
generation to work together to preserve the American dream for all 
Americans and to ensure that we move into the next century still the 
strongest country on Earth. The best way for us to do that is by 
building a new partnership in our country between Americans and their 
government, and especially between Americans and each other. I call that 
partnership the New Covenant.
    Essentially that means the Government's responsibility is to expand 
opportunity while shrinking bureaucracy, to empower people to make the 
most of their own lives, and to enhance our security not just abroad but 
here at home, too. At the same time, it means we must demand more 
responsibility from every citizen in return, responsibility for our 
country, for our communities, for our families and ourselves.
    Part of our job here in Washington is to help arm the American 
people to fight crime and violence. During the Presidential campaign I 
promised the American people that I would cut 100,000 Federal 
bureaucrats in Washington and use those savings to put 100,000 new 
police officers on America's streets. Last year, Democrats and 
Republicans joined together to pass the crime bill to keep that promise. 
We've been working ever since to put that crime bill into effect. It's 
been only 4 months since the crime bill became law, but already we've 
awarded over 16,000 new officers to half the police departments in 
America. We're under budget; we're ahead of schedule.
    Police departments all around the country are putting this effort to 
work, hiring, training, and deploying officers as fast as we can give a 
go-ahead. The last thing your local police department needs is 
Congressmen in Washington playing politics with their safety and yours. 
But the astonishing thing is, despite the urgent need for more police on 
our streets, despite our success in getting them there, some Republicans 
in Congress actually want to repeal this effort. They want to replace an 
initiative guaranteed to put 100,000 police on the street with a block 
grant program that has no guarantees at all.
    The block grant is basically a blank check that can far too easily 
be used for things besides police officers. That's why the law 
enforcement steering committee, representing over 450,000 police 
officers, is absolutely opposed to this block grant approach or to any 
other change that weakens our commitment to put 100,000 police on the 
    Undermining this commitment to law enforcement is not acceptable. I 
didn't fight to cut 100,000 Federal bureaucrats so we could trade them 
in for an old-fashioned pork-barrel program. I fought to trade 100,000 
bureaucrats for 100,000 police officers. Last year, Republicans

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and Democrats passed the 100,000 cops bill, and I signed it. I made a 
commitment, a promise to put 100,000 more police on our streets, because 
there is simply no better crimefighting tool to be found. And I intend 
to keep that promise. Anyone on Capitol Hill who wants to play partisan 
politics with police officers for America should listen carefully: I 
will veto any effort to repeal or undermine the 100,000 police 
commitment, period.
    Of course, as crucial as these 100,000 police officers are, they 
can't do the job alone. Every citizen in America has to help in this 
fight, because no amount of police officers can replace people taking 
responsibility for their own lives and for their communities.
    This week, I announced our administration's 1995 drug control 
strategy. It involves cutting off drugs at the source, stiffer 
punishment for drug dealers, more education and prevention, and more 
treatment. But perhaps the most important part of this strategy will be 
to boost efforts to educate our young people about the dangers and 
penalties of drug use. Our children need a constant drumbeat reminding 
them that drugs are not safe, drugs are illegal, drugs can put you in 
jail, and drugs may cost you your life.
    Community-based education programs work. I saw them work in school 
when my daughter was younger. This morning I've been joined by some 
police officers who participate in community education programs and 
especially in the national drug abuse education and resistance program 
that you probably know as D.A.R.E. Every American should follow their 
example and accept the responsibility to join the fight against drugs 
and crime and violence.
    Parents must teach their children right from wrong. They must teach 
that drugs are bad and dangerous. And make no mistake about it, parents 
must set a good example for their children. Young people must have the 
courage to do what's right and stand up for what's right. That means not 
using drugs, staying out of gangs, studying hard, avoiding violence. It 
also means telling friends that drugs and gangs and guns aren't cool, 
and children that are involved in those things aren't going to be your 
real friends.
    That's what the New Covenant is all about: more opportunity, more 
responsibility. We've got to do our part here. But each and every one of 
you must take responsibility to join us. We can only win this fight 
    Thanks for listening.

Note: The President spoke at 10:06 a.m. from the Oval Office at the 
White House.