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Public Papers - 1992

Remarks to the Law Enforcement Community in New Orleans

1992-10-08

Well, thank you, Ron, Pete, and I am very pleased to receive this endorsement. I am very pleased. Louisiana has got a great law enforcement community, and this is a wonderful occasion for me. The Police Association of New Orleans and the other representatives of law enforcement community here with us today, I just thank you all from the bottom of a very grateful heart.

Let me just say a word to the family and friends of Officer Norvin Powell, who dedicated a lifetime of service to the small town of Winfield, Louisiana. Two weeks ago, officer Powell responded to a routine break-in. Then after a struggle with the burglar, Powell lay dead, and the burglar escaped. He didn't get far. After an 18-hour manhunt, he was arrested. Tragically, Officer Powell's handcuffs were still attached to one wrist. Powell took a stand. He made a difference in his community. On behalf of a grateful nation, while I'm here, I simply want to pay tribute here to this outstanding officer and others like him all across this country.

You know, keeping neighborhoods safe and secure has got to be one of the fundamental responsibilities of government. It takes a tough, no-nonsense approach, one that puts our sympathy with the victims of crime, not the criminals. Ron set out the principles that I feel are absolutely essential for a President as related to law enforcement. After all, hard time is what criminals should get, not the innocent kids and older Americans who have to live in the fear of violence.

In this election, two candidates are talking tough on crime, but just one candidate is taking action. Now, you can look at the record. Last year under Governor Clinton, Arkansas criminals on average served just one-fifth of their sentence before they were back out on the street. They did the crime, and they served one-fifth of the time.

So I think you'll see the contrast when I tell you that the Federal inmates, inmates who fall under my jurisdiction, serve an average of 85 percent of their full sentence. Crime is one more issue where the Governor of Arkansas can't talk his way past his record. If you want to know who's really tough on crime, look to the people out there on the front lines.

Take the Fraternal Order of Police over in Little Rock. They lived with Governor Clinton for 12 years. They know that Arkansas ranks rock bottom for every important per capita crime dollar it spends: prisons, 46th; judicial and legal systems, 50th. And when it comes to spending for police officers, Arkansas ranks 49th. They know Bill Clinton's record best, and they are endorsing George Bush for President of the United States.

So let me say to the law enforcement officers and the associations that are represented here today: For 4 years I've kept a badge, an officer's badge 14072, in my desk in the Oval Office. A retired New York police lieutenant, Matt Byrne, gave me that badge some time ago. It's his son's badge, Eddie Byrne, who wore the badge the day he was gunned down by a gang of crackheads. As Matt asked, I have really kept that badge right there in that center drawer of the Oval Office desk, kept it there as a reminder of all of the brave officers who put your lives on the line for us every single day.

As President, you have my thanks. But much more than that, you have my support. You're on the side of the law, and I am on your side. With your support, I know that we can turn back the threat of drugs and crime. I know that we can make our communities much safer and much stronger.

I thank you very much, each and every one of you, for this vote of confidence. And may God bless the men and women who wear the badge. Thank you all.

Note: The President spoke at 3:25 p.m. at Belle Chasse Naval Air Station. In his remarks, he referred to Ronald J. Canatella, president, Police Association of New Orleans, and Peter Dale, Louisiana State coordinator for law enforcement, Bush-Quayle '92.

Remarks to the Law Enforcement Community in New Orleans
October 8, 1992

Well, thank you, Ron, Pete, and I am very pleased to receive this endorsement. I am very pleased. Louisiana has got a great law enforcement community, and this is a wonderful occasion for me. The Police Association of New Orleans and the other representatives of law enforcement community here with us today, I just thank you all from the bottom of a very grateful heart.

Let me just say a word to the family and friends of Officer Norvin Powell, who dedicated a lifetime of service to the small town of Winfield, Louisiana. Two weeks ago, officer Powell responded to a routine break-in. Then after a struggle with the burglar, Powell lay dead, and the burglar escaped. He didn't get far. After an 18-hour manhunt, he was arrested. Tragically, Officer Powell's handcuffs were still attached to one wrist. Powell took a stand. He made a difference in his community. On behalf of a grateful nation, while I'm here, I simply want to pay tribute here to this outstanding officer and others like him all across this country.

You know, keeping neighborhoods safe and secure has got to be one of the fundamental responsibilities of government. It takes a tough, no-nonsense approach, one that puts our sympathy with the victims of crime, not the criminals. Ron set out the principles that I feel are absolutely essential for a President as related to law enforcement. After all, hard time is what criminals should get, not the innocent kids and older Americans who have to live in the fear of violence.

In this election, two candidates are talking tough on crime, but just one candidate is taking action. Now, you can look at the record. Last year under Governor Clinton, Arkansas criminals on average served just one-fifth of their sentence before they were back out on the street. They did the crime, and they served one-fifth of the time.

So I think you'll see the contrast when I tell you that the Federal inmates, inmates who fall under my jurisdiction, serve an average of 85 percent of their full sentence. Crime is one more issue where the Governor of Arkansas can't talk his way past his record. If you want to know who's really tough on crime, look to the people out there on the front lines.

Take the Fraternal Order of Police over in Little Rock. They lived with Governor Clinton for 12 years. They know that Arkansas ranks rock bottom for every important per capita crime dollar it spends: prisons, 46th; judicial and legal systems, 50th. And when it comes to spending for police officers, Arkansas ranks 49th. They know Bill Clinton's record best, and they are endorsing George Bush for President of the United States.

So let me say to the law enforcement officers and the associations that are represented here today: For 4 years I've kept a badge, an officer's badge 14072, in my desk in the Oval Office. A retired New York police lieutenant, Matt Byrne, gave me that badge some time ago. It's his son's badge, Eddie Byrne, who wore the badge the day he was gunned down by a gang of crackheads. As Matt asked, I have really kept that badge right there in that center drawer of the Oval Office desk, kept it there as a reminder of all of the brave officers who put your lives on the line for us every single day.

As President, you have my thanks. But much more than that, you have my support. You're on the side of the law, and I am on your side. With your support, I know that we can turn back the threat of drugs and crime. I know that we can make our communities much safer and much stronger.

I thank you very much, each and every one of you, for this vote of confidence. And may God bless the men and women who wear the badge. Thank you all.

Note: The President spoke at 3:25 p.m. at Belle Chasse Naval Air Station. In his remarks, he referred to Ronald J. Canatella, president, Police Association of New Orleans, and Peter Dale, Louisiana State coordinator for law enforcement, Bush-Quayle '92.

Remarks to the Law Enforcement Community in New Orleans
October 8, 1992

Well, thank you, Ron, Pete, and I am very pleased to receive this endorsement. I am very pleased. Louisiana has got a great law enforcement community, and this is a wonderful occasion for me. The Police Association of New Orleans and the other representatives of law enforcement community here with us today, I just thank you all from the bottom of a very grateful heart.

Let me just say a word to the family and friends of Officer Norvin Powell, who dedicated a lifetime of service to the small town of Winfield, Louisiana. Two weeks ago, officer Powell responded to a routine break-in. Then after a struggle with the burglar, Powell lay dead, and the burglar escaped. He didn't get far. After an 18-hour manhunt, he was arrested. Tragically, Officer Powell's handcuffs were still attached to one wrist. Powell took a stand. He made a difference in his community. On behalf of a grateful nation, while I'm here, I simply want to pay tribute here to this outstanding officer and others like him all across this country.

You know, keeping neighborhoods safe and secure has got to be one of the fundamental responsibilities of government. It takes a tough, no-nonsense approach, one that puts our sympathy with the victims of crime, not the criminals. Ron set out the principles that I feel are absolutely essential for a President as related to law enforcement. After all, hard time is what criminals should get, not the innocent kids and older Americans who have to live in the fear of violence.

In this election, two candidates are talking tough on crime, but just one candidate is taking action. Now, you can look at the record. Last year under Governor Clinton, Arkansas criminals on average served just one-fifth of their sentence before they were back out on the street. They did the crime, and they served one-fifth of the time.

So I think you'll see the contrast when I tell you that the Federal inmates, inmates who fall under my jurisdiction, serve an average of 85 percent of their full sentence. Crime is one more issue where the Governor of Arkansas can't talk his way past his record. If you want to know who's really tough on crime, look to the people out there on the front lines.

Take the Fraternal Order of Police over in Little Rock. They lived with Governor Clinton for 12 years. They know that Arkansas ranks rock bottom for every important per capita crime dollar it spends: prisons, 46th; judicial and legal systems, 50th. And when it comes to spending for police officers, Arkansas ranks 49th. They know Bill Clinton's record best, and they are endorsing George Bush for President of the United States.

So let me say to the law enforcement officers and the associations that are represented here today: For 4 years I've kept a badge, an officer's badge 14072, in my desk in the Oval Office. A retired New York police lieutenant, Matt Byrne, gave me that badge some time ago. It's his son's badge, Eddie Byrne, who wore the badge the day he was gunned down by a gang of crackheads. As Matt asked, I have really kept that badge right there in that center drawer of the Oval Office desk, kept it there as a reminder of all of the brave officers who put your lives on the line for us every single day.

As President, you have my thanks. But much more than that, you have my support. You're on the side of the law, and I am on your side. With your support, I know that we can turn back the threat of drugs and crime. I know that we can make our communities much safer and much stronger.

I thank you very much, each and every one of you, for this vote of confidence. And may God bless the men and women who wear the badge. Thank you all.

Note: The President spoke at 3:25 p.m. at Belle Chasse Naval Air Station. In his remarks, he referred to Ronald J. Canatella, president, Police Association of New Orleans, and Peter Dale, Louisiana State coordinator for law enforcement, Bush-Quayle '92.

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