Al Gore believes there is no more fundamental responsibility than to make Americans safer and more secure -- in their homes, on the sidewalks, and in their communities. As a Congressman and Senator, he fought for tough anti-crime measures. For nearly seven years, he has helped to design one of the most successful anti-crime strategies in modern history, merging elements that had never before been combined: more community police, tougher punishment, and smarter prevention. At the same time, he helped to pass the biggest anti-drug budget ever - and new measures to make schools safe, drug-free, and gun-free.
Today, crime is down for seven straight years in a row. National crime rates have fallen to their lowest recorded level in nearly 25 years. Property crime is down. Violent crime is down. Al Gore believes we must now go much further, because even one crime is one too many.
Community Policing and Support for Law Enforcement
One of the most essential weapons in the war against crime is our nation's law enforcement - which is why Al Gore fought hard to enact the Clinton-Gore anti-crime bill that is putting 100,000 new police officers on the streets of America. He is fighting to hire and redeploy up to 50,000 more community police, and believes that is just the beginning of what we must do to invest in more police and stronger law enforcement. Al Gore has also worked for new measures to protect our men and women in blue - such as help in purchasing life-saving bullet-proof vests, and an expansion of the death penalty for those who murder federal law enforcement officers.
Throughout his career, Al Gore has supported tough punishment to maintain law and order. He helped to make sure the Clinton-Gore anti-crime bill was the toughest Crime Bill in the nation's history - including the "Three Strikes -- You're Out" law to get career criminals off the streets for life, and an expansion of the death penalty for drug kingpins, murderers of federal law enforcement officers, and nearly 60 additional kinds of violent felons. He also believes in the approach to law enforcement called "Broken Windows": that a targeted assault on all crime and disorder, large and small - from graffiti, broken windows, and crumbling buildings to more serious crimes - can create an environment in which people respect the law, each other, and the community in which they live.
Strong and Sensible Gun Control
Al Gore believes we must do more to get guns off the streets and out of the hands of violent criminals, without affecting the rights of sportsmen and hunters. He worked to enact a ban on deadly assault weapons, and the Brady Law, which has stopped over 300,000 felons, fugitives, and stalkers from buying guns.
Smart and Effective Prevention
Along with more police and tougher punishment, Al Gore has worked to prevent crime from happening in the first place, through a comprehensive approach that includes more jobs and economic development in neglected neighborhoods, and alternatives to crime and drugs such as quality after-school care. He believes we should promote faith-based crime prevention, through which clergy and faith-based groups reach out to troubled youth, and steer them away from crime, drugs, and gangs.
Crime Fighting Technology
At a time when criminals are becoming more and more sophisticated, Al Gore has worked to give law enforcement more of the 21st Century crime-fighting tools that help them fight crime better and faster. New crime-fighting technology has already proven its effectiveness. For example, in Los Angeles, police now have laptop computers, so they can file reports from their cars and spend less time back in the office. In Charlotte-Mecklenburg, officers have instant access to databases of criminal records, and information on everything from domestic violence to alcohol abuse, so that when they respond to a call, they are better informed, and much more effective. Al Gore has led federal efforts to share and expand this cutting-edge, crime-fighting technology with law enforcement around the country.
Fighting Juvenile Crime
While crime is down in many categories today, studies show that unless we act now, the number of juveniles arrested for violent crimes will more than double by the year 2010. That is why Al Gore advocates strong action to curb juvenile crime, such as banning convicted violent juveniles from owning guns for life, and using the resources of the FBI to break up violent teen gangs. "Young people must know that if they commit a violent crime, they will face tough punishment, and build a criminal record that could follow them throughout their lives," says Gore.
Click here to read Al Gore's remarks at the National Peace Officers Memorial.
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