THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release
Monday, June 21, 1999
Contact: (202) 456-7035
VICE PRESIDENT GORE LAUNCHES NEW INFORMATION NETWORK TO HELP CITIES REDUCE GUN VIOLENCENashville, TN -- In his remarks at the eighth annual Family Re-Union Conference, Vice President Gore today announced the formation of a new information network to help cities reduce gun violence.
"I applaud the efforts of the many local communities across America that are working on ways to reduce gun violence," Vice President Gore said.
"But we must always remember that there is strength in numbers. And that is why I am pleased to announce today the formation of a new network -- the Safe Cities Network -- to help link cities and communities across the country so that they can share best practices and ensure the safety and security of our nation's streets."
Cities with solid, comprehensive plans will form the core of the network, which will be supported with technical assistance, access to expertise and by partnerships with Federal agencies and law enforcement officials. Assistance could range from advice on strategy and best practices to assistance with ballistics and firearms tracing. The Safe Cities Network does not provide additional Federal grants or dollars. Instead, it will leverage information technology to use existing funding and resources more effectively and connect communities and law enforcement agencies with best practices and with peers working on similar goals. It will share lessons learned via a Safe Cities website; and give national recognition to communities for their results and work to improve public safety.
The Safe Cities Network will be supported by a public/private partnership that will include the COPS Office and the Office of Justice Programs of the Department of Justice, the Department of Treasury, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the National Partnership for Reinventing Government.
In his remarks, the Vice President also said that the US Attorneys and ATF Special Agents in Charge have been asked to develop comprehensive plans to reduce gun violence in all 94 judicial districts. Today's announcement builds on President Clinton's March 20, 1999 Directive to Secretary Rubin and Attorney General Reno calling for an integrated firearms violence reduction strategy. In developing these plans, the US Attorneys and ATF Special Agents in Charge will seek the active participation of other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. They will also invite local elected leaders, educators, private business, social service providers, members of the faith and medical communities, and community organizations to contribute to their planning. They will assess the nature and scope of their gun violence problem in their community and prepare an action plan to reduce gun violence.