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Kerry Endorsed by International Brotherhood of Police Officers

Law Enforcement stands with John Kerry
Kerry Endorsed by International Brotherhood of Police Officers
Only Major National Police Organization to Endorse Last Three Presidential Winners Backs Kerry in 2004

May 14, 2004

For Immediate Release
Washington, DC

Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry today received the endorsement of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers (IBPO), the only major national police organization to back the winner of the last three Presidential elections. Having supported George Bush in 2000, IBPO said today it has been let down by the President and that America?s police officers have a strong, lifelong ally in John Kerry. ?As President, I will build a stronger America by standing by police officers and giving them the resources they need to protect our communities,? Kerry said. ?I?m honored to receive IBPO?s endorsement today, and I know that together, we?ll work every day to make America safer and more secure. I believe that America should always honor and reward the courage and service of police officers. And when I?m President, that?s exactly what we?re going to do.?

Said IBPO President David Holway, ?John Kerry has been a friend of law enforcement officers for nearly thirty years, first as a prosecutor and now as a United States Senator, and the IBPO looks forward to working with him as President. After three and a half years of disappointing leadership under George Bush, we need to change course in November and elect a President with a real record of supporting police officers and a lifetime of standing with law enforcement.?

Kerry has a strong record of standing up for law enforcement and the men and women who protect our communities. He led the fight in the Senate to fund efforts to add 100,000 police officers to our streets and supported the current ban on assault weapons, as well as measures to crack down on armor-piercing, ?cop killer,? bullets. As a prosecutor, Kerry put away murderers and mob bosses while building a strong record of being tough on crime.

While IBPO backed George Bush in the 2000 election, he has let them down as President, cutting funding for programs that put cops on the street and threatening the overtime pay of thousands of police officers.

?For some reason, these folks in the White House keep taking cops off the streets,? Kerry said. ?For some reason, when they needed money to spend, they thought it was a good idea to take over half a billion dollars from the COPS budget but not one dime from the tax cuts they gave to the wealthiest folks. We know that America is stronger when our neighborhoods are safer and our communities are protected. And with the help of the men and women of law enforcement around the country, that?s what we?ll do.?

As President, John Kerry will stand by America?s police officers. He will provide $25 billion in immediate fiscal relief to states and communities - money that states and localities will be able to use for crime fighting and homeland security efforts. He will promote shared intelligence between state and local authorities and federal agencies in order to strengthen homeland security efforts and reduce crime by creating a neighborhood prosecutor program that will bring prosecutors into high-crime communities. Kerry stands with law enforcement officers and supports reauthorization of the assault weapons ban.

Kerry is also supported by the International Union of Police Associations.

More Cops Endorse Kerry:
Reflects John Kerry?s Strong Anti-Crime Record,
George Bush?s Failures to Support Law Enforcement

The International Brotherhood of Police Officers (IBPO) is the only major national police organization to have endorsed the winner of the last three presidential elections. Today, IBPO endorses John Kerry because of his strong anti-crime record and because of President Bush?s consistent failure to support law enforcement in the battle against crime and the war against terror. Joining the International Union of Police Associations (IUPA) in support of John Kerry, IBPO sends another message that John Kerry stands for a strong and safe America.

IBPO Endorsed George W. Bush in 2000, Bill Clinton in 1996 and 1992:

IBPO Called George W. Bush ?The Law and Order Candidate? When Endorsing Him in 2000. In the 2000 campaign for President, Governor George W. Bush received the endorsement of the International Brotherhood of Police Officers. IBPO stated: ?In this election, Gov. Bush is absolutely the law and order candidate?Governor Bush is a friend of police officers.? [IBPO, Police Chronicle, October, 2000]

IBPO Endorsed Bill Clinton in 1996 and 1992. During the 1992 and 1996 campaigns for President, Bill Clinton received the endorsement of the IBPO. IBPO stated: ?We cannot take another four years of a Bush administration?They have stripped police departments and cities of the monies the federal government was pouring in to help us with our war on crime.? Clinton ?trumpeted? the endorsement during the campaign. [The Commercial Appeal, 10/10/92; Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 10/10/92; Washington Post, 11/4/96]

John Kerry Has Stood By Police Officers:

John Kerry Led the Fight for Additional 100,000 Police Officers on America?s Streets. John Kerry led the fight to add 100,000 police to our streets through his work on the 1994 crime bill and its Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program. Kerry personally pushed the Clinton White House, the Justice Department, and members of Congress to obtain funding for the 100,000 cops program. Kerry ?persuaded the Senate and the Clinton White House to finance a campaign pledge to put 100,000 more police officers on the street.? [Boston Globe, 6/21/03; S.Amdt. 1202 to S 1607, 11/16/03; Reason Magazine. 3/94]

Kerry Worked With Law Enforcement Officials to Ban Military-Style Assault Weapons. John Kerry has strongly supported the current ban on machine guns and assault weapons?including AK-47?s and similar weapons used by terrorists in Afghanistan. Police organizations including IBPO strongly support extension of the current ban. [RC 375, S Amdt. 1152 to S Amdt. 1151 to S 1607, 11/17/93; Orange County Register, 3/2/04]

Kerry is a National Leader in Working to Ban ?Cop Killer Bullets.? John Kerry is a national leader in promoting sensible oversight of ammunition sales which have no sporting value yet risk the lives of police officers. Kerry has strongly supported measures to crack down on armor-piecing, ?cop killer? bullets. [S. 553, 4/10/97; S. 433, 2/16/95; RC 240, S Amdt. 3351 to S. 2312, 7/28/98; RC 116, S Amdt. 343 to S 254, 5/13/99]

As a County Prosecutor, Kerry Fought Crime and Put Away Murderers and Mob Bosses. John Kerry was the first assistant prosecutor of Middlesex County (one of the largest counties in the country) and won convictions in high profile murder, rape and mafia cases. Kerry led the prosecutor?s office in a major modernization. ?He launched initiatives that were innovative at the time: special units to prosecute white-collar and organized crime, programs to counsel rape victims and aid other crime victims and witnesses, and a system for fast-tracking priority cases to trial? and ?is credited with reducing the backlog of cases.? [Boston Globe, 6/18/03; Washington Post, 2/21/85]

George Bush Has Turned His Back On Cops:

George Bush Guts Funding for Police Officers. The Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program has helped fund more than 100,000 police officers and contributed to one of the largest declines in crime in our nation?s history. Yet President Bush has sought to cut the COPS program in every one of his budgets. His current budget slashes the COPS program for 2005, providing only $97 million, a $646 million (87 percent) cut below the 2004 enacted level. Over the long term, his budget assumes the elimination of COPS hiring programs and technology and safe schools initiatives. [House Budget Committee Democratic Caucus, 2/19/04]

George Bush Says He Supports Extension of Assault Weapons Ban, But Fails to Move It. The White House says that on assault weapons, President Bush ?supports the current law, and he supports reauthorization of the current law.? Yet the White House has done nothing to move an extension. President Bush actually opposed efforts to include an extension of the assault weapons ban as part of a bill he strongly supported to protect gun manufacturers from liability. The Bush Administration said: ?The Administration urges the Senate to pass a clean bill, in order to ensure enactment of the legislation this year. Any amendment that would delay enactment of the bill beyond this year is unacceptable.? [Knight-Ridder, 4/12/03; Statement of Administrative Policy, 2/24/04; The Hill, 5/12/04]

Without Help From George Bush, War and State Budgets Have Forced Layoffs in Police Departments. While police departments have faced new burdens because of the war on terror, states and cities have had less money to address those burdens because of more than $200 billion in state deficits over the last three years. Without real help from President Bush, cities across America laid off cops. The situation has been made worse by the war on Iraq, which has ?required the call-up of huge numbers of reserves, many of whom are cops.? [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 2/04; USA Today, 12/2/03; Washington Monthly, 9/03]

The Bush Administration Has Failed to Adequately Share Domestic Intelligence Information with Local Police Departments. The FBI and other intelligence agencies have been widely criticized for failing to share information with local police departments who police American cities. A GAO report found, ?no level of government perceived the process as effective,? and only 13 percent of federal officials and 35 percent of state officials believed that the current level of intelligence sharing between federal, state, and local officials was adequate and effective. ?Despite repeated FBI assurances that cops are equal partners in the war against terrorism, local cops say they frequently feel like second-class citizens.? [GAO, 8/27/03; Washington Monthly, 9/03]

Bush Proposed Cutting Overtime Pay for Cops. In both the original proposed overtime pay rules and the revised set of rules, the Bush Administration has threatened the overtime pay of thousands of police officers. Under the original Bush plan, ?A police officer who walks a beat (manual work) may not lose overtime protection, but a police sergeant who spends significant time supervising two or three other officers will lose overtime protection.? Revised rules did not clarify the problem. [Economic Policy Institute, 7/26/03, 5/4/04]

John Kerry Will Stand by America?s Police Officers:

Support Police Officers in the Battles Against Crime and Terror. Police departments have faced historic burdens since 9/11, including added overtime work and needs for new training and new communications and safety equipment. While George Bush has failed to support these departments, John Kerry will provide $25 billion in immediate fiscal relief to states and communities?money that states and localities will be able to use to give the tools they need to keep our streets safe and protect against terror. In addition, John Kerry will continue the COPS program which he helped create.

Share Intelligence to Protect America Against Terror. John Kerry believes that appropriate state and local authorities should get access to the 58 national terrorist lists and intelligence officials should work to simplify these lists. In addition, a 24-hour operations center should be established in each state to provide a real time intergovernmental link between local and federal law enforcement. Field-level police would contact this center to determine whether to hold or release suspects based on a check of federal databases.

Continue the Assault Weapons Ban. John Kerry believes we can protect the right to bear arms and at the same time keep guns out of the hands of criminals. He stands with law enforcement officers, who put their lives on the line every day, in seeking to ensure that these officers are not outgunned by criminals armed with these weapons of war. John Kerry will renew the assault weapons ban, a measure President Bush claims to support, and will close the gun show loophole.

Support Neighborhood Prosecutor Programs. John Kerry will support police officers and reduce crime by bringing prosecutors into high-crime neighborhoods. Kerry?s neighborhood prosecutor program will support states that assign prosecutors to specific communities where they work closely with police officers and residents to combat crimes like drug activity, noise violations, and vandalism. The prosecutors? offices will be located in the neighborhoods where they are assigned, and prosecutors will regularly attend community meetings to solicit input.

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