Biden’s Police Week Message Slams Police Defunding, Touts Gun Control Measures

"Let’s be very clear. The answer is not to defund the police," Biden said. "It is to provide you with the resources and training to be the partners and protectors of the communities that are in need."

President Biden issued a video statement Monday honoring National Police Week and Peace Officers Memorial Day, affirming that the "answer is not to defund" law enforcement. He also touted his gun control measures.

"Let’s be very clear. The answer is not to defund the police," Biden said. "It is to provide you with the resources and training to be the partners and protectors of the communities that are in need." 

placeholderBiden applauded himself for signing the American Rescue Plan during the pandemic, providing $350 billion for states and cities that could be used to retain and hire more officers, pay overtime and bonuses, expand benefits for disabled first responders and "keep communities safe." The president said that so far, hundreds of communities have used more than $10 billion of those funds, Fox News reports.

From there, Biden jumped to discussing gun control, putting it in the context of increasing safety for police officers.

"I signed the most sweeping gun safety law in nearly 30 years to make sure officers are not outgunned on the streets," Biden said. "We’re also strengthening background checks for gun purchases, cracking down on illegal gun sales, and reigning in so-called ghost guns that officers have told me are increasingly found at crime scenes. 

Biden added that he now "seeks another $37 billion to hire 100,000 more police officers trained in community policing to provide law enforcement with mental health and wellness resources, and to ensure that they have more school counselors, psychologists, social workers responding to a crisis alongside them as they show up." He also supported investing "in programs that are proven to tackle the root causes of crime."

In the video, Biden also addressed the families of the fallen. 

"Hearing the names brings back everything like the moment your got the news. But I hope you draw comfort and strength from the knowledge that their sacrifice will never be forgotten and that you’re extended law enforcement family will always be there for you," he said. "I promise, one day will come when the memory of your loved one brings a smile on your lips before it brings a tear to your eyes. That’s when you know you’re going to make it. My prayer for you is that day comes sooner rather than later. But I promise you, through your pain, you’ll find purpose worthy of how they lived, and that day will come. As a country, we can find purpose as well. We must find it. The nation owes our officers a debt of gratitude." 

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