Vice President Joe Biden visited the Alexandria Police Department’s headquarters Thursday to discuss the effects Presdident Obama’s proposed $447 billion jobs bill would have on public safety personnel.
“We owe you guys,” Biden said to a small crowd of police officers and public safety personnel that gathered to greet him in the lower level of the building on Wheeler Avenue. “We owe you guys big.”
Biden’s visit came on the heels of Obama’s three-day, three-state fundraising blitz during which he touted the jobs bill.
The bill proposes $5 billion for public safety jobs nationwide. Biden said that money would go toward creating new law enforcement positions and keeping layoffs at bay.
“Imagine if we cut your force from 300 to 100,” Biden said. “How the hell — how the heck are you going to do your jobs? In Paterson, NJ, a quarter of the force has been laid off. The back-up in these communities is not enough [to keep officers] safe.”
Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook introduced Biden at the beginning of the event. “Law enforcement has no greater champion than the vice president,”Cook said.
Biden also recognized the Alexandria Police Department for receiving a grant of more than $850,000 to expand its force. The grant, awarded by the Department of Justice’s COPS Hiring Program, is expected to fund the hiring of four new officers to join the city’s 300-plus force.