FW: In-town pool report #2b - more from law enforcement event

From: Jordan Fabian [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Friday, July 22, 2016 3:45 PM
To: Rutherford, Sarah D. EOP/WHO ; Allen, Jessica L. EOP/WHO
Cc: xxx@email.com
Subject: In-town pool report #2b - more from law enforcement event

POTUS spoke for just over ten minutes to the gathering of law enforcement officials in the South Court Auditorium.

Here are his full comments on the situation in Munich:

“As some of you were aware, there were shootings in Germany. We don't yet know exactly what's happening, but obviously our hearts go out to those who may have been injured. It’s still an active situation. And Germany’s one of our closest allies so we are going to pledge all of the support that they may need in dealing with these circumstances.”

Obama called the incident a “good reminder of something that I have said over the past couple of weeks, which is our way of life, our freedoms, our ability to go about our business everyday, raising our kids and seeing them grow up and graduate from high school and now about to leave their dad —  I’m sorry, I’m getting a little too personal there — that depends on law enforcement.”

He said officers are “under some of the most adverse circumstances imaginable, at times, making sure — to keep us safe.”

The president said “we have gone through a really tough time these last couple of weeks on a whole bunch of fronts.”

He said he was reminded of that when he talked widows of the police officers shot in Baton Rouge.

“I wanted to come by to make sure all of you knew how grateful the American people are for you service. How appreciative we are of your sacrifice.”

“Our job is to support you every way that we can. It is my view, and let’s be honest sometimes this is a controversial view, one of the best ways to provide support to put police officers is to make sure we are addressing potential underlying tensions between officers and the communities where they’re serving.”

Said the ignoring the problem “is not going to make things better” and that bringing people together will “make the lives of the police officers on a day-to-day basis just a little bit easier” and “keep our streets safer.”

Obama reiterated the point he made during his press conference earlier in the day that as “disturbing” as the uptick in violent crime is in some cities, including Chicago, “violent crime is substantially lower than it was 10 years ago, 20 years ago or 30 years ago.”

“That’s not an accident,” he said. “That’s in part because police departments around the country have gotten really smart about preventing crime. And are working with communities in all kinds of smart ways.

"And we can build on that progress, but it’s going to require us to … figure out how we can work together to ensure that our police departments are aligned in what we all want,” which is safe, law-abiding communities.

He expressed hope that today’s meeting would allow law enforcement officials to share best practices about data, training and community engagement in order to spread them around the country.

“There is exceptional policing being done every day,” he said, adding that community forums, barbecues and even viral videos of officers playing basketball with kids or “dancing the nene” are good examples of good ways to bring police departments closer to the people they serve.

Obama said he promised both those angry about black men killed in Minnesota and Louisiana and the families of officers shot in Dallas and Baton Rouge that "this is something we need to care about all the time. This is something we are going to sustain. This is not a one off."

The president stressed that "progress is not going to be as quick as we like and there are going to be misunderstandings sometimes." But he said he's going to keep working on the issue even after he leaves the White House.

Obama wrapped up his remarks at 3:04 PM and spent time shaking hands with members the crowd.

One law enforcement official in the front row told Obama he is from Wisconsin, which led the Bears-fan-in-chief to lament, "I'm tired of Green Bay being better than us."

The president left the room at 3:06 PM.

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Jordan Fabian | White House Correspondent | The Hill | 1625 K Street, NW Washington, DC 20006 | xxx@email.com | Desk: (202) xxx-xxx-xxxx | Mobile: (202) xxx-xxx-xxxx | Twitter: @Jordanfabian

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