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Biden touts crime prevention achievements during meeting with police chiefs

President Joe Biden greets Detroit police chief James White before delivering remarks on his actions to fight crime in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI
1 of 5 | President Joe Biden greets Detroit police chief James White before delivering remarks on his actions to fight crime in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 28 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden met with law-enforcement officials Wednesday at the White House to tout his administration's efforts to fight crime, and to counter former President Donald Trump's narrative that Democrat-run cities are overrun with lawlessness.

"Our plan is working, but we still have much more to do as everyone at this table knows," Biden told the executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police and the police chiefs from Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Miami, Milwaukee and Dekalb County, Ga.

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According to the president, the United States saw its largest recorded spike in murders in 2020 during the previous administration, as homicides decreased during the Biden administration.

"As was referenced during the pandemic, states and cities saw violent crime rising and their budgets were strained as they faced deep cuts in law enforcement and public safety," Biden said.

According to the White House, the Biden administration is taking a three-part approach to public safety that includes funding accountable policing, investing in intervention and prevention strategies, and keeping guns off the streets.

Biden's Safer America Plan also calls on Congress to invest $37 billion to support law enforcement and crime prevention by funding 100,000 additional police officers.

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"And that's why we're here today. My administration is going to choose progress over policy, and communities across the country are safer as a result of that," Biden said.

"Thanks to my American Rescue Plan, we provided $350 billion dollars that was available to deal with these issues," the president said, as he listed the local police departments that have benefited from the funding since the COVID-19 pandemic.

While Biden has worked to increase police accountability with a national database of officers who have been fired for misconduct, he has also rejected calls to "defund the police," turning his focus to reducing gun violence.

"Since Day One, my administration has been working with law enforcement, mayors and community leaders to do what we know works to keep people and communities safe," Biden said.

During campaign speeches, as he runs for the Republican nomination, Trump has zeroed in on what he calls "migrant crime" in cities such as New York.

"We have a new category, migrant crime," Trump said Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference. "And it's going to be more severe than violent crime and crime as we knew it."

According to the White House, cities around the country are "experiencing historic declines in violent crime, and homicides are estimated to be down nationally 12% from 2022 to 2023."

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"By comparison, during the final year of the Trump Administration in 2020, the United States saw the largest increase in murders ever recorded," the White House said.

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