KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CN) – President Donald Trump praised a room full of law enforcement officers, attorneys general and prosecutors Friday during his speech at a national conference on crime prevention, promising to “make America safe again.”
Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft also addressed the crowd in Kansas City, Missouri, as he was the visionary behind Project Safe Neighborhoods, an initiative that began in 2001 and is intended to cut down on crime by properly prosecuting violent criminals.
Ashcroft told attendees not to let “the left” fool them by saying there are already too many people in jail.
“There are too many people in graveyards,” he said at the first national conference of Project Safe Neighborhoods in eight years.
“You don’t do this to get your name on a plaque,” Ashcroft said of creating the program. “You do it to keep someone’s name off a tombstone.”
President Trump has been eager to revive the program and said he will not tolerate attacks on the heroes who protect our streets.
“You kill a cop and it’s called the death penalty, okay?” Trump said.
Nearly 200 new violent crime prosecutors have been added across the country, and $600 million worth of surplus military equipment was recently made available to law enforcement.
“We increased funding for Project Safe Neighborhoods to $50 million this year and we’re asking Congress to add an additional increase for next year,” Trump said of his administration’s effort to provide ample crime-fighting resources to local and federal officials.
Trump also mentioned securing $6 billion in new funding to combat the opioid epidemic and his work with President Xi Jinping of China to make fentanyl a controlled substance.
“We lose about 80,000 people a year to fentanyl…so now they can send it but, if they get caught, they’re going to get the death penalty,” the president said of preventing the drug from entering the U.S. through the mail.
Trump also said America needs his proposed border wall now more than ever and blamed “fake news” for only showing the women and children in immigrant caravans in Mexico and not the “tough, tough people” behind them.
He also assured the crowd that “we’re not getting rid of ICE,” using the acronym for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and saying agents have arrested over 235,000 aliens with criminal records since he took office.
“Keep up the great work,” Trump told the room of law enforcement officials, “and know that my administration will always have your back. We will never ever let you down.”
“You bring criminals to justice and peace to our streets. You are the reason Americans sleep soundly in their beds at night and you are the ones making America stronger, prouder, safer and greater than ever before. We are respected again as a nation,” he said to cheers before exiting the stage to the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”