President Thomas, thank you for your leadership of this incredible organization. You've been with me from the beginning and I've been with you. And thank you, thank you to the more than 3000 members of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives for your service. And your sacrifice and those of your families. I wish I could be there with you in person to thank you and to congratulate Cedric Richmond on receiving your leadership award. He's a good man. What I've admired most about Cedric is his character and moral clarity. Never let us forget that for too many Americans justice and fairness and economic opportunity are still just empty promises that need to be fulfilled. So Cedric, thanks. Thank you. Just over two months ago, a hate filled white supremacist drove seven hours to a grocery store in Buffalo, New York. Armed with weapons of war and high-quality body armor. He came to kill as many Black people as he could. Ten people died that day Including Aaron Salter, a security Guard on duty, who was also a retired Buffalo police officer having served for 30 years in that capacity. He confronted the killer. His bullets though couldn't pierce the shooter's armor. And his gun was no match for the shooter's AR-15. Jill and I traveled to Buffalo to meet with all the families of the victims, including Aaron's widow. When I think of Aaron's story and his -- that of his family, I think of all of you. Being a police officer isn't just what you do, it's who you are. And it's never easy. Every day you put that shield on and you walk out the door and your family worries about receiving that phone call. Being a cop today is a hell of a lot harder than it's ever been. We expect everything you. We expect you to be drug counselors to people overdosing at the scene, a therapist to couples during a violent confrontation. Social workers to the kids who have been abandoned. And maybe worst of all, we send you out to do your job on the streets flooded with weapons of war. You hear a lot of politicians about how much they love you, how much they care about you, how -- how they'll do anything for you. In the state, you're in the day, Governor DeSantis, Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Rick Scott, all opposed banning assault weapons. And Senator Scott Rubio voted against the bipartisan gun safety law that I signed. The first meaningful gun legislation in nearly 30 years that you supported. To me it's simple. If you can't support banning weapons of war on American streets, you're not on the side of the police. Years ago through help I led and won the fight to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in this country. And I'm determined to do it again. On the ballot this year will be whether or not This nation bans assault weapons. I own guns. I own two shotguns. I believe in the Second Amendment but it's not a right that's absolute. Even the very conservative Justice Scalia wrote, and I quote, "Like most rights, the right granted by the Second Amendment are not unlimited." When it comes to Assault weapons, too many politicians are bowing down to the NRA. I believe that we should protect you, protect you. And I keep -- and I'll keep saying it. When it comes to public safety, the answer isn't to defund the police. The answer is to fund the police, fund the police. That's why when I wrote the American Rescue Plan, I provided a historic $350 billion directly to cities, counties, states and tribes that were struggling with budget shortfalls as a result of the pandemic in the economic crisis be found ourselves in. That could be used -- a lot of that money could be used to keep essential workers and essential services going, including keeping teachers in classrooms. Over $10 billion of that money, of that funding is being used to keep cops on the job, build new training facilities, enhanced gun investigations and prosecutions, and violence intervention programs. Look, it's one of the biggest federal investments in law enforcement and public safety in our history. And every single Republican in Congress voted against it, knowing that this fund would be used for law enforcement and public safety. On the second anniversary of George Floyd's murder, I signed with your robust support, one of the most significant police reforms in support orders in decades to ensure effective, accountable and transparent community policing. It applies to 100,000 federal law enforcement officers. And we expect the order to have significant impact on state and local law enforcement agencies as well. It promotes accountability by creating a new national law enforcement database to track records of misconduct. It raises standards by banning chokeholds and restricting no knock warrants and modernizes. And it modernizes policing by calling for a fresh approach to recruit, to train and to promote the best officers who will -- who will advance public safety and public trust. And that includes building on three laws I signed last November to extend critical mental health protections for officers, for officers, expand eligibility and benefits for the first responders disabled in the line of duty. Earlier this month, again with your support, we enacted the most significant gun safety law in nearly 30 years. The new law provides over $750 million in crisis intervention programs and for red flag laws. It requires young people under 21 years of age to undergo an enhanced background check before they go buy a gun. This law does so much more. It saves lives including yours. It'll help you do your job, but it's just a start. Last week, I rolled out my Save for America plan with a goal of doing three key things. First, take additional commonsense steps to reduce gun crimes and violence. With the first permanent director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in seven years. My plan empowers ATF and our agents to stop trafficking in firearms across state lines and to help you trace firearms to solve more crimes. And earlier this year, the US Department of Justice took action to stop the proliferation of so-called ghost guns that you told us about. And they are increasing found at crime scenes. My plan calls on Congress to do so much more to keep dangerous guns out of dangerous hands. Second, my Safer America plan supports you. It's going to help communities hire more than 100,000 police officers patterned after a successful community policing program I put in place years ago. We're talking about cops who walk the beat, who know the neighborhood and who can build trust and safety in the neighborhoods. And third, my Safer Americas plan invests in crime prevention. It funds programs to ensure that we respond to nonviolent situations with mental health specialist and social workers. Not just you alone but with them alongside you. It finds training and programs to give young people a fair shot at a more productive life and keep them out -- out of trouble. Instead of giving them formerly incarcerated people, for example, 25 bucks and a bus ticket so -- as they leave prison that leads them right back under the bridge they found them when they got arrested. My plan supports the basic idea. Those who have served their time should qualify not only for Pell grants to earn a degree to get access to good jobs and training, affordable housing, food and medical benefits. All of these steps will reduce crime and prevent crime from happening in the first place. And my Safer American plan is part of my administration's relentless efforts to invest and empower black communities to be architects of their own future. We made record investments of more than $5 billion to the historic black colleges and universities, delivered relief to working families that come black child poverty to historic lows and saved millions of families an average of $2400 a year on health insurance through the ACA, the Affordable Care Act. We set the goal of increasing. we set the goal of increasing federal contracts to go to small, disadvantaged businesses by 50 percent by the year 2025, which could mean an additional $100 billion for minority and women owned businesses. Through my infrastructure law, we are investing in black communities with better roads, cleaner water, high speed internet that help families and schools and communities thrive. Let me close with this. Every day, we rely on law enforcement to save lives. Then on January 6th, we relied on law enforcement to save our democracy. We saw what happened. The Capitol Police, the DC Metropolitan Police, other law enforcement agencies were attacked and assaulted before our very eyes, speared, sprayed, stomped on, brutalized. And lives were lost. And for 3 hours the defeated former president of the United States watched it all happen as he sat in the comfort of the private dining room next to the Oval Office. While he was doing that, brave law enforcement officers subject to the mid-evil Hell for 3 hours. Dripping in blood, surrounded by carnage. Face to face with crazed mob that believe the lies of the defeated president. The police were heroes that day. Donald Trump lacked the courage to act. The brave and men in blue all across this nation should never forget that. And you can't be pro-insurrection and pro-cop. And you can't be pro-insurrection and pro-democracy. You can't be pro-insurrection and pro-American. There can be no greater responsibility than to do all we can to ensure the safety of our families, our children, our community, our nation, and our law enforcement officers. I will always meet that duty just as you do every single day as members of a critically important organization. May God bless you all and may God protect law enforcement. And God bless your families.