Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks Following a Meeting With Law Enforcement Officials on the Successful Completion of Two Undercover Operations.

July 13, 1976

YOU CAN see I am in good hands with all of these outstanding law enforcement officers. I asked them to come in because I wanted the American people to know that their President fully supported the combined efforts of law enforcement officers, both the Federal as well as local, in trying to protect the lives and property of the American people.

And these two operations which were conducted with the combined efforts of a number of Federal and local agencies is a clear indication of what can be done. I congratulate and compliment the individuals involved and the various departments. They conducted these operations under very difficult circumstances, but they set an example. They were financed with the help and assistance of the law enforcement assistance funding and agency [Law Enforcement Assistance Administration], and I hope and trust that their example here will be an example for other law enforcement officers around the country.

What we have to do is to give to these outstanding departments and the individuals more tools to work with. I have submitted, as I think they know and you know, additional legislation to Congress to make it more difficult for those who break the law to continue to be free and to carry out their criminal activities.

We have, I think, one objective--to protect the innocent victim from those who break the law. And these individuals who you see here have done two fine jobs and should be a warning to the criminals throughout this country.

I wish to congratulate Chief Cullinane and Nick Stames, from the FBI, and the other Federal agencies that worked with them. If we can get the Congress to move on some of this legislation, they will have better tools to work with as they carry out their responsibilities on behalf of the citizens of the Washington metropolitan area. And law enforcement officers around the country will have better tools to do their job with the protection of their fellow citizens. I want to thank the Chief and Nick and all of those associated with them.

CHIEF CULLINANE. Mr. President, it is very gracious of you to take time from your busy schedule to be with us. So, on behalf of the men and the women in our undercover operations, I would just like to present this small token not only of the esteem that we hold you in but also the appreciation that we have for your support.

THE PRESIDENT. Thank you very much, Chief.

I think it's a remarkable record. They recovered some $3½ million in property. They were able to arrest or to bring before the court some 300 individuals. And the net result is that they have set an outstanding example of what law enforcement officers can do. But I say again, they need more and better tools to work with, and that's the kind of legislation I hope the Congress will pass.

May I look at this? Oh, say! I am not sure I could qualify with all the physical requirements that these people have, but I do thank you very, very much, Chief. This will be proudly exhibited in the Oval Office.

I express my appreciation to all of you. Thank you very much, Nick.

Note: The President spoke at 11:45 a.m. on the North Lawn at the White House after meeting in the Cabinet Room with Maurice J. Cullinane, District of Columbia Police Chief, Nick F. Stames, FBI Special Agent in Charge, and several District of Columbia police officers and Federal agents who took part in two undercover operations known as "P.F.F., Inc." (Police-FBI Fencing, Incognito) and "G.Y.A." (Got Ya Again).

Chief Cullinane presented the President with an honorary Bicentennial Metropolitan Police badge.

Gerald R. Ford, Remarks Following a Meeting With Law Enforcement Officials on the Successful Completion of Two Undercover Operations. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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