Vice President Biden discusses public safety and the economy

Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. was on campus on Tuesday, Oct. 18 to discuss community safety and the economy with first responders from around the Delaware Valley.

Biden met Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, police chiefs from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, and public safety officials from universities and transportation departments to discuss budget cuts and the impact on public safety in communities.

The vice president also spoke to a crowd of Penn students, city officials and members of the community in Houston Hall’s Bodek Lounge, where he underscored the important and dangerous work performed by public safety officials. “It’s hard enough for these guys to do their jobs in good times, but it’s almost impossible in hard economic times,” Biden said.

Flanked on stage by two rows of first responders, Biden also spoke directly to students: “See all these guys behind me? They’re a lot more than cops,” he said. “They’re not just tough, they’re smart.”

Biden was on hand to drum up support for the American Jobs Act, a bill with an emphasis on employment and the economy recently proposed by President Barack Obama.

Other officials in attendance made the connection between employment and crime: “Everything is interrelated. Everything is connected,” said Ramsey. “A good education and a job is the best remedy for crime.”

To view a slideshow, visit Penn's Flickr site.

Originally published on October 18, 2011