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22 May 1998

The White House Virtual Library

White House Press Release


                            THE WHITE HOUSE

                     Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release                                       May 19, 1998

                          TO LAW ENFORCEMENT

            DOE Tapped to Lend Science, Tech, R&D Assistance

    Washington, DC -- Vice President Gore today announced that the
Department of Energy (DOE) will work with the Departments of Justice 
(DOJ) and Treasury to give law enforcement new cutting-edge 
technologies to help combat crime.

    "If we're going to fight the criminals of the future, we need to
develop the crime fighting tools of the future," Vice President Gore 
said.  "We must put the best possible tools in the hands of our law 
enforcement community so they can identify, apprehend, and prosecute 
criminals -- swiftly and effectively."

    Joined by Energy Secretary Federico Pena, Treasury Secretary Robert
Rubin, Attorney General Janet Reno and state and local law enforcement
representatives, the Vice President announced a "Partnership for a 
Safer America" at a demonstration of cutting-edge crime fighting 
technology including:

         Oak Ridge National Laboratory's image analysis and video
         enhancement technologies used to isolate the gun flare 
         in a convenience store shooting videotape which resulted 
         in a murder conviction.

         Hand-held geographic positioning devices that can record 
         video, store voice notes and help agents visually 
         reconstruct crime scenes.

    Pena added, "Crime is becoming increasingly high-tech -- from 
Internet predators to sophisticated bomb builders.  But today, we have 
a message to criminals, `Beware, because we are going to come after 
you with technologies you've never seen before.?"

    The Vice President announced that two DOE Memoranda of Understanding
(MOU) were signed with the FBI and with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, 
and Firearms (ATF).  Under them, DOE will establish formal working 
relationships to facilitate the transfer of technology and technical 
expertise to law enforcement.  A Statement of Principles has been 
prepared between DOE, DOJ, and Treasury to coordinate and facilitate 
the technical advancement of crime fighting in this country.

    In support of the Statement of Principles, DOE has selected for
further collaborative development (with the advice of the FBI and ATF)
representative technologies from seven DOE national laboratories.  These
technologies are core DOE competencies that will provide future forensic
and crime scene investigation tools as well as examples of actual DOE
laboratory technology or expertise being used by law enforcement.

    In addition to the MOUs with Federal law enforcement, DOE has a
longstanding relationship supplying technologies to U.S. intelligence
agencies and the Defense Department.  There are existing MOUs between 
DOE and Treasury's Customs Service and between DOE and DOJ's National 
Institute of Justice.  Additional partnerships are possible in the 
future under the umbrella agreement.