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Special Event

Gore Speaks in Washington at Police Officers Group

Aired August 5, 2000 - 12:20 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

GENE RANDALL, CNN ANCHOR: Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore is addressing the National Association of Police Organization here in Washington. He just started. Let's listen in.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: ... some situation comes up where they have to go off into a situation with more danger than usual.

You also serve; you back them up. You keep their hearts, and you go through a lot of pressure yourselves. And each one of the awards being presented at this time is your award, too. That's the way these men and women feel. And I want all of you to know that that's the way it is looked upon by this organization and those who take a part in it.

I appreciate you bringing up my family; you know, Tipper's not here with me today, but I bring you greetings from her. She and I just two months ago celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary, which was a good milestone for us to reach...

(APPLAUSE)

... and we have four children, three daughters along with my son. And our oldest daughter just a year ago, July 4, made us grandparents for the first time and we just...

(APPLAUSE)

... that must be a grandmother starting the -- Is anybody -- any other grandparents here, incidentally? All right.

(LAUGHTER)

How many grandchildren do you got, Tom?

MODERATOR: Six grandsons.

GORE: Six. Six grandsons. Well, I am just a rookie, so give me some advice. What I have learned so far is that the best technique is just to give that grandchild whatever he wants. And then if that causes any problems, give him back to his parents. And I see the ones that raise their hands a minute ago leading the applause on that one, because you know. Now, I am not going to brag on my grandson today; I will, however, offer you some evidence of why I should brag on my grandson.

One year old and a month, the other day -- this is a true story -- I remember it because it was the morning after the NBA championship game, and my daughter Karenna had called me the night before.

The next morning early at breakfast, the telephone rings and I pick it up and say hello, and I hear a baby's voice. And the more I listen, the more I realize this is my grandson. And so I said, Hello, hello. And apparently the speaker phone was booming my voice out because my daughter came in from the other room and picked up the receiver and said, Dad? and I said, Karenna?

And she said, Oh my gosh, Wyatt has called you on the telephone. She said I didn't even know we had a redial button. Now see, I question her conclusion there. She's thinking obviously that he was just playing and accidentally pushed that redial -- no, he was trying to call me and he succeeded in calling me.

Anyway, I honor all of the families here and, every time I have been able to participate in the event surrounding this award, I have been humbled, truly humbled, by the courage, the heroism, the self- sacrifice by the winners of this award, by those who are being acknowledged. As much as any soldier who every fought in any war, you are the guardians of America's freedom.

While others are at home with their families, you are out walking the beats and patrolling the streets, and taking risks to keep us all safe and secure. And we are grateful for that. While others flee from danger, your mission to track it down and face it.

Some say that the age of heroes has passed.

No way. I say, just look around this room and read the stories; listen to the testimonials about what these men and women have done. Heroism is really a part of your job description.

Some examples: walking through a hail of gunfire to protect innocent lives; diving into icy water to rescue a man in a sinking automobile; breaking up deadly drug rings that poison our communities. I know that for this year's top cops -- and I could tell you lot of stories -- but you will hear them, and you know them.

For this year's top cops, and for all who widen our thin blue line, its a lot more than a job, it's a calling. It is a commitment. And I am here above all to honor and salute the men and women of NAPO. I make this pledge to you today: I will always stand with American law enforcement.

(APPLAUSE)

RANDALL: Vice President Al Gore, who is about to receive his party's nomination for president in Los Angeles in about nine days, speaking here in Washington at a police officers group.

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