skill, and the President is honored — is honored to send your nomination to the United States Senate.
Once again, to all my friends out here, I thank you for being here. He’s going to need all the help he can get. He’s going to need the coordinative capacity that exists in this room. I thank you for being here today and for your timeless — your timeless commitment — and I’m including the prevention community that’s sitting out here, and the treatment community that’s sitting out here. And on behalf of the President and I, to all of you, we thank you.
So please join me in joining the Chief who’s going to be our new drug czar, a man you all know well and a man I’m confident is going to be tapping all of you for help. Chief, the floor is yours. Congratulations. (Applause.)
CHIEF KERLIKOWSKE: Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. Vice President. I want to thank the Vice President for his commitment for combating drugs. You know, it’s a great honor for me to stand on the stage with a man who fought to create the Office of National Drug Control Policy. He’s recognized for a long time the need for this coordinated comprehensive national drug strategy. I am looking forward to working with you and this administration.
I want to thank the President for this opportunity to serve the country. And I applaud his recognition that the perspectives of those that are closest to the ground, those on the front lines of the fight against drugs — those are state and local law enforcement officers and service and treatment providers. It’s critically important that their viewpoints be taken in.
I’m pleased that many of my colleagues, many of my friends, are here: Commissioner Ray Kelly from the New York City Police Department, a staunch leader in this effort; Chief Bill Bratton from the Los Angeles Police Department; Chief Cathy Lanier from right here in Washington, D.C.; Tom Manger, the Chief of the Montgomery County Police Department. And then others — David Kass, who’s the president of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, an association that I have been pleased to work on for many years; and Al Lenhardt, who is the head of the National Crime Prevention Council; and Amy Singer, who’s the director of Program Planning for Phoenix House. These are the men and women across the country who have dedicated their lives to reducing drug trafficking and use, and of course so many others here today.
I’m heartened to see all of the young people also. I’m delighted to see all of the young people. (Applause.) These are the young leaders, these are the people that are working hard to raise the awareness among their peers about the dangers of drugs.
The success of our efforts to reduce the flow of drugs is largely dependent on our ability to reduce demand for them. And that starts with our youth. Our nation’s drug problem is one of human suffering, and as a police officer