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Biden announces US city police chief as drug czar

Biden announces US city police chief as drug czar

Vice President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that President Barack Obama will nominate the police chief of Seattle, Washington, to be the newest U.S. anti-drug boss.
Biden said police chief Gil Kerlikowske, a 36-year law enforcement veteran, will bring to the job a lifetime of experience working on drug policy.
"There's no one more qualified to take on this job than the chief," Biden told guests, including other big-city police chiefs and advocates representing drug prevention and treatment organizations, at a White House announcement ceremony.
Kerlikowske, 59, said he looked forward to joining the Obama administration and noted his professional and personal experience with the effects of drug abuse on young people and their families. His stepson, Jeffrey, has an arrest record on drug charges.
Kerlikowske's nomination as director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy requires Senate confirmation. If confirmed, he would take over for John Walters, who held the job under former President George W. Bush.
Kerlikowske has been Seattle's top police officer for nearly nine years and has been credited with reducing crime rates to record lows.
Before joining the Seattle force, he held top police positions in two Florida cities and one in New York. He then served in the Clinton administration as deputy director of the Justice Department office that promotes community policing.
The drug policy coordinator's office will no longer have Cabinet-level status, but administration officials said Kerlikowske "will have a seat at the table when important decisions are being made ... and full access and a direct line to the president and vice president."
Kerlikowske is viewed as a workmanlike, circumspect choice who has street perspective and the policy smarts to navigate the bureaucracy. As president of the Major Cities Police Chiefs Association, he is known as a progressive and a proponent of community-oriented policing.
Colleagues expect him to ramp up efforts to stem demand for illegal narcotics by emphasizing prevention and treatment.


Updated : 2021-07-26 02:42 GMT+08:00