President Barack Obama says opportunity in America should not be limited by the ZIP code you're born in. That’s why he’s traveling to Camden, New Jersey – a city with one of the nation’s highest violent-crime rates and chronic poverty – on Monday to highlight steps officials there have taken to increase economic opportunity and build community trust in the police.
Obama is expected to meet with youth and members of law enforcement from the Camden community at the Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center before delivering public remarks on the city’s efforts to adopt federal community and policing reforms. View a live stream of the president’s remarks at 3:10 p.m. ET in the video player below or click here.
Obama’s efforts to expand opportunity for people from disadvantaged backgrounds have grown in the wake of recent national protests over police use of force in urban and minority communities. One element of Obama's agenda is helping police do their jobs more safely and effectively while also reducing crime.
The president has called for increasing the number of police officers walking and interacting in high-crime communities, something that leaders in Camden have already done, the White House said. The Camden County Police Department last month accepted Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge – an initiative providing federal funds for programs aimed at educational achievement and work readiness for young black and Hispanic males. Separately, Camden also was designated a Promise Zone, part of a five-year collaborative effort to improve the quality of life for Camden youth and their families.
“The administration is deeply engaged with these communities and others across the country, showing what can be achieved when people from all walks of life come together to expand opportunity for all Americans,” the White House press secretary’s office said in statement on Monday.
Over the next few weeks, members of the Obama administration will be traveling across the country to highlight other communities that have adapted to the president’s youth achievement and police reform agenda. Cabinet heads will visit Fullerton, California; Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Pittsburgh, among other cities. Attorney General Loretta Lynch will travel to Cincinnati as part of a national “Community Policing” tour, to highlight Department of Justice programs that “help advance public safety, strengthen police-community relations, and foster mutual trust and respect,” the White House said.