Vice President Joe Biden visited the Alexandria Police Department on Thursday to promote the American Jobs Act and its provisions for first responders.
The Alexandria Police Department hosted Vice President Biden as the Obama administration tries to gather support for the American Jobs Act. The famously gaffe-prone vice president did offer the crowd of police officers and city leaders one linguistic slip-up Thursday.
It came as he compared Alexandria's current roster of 300 police officers to police departments in places such as Patterson, N.J. or Flint, Mich. -- departments that have seen as much as two thirds of their force recently laid off.
"If we cut you down to 100 ... how the hell -- how the heck are you gonna do your job? Excuse me," Biden said, laughing at his slip.
Biden chose Alexandria's new police headquarters to highlight how the American Jobs Act includes $5 billion to support the hiring and retention of first responders. The vice president also focused on how the proposal is aimed at putting hundreds of thousands of teachers back to work: "If anyone is gonna define what the middle class is -- which is what we say this is all about -- it's a school teacher, a firefighter, a law enforcement officer. That is the definition of middle class."
Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook also took the opportunity of Biden's visit to announce a $900,000 federal grant to help pay for four new officers. It's a program that Biden said would be further supported by the the $5 billion in the president's bill.
Cook says he's happy to be able to hire four new officers, but he adds, "Right now, if I could push myself to about 30 police officers in the city of Alexandria, it would be very, very helpful."
Opponents of the President's plan say it's the wrong approach because it raises taxes for some American's during a time of economic uncertainty, and will lead to more government spending.