WASHINGTON, DC—In a bold move designed to halt the spread of violent crime in America, President Clinton unveiled his new "Get Tough On Crime" sticker campaign Monday.
"We must send a strong message to the nation's criminals," said Clinton, displaying one of the new 3x6-inch stickers before an assemblage of reporters and law-enforcement officials. "These stickers, emblazoned with the phrase 'Get Tough On Crime!' will send a loud-and-clear message to all potential lawbreakers that crime will not be tolerated."
According to Clinton, the stickers, which feature a special "E-Z Peel" tab on the back to increase ease of peeling, should reduce crime by up to 75 percent when prominently displayed at eye level in high-crime areas.
"To those who would ignore the stickers, be warned," said Clinton, speaking directly into the television camera. "This sticker is extremely adhesive. And its message is printed in bold, upper-case, two-color type. This is not a mere show of concern. It is a serious deterrent to criminals everywhere."
A tougher version of the sticker is currently being developed for use in particularly dangerous areas. The stickers will be one square inch larger than the current ones, and will feature glitter over the words "Tough" and "Crime."
All residents of high-risk areas will also be issued a "Personal Defense Kit," which includes a set of 10 emergency-only stickers that they may apply to a nearby wall or lamp post if violently attacked.
Clinton is so confident the program will work, he says he will cut police-department budgets across the nation by 70 percent. "By the end of the year," Clinton said, "more than 100,000 police officers will be off the streets."
Despite the president's enthusiasm, many criminologists feel the program is flawed. "These stickers, while effective during the daytime, are simply not visible at night, when most crime occurs," said Georgetown University professor of criminology Anderson H. Balcomb.
In response to Balcomb, Clinton said he has already approved legislation allocating $200 million for "the development of a special 'glow-in-the-dark' sticker that will be clearly visible in dangerous, poorly lit areas after being held up to a bright light for three minutes."
To enforce the sticker program, a U.S. Sticker Czar position has been created. "The Sticker Czar will run my new crime-fighting program," Clinton said. "And he will maintain an open-door policy through which all Americans may help themselves to the stickers free of charge by entering his office and taking one from the pile on his desk."
Law enforcement officials praised the new strategy. "Stickers have always been a powerful weapon in the hands of the police," Baltimore chief of police Roy Quinlan said. "When we applied stickers saying, 'Help Keep A Kid Off Drugs' to our patrol cars, drug use by young people immediately ceased."
To increase awareness of the program among young people, Friends stars Lisa Kudrow and Matthew Perry have been enlisted to film a 30-second promotional spot. The short segment, titled Stick 'Em Up! will air during ABC's popular After School Specials.