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2016 Democratic National Convention
Speech by Detective Joe Sweeney

July 26, 2016

Joe Sweeney was a detective with the NYPD on September 11, 2001. When the towers were hit, he rushed down to the World Trade Center and began digging through the rubble for survivors.

My name is Joe Sweeney, and I served as an NYPD officer and detective for 21 years.

Iím proud of every day that I served my city and country. But Iím especially proud that I served on our worst day.

Beginning that horrible morning, we worked in the smoke and ash to search Ė first for survivors, then for remains, and then to begin clearing the rubble. Police officers, firefighters, ironworkers, machine operators, neighbors, and friends all joined together to help. We had a job to do. And we did our best.

At the time, the EPA assured us that the air at Ground Zero was safe to breathe. That information was dead wrong. Thousands of my friends and brothers and sisters in blue were exposed to harmful toxins that have caused lifelong health problems.

And when we needed someone to speak for us, to stand with us, to fight on our behalf, Hillary Clinton was there, every step of the way. Within 48 hours of the towers falling, Hillary introduced a bill Ė signed into law Ė that helped first responders get the benefits they earned easier and faster. Then she pressured the EPA to launch a new task force and led Congressional hearings until the EPA admitted the air hadnít been safe.

A lot of people moved on; they thought everything was fine. But Hillary Clinton kept in touch and kept at it. Ten years later, Hillary Clinton was still our toughest champion, making sure we still got our health benefits.

Iím at this podium tonight because, like first responders across America, Secretary Clinton has devoted her career to a simple creed: Protect and Serve.

Time and again, Secretary Clinton has kept her promises, including to the extraordinary Lauren Manning.