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Monday, September 14, 2009

Department of Justice

United States Attorney James R. Dedrick Eastern District of Tennessee


PROJECT SAFE NEIGHBORHOODS AWARDS CEREMONY

[MORRISTOWN, Tenn]—Morristown Police Officer Corporal Kenneth Hinkle and Special Agent Greg Moore, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), received Project Safe Neighborhooods (PSN) Officer of the Year Awards today at a ceremony held at the City Center in Morristown, Tennessee.

Corporal Kenneth Hinkle has been with the Morristown Police Department for nine years and has been assigned as PSN Coordinator since 2003. Deputized as an ATF Task Force Officer in 2008, Corporal Hinkle has been involved in all phases of the PSN programs, from apprehending robbers as they fled a convenience store robbery to community outreach programs. Corporal Hinkle aids the law enforcement community in preparing cases for federal prosecution and coordinates the cases with local and federal law enforcement as well as the District Attorneys General and the U.S.Attorney's Office. Corporal Hinkle is also an expert in the field of firearms.

Special Agent Greg Moore has been with the ATF for 17 years and has served the Eastern District of Tennessee for almost a decade of that time working on PSN and violent crimes cases. Agent Moore was the lead federal agent in numerous armed robbery, violent drug crimes and other cases endangering members of our community. He worked closely with numerous local, state and federal departments across the Eastern District of Tennessee. His hard work and thorough investigations have resulted in a multitude of violent offenders being sentenced to lengthy terms of imprisonment. Agent Moore recently transferred to the Middle District of Tennessee.

PSN is a comprehensive national strategy that creates local partnerships with law enforcement agencies to effectively enforce existing gun laws. It provides more options to prosecutors, allowing them to utilize local, state, and federal laws to ensure that criminals who commit gun crimes face tough sentences. PSN gives each federal district the flexibility it needs to focus on individual challenges that a specific community faces.

Under PSN, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee has implemented a gun violence reduction strategy based on five key elements: (1) Partnership with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in the district to coordinate community programs and review and prepare gun cases for prosecution in the most appropriate forum; (2) Development of a strategic plan to prosecute violent gun offenders and intensify federal gun law enforcement using state-of-the-art technology and intelligence gathering techniques such as crime mapping, tracing of seized guns and ballistic technology to help connect bullets and casings to the guns that fired them; (3) Working with ATF, the National District Attorneys Association, and local law enforcement to conduct innovative regional cross-training involving prosecutors and agents participating in gun crime enforcement; (4) Working with local communities to increase awareness of PSN, promote community involvement and send a deterrent message; and (5) Measuring the impact that this renewed effort is having on reducing crime and the long-term effect that this program is having in the community.

Since the inception of the program in 2002, 1,176 defendants have been convicted in the Eastern District of Tennessee for federal firearms and related violations.

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