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Press Release

Randel Probst Receives Award for Exemplary Service in Support of Project Safe Neighborhoods

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Dakota

Rapid City, SD – United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that Randel Probst, retired special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), has received the U.S. Attorney’s Award for Exemplary Service to Project Safe Neighborhoods, one of the cornerstones of the Department of Justice’s ongoing fight against violent crime.

Probst was presented with the award during a ceremony at the U.S. Attorney’s office in Rapid City on May 18, 2018, as part of National Police Week.

Probst distinguished himself with exemplary service to our Nation during approximately 30 years of investigations and prosecutions of violent offenders and others who committed crimes involving guns.  His career spanned from 1987 to December 2017.  Probst worked for ATF in Hawaii, Oregon, Nevada, and South Dakota.  During his career, he examined more than 1,000 firearms and ammunition to determine the manufacturer, model, caliber/gauge, serial number, place of manufacture, function and design, and status related to the National Firearms Act. 

“As a special agent with the ATF, Randy Probst had critical knowledge and expertise regarding illegally possessed firearms that are too often used to commit crimes, safeguard illegal drugs, and harm South Dakotans,” said U.S. Attorney Parsons.  “Probst was always a consummate professional and team player, lending his expertise to our prosecutors and helping to develop strategies for the successful interdiction of guns that have fallen into the hands of criminals.  For all of this, he has our enduring gratitude and respect.”

In presenting the award, Parsons stressed that Probst has provided valuable support of the Department’s Project Safe Neighborhoods mission.  Probst regularly helped agents in central and western South Dakota, and lawyers in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, determine interstate nexus, determine the functionality of seized firearms, and analyzed silencers, sawed-off shotguns, or machine guns.  Additionally, he would drive to rural communities, including Indian country, to retrieve firearms for analysis.  He provided both formal and informal training to law enforcement officers on a variety of topics related to firearms and ammunition.  He had a “can do” attitude and regularly lent his expertise to DOJ work, which moved numerous firearms cases forward over the past years.  Though he is missed, Probst has come back since retirement to complete his work on some existing cases.

Project Safe Neighborhoods is an area of enhanced focus for the Department of Justice and this administration.  PSN is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime in America by networking with existing local programs that target gun crime, and providing those programs with additional tools to fit the specific gun crime problems in each area.  The goal is to create safer neighborhoods by reducing gun violence and sustaining that reduction.  Since its inception in 2001, funds have been used to hire new federal and state prosecutors, support investigators, provide training, distribute gun lock safety kits, deter juvenile gun crime, and develop and promote community outreach efforts as well as to support other gun and gang reduction strategies.

For more information on PSN efforts, please visit:

Updated May 22, 2018

Community Outreach
Project Safe Neighborhoods