US Attorneys, Hancock County host enforcement training event

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Zachary A. Myers U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana.

HANCOCK COUNTY — Officials with the Hancock County Prosecutor’s Office say they are partnering with the United States Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Indiana for a training session this week.

The work session is designed to help local law enforcement learn more about how to target dangerous and violent offenders and will be held at the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department Wednesday, July 10.

The training presentation will feature evidence to look for and factors to consider in taking firearm and violent crime cases to federal court, specifically focused on machine gun conversion devices. Organizers say gun liaisons and officers who are likely to make firearms arrests should attend.

The training is the capstone of a 10-month effort led by the Hancock County Prosecutor’s Office in partnership with local law enforcement agencies to work together to utilize cutting edge evidence collection and investigative techniques to increase enforcement of violent and firearm-related crimes.

“We look forward to partnering with our federal partners to increase safety in central Indiana as we welcome U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Myers to Hancock County,” Hancock County Prosecutor Brent Eaton said. “I am excited about the partnership that this training will facilitate between state and federal law enforcement.”

Eaton says he’s certain the training will help local law enforcement to be able to seek harsher penalties for gun and violent offenders in the federal system more frequently.

“Gun violence traumatizes victims and their loved ones, and harms entire communities,” Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana said in a release.

Myers noted working with partners in local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, their office is committed to making neighborhoods safer by taking deadly weapons out of the hands of people with no lawful business having them.

“Across the state, and right here in Hancock County our police are encountering illegally armed criminals and illegal devices like Glock switches that turn ordinary guns into fully automatic machine guns,” Myers said.

During the training, prosecutors will discuss federal firearms laws with law enforcement officials from across Hancock County.

“I’m thankful to Prosecutor Eaton for hosting us and being an outstanding partner,” Myers said. “Together we will make Hancock County safer through targeted investigations and prosecutions in our federal and state courts.”

The training is part of the Law Enforcement Action to Halt Domestic Violence Initiative, or LEATH, named in honor of Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Officer Breann Leath, who was killed in the line of duty while responding to a domestic disturbance call. The partnership among the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the IMPD, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana, the LEATH Initiative focuses federal, state, and local law enforcement resources on domestic violence offenders who illegally possess firearms.

“I am certain that this collaboration between local law enforcement agencies with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and federal authorities will provide us with the evidence we need to pursue longer sentences in these types of cases,” Eaton said. “This multi-agency cooperation is a credit to our local law enforcement agencies and their commitment to keep Hancock County Safe. It clearly sends a message to dangerous and violent criminals that they are not welcome in our community.”