For Immediate Release
The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Provided LE Training on Project Safe Neighborhoods/P3 Program
FLORENCE– Alabama law enforcement officers from seven counties across the Northern District of Alabama attended training in Florence on Wednesday. The training was conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) on prosecution of cases involving firearms and drugs in federal and state court, constitutional protections concerning search warrants, arrests and trials, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office Prosecutor-to Prosecutor Program, or P3.
"It was gratifying to see law enforcement officers from so many different agencies and counties, from all across our district, come together to hear about all of the ways our office is ready, willing and able to prosecute, and remove criminals from our neighborhoods,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Bob Becher.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office provided an update for police officers, sheriffs, and district attorneys on individual protections provided by the 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution and an explanation of P3. The 4th Amendment guarantees the right of individuals to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. The 5th Amendment in criminal cases provides the right to a grand jury, forbids double jeopardy, and protects against self-incrimination.
The 6th Amendment protects the rights of criminal defendants, including the right to a public trial without unnecessary delay, the right to counsel and the right to an impartial jury. The 6th Amendment also guarantees defendants the right to know the nature of the charges and evidence against them, and who their accusers are.
P3 is a six-step process by which state and federal prosecutors jointly determine whether a criminal case should be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The “P3 Overlay” identifies state and federal criminal statutes with similar elements. Common elements that could trigger federal prosecution include use of a firearm, crossing of state lines, use of phones or internet to commit a crime, or victimizing an institution that is federally regulated or insured, or that receives federal grant funds. P3 is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, the Department of Justice’s centerpiece program for fighting violent crime. PSN and P3 both underscore the need to target the worst offenders in the worst areas of crime in order to reduce violence.
ATF provided training on the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN), a national database of digital images of spent bullets, shell casings, and cartridge cases that were found at crime scenes or test-fired from confiscated weapons. The ATF manages the system and provides the equipment to crime labs around the country. There are NIBIN machines in many areas in Alabama, to include Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile, and Montgomery.