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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

August 24, 2011

Contact: Special Agent Trista Frederick, PIO

(816) 559-0724

MCC Chancellor Mark James Receives ATF National Award

Kansas City, Mo. – Metropolitan Community College (MCC) Chancellor Mark James was presented today with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Citizenship Award by ATF Acting Director Kenneth E. Melson and Acting Deputy Director William J. Hoover at ATF’s 15th Annual Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C. The event honored ATF agents and employees, law enforcement officers and citizens for acts of heroism, service and commitment to public safety. The ATF Citizenship Award recognizes extraordinary acts of bravery involving the risk of serious injury or death performed by private citizens while assisting Federal, State or local law enforcement. Chancellor James was honored for his heroic actions at a MCC campus.

On September 14, 2010, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon planned to hold a press conference at the MCC-Penn Valley campus. A student, who was allegedly plotting to attack the governor because he was a top government official, entered the room and began to make a scene. When MCC Dean Al Dimmitt, Jr. left the room to summon security, the student reportedly rushed at him and stabbed him in the neck. Chancellor James, without regard for his own safety, instantly ran to subdue the armed subject. As he approached, the student tried to stab him. James deflected the knife, wrestled the student to the ground and kept him subdued until police arrived. James sustained a puncture wound to the chest and Dimmitt required surgery for his wounds. Both survived and have recovered.

Chancellor James has a stellar legacy of public service, said Michael P. Gleysteen, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Kansas City Field Division. His heroic actions demonstrate how he continually puts others before himself.

James’s law enforcement career began with the Missouri Highway Patrol before becoming an ATF Agent in 1987. James was the Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Kansas City Field Division when he retired from ATF in 2004. Following his retirement, James continued his public service after being appointed by then-Missouri Governor Matt Blunt as director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety and Homeland Security. In January 2010, he became the Chancellor of MCC in Kansas City.

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