KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Knoxville will gain access to federal support and resources to help reduce crime through a new partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice.

As part of the National Public Safety Partnership (PSP) program, Knoxville will receive federal support to develop evidence-based strategies to boost public safety and reduce crime.

The three-year commitment by the Department of Justice will give Knoxville access to an array of federal resources including expedited training and technical assistance and an annual violent crime summit. Former Milwaukee Chief of Police Ed Flynn will serve as a strategic site liaison between the city and the DOJ.

“This is an absolute game-changer for our department and the City as a whole,” Knoxville Chief of Police Paul Noel said. “PSP will give our department unprecedented access to the training, technical assistance, subject-matter experts and funding opportunities to greatly improve our department and implement best practices.” 

PSP has served more than 50 jurisdictions since it began in 2014. Knoxville will join Chattanooga as a current PSP site in Tennessee.

“I am deeply appreciative of the Department of Justice for selecting our jurisdiction to join the PSP network,” Chief Noel said. “We have made a lot of strides as a department over the past 18 months. Being a part of the PSP and everything that comes with that will help us continue pushing forward and reach our ultimate goal of becoming the premier law enforcement agency in the Southeast region. This is an incredible opportunity for our department.”

It is the latest effort by the city to reduce crime. Last year, the city partnered with the Center for the Study and Practice of Violence Reduction at the University of Maryland. The city published a Violence Reduction Plan earlier this year in collaboration with community leaders and law enforcement.