Wounded veterans are teaming up with Knoxville Police to catch child predators

Brian Wall

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The Internet can be a dangerous place for our kids. Thousands of predators are arrested every year, whether it’s for trying to lure a child for sex or child pornography. To protect our kids, there is a partnership that’s growing between Knoxville police and a special program that helping veterans find work.

Brian Wall has a very special job with Homeland Security.

“Pretty much anything that can be hooked up to a computer, I can find stuff off of it,” said Wall.

He does that to track down Internet predators who prey on our kids.

“Seen some videos that were probably on a scale of one to ten, were probably about 9.5 to 10, it was pretty rough,” said Wall.

Those awful images are quickly replaced with good ones, once the bad guy is caught and sent to prison.

With Wall’s help, Mark Helton, Brian Burton and Dakota Weaver were all recently sentenced to prison for child pornography or enticing a minor for illegal sex. Wall loves to see guys like these busted.

“Going out there catching these guys and watching them go away,” said Wall.

Wall got the job through a program called “Care-Coalition,” which is an organization that helps wounded special operations veterans find a job. Wall spent nine years in the army before getting hurt during a deployment to Iraq.

“I figured I’d be getting out, being law enforcement, kicking in somebody’s door, but this is the next best thing in my opinion,” said Wall.

Wall works alongside the Knoxville Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children or ICAC unit.

“I think it’s a great program,” said Lt. Warren Hamlin who heads the ICAC unit for KPD.

Because of how useful Wall has been, they’ve been awarded a grant to hire their own “Care-Coalition” veteran, and it’ll be someone they won’t have to share with the feds.

“I think it will grow, not only here, but I think it’ll grow across the country,” said Lt. Warren.

The Knoxville Police Department employs 396 officers, 117 of whom are military veterans or currently serving with the reserves. While the majority of those officers are out on the street, Lt. Hamlin and Wall both agree more help behind the scenes is needed, saying this new grant money partnered with the “Care-Coalition” will definitely help put more bad guys behind bars.

“There are so many people out there doing this, that we’re not going to get them all and that’s something we’ve come to grips with, but the more people we have doing the job that we’re doing, more people are going to be taken off the streets and put away for a good time,” said Wall.

At this point KPD isn’t sure when they’ll actually have the grant money because there’s still some paperwork that has to be done first. Once they get it, they said they’re required to use it for a “Care-Coalition” veteran.

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