What Does The ATF Do? ATF Police Salary and Career Guide

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What Does The ATF Do?

ATF or ATFE means Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco. Firearms and Explosives. It is a federal agency which enforces and implements laws in US. It prevents the country from many unlawful, illegal and illiot acts ensuring peace and security of country by preventing illegal use, storage, making, buying and selling of harmful drugs and weapons. Thus we can say that function of ATF is peace maintenance, security and protection of the state from unlawful and illegal acts, terrorism, and to inculcate a sense of trust and patriotism in citizens.

Purpose Of ATF Police Formation:

After World war one, US was struggling against drug addiction and alcohol consumption. For this purpose they need a proper channel and pathway to implement strict rules for forbidding such acts in the society and hinder the way of criminals and dismantling of dangerous gangs. It was founded by the United States Congress in July 1, 1972. In start it had 3829 employees, including 1662 special agents and 826 industry operations investigators. Its budget was $74 million. In 2018, ATF had 5101 employees including 2630 special agents and 842 industry operations investigators. Its headquarter is in Washington, DC, US. In addition to the creation of Department of Homeland security, the US government shifted ATF from Department of treasury to the Department of Justice. ATF spends about $1306 in 2017 which increased 5.3% for improving their work quality.


Some Basic Functions Of the ATF Are:

1. Observe law and order
2. Prohibit unlawful acts such as buying, selling and manufacturing of illegal drugs such as alcohol
and tobacco.
3. Illegal usage and trafficking of firearms
4. It is responsible for prohibition of terrorism by observing and stopping acts of arsons and
5. It targets, identifies and dismantle liquor and contraband tobacco in interstate commerce, it
seizes an denies their assess, assets and funding.
6. Identifies and dismantles criminal groups and organizations. The motto of ATF is fairness, and
respect for the worth, dignity and diversity of all people.
7. Reduce loss from tax revenues caused by contraband alcohol and tobacco trafficking.

Explosives Control:

ATF deals with fires and explosives to ensure security of public. ATF  Police also investigates fires that involve more than $1 million in losses, injury or death of a firefighter or a policeman where case is unclear and needs special concerns. They also play a vital role in educating and regulating explosive industries that how to buy, sell, preserve, import and store their materials and products so that dangerous side effects and accidents may not occur. In this way ATF is Nation’s sole agency ensuring protection of the general public gaining a reputable position and highest level of trust from United States due to its efficiency, assistance, expertise and provision of services.

Drug Control:

ATF is meant to investigate, inquire and research the sources and issues regarding drug manufacturing, buying, selling, transport and storage. They are responsible for ensuring and getting in time tax payment from drug manufacturing industries. They play its role in ensuring the implementation of an important plan that is Contraband Cigarette Trafficking (CCT) which prohibits anyone to buy more than 10,000 cigarettes without permission and its proof from official of State cigarette tax payment.

How Does The ATF Enforce Laws?

Right now, ATF is working independently but sometimes it may have partnerships for its better functioning. The Bureau trains and supports its Federal, State, local and international law enforcement partners and works primarily in 23 field divisions across 50 States. It has foreign offices in Mexico, Canada, Colombia, and France. As ATF agents and officers have to deal with sensitive issues they need in time actions so they are allowed to arrest anyone they want anywhere and at anytime for the purpose of carrying out the inspections and investigations.

ATF Requirements And Their Salaries:

Candidates are free to apply for the job and their final selection is ensured by special appointing authorities. It is very important for a candidate to be competent and have physical and mental strength for the selection as criterion of selection is quite tough. Candidates applying for the job should have following qualities:-

  • A US citizen
  • Possess automobile operator license
  • Take and pass special ATF test
  • Take and pass physical tests
  • BMI between 18.5-24.9
  • Pass drug test
  • Age must be 21 to 31 years old

ATF agents are capable of making $87,130 annually.

ATF Agent Base Annual Salary Range 

$34,865 (GS grade 5, Step 1) to $57,093 (GS grade 9, Step 10)  Note: This salary range does not include the 25% law enforcement availability pay (LEAP) or the locality pay.

ATF agents are capable of making $87,130 annually.

What And Where Is  The ATF Academy?

ATF National Academy is at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centre in GLYNCO . These professionals train individuals how to fight against crimes and protect their general public. They are taught how to use weapons and are physically trained as well.

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Can ATF Agents Make Arrests?

ATF agents are allowed to enforce any of the criminal, seizures, or forfeiture provisions of the laws of US. They can arrest or kill any criminal following related rules. ATF special agents are based either in the main headquarters in Washington or in local offices. They travel a lot with respect to their assigned tasks.

Can ATF Make Laws?

ATF does not make and enforce laws directly but can suggest and form set of rules and regulations. They can then consult general public and federal agencies for its implementation.

ATF And Homeland Security :

In 2003, ATF and its law enforcement functions were transferred under the Homeland security bill to the Department of justice. So, that ATF can work with other security systems of US to combat terrorism and protect general public from criminal activities and provide weapon free environment.

ATF And Their Effectiveness:

ATF has done a lot of work in maintaining law and order and gained very well reputation regarding their services and achievements. They are playing vital role in reducing drug addictions and criminal activities. No US citizen can deny their role in peace maintenance.

Achievements Of  The ATF:

1. In 2014, Four ATF agents played an important role in a Houston explosives investigation. They were awarded for their extraordinary contribution to ATF in the area of assest forfeiture.

2. A soap factory worker’s killer was caught and investigated by ATF and as a result received 60 years of in prison.

3. Detroit homicide suspect sentenced to life in prison when an unknown suspect shot a victim ata gas station.

4. Houston dollar store robber receives 45 years of imprisonment.

5. Omaha Gang member receives 10 years sentence in prison due to misuse of weapons and firearms.

6. Serial robber receives 178416 years in prison.

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Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB)

Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI)

Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)

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