ATF Chiefs views on crime

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    ATF Chiefs views on crime

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    ATF chief: Crime rose as cities' funding dropped By LARA JAKES JORDAN, Associated Press Writer
    1 hour, 3 minutes ago



    Violent crime has increased in some cities in recent years in part because local police are too cash-strapped to fight it, the ATF chief said Monday.

    The comments by Michael J. Sullivan, acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, echo pleas by mayors across the country for more federal dollars to combat crime.

    In an interview with The Associated Press, Sullivan called battling violent crime the No. 1 priority of ATF and said the agency is trying to help cities with federal task forces and technology.

    Sullivan also said many cities no longer have the police manpower to respond to calls as quickly as they once did.

    "Some of these jurisdictions that have seen an uptick with regard to violent crime — it's coming at a time when their budgets have been pretty strapped," Sullivan told the AP.

    "In fact, some of the jurisdictions have seen a decrease with regard to patrol officers who are available or detectives available to follow up on some of these incidents," Sullivan said. "And that obviously is a compounding effect with regard to what's going on, with regard to crime."

    He described funding squeezes in many cities, like Chicago and Detroit, that "contribute to the potential of an uptick with regard to violent crime, because they don't have as many resources to respond as quickly to it as they once did."

    Even so, Sullivan said, violent crime rates remain at what he called "record lows."

    Murders, rapes and robberies appear to be on the downswing after two straight years of violent crime increases, according to the most recent local police data reported to the FBI.

    However, violent crime rose slightly in small cities and rural areas, while murder rates jumped by 5 percent in suburbs and 3.2 percent in mid-sized cities during the first half of 2007, the most recent data available.

    Mayors and police chiefs nationwide have long linked surging violent crime to dwindling federal grants that previously paid to hire more cops. The Bush administration, facing its own budget crunch while funding the war and reconstruction of Iraq, has scaled back the money available to cities to crack down on crime.

    The Justice Department has offered to spend $200 million this year to combat violent crime in cities, but that likely won't cover the cost of hiring new police officers.

    Ron Ruecker, president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, said federal, state and local funding cuts have forced police to scale back manpower and money devoted to battling gangs, drugs and career criminals.

    "Every time we turn around, the staffing pressures that most of us are dealing with are having an impact in these others areas," said Ruecker, the public safety director of the city of Sherwood, Ore., a suburb of Portland, Ore. "You definitely can tie the decrease in funding with an uptick in crime, including violent crime."

    In an hourlong, wide-ranging interview, Sullivan also touched on several other topics facing the ATF, a force of about 3,000 agents. They included:

    _Steps to investigate and prevent explosives attacks within the U.S., focusing particularly on the feared use of improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, that are a constant threat to coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sullivan said there's no evidence of insurgents or terrorists abroad bringing IEDs to the United States, noting that nearly all the annual 3,500 suspicious explosions in the country are investigated as the work of criminals — not terrorists.

    "It's intended to build upon the potential risks associated with explosive devices here domestically," Sullivan said. "Clearly we should be doing it, but not unnecessarily alarming the American public to things that aren't happening."

    _Tensions between ATF and its larger sister agency, the FBI, resulting in competition and overlapping of time and resources on similar projects. Sullivan described the bulk of the tension, as reported in Saturday's editions of the Washington Post, as personality driven and said much of it has dissolved in recent years. "We have to make sure that we're constantly complementing, not competing with one another," he said. "There's clearly more work to go around than can be accomplished by any one agency."

    _Whether the Senate will ever vote on Sullivan's own confirmation. Sullivan, still the U.S. attorney in Boston, was nominated as ATF's chief in March 2007. But Idaho's Republican senators so far have blocked the nomination out of concern the ATF has become overly aggressive in enforcing gun laws.

    Sullivan said the ATF last year did compliance checks on about 10,000 gun dealers and brokers, and suspended the licenses of 97 — fewer than 1 percent. He said the ATF is trying to balance regulating gun dealers equally across the country.

    ___

    On the Net:

    Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives: ATF Online - Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
    This is why people need to be able to defend themselves and have laws in place permitting them to do so.I also believe the ATF needs to be reigned in on their NAZI approaches to legal firearms dealers that make an unintentional small error on paperwork,on the other hand dealers engaged in illegal activity's need to be smacked down hard
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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    Member Array LMarshall73's Avatar
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    I don't see how battling violent crime is BATFE's number 1 priority. They are a REVENUE agency. It's akin to the clerks at the DMV handing out traffic tickets. Let the Federal Bureau of INVESTIGATION, um, INVESTIGATE.

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    It's akin to the clerks at the DMV handing out traffic tickets.
    Well, the DMV here in Tennessee is the one who gets to handle handgun permit applications, so I guess it's not surprising that the BATFE likes to nibble on all the other lines, too. *choke*
    "Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa

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    Quote Originally Posted by LMarshall73 View Post
    I don't see how battling violent crime is BATFE's number 1 priority.
    That line leapt out at me as well. This is their mission statement from their own website:

    "The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is a principal law enforcement agency within the United States Department of Justice dedicated to preventing terrorism, reducing violent crime, and protecting our Nation. The men and women of ATF perform the dual responsibilities of enforcing Federal criminal laws and regulating the firearms and explosives industries. We are committed to working directly, and through partnerships, to investigate and reduce crime involving firearms and explosives, acts of arson, and illegal trafficking of alcohol and tobacco products."

    No longer a part of the Department of the Treasury, now they are with Justice. I guess I had not been paying enough attention to all of the Homeland Security reorganizations.

    Curiously enough, their domain name is still Treasury:
    ATF Online - Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

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    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    ...during the first half of 2007, the most recent data available.
    So, my taxes are due April 15, but the 2007 murder statistics won't be ready for a few years? Maybe they need to wait and make sure the victims are really dead?
    "a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility" - Bill Clinton 2010.

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    Member Array mtnfreak's Avatar
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    You can also get "Crime Prevention Tips" from a link on this story (ATF Chief: Funding Shortfalls Hurting Police - Money News Story - KMGH Denver).

    1. Teach children how to reduce their risk of being victims of violent crime. Insist on knowing at all times where your kids are, what they are doing, and who they are with.

    2. Get involved. Volunteer to help in community and neighborhood anti-crime and other community improvement efforts. Encourage groups you belong to -- religious, civic, social -- to help stop crime.

    3. Use common-sense tips to reduce your risk of being a crime victim. Stay in well-lighted, busy areas; travel with a friend if possible; walk in a confident, assured way. Avoid known trouble spots.

    4. Report crimes and suspicious activities to police; agree to testify when necessary. Stand up for what you believe in.

    5. Get to know your neighbors and agree to look out for each other. Get organized; work with the police.

    6. Find ways to settle arguments without violence. If you resort to violence to settle disputes, this is what you will teach your child. Be a good role model.

    7. Use common courtesy. It helps ease tensions that can lead to violence. Teach your kids that good manners are important.

    8. Don't carry a weapon. You lose, whether you use it or it's used on you.

    9. Don't support illegal activities, like buying stolen property or using illegal drugs. It's the wrong message to send a child, and it involves you in criminal activity.

    10. Volunteer your home as a reliable source of help for kids who are scared or need assistance.

    Information provided by The National Crime Prevention Council.


    10 Crime Prevention Tips - Family News Story - KMGH Denver

    Some of those are good. Some, well, not so much.
    Law without force is impotent.
    Blaise Pascal

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Most people have to live in gang infested neighborhoods and if they testify to what they saw they get a big target on them from the other gang members,until the police reign in gangs and take back the streets most people are scared to testify and rightly so especially when you make it impossible to defend yourself by banning guns
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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    Distinguished Member Array 4my son's Avatar
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    Violent crime has increased in some cities in recent years in part because local police are too cash-strapped to fight it, the ATF chief said Monday.
    Mayors and police chiefs nationwide have long linked surging violent crime to dwindling federal grants that previously paid to hire more cops.
    Funny, if you listen to the Brady Bunch, it's all because of the ending of the assault weapons ban. Go figure, maybe they were wrong on something. Can it be true.
    "fundamental principle of American law that a government and its agents are under no general duty to provide public services, such as police protection, to any individual citizen." [Warren v. District of Columbia,(D.C. Ct. of Ap., 1981)]
    If I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand

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    Member Array Dusty Miller's Avatar
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    In Modesto (PRC) there are 22 police positions that'll go unfilled because of the current budget crunch. We've had a really nasty outbreak of gang activity lately and people need to be ready to take care of themselves and their loved ones and neighbors. There's nothing that'll spook off a gang banger like return fire, LOTS of return fire.

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    Senior Member Array Phillep Harding's Avatar
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    "Sullivan called battling violent crime the No. 1 priority of ATF"?

    Let's see, now. "Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms"?

    Two drunks fighting is now federal? An accident involving a drunk driver?

    How about teens fighting over a pack of cigarettes?

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    Senior Member Array Roadrunner's Avatar
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    8. Don't carry a weapon. You lose, whether you use it or it's used on you.
    Tell that to Jeane Assam and the 100 people who are alive today because she carried a gun and used it when the chips were down. Bureaucratic moron.
    - Kurt
    “Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.” ~Pericles of Athens
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    VIP Member Array Yoda's Avatar
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    8. Don't carry a weapon. You lose, whether you use it or it's used on you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Roadrunner View Post
    Tell that to Jeane Assam and the 100 people who are alive today because she carried a gun and used it when the chips were down. Bureaucratic moron.
    Agreed but those tips were credited to National Crime Prevention Council, written for kids:
    http://www.opd.ci.omaha.ne.us/_Files...r10_things.pdf

    For adults it says don't carry weapons illegally http://www.co.union.nc.us/LinkClick....d=500&mid=1468
    seems that the media just included the tips for kids, not adults
    Yoda, I am, yes.

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