ATF Truck

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Jennifer Bennett |

On Tuesday, Feb. 21, an ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) truck was on campus for a presentation to one of the criminal justice classes. There are only 42 ATF trucks that are like this one in the country.

According to the ATF website, “ATF is a law enforcement agency in the United States’ Department of Justice that protects our communities from violent criminals, criminal organizations, the illegal use of trafficking of firearms, the illegal use and storage of explosives, acts of arson and bombings, acts of terrorism, and the illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco products. We partner with communities, industries, law enforcement, and public safety agencies to safeguard the public we serve through information sharing, training, research and use of technology.”

The truck comes equipped with all of the things that the workers will need to conduct their fire investigation. Once this equipment is used once, it is not put back on the truck again; rather it gets replaced with new equipment after every use.

The National Response Team has been around since 1978. The response team goes to different major fire and explosion scenes all over the country. Some of the examples are the Pentagon on 9/11, West Texas at the fertilizer plant explosion, the Baltimore riots, and the Annapolis mansion fire.

According to the ATF agent that visited Radford, “There was a church fire in Pulaski a couple of weeks ago and that was one of mine – I was the lead fire investigator, and I brought this thing down and brought in a national response team from all over the country of which I am a member of to dig that scene out.”

There are different locations of the ATF organization over the country, and they work together to resolve these situations as quickly as possible.