Review of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosivesí
Violent Crime Impact Team Initiative

Evaluation and Inspections Report I-2006-005
May 2006
Office of the Inspector General

Purpose, Scope, and Methodology


The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) conducted this review to assess ATF’s implementation of the VCIT initiative.


To review the VCIT initiative, we focused on planning and implementation documents from ATF, the USMS, the Department’s Criminal Division, and EOUSA, including draft proposals, e-mails, and reports. The scope of our review encompassed 19 of the first 20 VCITs.12


Interviews. We conducted in-person and telephone interviews with personnel from ATF Headquarters and ATF Field Divisions. Specifically, we interviewed individuals from the Office of Field Operations, the Office of Enforcement Programs and Services, and the Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information, including staff at the NTC, NIBIN, and CGAB. In addition, we spoke with two Special Agents assigned to ATF Headquarters who worked on the development and initial implementation of the VCIT initiative.

We conducted in-person and telephone interviews with personnel from the DEA, FBI, and USMS with knowledge of VCIT operations in their jurisdiction. We interviewed the former Deputy Attorney General and ODAG personnel. We also conducted interviews with personnel from EOUSA who assisted in recruiting AUSAs for the VCITs.

Field Site Visits. We conducted our fieldwork from June 2005 through September 2005. As part of our fieldwork, we conducted in-person interviews with personnel from ATF, DEA, USMS, and local USAOs, and other federal, state, and local criminal justice partners in five VCIT cities:  Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Tampa, Florida; and Tucson, Arizona.

Survey. We conducted an e-mail survey of ATF’s VCIT Coordinators to determine VCIT staffing, law enforcement strategies, their views on the VCIT initiative, and other relevant information. (See Appendix II for the survey questionnaire.) All 19 VCIT Coordinators responded to the survey.

Data. ATF provided us with historical violent crime data for the VCIT cities; firearms tracing and ballistic imaging information for the VCIT cities; and data related to VCIT performance, including arrests and seizures of drugs and weapons. ODAG provided us with data compiled by the Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics used to determine VCIT site selection. The DEA, USMS, and EOUSA provided us with data related to staffing levels at VCIT locations. The FBI provided us with data related to Safe Streets Task Forces operating in VCIT cities. The DEA provided us with Mobile Enforcement Teams documents and reports.

Background Research. Our background research on the VCIT initiative included reviews of reports, congressional testimony and appropriations, press releases, speech transcripts, and newspaper articles.

  1. Due to the effects of Hurricane Katrina on ATF operations in New Orleans after August 29, 2005, we decided not to consider New Orleans VCIT operations as part of our review.

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