B. The Intended Purpose of the Roundup
Rightmyer testified that after the first Roundup he decided that the outing would be a good way to socialize with local law enforcement personnel as well as ATF agents from other offices. Eastern Tennessee, like much of the country, is served by an array of overlapping law enforcement agencies at the federal, state, and local levels. Frequently, these agencies must coordinate on investigations. Rightmyer, a former police officer in Tampa, Florida, had noticed that local law enforcement people tended to socialize frequently, but federal agents did not. Believing that in addition to bringing federal law enforcement personnel together his outing could also help improve communications between state and federal law enforcement officers, Rightmyer decided to expand the guest list to include other law enforcement personnel. Consequently, attendees in the early years of the Roundup were overwhelmingly law enforcement personnel.
By the late 1980s, these liaison purposes became diluted as more officers brought friends who were not in law enforcement and as more local people came to the Roundup because they had heard it was a good party with free beer. These changes altered the character of the Roundup from a party centered on federal law enforcement personnel, to one where the percentage of federal law enforcement officers decreased to the point at which the Roundup hardly served its initial purposes at all.