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Column: Ex-ATF Official Questions Sincerity of White House Concerns About Layoffs in Law Enforcement

Bernard La Forest retired from ATF after heading up its offices in Kansas City, Detroit, Phoenix and Los Angeles. His column is in response to a story that appeared in ticklethewire.com on Monday about a speech Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. gave in Chicago. Holder said there will be 13,000 cops laid off by year’s end, but that $240 million in grants will help in the hiring and retention of more than 1,000 cops nationwide.

Bernie La Forest/facebook

By Bernard La Forest
for ticklethewire.com

I read the piece on DOJ using “laid off cops” as a political spear thrown at Republicans in Congress. I find this a weak attack and subject to rebuttal.

I’ve been told that ATF has recently upped their “buy-out offers” from $20,000 to $25,000. These buyouts are tempting special agents to pull the plug early . . . after the “G” has spent so much money training and bringing them along to a point where each possesses a great deal of expertise.

For those special agents who have made good use of available opportunities throughout their careers, I’m fairly certain they will continue to be successful in the private sector once they cash out.

However, all of their accumulated know-how and capability will be lost. After all the negative focus caused by a few people in just one small ATF squad, and then exacerbated by incompetent managers in Washington . . . I certainly can’t fault those men and women who take the money.

Nonetheless, I do remain suspicious of the real reasons behind DOJ’s decision to “ease out” the government crime fighters, especially since I see no plan in the offing that even hints they will be replaced anytime soon.

It’s a typical example of fear-mongering by the AG. He is being assisted in this political charade by the President and the VP. Joe Biden scowls for the media cameras, tries to act tough, and then stretches the truth which bordered on a very large and ugly white lie.

Why, just to gain a few points?

President Clinton pulled the same trick through his bait and switch “cops on the beat” program. There was only enough money for the first year or two.

When that ran out, I’m pretty sure many of the officers lost their jobs, leaving hiring, training and related costs flushed down the drain.

Don’t you wish it was November 7, 2012?


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