New ATF Director Dettelbach Calls for Collaboration with Other Law Enforcement Agencies

ATF Director Steven Dettelbach

By Steve Neavling

New ATF Director Steven Dettelbach said collaboration with other law enforcement agencies is key to reducing gun violence. 

In an interview Thursday with GM3, Dettelbach said he was in New York to meet with other agencies.

“The days of ‘this is turf, that’s your turf’ are over in law enforcement. We work together.” 

He added, “Back when I started this business as a prosecutor, 30 years ago, there were eight different agencies doing the same thing in their own little task forces, in their own little units. We cannot do that anymore. We have to share intelligence and share bodies in real-time ways.”

Dettelbach also said that it’s important to prevent people convicted of crimes from committing again. 

“The No. 1 predictor in many cases of whether you’re going to do something violent and be a criminal is wether you have done it before,” he said. “We need to do a better job of making sure people aren’t recidivists.”

Dettelbach was sworn in on July 19, about a week after the U.S. Senate confirmed his appointment. As the agency’s first permanent leader since 2015, he said he owes it to his agents to defend them. 

“I feel a lot of obligation,” he said. “To do it is to stand up and fight for those (ATF) folks.”

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