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Reno Police Proposing Partnership with ATF to Combat Illegal Firearms

By Bob Conrad
Image: Wikipedia Commons.

Image: Wikipedia Commons.

The Reno City Council is scheduled to hear at its Wednesday meeting about a proposed partnership between the Reno Police Department (RPD) and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).

According to a city staff report

A task force comprised of federal ATF agents and local law enforcement officers will improve the effectiveness of … investigations by consolidating resources and sharing information.  The Project Safe Neighborhoods Task Force will also have a U.S. Attorney assigned to the unit which will improve RPD’s ability to pursue federal firearm-related criminal charges.  Federal criminal charges have more severe penalties than state charges.

One RPD officer will initially be assigned to the partnership outside of regular duties, and ATF will cover the officer’s overtime pay.

The partnership’s aims are to:

  1. Investigate criminal possession and use of firearms.

  2. Investigate firearms related to violent crime to include commercial robberies.

  3. Investigate illegal firearms trafficking.

  4. Investigate criminal possession of firearms by known gang members and criminal organizations.

  5. Gather and report intelligence data relating to possession and trafficking in firearms.

  6. Conduct proactive operations where appropriate and engage in other traditional methods of investigation in order that the Task Force’s activities will result in effective prosecution before the courts of the United States and the State of Nevada.

The partnership’s objectives, according to the proposed agreement, or memorandum of understanding, will be “to investigate commercial robberies committed with a firearm, interdict and prevent illegal firearms trafficking and to identify, disrupt and dismantle violent gangs and criminal organizations.”

Success will be measured by the number of convictions from firearms-related offenses, “the number of defendants charged with firearms related offenses who were convicted in the given fiscal year and the number of defendants referred for prosecution … for firearms related offenses and the number of firearms taken off the street.”

The partnership will follow federal standards in several areas, which means things like public records, use of informants and the controversial asset forfeitures will follow federal rules.


Linda October 27, 2015 - 11:07 pm

Good start. I would like a specific focus on illegal sales of firearms, which I suspect is rampant in our community.

Flynn Johnson October 27, 2015 - 7:14 pm

The murderous ATF of Ruby Ridge and Branch Davidian fame? RPD wanting to jump into bed with the ATF? Looks like a marriage made in hell with aborted liberty as the offspring.

A.D. Hoopkins October 27, 2015 - 8:42 am

At least they’re asking the city government if they want to pay for it. When a similar thing was done in Las Vegas, they just did it. Without taking a position on whether it was a good idea to do this program or not, I would point out that this is one of the implications of having a police department jointly funded by city and county but headed by an elected official, as the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is. It makes the department pretty much a law unto itself. Sometimes that results in less politicized and therefore better decisions; sometimes it results in worse.

Lisa October 27, 2015 - 8:41 am

Oh man…… I don’t care what you think about guns… it is never a good idea to let the feds run anything at a state or local level. Go ahead tell me how its a “partnership”- I read the article _ONE_ RPD officer will be assigned to the task force -ONE. Also go ahead and tell me how they will be going after the bad guys, to them any one with a firearm besides themselves is the bad guy. This isn’t a good idea and may force my family and others to leave the area. NO BRANCH OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH STATE OR LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT. YOUR OPENING A CAN OF WORMS IF YOU DO THIS.

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