Citizens step into the shoes of an ATF agent


For the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, investigating gun trafficking is one of their biggest responsibilities. They also have to be experts in using their own service weapon.

“Try to give you a chance for the littlest bit to step into their shoes,” said Suzanne Dabhowski, ATF Public Information Officer.

As a part of a seven-week course to teach community leaders about how the ATF works, the bureau invited block watch captains, religious leaders and 10TV’s Lacey Crisp to learn about the agency of just over 5,000 and their work.

“It's so people know what is ATF's job, what are our responsibilities, what parts of the law do we enforce. It gives them a better idea about why we do what we do,” Dabhowski said.

They let the ATF citizen's academy students shoot the two guns agents are assigned.

“It would maybe give a better sense of different variables an agent, whether it's ATF or any type of law enforcement is trying to deal with when they are having to use their service weapon,” Dabhowski said.

“We're in a comfortable safe environment with instructors. I can't imagine doing that with a situation at hand and life and death in the balance,” said Ephraim Laidley Jr.

The ATF is holding a citizen’s academy in Columbus to teach the community more about the agency. See more coverage below: