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ATF Sponsors Federal Deputization of Houston Police Department Bomb Squad.

HOUSTON, Oct. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (abbreviated ATF, sometimes BATF or BATFE) is a United States federal agency; more specifically a specialized law enforcement and regulatory organization within the United States Department of Justice.  (ATF ATF Molecular virology Activating transcription factor A cellular protein that stimulates transcription of adenovirus E4 transcription unit, which acts early in infection at any of several 'enhancer' binding sites ) today deputized all full-time officers/bomb technicians of the Houston Police Department The Houston Police Department (HPD) is the primary law enforcement agency serving the City of Houston, Texas, United States.

HPD's jurisdiction often overlaps with several other law enforcement agencies, among them the Harris County Sheriff's Office and the Harris
 (HPD HPD Honolulu Police Department (Honolulu County, Island of Oahu)
HPD Housing Preservation and Development
HPD Housing Preservation and Development (New York City Department) 
) Bomb Squad as federal agents. The action means ATF and the HPD Bomb Squad can now respond without the constraint of jurisdictional boundaries to answer the threat of improvised explosives devices and provide public security.

"We have always enjoyed an excellent working relationship with the Houston PD Bomb Squad. ATF's partnership with local law enforcement is critical to the success of both of our missions to protect the public," said ATF Houston Assistant Special Agent in Charge Robert Elder. Houston is the country's fourth largest city.

This new level of cooperation was formalized in a memorandum of understanding A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is a legal document describing a bilateral or multilateral agreement between parties. It expresses a convergence of will between the parties, indicating an intended common line of action and may not imply a legal commitment.  (MOU (Minutes Of Usage) A metric used to compute billing and/or statistics for telephone calls or other network use. ) between ATF and HPD. By signing the MOU, the HPD Bomb Squad, commanded by Capt. David Williams, has formally joined the ATF Arson and Explosives Task Force. The Task Force is a partnership among:
  - ATF (which includes certified explosive specialists, certified fire
    investigators, an explosive detection canine handler, and a forensic
    auditor. These agents are also members of the ATF National Response Team
    and Regional Explosive Group)
  - Houston Police Department Bomb Squad
  - Houston Fire Department Arson Division
  - Fort Bend County Fire Marshal's Office
  - Montgomery County Fire Marshal's Office (which includes an accelerant
    detection canine handler)

The mission of the Arson and Explosives Task Force is the investigation of arson and explosive incidents throughout the Houston metropolitan area and surrounding counties. Its members bring unique expertise to that mission. Due to their federal deputation, local officers and investigators can assist investigations throughout the United States, allowing leads to be pursued across local, state and federal jurisdictions.

Early members of the ATF Arson and Explosives Task Force and HPD Bomb Squad were instrumental in the development of the Advanced Explosive Destruct Techniques Course taught at the ATF National Center for Explosives Training and Research at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia. Additionally, they cofounded the Houston Area Bomb Council back in the early 1990s. The Bomb Council remains an ATF/HPD sponsored function. ATF and the HPD Bomb Squad continue to train together with all bomb technicians from greater Houston and Corpus Christi.

ATF is the federal agency with jurisdiction for investigating bombings and other explosives incidents, enforcing the federal explosives laws, including the Safe Explosives Act, and regulating the explosives industry.

ATF's explosives jurisdiction and expertise gives it a unique role in the national effort to prevent terrorism. The bureau is one of the world's leading explosives investigators and trainers, providing that expertise to the U.S. military, State Department, and local, state and other federal law enforcement in the United States and overseas. Since 2001, ATF's National Center for Explosives Training and Research has trained almost 6,000 bomb technicians and investigators in explosive disposal and investigative techniques. ATF provides explosives training to the new Iraqi Police Service and at the International Law Enforcement Academies International Law Enforcement Academies were established in 1995 by President Clinton as a means of bringing together international law enforcement to reduce crime, combat terrorism, and share in knowledge and training.  in Botswana, El Salvador, Hungary and Thailand. In cooperation with the U.S. Army, ATF also trains Army explosives units prior to their deployment to Iraq.
  More information on ATF and its programs is at

   CONTACT:  Franceska Perot, Ph.D.
   Special Agent, PIO
   (281) 372-2908 (office)
   (281) 914-8114 (cell)

Contact: Franceska Perot, Ph.D., Special Agent, PIO of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, +1-281-372-2908, or cell, +1-281-914-8114

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 10, 2006
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