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ATF Canine Accelerant Detection Program Resources
(Attachment 2)

by

BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND FIREARMS
U.S. TREASURY DEPARTMENT


The Canine Accelerant Detection Program (CADP) offers a full range of ATF resources to the law enforcement community. Arson has been characterized as America's fastest growing crime. Officials entrusted with protecting the lives and property of our citizens should therefore use every available tool to address this National epidemic. ATF is proud to have the following resources available for Federal, State, local, and foreign law enforcement agencies:


ATF National Forensic Laboratories

ATF's laboratory system is composed of the National Laboratory Center (NLC) in Rockville, Maryland, and the regional laboratories in Atlanta, Georgia, and San Francisco, California. The NLC is the second-oldest Federal laboratory in the United States and holds the distinction of being the first Federal laboratory system accredited by the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD).

These multi-disciplined laboratories support the Bureau's arson, explosives, firearms, alcohol, and tobacco programs. The laboratories examine arson debris to detect accelerants and conduct firearms, toolmark, and ballistic examinations for ATF and other Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies. Additionally, the laboratories provide onsite technical assistance and advice, and furnish expert testimony in court proceedings relating to laboratory examinations.

Certified Fire Investigators

ATF has a cadre of Certified Fire Investigators (CFI) stationed throughout the United States. These agents are the only investigators trained by a Federal law enforcement agency to qualify as expert witnesses in fire cause determinations.

These origin and cause specialists have recently been introduced to the intricacies of computer fire modeling. Through computer software programs, these agents can utilize mathematical equations that, in certain situations, can describe the chemical and physical behavior of fire.

Financial Audit Support

One of the most significant phases of an arson investigation is the financial analysis conducted by auditors assigned to ATF's Audit Services Division. Approximately 30 auditors nationwide work in conjunction with ATF special agents to provide their specialized expertise in examining the full range of financial documents that are unique to each criminal investigation. This allows the auditor to accurately determine the financial condition of the business prior to and at the time of the fire. Based on data gathered by the ATF special agent, the auditor will review existing records to provide analysis of financial statements, bank deposit and withdrawal methods, cash-flow, sworn statements in proof of loss, and other considerations.

The auditors assist special agents in reconstructing financial documents that were destroyed by an arson fire in order to locate pertinent records. This vital support consistently proves beneficial in the prosecution of complex, circumstantial arson cases.

ATF Fire Protection Engineers

The ATF fire protection engineers (FPE) serve as the Bureau's experts in the field of fire protection, and provide technical support and assistance to the Bureau's special agents, certified fire investigators, and National Response Teams (NRT). The FPE provides technical advice, support, and consultation to the U.S. Attorney's Office in postfire scene reconstruction and analysis, and testifies as an expert witness in the prosecution of criminal cases. The FPE provides onsite technical investigative support relating to incidents involving arson, as well as accidental fires resulting in loss of life or significant property damage. The FPE uses professional engineering methods and techniques to calculate, analyze, and reconstruct fire development in buildings, and provides solutions to complex features and methods dealing with postfire scene reconstruction, fire modeling, and fire investigation.

National Response Teams

ATF's National Response Team consists of four teams organized geographically to cover the United States. Each team can respond in 24 hours to assist Federal, State, and local law enforcement and fire service personnel in onsite fire and explosives investigations. This specialized response capability is the only one of its kind offered by a Federal law enforcement agency.

The teams are comprised of veteran special agents having postblast and fire origin and cause expertise, forensic chemists, explosives technology experts, and fire protection engineers. Further complementing the NRT's efforts are technical, legal, and intelligence advisors, ATF trained canines, and CFIs.

Explosives Technology Support

Within ATF is a cadre of personnel who have a unique capability. These individuals offer unequaled technical expertise in the explosives and bomb disposal fields and have an average of over 25 years' experience. They construct facsimiles of explosive and incendiary devices, render destructive device determinations for court purposes, provide expert analysis of intact and functioned explosive/incendiary devices, and provide onsite investigative technical assistance at bombing or arson scenes. They keep ATF abreast of the latest technology related to explosives and incendiary devices and materials. In addition, they provide instruction for Federal, State, local, and foreign law enforcement officers.

National Arson and Explosives Repository

The National Arson and Explosives Repository is a comprehensive database of reported information on incidents involving arson and suspected criminal misuse of explosives. In addition, future enhancements will include an extensive reference library available for research and comparison. The National Repository is a coordinated effort by Federal, State, and local agencies and it is managed by ATF.

National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime

Since 1986, ATF has maintained a joint program with the FBI at the Profiling and Behavioral Assessment Unit (PBAU) of the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC) in Quantico, Virginia. Within the PBAU is the Weapons of Mass Destruction/Arson (WMDA) subunit, which includes an ATF arson profiler and an explosives profiler.

The primary WMDA mission is to develop profiles of unidentified offenders through a detailed analysis of violent crimes and aberrant behavior relating to arson and explosives violations. The WMDA is responsible for assisting in investigations of arson fires, bombings, acts of terrorism, computer intrusions, and related crimes submitted to the NCAVC by Federal, State, local, and foreign law enforcement agencies.

The WMDA profilers may be called upon to provide consultations relating to criminal investigative analysis of arson and bombing offenses. These consultations involve onsite crime scene assessments, interview and investigative technique strategies, personality assessments, analysis of crime scene geography, training programs, research interviews, and when applicable, courtroom testimony.

The ATF National Academy

ATF remains committed to the expansion of its mutual enforcement efforts with State and local agencies through innovative training programs at its National Academy at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia. One such program is the Arson for Profit and Investigative Techniques training program. This 2-week course is offered three times annually at FLETC and was developed in conjunction with the International Association of Arson Investigators, International Association of Chiefs of Police, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the American Insurance Association. The course was designed to enhance the professional skills of those who have experience in the investigation of profit motivated arson fires and other complex arson schemes. The training includes classroom and practical exercises that teach interviewing, analytical techniques, case management, and computer applications. The ATF National Academy also offers State and local arson investigators training in courtroom testimony in the Cause and Origin and Courtroom Techniques course. Training related to explosives and firearms investigations is also available at the National Academy.

Polygraph Section

The Polygraph Section consists of a group of experienced polygraph examiners who are stationed throughout the United States to support ATF enforcement operations. The section evaluates requests from the field for polygraph assistance based on relevance, suitability, and legal authority, and when appropriate, assists in arson, explosives, and firearms investigations.


reprinted with permission

 
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