Over the years, ATF, like other federal agencies, has had its scandals and controversies and challenges getting respect. It has battled the National Rifle Association, had to deal with morale issues and public criticism from within.
NPR’s Carrie Johnson reports that the agency’s new leader B. Todd Jones,the former U.S. Attorney from Minnesota, is now taking on the challenge of steering the ship to calm waters.
After years of having failing to get a permanent director, Todd is now the permanent guy.
“There’s a sort of collective sigh of relief that not another person’s going to show up here for a bit,” Jones tells. “You know, they had five acting directors in the seven-year span since they made it subject to Senate confirmation, which is difficult for any organization to build momentum or have continuity.”
He’s had to deal with the fallout of the failed “Fast and Furious” undercover operation.
By all accounts since then, Jones has cleaned house at the ATF. He replaced virtually all of the top managers at headquarters and put nearly two dozen new agents in charge of field offices around the country. Over the next five years, some of the ATF’s most experienced agents — about 40 percent of the workforce — will be retiring. So the time to focus on the future and groom young talent, Jones says, is now.
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