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State fire marshal's office, ATF team up for task forces

March 22, 2013
  • U.S. Marshal Johnny L. Hughes, left, and Deputy State Fire Marshal Dexter Hodges are shown after Hodges was sworn in March 19 in Baltimore as the representative of the Office of the State (Md.) Fire Marshal in a joint law enforcement operation between the state fire marshals office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Submitted photo

PIKESVILLE, Md. — The Office of the State Fire Marshal and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF, Baltimore Division, are participating in a joint law enforcement operation.

The ATF has established and leads task forces focused on tobacco diversion, firearms, armed narcotics trafficking, explosives incidents and arson investigation. Task forces provide a number of advantages for all participating agencies, including drawing on the expertise of federal, state, county and local law enforcement, which shares resources with all participating agencies and increases the investigative possibilities available to all parties involved.

To address the need for a standardized program, the ATF established the Joint Law Enforcement Operations Program, or JLEO. The program provides accountability and a set of policies and procedures that are designed to complement and support all ATF joint law enforcement operations, including task forces and task force officers.

The JLEO program, which uses funding from the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund, defines and organizes the types of joint law enforcement operations in which ATF participates.

Deputy State Fire Marshal Dexter Hodges was selected to join the program to represent the Office of the State Fire Marshal to support the operation. He will be assigned to the ATF’s Arson Field Office in Baltimore.

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