The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) in New Mexico is part of the Phoenix Field Division. There are three field offices in New Mexico where ATF agents utilize their investigative skills to explore and examine any number of federal violations related to firearms, explosives and arson, as well as the illegal distribution and sale of alcohol and tobacco:
- Albuquerque: 505-346-6914
- Las Cruces: 575-522-0699
- Roswell: 575-624-6770
In September 2013, ATF agents in New Mexico posted a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for constructing and delivering six pipe bombs to the Roswell and Clovis areas of New Mexico. ATF agents were informed by local law enforcement officials that between February and May 2013, six pipe bombs, in their intact, unexploded states, were discovered in outdoor areas in both Roswell and Clovis. Along with the New Mexico State Police Bomb Squad personnel, ATF special agents are investigating the incident.
How to Become an ATF Agent in New Mexico
ATF agents in New Mexico are responsible for accomplishing many goals, including surveillance, interviewing, arresting, searching for physical evidence, and executing and obtaining search warrants.
In addition being able to handle unusual working hours, frequent travel, and physically and mentally exhausting assignments, individuals who want to learn how to become ATF agents must:
- Be a United States citizen
- Be between the ages of 21 and 36
- Possess a valid driver’s license
- Qualify at either GL-5, GL-7, or GL-9 level
To qualify at the GL-5 level, candidates must have, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree in any field of study. Individuals without a formal education may also qualify at this level if they have at least 3 years of experience of “progressively responsible experience,” with at least one of those years being equivalent to the GL-4 federal level that shows they have an ability to work in criminal investigation or law enforcement and that they have knowledge of laws relating to criminal violations. Individuals may also have a combination of education and experience.
Meeting the ATF’s education requirements for many individuals includes completing a bachelor’s degree in an area related to criminal investigations and law enforcement, such as criminal justice, homeland security, emergency management, and forensic psychology.
Testing for ATF Jobs in New Mexico
In addition to meeting the minimum requirements for ATF agent careers in New Mexico, all candidates must be able to successfully take and pass both the ATF pre-employment physical task test and the ATF special agent applicant assessment test.
The pre-employment physical task test (PTT) is a standardized test that is designed to demonstrate an individual’s ability to handle the physical requirements of ATF agent careers. To complete the PTT, candidates must:
- Complete as many sit-ups as possible in one minute without stopping
- Complete as many push-ups as possible in one minute without stopping
- Complete a 1.5-mile run
Acceptable standards vary according to the candidate’s age and gender.
Other employment requirements include taking and passing a vision and hearing test; a medical exam; a polygraph examination; and a drug screening.
Training for ATF Careers in New Mexico
All new hires for ATF agent jobs in New Mexico must successfully complete a mandatory, two-part training program that includes:
- 12-week Criminal Investigators Training Program (CITP) at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia
The CITP includes fundamental training in areas related to conducting criminal investigations. As such, training topics include handcuffing, interviewing, surveillance, and basic firearms training, among others.
- 15-week Special Agent Basic Training (SABT)
SABT, designed specifically for special agents, is an intensive training program that covers more in-depth study of such topics as: firearms trafficking; report writing; firearms and ammunition identification; interviewing techniques; and firearms and tactical training, among others. SABT firearms training includes 100 hours of training in marksmanship, tactical and judgment shooting.