"Comstat" may have been one of the worst developments to happen with law enforcement. It's been corrupted into a program in which quantity, not quality, matters. It works okay for a police department to see day-to-day street crime, from robberies to assaults to rapes. But it doesn't work for an agency that does only investigations. So now at ATF, the Puzzle Palace wants numbers. Quantity, not quality.
I agree wholeheartedly with GoodWorker. ATF has become no more that a local PD's "Street Narcotics Unit," "Tactical Narcotics Team," or whatever the Name of the Day is for a unit that does buys-and-busts, sweeping street level dealers up and, maybe, just maybe, the next higher level in the organization. But those PD's are using officers who make, say $70K a year [not including OT] and not $135,000 a year with take home cars.
Even before the obsession with numbers at ATF, I noted that in my old division, the HIDTA group, led by The Prince of The City, did about two or three cases a year, using a couple of CI's for u/c purchases of narcotics, and maybe a couple of handguns. Then there would be the "round-up" in which 10 or 15 guys would get busted. A couple grams of crack would be seized, along with a Taurus or Bryco Jennings, and $10k. BUT, that was it! The case never went up to the next level, and the next level. The HIDTA group would pat themselves on the back, seizing a five year old Mercedes for forfeiture, but it was cost a forfeiture to store in, and then when forfeiture was completed, now they'd have a ten year old Mercedes.
I was first assigned 922g cases in my first two years; I went out and developed my own case, in which I learned my suspect was involved in a multi-state narcotics trafficking ring, along with significant fire power. My group didn't have the resources to do the case, so I went to The Prince of The City. His response? "Get the guy to plead guilty and then I'll look at the case." I did learn later that the Prince refused to do any cases out of town [which was also his hometown--he never worked anywhere else, ever].
So, why is there a federal agency doing cases that police officers can do? Good question. Congress should start asking that question too. The Bureau of ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, Firearms and Explosives gave up Alcohol and Tobacco enforcement to the states and there wasn't a peep. So why do our "leaders" think it's okay for a federal agency to do cases that can be done by the locals???