1 Desertrat - I am sorry for the way you feel. Many agents don't write any adopted cases. I am guessing you are actually an inspector since you praise them in your post. To be honest, what ATF Inspectors (Investigators now) do is something any person with basic bookkeeping skills and a 10th grade education could do. When I started, Inspectors were two grades levels below agents for a reason. It's a very simple job. They almost never testify in court and do a few reports a week. I think they serve a valid purpose, but to pay them $100k a year now is a joke. They typically inspect the major four retailers because it's easier and the people there are nice to them. Then, when they retire, they go get a job doing internal inspections for the major four retailers. I don't disagree that ATF management is completely broken and many agents focus on just doing stuff that doesn't make the streets any safer.
Retired Old Agent - generally, I don't get too involved discussions in these forums. I generally just read them for updates and inside knowledge of what is going on through out the agency. However, your post created a reaction in myself that I feel I must address.
First, multiple times on this site and in this particular forum you remind readers and commentators of the many great things about ATF and the many great benefits given to the employees of the agency. You do also attempt to address the negative things about the agency. I, however, find that you have now discredited yourself by blatantly insulting the second largest series of employees of the agency. Before you go there, yes, I am an IOI.
Second, I believe that it is near impossible to "restore integrity and accountability to the Bureau" by insulting IOIs, or as you like to say Inspectors. I would like to remind you and everyone else that ATF as an agency is not made up of just Criminal Investigators AKA Special Agents, ATF is able to function because of the joint effort contributed by all employees. Some employees contribute more than others but very rarely does anyone in ATF do their entire job completely separate from any other employee. It is not to the benefit of this site or the agency to start attacking another series whose job you have likely never done and therefore have no real knowledge of what it is that they do. (FYI - I can guarantee you that 1desertrat is not an IOI because he/she refers to IOIs as Inspectors and we don't do that any longer.) My point here is this, you don't know every duty that IOIs do, you may have some general knowledge, but you don't know everything. IOIs do many things that SAs don't and vice versa but that doesn't mean that one group is more important than the other. The only reason that most people within the ATF feel that SAs are more important is because the agency has promoted a culture of separatism. All jobs at the agency have a purpose. The 1811 job is inherently more dangerous and risky, but that does not equate to importance.
Third, the best way to make a difference within the agency is for all employees to realize that the other employees are people with personalities, feelings, families, lives, work ethics, etc. that you may or may not like, agree with, or believe in. This should lead to all employees being treated fairly. Yes, I know that is a Pollyanna attitude but it is the truth. Employees should be protected. It is hard to protect employees when managers or other employees believe that they belong to some sort of special upper class that others don't for whatever reason. As soon as an employee believes they are better than some other employee, the system breaks down and the cycle of mismanagement, nepotism, retaliation, discrimination, etc. begins. The agency needs to create a working environment that promotes team work and joint effort between members of the same job series and members of other job series.
Lastly, I ask that we all remember that the ATF is a federal agency. The people of the agency and their actions are what make the agency. I really appreciate this site because it allows me and others to see the strengths and weaknesses of the agency. I keep my fingers crossed that the members of the multiple leadership teams within the agency will stop turning a blind or encouraging eye toward acts of others that they know are wrong. Hopefully, more people who are in positions that can make real change, will continue to stand up for what is right and will continue to promote integrity.