Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
Public Affairs Division – Washington, DC
At The Frontline Against Violent Crime
For Immediate Release
April 4, 2008
Contact: Robert J. Browning / Jan Kemp
ATF Announces New Field Division Opening in Newark
WASHINGTON — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) opened the doors of its 25th field division in Newark, N.J., today to better focus its resources in the region in the fight against violent crime, preventing terrorism, and protecting the nation, announced ATF Acting Director Michael J. Sullivan and U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie for the District of New Jersey, along with Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Rep. Donald M. Payne (D-N.J.), and Rep. Steven R. Rothman (D-N.J.).
The new field division, encompassing all of New Jersey, will enhance ATF’s ability to combat violent criminal gangs and organizations, share information and intelligence with its law enforcement partners while working through such ATF-led initiatives as the Violent Crime Impact Team (VCIT).
ATF’s first priority is safeguarding New Jersey from firearms- and gang-related violence, said Sullivan.
By strategically realigning ATF field offices and working with our law enforcement partners, the U.S. attorney and county prosecutors, legislators, and the community, ATF will better be able to achieve its goals in the region. With New Jersey’s commitment to trace every gun used in the commission of a crime via the New Jersey State Police and ATF, we will make our communities safer.
The benefits to the region include enhanced working relationships with state and local partners, as well as other federal agencies currently working in the region. Partnerships with regulated industry associations will continue, as there are approximately 300 federal firearms licensees and more than 100 explosives licensees and permittees that fall under the purview of the new field division.
The establishment of this field office in New Jersey is greatly appreciated by those of us who have been fighting increasing gun violence in New Jersey, said Christie.
I commend ATF and Director Sullivan for his leadership in helping us to more effectively combat violent crime in New Jersey.
Today, New Jersey gets a new partner in the fight to protect our children: an ATF field division dedicated solely to keeping our communities safe — and keeping illegal guns off our streets. This new office and its agents will ensure that federal law enforcement is more focused on reducing crime here in New Jersey, Lautenberg said.
We must stop the flow of guns to criminals. With this new office of field agents assigned to our area, I look forward to seeing even more successful prosecutions of killers and of those who knowingly supply firearms to violent criminals in New Jersey, said Rothman.
Illegal gun running to our area is not a victimless crime — it strengthens the criminal gangs and organizations that hold our streets hostage and leads to deaths.
Sen. Lautenberg and I, along with our other New Jersey colleagues, fought for many years to bring an ATF field office to this area. I am so pleased that we finally have one and am hopeful that it will make a real difference in stopping the gun crime that has cost Newark and Jersey City so many lives and shattered so many families.
Matthew W. Horace will serve as the special agent in charge of the Newark Field Division. Horace previously served as the acting SAC of the Denver Field Division before coming to Newark. He has held various positions including the assistant special agent in charge of the Seattle Field Division and several high-level positions at ATF headquarters in Washington, D.C. The Newark management team will be made up of an assistant special agent in charge, a division operations officer, a director of industry operations position and support staff.
The Newark Field Division comprises nearly 40 special agents and industry operations investigators. Other resources include certified fire investigators and certified explosives specialists. The arrangement of the field division and satellite offices will allow for staffing growth opportunities within the division as funding is made available.
The new field division consists of existing criminal enforcement offices and an industry operations office in West Paterson, N.J., — previously assigned to the New York Field Division — and criminal enforcement offices in Camden, Trenton and Atlantic City, that have been realigned from the Philadelphia Field Division.
The Newark Field Division is temporarily located at 1 Garret Mountain Plaza, West Paterson, N.J., until a permanent space is located in Newark. Division office personnel can be reached at (973) 413-1179.
More information on ATF and its programs can be found at www.atf.gov.