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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

Friday, September 5, 2008

Contact: Joint Information Center (JFO)

Baton Rouge, LA

(225) 376-5000

Federal Agents Deputized as Special Officers of the Louisiana State Police

Baton Rouge, LA — Almost 200 federal law enforcement agents were commissioned as Special Officers of the Louisiana State Police allowing them to act as Louisiana peace officers, and assist state and local agencies that are protecting the public after Hurricane Gustav slammed into coastal and central Louisiana on Labor Day.

An Attorney for the Louisiana State Police, Allison Fitzgerald, commissioned the federal agents at the Federal/State Joint Field Office, which is coordinating the federal response to Hurricane Gustav, located in downtown Baton Rouge. The Louisiana State Police facilitate all requests for federal law enforcement assistance.

We want to do all we can to help the victims of Hurricane Gustav. These additional officers will provide extra help so those affected can concentrate on recovering, said David Dugas, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Louisiana. They will remain in the parishes as long as they are needed.

To date, officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Marshals Service, and Federal Protective Service (FPS) have been deployed or positioned to deploy. Some of these officers have already been deployed to assist while others are on standby and ready to respond as soon as called upon.

As always the federal law enforcement community stands ready to assist the citizens of Louisiana to ensure their communities are safe, said Jim Letten, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Under the National Response Framework, FEMA partners with the US Department of Justice which coordinates federal law enforcement assets needed to supplement local and state law enforcement agencies revolving around a disaster.

Representatives from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Federal Air Marshals Service are also assisting in this effort. The temporary deputization gives federal agents the power to enforce state and local laws.