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ATF vs DEA

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  • ATF vs DEA

    If you had the choice, which would you work for and why?

    Also, would you turn one down to finish processing with the other?

  • #2
    I had close to this same question just a little while back. It's still down there I'll bump it up for you.

    Initially DEA wasn't queried in my post but it ended up being talked about with many others. Just browse the LE job feed it'll be up there with my frog pic.

    I'm in the same dilemma with the waiting and questioning to turn down one in hopes of the next one. The simple answer is hell no. Take it IF you're offered bc so many things can drop you out on another process. But you've gotta look into the future and ask if I turn down A and B doesn't offer... Is that worse than accepting A then B offering but you've already accepted A.
    Whichever would break your heart more to occur... Do the opposite. That simple... Right? Yeah right. Tough decision if you really want the latter agency over the former.
    Last edited by bayranger; 09-18-2014, 04:42 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by jb2257
      Accept the first offer you get, continue with the process that you want the most, even if you have already accepted an offer. Once you accept that offer, make sure to inform agency B that you will be attending CITP for another agency and that if you have any remaining steps, there could be scheduling difficulties. When I was in my first federal academy, a guy left the day after graduation for secret service. Nobody had anything to say other than congratulations, including the instructors. It's not like you're leaving to go work for the cartels. Even if it doesn't seem that way, deep down, we're all on the same team, regardless of agency.
      Solid.
      Of note... I wouldn't count this as The Rule bc it's certainly not but... My buddy turned down a final offer from DEA then ended up getting on with USMS a little while later. He really wanted USMS and got it. So... It can happen.

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      • #4
        I agree 100% with JB. However, if the phone rang and it was ATF and then while talking a second call came in and it was DEA, both offering me an opportunity, I'd take ATF.

        I'm partial, BUT, I guess this is my reasoning. The DEA's main mission is drug work. The ATF is tackling violent crime, which is drug work, guns, arson, and some explosive stuff. It just seems a little more of a variety to me, that's all.

        I definitely would take the first agency that offers though, and if it isn't your thing, you can move around later.

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        • #5
          Ops wrong thread somehow

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          • #6
            I agree. I would take ATF over DEA because of the variety if crimes they are allowed to work. I work with an ATF TFO and they share some awesome stories of what they get to do.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by maximus52 View Post
              If you had the choice, which would you work for and why?

              Also, would you turn one down to finish processing with the other?
              ATF no doubt, DEA has competitive-promotion, which takes longer to pick-up GS-13. Basically, no guaranteed promotion to the next grade each year. Both agencies have great case work, however I think I would enjoy DEA more because there are more opportunities to TDY and be assigned overseas. Everyone has their own likes, and obviously ATF has more diverse investigation opportunities.

              Top,
              The only easy day was yesterday. - BUDS Instructor

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              • #8
                Actually the TDY opportunities in DEA are few are far between. The days of MET (mobile enforcement team), Snowcap, and other programs are gone.

                The overseas assignments do exist but are extremely competitive. Expect to do some serious time and network in order to go international.

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                • #9
                  The one thing I can say is that the DEA has a lot more money and resources than the ATF. ATF is autonomous which is great, but its also the gift and the curse. As far as drug cases, you will have to find a firearms nexus. It all depends on what you want to work. ATF has far better work life balance, but lacks resources and is a very small agency. DEA hours are doper hours. You will work nights and possibly weekends. Both offer great opportunities. But don't get it twisted, ATF isn't doing large scale dope cases similar to DEA and FBI. I'm also pretty sure DEA agent's get their 13s without comp. They submit a memo explaining tasks they have completed which makes them eligible.
                  Last edited by Orangeman22; 09-19-2014, 10:17 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for all the input so far. I am processing with ATF, DEA, FBI, and Secret Service at this point. I have narrowed it down to ATF and DEA as my wish list places to work. I actually have some loyalty to DEA cause I currently work in a support role (non-1811). However, DEA processes the slowest so I am conflicted on whether to take the risk and pass up on the others if they come first or take the first one. I know the ins and outs of DEA but don't know a whole lot about the other agencies.

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                    • #11
                      I agree with Orangeman. ATF has a great work life balance. I enjoy it.

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                      • #12
                        Good or bad idea? Pass the first one that comes up to wait on the other..

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by maximus52 View Post
                          Good or bad idea? Pass the first one that comes up to wait on the other..
                          Very bad idea. You gain nothing by passing on the first offer, but you stand to lose both by doing so.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by maximus52 View Post
                            Good or bad idea? Pass the first one that comes up to wait on the other..
                            Baaaaad.....second one isn't guaranteed.

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                            • #15
                              There are many DEA agents who do the crossover and become ATF agents. You'll hardly every hear an ATF agent jumping to any other agency. You'll probably get hit by lightning before coming across one. That tells you a lot.

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