ATF Agents Raid Home of Oakley, Michigan Police Chief

American flag and gavel depicting federal agents

Who Raids Police Homes?

The answer is, of course, The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Did you know the ATF existed? If you have seen the film, The Untouchables, you will know how the ATF worked during prohibition. You know that period in American history where alcohol was illegal giving rise to such luminaries as Al Capone.

We all know how much power local law enforcement can have in any given situation. The news media has lately been full of stories that. If you take it from one point of view, point to the fact that police might have more power than is good for the country.

But what if police are doing illegal things? Who holds law enforcement accountable?

One such agency is the ATF. And that is why a house in the Oakley a village in central Michigan was raided. Oakley police Chief Robert Reznick’s home was raided by federal agents from the ATF on October 5, 2017.

Reznick has been accused of allowing rich and famous people (notably, Detroit native Kid Rock) to join police ranks as reserve officers.

According the ABC12, “Reznick started a controversial program in Oakley in which wealthy individuals and celebrities were able to join his police force as reservists. Some called it a pay to play cop scheme.”

The ATF can’t give any more details about the investigation, as it is ongoing. However, we do know the Oakley Police Department was forced to surrender its list of reserve officers after a subpoena and multiple lawsuits.

We will eventually find out what the ATF has on Chief Reznick.

A Brief History of What the ATF Does

1886 Part of the US Department of Treasury, formed as the Revenue Laboratory with the Department.

1920 Bureau of Prohibition formed as a unit of the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

1927 Made an independent agency within the Treasury Department.

1930 Transferred to Justice Department

1933 Made a division of the FBI.

1933 Volstead Act (which had established prohibition) repealed, FTA transferred back to the Department of the Treasury.

Early 1950s IRS is formed, ATU (former name of the ATF) given the responsibility of enforcing tobacco tax laws. Name changed to Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division.

1968 Gun Control Act passed, division name changed to Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearm division of the IRS.

1970 Congress enacts the Explosives Control Act to regulate the explosives industry and designate certain arsons and bombings as federal crimes. Those responsibilities were delegated to the ATF division of the IRS.

2001 Homeland Security Act shifted the ATF from Treasury to Department of Justice. The tax-related duties formerly assumed by the ATF were shifted over to the newly established Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which remained in the treasury department. Additionally, the ATF was, for all intents and purposes, the internal service dedicated to searching out illegal activity inside our nation’s borders having to do with explosives and illegal weapons.


What does this have to do with Oakley Chief Reznick? In fact, the ATF can’t raid a home without building a case, just like any other law enforcement operation.

In addition, you can be sure they have built enough of a case to obtain a warrant and search the home. Because the reserve officer position comes with special licenses to carry concealed weapons, this may be part of the investigation which has generated the search.