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Will Haynes

Junior, sociology
College of Liberal Arts

Will Haynes, a junior from Kennesaw, Ga., spent his summer interning with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in its Atlanta Field Division, working with agents who investigated arson cases and illegal firearms trafficking. He is majoring in sociology in the College of Liberal Arts with a concentration in criminology and expects to graduate in 2014. After graduation, he plans to work in law enforcement either on the federal level or with a sheriff's department.

1. How did you become interested in law enforcement?

I have always had a passion for law enforcement and a respect for the men and women who risk their lives every day to keep everyone safe. I first became interested in the federal government when I took a forensic science class in high school where I studied agencies like the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

2. How did your internship with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives develop?

The process for this internship started about three years ago when I was a senior in high school. Two ATF special agents visited our forensic science class and presented what they do on a daily basis; they also brought their explosives dog named Glow. A short time after I graduated in 2010, I contacted the special agents about interning with them. I had planned to intern with them in summer 2011, but the paperwork as well as everything else took too long, so it did not work out. Throughout this past year I was in contact with the public information officer, Richard Coes, and after being cleared through the Office of Personnel Management with my background check, I was able to start my internship with the ATF at the beginning of summer 2012.

3. Tell us some of the things you did during the internship?

I was privileged to work this summer with the Firearms Trafficking Group, the Arson and Explosives Group and the K9 Unit. I witnessed a storefront operation that lead to more than 60 arrests, confiscation of 300 illegal weapons and the seizure of numerous amounts of drugs. This operation took place in southwest Atlanta, where ATF agents did surveillance for almost a year to make arrests and to make sure the criminals were indicted on the federal level.

I was also privileged to work with K9 Units from the ATF, DEA, U.S. Marshals Office, Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Georgia Tech Police. On July 25, I was able to go to Turner Field in Atlanta to observe dog training. This consists of a special agent hiding some type of black powder or something that resembles an explosive device within the stadium. After that, the agents take their dogs to every part of the facility until they pick up on the scent and the source of the scent is. These dogs are rewarded by praise and a chew toy after they complete their job. During this training I was able to meet Zachary Bryan, who attended Auburn University and graduated in 2008. He was an intern with the Auburn Police Division and is now working with the K9 Unit of the Georgia Tech Police.

4. You mentioned you are from an Auburn family. Tell us about your parents' and siblings' Auburn connections.

I was born and raised an Auburn fan. It all started with my parents meeting each other at Auburn. They both love Auburn and raised my two older sisters and me the same way. Both of my sisters have already attended and graduated from Auburn. Also, my aunts, uncles and cousins have all carried on the Auburn tradition within my family.

5. Do you have a role model or mentor?

This past summer I was blessed to meet some great guys with the ATF and also with the Paulding County Sheriff's Office. I would have to say the biggest role model for me at this point in my life would have to be one of the special agents working for the ATF. I am not able to release his name for his protection and his undercover work. I can tell you though that he has impacted my life in many ways, and he is truly someone that has been called to law enforcement. He is passionate and knows that just because he has a badge and a gun, it does not make him better than anyone else. He doesn't do his job for the benefits or just so he can say he is a federal agent. He is committed and dedicated to his line of work and is making Atlanta a safer place to live. I also would have to say that Ashley Henson was a mentor to me throughout the summer. He is the public information officer for the Paulding County Sheriff's Office. He once was part of the Paulding County K9 Unit, as well as the SWAT Team. He attended West Georgia and was an intern with the GBI. He has been someone that I can relate to, and also look to for advice in my future.

Sept. 10, 2012