How ATFE treats agents who pursue bad guys
I've got a copy of a Justice Dept Office of Inspector General report on a case--can't post it because it gives names and addresses, and I haven't the pdf editing capability to delete them. But here's a summary:
ATF agent goes deep undercover, pursuing some genuinely violent bad guys. I'm talking outlaw biker gangs, prison gangs, that manner of thing. The report doesn't say, but I assume it took years. It's not like you can look up the Aryan Brotherhood or Mexican Mafia in the telephone book and send a membership application and wait for their magazine to tell you about their illegal activities. He got in, built some cases. Prosecutions result and his cover is of course blown (you can't testify under your alias).
He runs into a member of one of the groups, and they tell him outright that the group has their eye on him, will get even, he is dead meat, etc.. He requests from his supervisor an emergency transfer. With one of those the person and family are moved immediately, to a good distance, and given new identities (down to a credit history under their new names, so no one can trace them that way).
His supervisor handles it as an ordinary, voluntary, transfer. As in, it'll take weeks for approval, if we do approve, you can be transferred nearby, no new identity. In the meantime other reports are coming in. An informant who shared a cell with a prison gang leader reports that he saw a list of men marked for "hits" and noticed the agent's name on it. Etc., etc.. It becomes apparent that not one, but two groups well-known for killing people are both out to kill him.
The transfer is not modified. It's still voluntary, agent is in one duty station and would like to move to another for personal reasons, and HQ will process when they feel like it.
Maybe prison gangs have their own bureaucracy ("as district chief, I can approve ordinary hits, but hits on LEOs have to be approved by the regional director") but he survives long enough to get his transfer. An ordinary transfer, no new identity, etc.. (And he probably paid for the moving expenses).
The IG report of course faults the agency for how it was handled. But I suspect the folks who bumbled it and came close to getting their guy killed suffered no more than temporary embarassment, and that the agent will be regarded by his superiors as a pain in the neck for having complained.