What Do U.S. Marshals Do?
The U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) is the oldest U.S. law enforcement agency in existence. Founded in 1789, its duties include arresting federal fugitives, protecting the federal judiciary, operating the Witness Security Program, transporting federal prisoners, conducting body searches, enforcing court and Attorney General orders involving civil disturbances and acts of terrorism, executing civil and criminal processes, and seizing property acquired by criminals through illegal activities. These duties are carried out by U.S. marshals and Deputy Marshals who number in the thousands. Though U.S. marshals and Deputy Marshals carry out the duties of the USMS, presidentially elected U.S. Marshals have more power. Those elected by the president direct the activities of the district they are assigned to, with one being assigned to each of the 94 federal judicial districts.
Deputy Marshals who are placed in the Court Security Officer (CSO) program are responsible for protecting federal judicial officials. That includes judges, attorneys, and jurors. These special Deputy Marshals are picked from a pool of experienced ex-law enforcement officers, who have served in various capacities and specialties throughout their careers. While executing their duties, these Deputy Marshals will screen individuals entering the courthouse to detect and intercept weapons and other prohibited items.
U.S. Marshals are also responsible for transporting prisoners between judicial districts, correctional institutions, and foreign countries. Each year U.S. Marshals perform 275,400 prisoner and alien transportation procedures.
U.S. Marshals are the most effective law enforcement officials when it comes to apprehending federal fugitives.They arrested more than 33,700 federal fugitive felons in the 2014 fiscal year alone, which is more than the combined totals of any other law enforcement agency. They, however, do not work in isolation. U.S. marshals lead tasks forces that have the sole purpose of apprehending federal fugitives. Currently, there are 60 of these fugitive task forces at the district level and 7 at the regional level. Not only do U.S. marshals apprehend U.S. fugitive, they also locate and extradite foreign fugitives who are believed to be in the U.S. In the fiscal year of 2014 alone, U.S Marshals were responsible for 883 extraditions/ deportations.
U.S. Marshals supervise the housing of pre-sentenced prisoners. Pre-sentenced prisoners who are in U.S. Marshals’ custody are detained in state, local, and private facilities and Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facilities.
Sometimes U.S Marshals will seize items from criminals that have come into their possession by illegals means. Once these individuals have been sentenced, it is the responsibility of U.S. Marshals to dispose of these items. These seized and forfeited items are sold and the proceeds are funneled into law enforcements initiatives.
U.S. Marshals are assigned to the Witness Security Program. This program is dedicated to protecting state witnesses who testify for the government in cases involving organized crime and other significant criminal activities. Witnesses placed within the program are relocated and given new identities.
Typically, new U.S. Marshals are given an entry level salary of $45,371 (which includes locality pay 14.35%), though salary will depend on the geographic location in which they are employed. New Marshals are eligible for promotion after a year has passed. Subsequent to this, they become eligible for a pay raise each year that passes for the next two years. Benefits include access to a pension plan, social security, and a thrift savings plan. U.S. Marshals are allowed to retire after 25 years of service or at 50, with 20 years of service but are forced to retire at the age of 57.