Nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency continues to build on its legendary origins and extraordinary reputation
WASHINGTON – Today the U.S. Marshals Service celebrates its 225th anniversary. As the nation’s oldest, most versatile federal law enforcement agency, it continues to build on its legacy of steadfast service and its unique position in the country’s federal justice system.
“When President George Washington appointed the first 13 U.S. Marshals on Sept. 24, 1789, his pen marked the creation of an agency that has since played a role in virtually every facet of the nation’s federal judiciary during times of crisis and times of peace,” said U.S. Marshals Service Director Stacia Hylton.
“From upholding the law in our untamed western territories to tracking and apprehending the most notorious fugitives, the U.S. Marshals Service has been committed to answering the call of our great nation for justice,” said Hylton.
Some of those challenges to justice included responding to the Whiskey Rebellion under the command of President Washington in 1794; keeping the trains moving during the Pullman railroad strikes in 1894; enforcing court orders related to civil rights and the desegregation of the South during the 1960s, protecting witnesses who testified against organized crime, and securing all high-threat federal trials involving domestic and international terrorism such as the World Trade Center and Oklahoma City bombing trials, and most recently, the Boston Marathon bombing trial.
“As we mark 225 years of service, our men and women stand ready to continue that commitment,” said Hylton.
Today, the U.S. Marshals Service is a force of 5,400 deputies and civil servants who carry out operational and administrative duties as varied as apprehending fugitives, housing and transporting prisoners, protecting witnesses and federal judges, and managing and selling seized assets.
Most notably, the Marshals Service is the federal government’s primary agency for conducting fugitive investigations. Working with its law enforcement partners at the federal, state, and local levels, the Marshals apprehend more federal fugitives than all other federal law enforcement agencies combined. In fact, in fiscal year 2013 alone, the U.S. Marshals arrested more than 110,000 fugitives.
"With our fugitive task forces, state-of-the-art technology, and investigative expertise, we have made the idea of escaping justice nearly impossible. Every day our deputies track down the worst-of-the-worst criminal offenders,” said Hylton.
Other agency accomplishments include protecting the federal courts and facilities from more than 1,000 threats and inappropriate communications, daily managing the care and transport of nearly 60,000 prisoners, and combating major criminal activity by stripping criminals of their ill-gotten gains and distributing $200 million to victims of crime through the effective management and disposition of assets seized for forfeiture. In addition, through the enforcement of the Adam Walsh Act, the U.S. Marshals Service helps protect our communities and children from noncompliant sex offenders.
“As we mark this tremendous milestone of 225 years, I am honored to lead an organization made up of so many dedicated professionals, and I am proud of their commitment to and embodiment of our motto of justice, integrity and service,” said Hylton.