According to a report titled “National Sources of Law Enforcement Employment Data” by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, the FBI estimates approximately 18,000 law enforcement agencies exist in America.
This information is gleaned from the number of agencies that report annual data to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program.
This program has been administered by the FBI since 1930. The UCR involves voluntary reporting of crimes known to law enforcement, as well as arrest information, and law enforcement employee data.
Insightful information on crime and law enforcement can be viewed from the UCR. But, for the purpose of this article, let us notice the extensive law enforcement network dedicated to protecting and serving America.
Many of these agencies, as well as issues critical to American policing, have been highlighted in my articles for the Epoch Times and also my presentations throughout the United States.
In this article, I would like to highlight the United States Marshals Service (USMS) and honor their pivotal role in safeguarding America.
Protect, Defend, Enforce
Since the USMS was America’s first federal law enforcement agency, established in 1789, it is considered the nation’s police force.
As detailed in the USMS Strategic Plan: 2012-2018, “The USMS protects the judicial process; the cornerstone of American democracy. Providing federal judicial security; apprehending fugitives and non-compliant sex offenders; securing and transporting federal prisoners from arrest to incarceration; executing federal court orders; seizing and managing assets acquired through illegal means; and assuring the safety of endangered government witnesses and their families is our mission. The USMS uses this influence and reach gained through its accomplished history and broad authority to collaborate with other federal, state, local, and international law enforcement agencies, as well as with concerned citizens and members of the judiciary, to form a united front against crime.”
The mission of the USMS is “to protect, defend, and enforce the American justice system.”
Their vision is “a world class law enforcement agency—unified in our mission and workforce; professional and agile, with modernized tools and capabilities; strategically building upon our status as a trusted partner by achieving the highest levels of effectiveness, efficiency, safety, and security.”
Collaboration, Critical to the Mission
The extensive network of the USMS is expressed through a geographical structure that mirrors the structure of the United States district courts.
There are 94 federal judicial districts in each state, the District of Columbia, and Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Let us focus on two USMS districts, where I have been privileged to personally know the U.S. Marshal’s for each district.
U.S. Marshal Juan Mattos, Jr., whom I have been privileged to know for nearly 30 years, serves as the United States Marshal for the District of New Jersey.
Marshal Mattos and I first met in 2006 prior to my keynote titled “American Leadership Principles for Law Enforcement.” The keynote was delivered for the West Point Command and Leadership Graduation.
This program, under the auspices of the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police (NJSACOP) was dedicated to developing future law enforcement leaders.
At that event, and at numerous FBI and other law enforcement initiatives over the years, I was always impressed by the professionalism, respectability, and dignity of Mattos.
Now at brief look at his district.
Aside from fundamental information on the USMS District of New Jersey website, a success story crystalizes their collaborative effort with arresting dangerous felons.
In one incident, members of the USMS New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force, Newark Division, arrested an individual wanted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms on charges of being a convicted felon in possession of a weapon.
The outcome, without their intervention with successfully apprehending this individual, could have been another horrid headline.
Now, let us move from the USMS district of New Jersey to New York State.
In New York State, the USMS is divided into four judicial districts, referred to as the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of New York.
Since I have been privileged to know U.S. Marshal Michael Greco, who provides leadership for the Southern District of New York, let us take a view of his district.
Marshal Greco and I have met at numerous programs over the last few years, including events for the National Law Enforcement Associates, National Law Enforcement Foundation, ASIS International, and the First Precinct Financial Area Security Council.
On two occasions I had the privilege of attending Marshal Greco’s presentations on the USMS. His loyalty, commitment, and dedication to his profession was inspirational.
The USMS Southern District comprises the counties of Bronx, Dutchess, New York, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Westchester, and concurrently with the Eastern District, the waters within the Eastern District.
In one of the countless success stories exemplifying collaboration, a fugitive wanted on outstanding homicide charges out of the United Kingdom was arrested by a team of U.S. Marshals and Task Force Officers from the New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force in the Southern District of New York.
There were two television shows that I remember from my childhood in the 1960’s that dramatized the legacy of the USMS.
One show portrayed Wyatt Earp, an iconic frontiersman from the glorified American West.
Wyatt Earp was a deputy town marshal in Tombstone, Arizona Territory. Earp was known as soft-spoken but with nerves of steel. Perhaps he is best remembered for taking part in a gunfight at the O.K. Corral during which lawmen killed three outlaw cowboys in 1881.
Although many aspects of Earp’s life are clouded by myth, he did serve the USMS as a deputy marshal.
In another show, Bat Masterson, a lawman, gunfighter, and well-known Old West character was portrayed.
The USMS cites Bat Masterson as one who began wearing their renowned star-shaped badge around 1880. His service began in Kansas with a subsequent move to Arizona.
Masterson was well-known for his dandy dress and being a sharpshooter. After his USMS out West, Masterson then moved to New York, serving the Southern District from 1905-1909.
Yet, beyond the legendary portrayals of Hollywood, the USMS is vital to the security of America.
Their service is exemplified through outstanding public servants Michael Greco and Juan Mattos, Jr., their U.S. Marshal colleagues, and approximately 3,700 deputy U.S. Marshals and criminal investigators who protect and serve America.
Our nation’s law enforcement agencies, in collaboration with private security professionals, our armed forces, and dedicated community members are critical to safeguarding our homeland.
As we honor the USMS, and all dedicated to protecting and serving America, let us intensify our dedication to a unity of effort.
These are challenging times that demand our leadership, vigilance, and collaboration, and we must commit ourselves to partnerships throughout all of society.
This unity of effort is inseparable from the USMS mission. This mission beckons us to protect, defend, and enforce the values of our justice system, all of which complement the security of our nation.
Vincent J. Bove, CPP, is a national speaker and author on issues critical to America. Bove is a recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for combating crime and violence and is a former confidant of the New York Yankees. His newest book is “Listen to Their Cries.” For more information, see www.vincentbove.com
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.