Skip to Content

U.S. Marshals Service

Fact Sheets  

Tactical Operations Division

The Tactical Operations Division stands ready to meet the U.S. Marshals Service’s challenges of the 21st Century. These include responding to national emergencies and crises involving homeland security. Each year, TOD employees at headquarters and in the field, conduct hundreds of special missions related to the Marshals’ broad federal law enforcement and judicial security responsibilities.

The TOD serves as the primary operational point of contact between the Office of the Director and the districts, headquarters divisions and other agencies. When the USMS director authorizes a special assignment or special security mission, TOD is responsible for implementing those orders.

TOD is comprised of the following five areas: Office of Crisis Services, Office of Emergency Management, Office of Security Programs, Special Operations Group and Strategic National Stockpile Security Operations.

Office of Crisis Services

The Office of Crisis Services is a Peer Support Program that provides employees the opportunity to receive tangible crisis intervention services and stress management education following critical incidents such as shootings or other types of traumatic incidents. The office is comprised of two areas: the Critical Incident Team and the Employee Assistance Program.

Critical Incident Response Team

The Critical Incident Response Team is composed of volunteer peers who are specially trained and certified in Critical Incident Stress Management, to be available for immediate deployment in response of critical incidents.

Employee Assistance Program

The Employee Assistance Program is a confidential, voluntary program designed to help employees and family members resolve problems-whether they occur on or off the job.

Office of Emergency Management

The Office of Emergency Management is the primary point of contact for sensitive and classified missions, and has responsibility over the agency’s actions involving homeland security, national emergencies and domestic crises. OEM maintains a high state of readiness through preparedness exercises that ensure a capable response to critical incidents and national emergencies across the full spectrum of missions from protecting the federal judicial process to supporting law enforcement initiatives. The office is comprised of the following national program areas: the Explosive Detection Canine Program; Continuity of Government / Continuity of Operations; Enduring Constitutional Government; Emergency Operations Center; Incident Management Teams and USMS Communications Center.

Explosives Detection Canine Program

The EDCP provides canine security support during searches for explosive devices and execution of warrants. The eight EDCP teams in service meet with civic groups, professional organizations and the public to present lectures and demonstrations. EDCP support at National Security Special Events includes the Super Bowl, Republican and Democratic Conventions, the World Series, Olympics and Presidential Inaugurations.

Continuity of Operations / Continuity of Government

The agency is required to have a viable Continuity of Operations plan in place to ensure that essential functions can continue across a wide range of potential emergencies. The COOP plan provides direction to continue essential functions, reduce operational disruptions, identify headquarters personnel to perform emergency functions, provide for the protection of employees and designate leadership lines of succession. The U.S. Marshals Service assists DOJ in its Continuity of Government roles to ensure a functioning constitutional government under all circumstances.

Emergency Operations Center

The EOC serves as the national command and control base for the U.S. Marshals Service. The EOC is activated during times of national crisis or catastrophic events and coordinates all emergency response operations. It can be used during large-scale operations to serve as the central point of contact and support for deployed personnel.

Enduring Constitutional Government

ECG is a cooperative effort among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the federal government, coordinated by the president, as a matter of comity with respect to the legislative and judicial branches with proper respect for the constitutional separation of powers among the branches, to preserve the constitutional framework under which the nation is governed and the capability of all three branches of government to execute their constitutional responsibilities and provide for orderly succession, appropriate transition of leadership, interoperability , and support of NEFs during a catastrophic emergency.

Incident Management Teams

The IMTs support and assist districts in coordinating the response following a crisis event or an incident of national significance. There are five IMTs on a rotating on-call schedule. Each IMT consists of two Chief Deputy U.S. Marshals, an administrative officer, a trained EMT/paramedic, an Inspector from the Technical Operations Group and two Information Technology Services representatives. 

Communications Center

The Communications Center provides 24-hour law enforcement telecommunications, 365 days a year. The Communications Center supports the following:

  • Warrant Confirmation

  • NCIC/NLETS Support

  • Significant Incidents

  • Fugitive Tip Hotline

  • International Calls

  • Emergency Notification System

  • HQ Operational Status Line

    Many OEM programs are mandated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency Federal Preparedness Circular 65; Executive Order No. 12656, the National Response Framework; the Department of Justice; or in memorandums of understanding or agreement with the Department of Homeland Security, which were implemented following the 2001 terrorist attacks.

    Office of Security Programs

    The Office of Security Programs is responsible for the management and coordination of all security programs and plans, including the policies and guidelines for personnel security, applicant suitability, badge and credentialing, personal identity verification, document security and compliance, physical security programs and secure communications.

    Special Operations Group

    For more than 35 years, the SOG has supported the USMS, DOJ and other government agencies with a rapidly deployable, highly trained force of tactically trained law enforcement officers. SOG is comprised of a small full-time cadre and 80-100 volunteer Deputy U.S. Marshals, who must meet high standards and complete rigorous training in specialties such as high-risk entry, explosive breaching, sniper/observer, rural operations, evasive driving, less-lethal munitions, waterborne operations and tactical medical support.

    SOG supports all 94 U.S. judicial districts, territories and possessions by providing assistance in high-risk, sensitive law enforcement operations to include, but not limited to, enforcement operations, protective details, national emergencies, civil disturbances and national disasters. Due to the extensive training of SOG members, the unit is often called upon to train military, federal, state, local and foreign law enforcement groups in various tactical specialties.

    Located in Camp Beauregard, LA., the Special Operations Group Tactical Center is centrally located in the United States providing a rapid response throughout the country. From its headquarters in Louisiana, SOG deploys its fleet of armored vehicles, specialized equipment and tactical operators in support of domestic operations such as:

  • 15 Most Wanted investigations

  • Fugitive Task Force support

  • Terrorist trials and high-threat judicial proceedings

  • Motorcade protection for high-value individuals

  • Execution of court orders relating to the seizure of assets belonging to militia groups, domestic terrorist groups and other anti-government organizations
  • SOG participates in the International Stabilization and Reconstruction and Rule of Law programs working closely with DOD, DOJ and State Department personnel in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. In these endeavors, SOG has designed and constructed courts, judicial housing and witness protection safe sites in Iraq and the Central Narcotics Judicial Center in Afghanistan. SOG provides technologically advanced security equipment and programs to improve judicial and witness security in order to provide a more democratic judicial system and assist in the stabilization of the Iraq and Afghanistan governments.

    The USMS is specifically sought after to conduct national security operations on behalf of various U.S. government entities due to its unequaled authority and jurisdiction. SOG is often chosen for these national security operations due to the sensitive, covert nature of these missions that require elevated security clearances and specific training, equipment and tactical assets.

    Whether it is advanced training, high-risk tactical operations, international operations or assisting other government entities, when the agency identifies a need for extraordinary measures or if work is to be conducted in an austere, non-permissive environment, SOG is called into action.

    Strategic National Stockpile Security Operations

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Strategic National Stockpile has a national repository of medical countermeasures to augment state and local public health agencies in the event of a terrorist attack or other national emergency. In 2002, a memorandum of agreement between the Department of Health and Human Services and CDC was established. This agreement is entered into under the authority of the Economy Act of 1932, as amended (31 U.S.C. 1535 and 1536).

    The SNS Security Operations is the organization responsible for law enforcement support for the HHS/CDC/SNS. In this capacity, the four Chief Inspectors, 29 Senior Inspectors and 26 district collateral Deputies provide the SNS with law enforcement protective services for high-value and high-priority medical countermeasures during national emergencies or events throughout the United States and its territories.

    The SNSSO mission-essential tasks include:

    Law Enforcement and Security

    Securing high-value or high-priority medical countermeasures. Provides law enforcement services during operational missions, exercises and drills. Provides for the safety and security of members of the Technical Advisory Response Unit during physical deployments of SNS assets in response to an emergency or during training exercises. Conducts criminal investigations or administrative inquires as required.

    Physical Security and Risk Assessment

    Conducts physical security surveys and risk assessments at SNS facilities. Assessments include threat, vulnerability and criticality evaluations.


    Coordinates with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and first responders to enhance preparedness and response to risks, threats or incidents impacting SNS facilities.


    Mobile Force Protection and Armed Escort training and exercises that assist in developing security techniques.

    Intelligence / Information

    Works within the established intelligence framework and provides appropriate information from local, state and national levels. SNSSO Senior Inspectors participate in Joint Terrorism Task Force operations to provide the U.S. Marshals Service and the SNS with classified, actionable intelligence information affecting programs and operations.

    Office of Public Affairs
    U.S. Marshals Service Pub. No. 21-D
    revised Dec. 30, 2009 is an official site of the U.S. Federal Government, U.S. Department of Justice