A Twelve-Year Retrospective: The Day, and the Photograph, That Changed Us
- It has been twelve years since the day that changed us. By “us,” which could be
expanded to include the country or globe, but it certainly changed the U.S.
Marshals Service. The September 11, 2001 tragedies at the Pentagon, New York
City, and rural Pennsylvania are regularly observed in many ways—always with
sadness with the enormity of the loss of life and institutions. These events had
many heroes, and their efforts are saluted. Every year, a display case appears
in the lobby of our headquarters, highlighting the anniversary date and various
artifacts from the ruins. However, it is also the reminder of the many hands
within our agency that healed after these tragedies.
Medina’s Thirty-Year Echo: Honoring the Memory of Our Fallen
Certain tragic moments in Marshals Service history bear thoughtful
reflection. We memorialize all 246 official line-of-duty deaths. The
unfortunate reality holds that USMS personnel face daily dangers going
after the “worst of the worst” fugitives. This truth resonates brightly
in our heritage. The most recent remembrances are the anniversaries
marking the deaths of Deputy U.S. Marshal Derek Hotsinpiller and Senior Inspector John Perry. Both brave men
were gunned down on missions against armed fugitives. Read More
Remembering William Degan Twenty Years Later
- On August 21, 1992, Deputy U.S. Marshal William F. Degan was killed in
a firefight in a remote area of Northern Idaho known as “Ruby Ridge.”
Although the location is usually associated with a series of tragic
events involving law enforcement operations, and the underlying
sentiment towards them, there was a very real loss in our own agency
that was often overshadowed in the headlines and hearings. Read More
the creation of more than 50 specialized federal law enforcement
agencies during the 20th century, the Marshals retained the broadest
jurisdiction and authority. For over 200 years now, U.S. Marshals and
their Deputies have served as the instruments of civil authority
used by all three branches of government. Marshals have been
involved in most of the major historical episodes in America's past.
The history of the Marshals is, quite
simply, the story of how the American people govern themselves.
This section of the web site not only
portrays, in words and pictures, the modern Marshals Service, but it also
recounts many of the highlights from the history of the U.S. Marshals; a
span of history that is unique in American law enforcement.
Service looks back on a proud heritage - a tradition spanning two
centuries of service to the Nation and dedication to the principles of
our Constitution and the rule of law.
As our young nation expanded
westward, U.S. Marshals embodied the civilian power of the Federal
Government to bring law and justice to the frontier. For every new
territory, marshals were appointed to impose the law on the untamed
wilderness. And, at virtually every significant point over the years
where Constitutional principles or the force of law have been
challenged, the marshals were there - and they prevailed.
The challenges faced today by
Marshals and their Deputies are no less demanding than those of the
past. In fact, the skills, devotion and determination required to
carry out our contemporary responsibilities make the modern Marshals
Service a unique and elite cadre of law enforcement professionals.
And so, in looking back over our history, we would hope that you
recognize and take pride in the fact that this agency is an intimate
part of the continuum of the grand American experiment in
Operation FALCON was a nationwide fugitive
apprehension operation coordinated by the United States Marshals
Service (USMS). The resources of federal, state, city and
county law enforcement agencies were combined to locate and apprehend
criminals wanted for crimes of violence.