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For Immediate Release

January 30, 2009 USMS Headquarters Public Affairs (202) 307-9065

Remarks Prepared for Delivery by U.S. Marshals Service
Director John F. Clark at the Plenary Session II Keynote Address
before the National Sheriffs’ Association’s 2009 Winter Conference

WASHINGTON – Thank you President Goad, Director Kennard, NSA Leadership and members for inviting me to speak today. I feel like I am among friends. In Washington, D.C., it is not easy to be standing before a large group of people and know that they are friends.

Welcome to Washington.

These are difficult times for our country, yet one thing is universally true about law enforcement: we show true bipartisanship by the way we go about protecting the American people…we get the job done no matter what name appears on our badge or what uniform we wear. We should all take comfort in that.

There are several things that bind the Office of Sheriff and the U.S. Marshals Service together:

Our history. Yes, the Office of Sheriff may actually have a few years on us, but it was the U.S. Marshals and Sheriffs who brought law and order to an emerging democracy.

Our missions. Fugitive apprehensions, protecting the courts, providing for the safety and security of prisoners and witnesses and protecting our citizens are still our top priorities.

Our vision for the future. We both want a safe and secure America and will do everything possible within our capabilities to prevent terrorism, secure our borders and bring criminals to justice.

Let me give you some news you can use in the form of joint Marshals Service and sheriff success stories.

We recently graduated our first class of fellows from the National Center for Judicial Security, which provides a wide range of services and support to federal, state, local and international jurisdictions as they seek advice and assistance on judicial security. The center initiates programs and activities directly related to threat assessment, training, information sharing and technology review. Our newest Judicial Security Fellows, representing sheriffs’ offices in Marion County, Indiana, Polk County, Florida and Hanover County, North Carolina, trained and served with Marshals Service counterparts and experienced high level executive protection and security operations. They have since returned to their local sheriffs’ offices to implement these best practices. Our next fellowship session is scheduled for this March, and we are exploring adding another class in September.

The Marshals Service is proud to partner with the National Sheriffs’ Association to host the first National Conference for Judicial Security at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, June 24 to 25. This conference will follow your annual conference and will focus on joint efforts to improve court and judicial security, threat management and terrorism issues.

Everyday, across our nation, Deputy U.S. Marshals are working together with Sheriffs’ Deputies in joint enforcement operations. Last year’s nationwide Operation FALCON resulted in the arrest of 19,380 fugitives and 25,087 warrants cleared, and the statewide Operation Orange Crush in Florida resulted in almost 2,500 arrests.

Sheriffs participate in our six regional and our 90-plus district fugitive task forces which set a record last year with more than 100,000 fugitive apprehensions.

Enforcement of the Adam Walsh Act, which is not yet fully funded, has to date brought over 8,000 sex offenders to justice, often with deputy sheriffs working directly alongside us.

We are opening a Sex Offender Targeting Center this year as a shared resource with you and other state and local partners seeking to track and locate sex offenders.

Sheriff’s across the country have participated in Fugitive Safe Surrender, helping over 10,000 fugitives surrender safely at a neutral location, usually a local church. Former Cape May County, New Jersey Sheriff James Plousis, who is the U.S. Marshal in our New Jersey District, recently conducted a Safe Surrender operation in Camden in which 2,245 people turned themselves in. As with any initiative that does not have a dedicated funding stream, we are reviewing this program and may be forced to curtail it due to budget constraints.

The USMS currently houses about 56,000 federal prisoners, and the vast majority of these prisoners are located in 1,800-plus facilities, such as yours, for care and safe keeping. I applaud your commitment to our detention needs. We could not operate without you.

Our Justice Alien and Prisoner Transportation System averages over 250,000 prisoner movements each year. There is a current moratorium on using JPATS air service to move state and local prisoners due to budget constraints.

Now, let me share with you some U.S. Marshals Service and sheriff judicial security issues.

The Marshals Service and Cook County, Illinois Sheriff now share threat data and information which has led to several cases being jointly worked, the threats being mitigated and the offender brought to justice.

The U.S. Marshals Service Threat Management Center is a national clearinghouse for judicial threats. Our long term goal is to collect state and local threat data and turn it back out to state and local governments for sharing.

The Marshals Service has conducted Protective Investigations Training with state and local officers and, during the initial class, 24 deputy sheriffs received training in this area. We hope to do more of this training in 2009.

The U.S. Marshals Service is responsible for protecting 7,000 federal judges, federal prosecutors and Supreme Court Justices as well as protection details for the Deputy Attorney General of the United States and the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. We could not do this without the support of local Sheriff’s Offices. Last year, and often with the help of our local Sheriff partners, we investigated over 1,270 threats against our protectees.

U.S. Marshals manage assets seized through the forfeiture process, and our most recent figures show we have been able to share over $400 million worth of seized assets with our state and local partners – a great benefit to sheriffs nationally.

In closing, let me state that our relationship is strong and vibrant and I intend to do everything possible to keep it that way.

Thank you for the support you give to us. Whether hunting down a dangerous fugitive, working together to find someone who has threatened a judge or making sure we have bed space for our 56,000 federal prisoners, the National Sheriffs have continually answered the call. We could not do our jobs without you!

Thank you for allowing me to share a few words today. The bottom line is that we are all in this together, but I am grateful for your support. May God bless you all and our great nation.