225th Anniversary Banner

For Immediate Release

September 24, 2014 District of Alaska
Rochelle Liedike, Deputy U.S. Marshal  (907) 271-5170
U.S. Marshals Celebrate 225 Years of Service
Nation’s oldest federal law enforcement agency continues to build on its legendary origins and extraordinary reputation

Anchorage, AK – 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.

The U.S. Marshals Service’s legendary origins began in 1789 when the nation’s first president appointed the first U.S. Marshals.

“When President George Washington appointed the first 13 U.S. Marshals 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 the 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.

“Through the focused use of our fugitive task force, the continued cooperation of our state and local partners, the selected and lawful use of technologies available, and our specialized investigative expertise, the Marshals Service has made it increasingly difficult for fugitives to escape justice here in Alaska and around the rest of the country,” said Rob Heun, U.S. Marshal for the District of Alaska. The U.S. Marshals-led Alaska Fugitive Task Force arrests approximately 120 federal and state fugitives each year for charges such as murder, assault, unregistered sex offenders, and various probation and parole violations. The vast majority of these suspects are knowingly eluding law enforcement officers and avoiding apprehension, prompting extensive fugitive investigations.

The U.S. Marshals in Alaska are also tasked with protecting the federal courts and facilities, managing the care and transport of nearly 150 prisoners per day, and continuing to cultivate supportive relationships with federal, state and local law enforcement partners.

“It is important to realize that the Marshals Service has developed contemporaneously with the country,” said Marshal Heun. “That’s a legacy worth celebrating.”

Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.


America’s Oldest Federal Law Enforcement Agency