Baltimore, MD – The U.S. Marshals Service is launching its first community oriented policing unit in the District of Maryland. Silver Shield is an interagency coalition consisting of deputies, criminal investigators, and local law enforcement professionals tasked with implementing national Sex Offender Investigations Branch initiatives at the District level.
On Dec. 18, 2014, President Barack Obama issued an Executive Order creating a task force on 21st century policing. This task force identified six key findings to include the need to change the culture of policing, embrace community policing, ensure fair and impartial policing, build community capital, improve officer wellness and safety, and leverage technology to improve efficiency and transparency. (Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, 2015).
Silver Shield was designed to enhance protection of the public by collaborating with federal, state, and local partners to synergize the investigation of fugitive matters, capture non-compliant/wanted sex offenders, and recover missing and endangered children. Creators of the Silver Shield initiative believe it will position the service to serve as the national model for interagency-community collaboration.
"The calls for law enforcement reform cannot go unanswered," said Johnny L. Hughes, U.S. Marshal for the District of Maryland. "That's why I am so proud of our deputies, because this was their idea. We created Silver Shield to let the American people know we hear them loud and clear."
District Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Mathew N. Silverman added, "I have always been a huge proponent of community-oriented policing. While the U.S. Marshals Service is well known for being the enforcement arm of the federal court system, the Silver Shield program was established to strengthen our bond with the community and emphasize our role as guardians of the republic."
Working in collaboration with the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force and the U.S Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland, the U.S. Marshals expect to conduct joint sex offender and/or missing child operations on a quarterly basis. The U.S. Marshals hope to expand the unit by working with special deputized task force officers and other local law enforcement partners on an ad hoc basis.