Guest OpEd By Craig Michael Caine, retired Deputy U.S. Marshal
This Regional Fugitive Task Force was the first and only Congressional Funded Law Enforcement Task Force, created by U.S. Congress after 911, to locate and arrest the most violent felony fugitives wanted by Federal, State and Local Jurisdictions both domestically and internationally.
Congress decided to make the United States Marshal’s Service the lead agency, and partner up with Local Police Departments, Sheriff’s Departments, City and Town Departments and State Police Agencies, along with other federal agencies.
(An Introduction to the United States Marshals Service narrated by John Walsh from America’s Most Wanted. Courtesy of Shane T. McCoy and YouTube)
One of Law Enforcement’s biggest problem was information sharing, especially among certain Federal agencies, there seemed to be an inherent distrust which culminated prior to and during the 911 attacks.
This was our goal in the USMS, to treat everyone as an equal partner, deputize them so that they could work their case across state lines and ultimately bring the bad guy in to face justice.
This concept has worked really well as we were able to bring the resources of all of the different departments on board without having to jump through hoops, cutting the so called ‘RED TAPE,’ and receiving the information needed in an expedited fashion.
The time and effort saved is so instrumental in not only finding fugitives, but developing intel that can be passed on to other agencies to help prevent another crime or attack.
These Regional Fugitive Task Forces’, since its inception, continue to arrest more fugitives in a year than all the Federal Agencies and Police Departments throughout the U.S. combined, which is truly and amazing feat.
(Learn More, as Lenny DePaul tells us a little bit about what it takes to be in charge of the US Marshals Fugitive Task Force for NY/NJ. Courtesy of A&E and YouTube.)
We are not the F.B.I., we do not have the manpower and resources that the bureau has, yet we are tasked with such a broad scope of authority that most people have no idea about what exactly it means to be a U.S. Marshal.
The USMS was created in 1789 and President George Washington appointed the first 13 U.S. Marshal’s, one for each state, to combat treason, counterfeiting, and other lawlessness in this newly formed nation.
Prior to this, it was the Sheriff who was the chief law enforcement officer under English rule.
As the nation acquired more land, the Marshals expanded with the territory, this is where the Marshals lost most of their deputies, and still holds the record for the most agents killed in the line of duty.
The old west fighting outlaws, who often hid in the Indian Territories and badlands are the films Hollywood thrived on, and the Marshal were always played by some of Hollywood’s iconic actors.
All through out this period, the Marshal was still tasked with providing protection to the judiciary, the courts and to get the prisoners to trial.
This still continues to this very day, along with Witness Security (WITSEC) or as it has become known ‘Witness Protection.’
During the Prohibition period, and before the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) was formed, it was the U.S. Marshal who accompanied the revenuers to arrest the keepers of the stills and the rum runners.
This also holds true for the early F.B.I. who at the time were an investigative agency for the U.S. Attorney’s Office and who did not have the statutory authority to make arrests and carry firearms.
Also, a little-known fact, it was the Military and the U.S. Marshal who protected the President, it was rumored that President Lincoln gave the U.S. Marshal off the night that he was assassinated, thus creating the U.S. Secret Service.
During World War Two, it was the Marshal Service who had the unfortunate responsibility of interning Japanese and Italian Americans in camps until the war was over.
This also held true for our unfairly treated Native American Indians during the expansion west, and the taking of their land.
Marshals were at the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement, often tasked with restoring order during Civil unrest and the integration of African Americans into southern colleges and schools.
In one famous scene in Mississippi, a hand full of deputy marshals held off a huge crowd with tear gas, and when the gas ran out and before reinforcements could arrive, the marshals successfully completed their mission without firing a single shot at the unruly mob.
(PA State Rep. Mike Regan recognizes the role of the United States Marshals in the recent manhunt for accused cop-killer Eric Frein, on the House Floor. Courtesy of Rep. Mike Regan. Posted on Feb 26, 2015)
During the cold war, it was the Marshal’s responsibility to provide security to the Air Force whenever a intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) was being moved to a silo, ensuring all persons were vetted, and a safe secure route was planned.
There are so many stories and duties that the U.S. Marshal performs that I could write a book, but since we were not a glory seeking agency, we are accustomed to taking a back seat to other Federal Agencies.
Only recently has the Marshal Service come out of the shadows and beginning to receive the praise that it so deserves.
As I look back on the years I spent in Law Enforcement, and speaking to various people, I have concluded that there is a fundamental lack of respect for not only the Police but for everyone and anyone who has a different view point.
Besides proper upbringing, and with the advent of Social media and the different platforms of social communications available in today’s market, the youth of today is lacking the very social and interpersonal communication skills necessary to assimilate into a stable face to face, person to person relationship.
You cannot learn values through a computer, and you cannot learn social skills sitting at your Lap Top, I Phone and Desk Top on Facebook, Instagram or while Texting, thus the human interaction has been removed from the equation.
Kids today have no idea the fun that we had growing up in the 50, 60 and 70’s, when we invented our own games or played the games that were passed down from our Parents, Uncles, Aunts, Relative and Friends.
This gave us a sense of pride, we learned respect for one another’s toys, learned leadership, compassion ingenuity and integrity.
You can’t learn that from sitting at home typing away.
The children today start at a very early age getting involved in these social platforms, and I understand that it is inevitable that technology will and must progress, but if the parents step up and teach the kids that the Police are not you enemy, regardless of what you read on these social media sites, then maybe, just maybe, we will see a reversal in the youth of today’s attitude.
I made a comment to one of my young Nephews some years ago, while he was fiddling away on the computer for hours.
I told him, “why don’t you and your friends go out in the woods, build a Fort and play Army?” His response was, “what’s a wood?”
I then said, “Let’s get a few of the guys together and play a little stick ball. We’ll get a old broom handle for a bat, some chalk and draw some bases out front in the street and play ball!”
His response was, “Why go through all the trouble when we can play all the games we want on the computer?”
So, as I stated earlier, I believe that the youth of today is driven by the media and offers no real view for them to socially interact with the real world, thus alienating them from the values that really matter.
If we are to survive as a free, respectable Nation, God knows what they are or aren’t going to teach their kids?
I also wonder what they are learning in the classroom.
This new wave of political correctness is going to kill us. It’s usually one sided and the kids are put on the ropes, not being able to address issues without the possibility of ridicule or retribution.
This is just one man’s view and I do not mean to offend anyone, but we must teach our children, the future leaders of the world at an early age, the true meaning of social interaction, and respect and tolerance for all.
Currently, it appears that we are all guilty to some degree of not educating the youth properly, but it is my belief that we have reached the level where most of us are unwittingly being held hostage by the Media, whether it be Social or Mainstream.
Unfortunately, this is the way of the future and I do not see a reversal, unless you live in North Korea.
We must adjust, keep vigilant, and do not succumb to all the false narratives being put forth by hate groups, anti-police groups and those that use protests in a negative and destruct full fashion.
In my opinion those who incite riots in the guise of a peaceful freedom of speech movement, are nothing more than thugs and rioters.
In closing, I wish to thank Amanda Coleman, The Irish Angel and her team, for giving me the opportunity to share some of my personal views and thoughts with you.
Thank you Amanda for the great service that you provide, and your love for the Military, Law Enforcement and First Responders.
I thank all of our active and retired folks who keep us safe day in and day out. Our UNSUNG HERO’S!
The U.S. Marshals Service is the nation’s primary fugitive hunting organization and captures more federal fugitives each year than all other law enforcement agencies combined.
Annually, U.S. Marshals arrest more than 50 percent of all federal fugitives and serve more federal warrants than all other federal agencies combined.
Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.
America’s Oldest Federal Law Enforcement Agency
Also go to http://usmmuseum.org/ to learn about The United States Marshals Museum.
The board and staff of the Museum prioritizes honoring and telling stories of the USMS in its entirety, from the Judiciary Act of 1789 to present day.
(In celebration of the novel True Grit, real-life U.S. Marshal Anthony Gasaway discusses the U.S. Marshal’s Service and explain how the duties performed by True Grit’s fictional Rooster Cogburn, compare with those assumed by members of today’s U.S. Marshals Service. Courtesy of The Kansas City Public Library and YouTube)