Andrew Smith Exemplifies The Role of U.S. Marshals in Public Protection and Security

by Legal Published on: 01 July 2024 Last Updated on: 23 July 2024

Witness Protection

The United States Marshals Service (U.S.) is an inalienable part of the United States federal justice system. They are adept in offering a wide range of critical services. All these efforts ensure the uncompromising safety and security of the public.

The organization came into existence in the year 1789.  It became one of the oldest federal law enforcement agencies in the United States. 

The USMS performs several duties. Moreover, their services extend from safeguarding federal witnesses to apprehending fugitives to managing assets seized from malicious elements in society. 

These efforts provide much-needed security to federal judicial officials. However, this article delves into the various roles that U.S. Marshals play in providing protection and security services to the public.

Judicial Security

Judicial Security

Providing security to the participants of the federal judicial system, such as attorneys and jurors, is one of the primary responsibilities of the U.S. Marshals. 

The ultimate objective of providing security to these stakeholders is for the U.S. to maintain the integrity of the judicial process. 

The U.S. Marshals comprehensively monitor the people mentioned above. However, in some circumstances, they protect the accommodations for those involved in trials of notoriously influential criminals. 

Witness Security Program

One of the key roles of the U.S. Marshals is overseeing and administering the Witness Security Program, also known as the Witness Protection Program.  

This point is important from the point of view of combating terrorist activities and other serious offenses. 

In addition, these U.S. marshals ensure the security of the government witnesses and their immediate deputies, whose testimony plays a key role in the case. This is because there persists a dangling danger when offering testimony against drug traffickers, terrorists, and other major criminals.

However, the Marshals Services’ role becomes crucial in safely and effectively relocating and protecting witnesses who are key to extracting the right outcome in the case.

Fugitive Operations

The USMS also leads the nation’s efforts in fugitive apprehension. This is the mission area where I spent most of my career.  Marshals have the authority to chase down and arrest fugitives who have warrants in any jurisdiction in the U.S. 

This includes the capture of fugitives who are wanted on federal warrants. Alongside, the U.S. often includes working in task forces involving state and local law enforcement to apprehend suspects wanted on state charges. 

The coordination between different agencies is a critical aspect of the Marshals’ success in reducing violent crime by removing dangerous offenders from the community.

Asset Forfeiture

The U.S. Marshals manage and dispose of assets seized and forfeited by individuals convicted of federal offenses. The forfeiture of assets program intends to implement asset forfeiture powers to safeguard public security. 

This not only deters crime but also helps to restore the property of the victims while minimizing the impact on innocent parties. 

However, by managing and selling these assets, from real estate to vehicles, art, and antiques, the Marshals contribute to the effectiveness and efficiency of federal law enforcement.

Special Missions and Programs

U.S. Marshals also perform a variety of special missions. It includes protecting the U.S. strategic National Stockpile, which contains much of the nation’s critical emergency medical supplies and equipment. 

Moreover, their involvement in crisis situations—such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks is commendable. You can say it is a testament to their versatility and importance in federal emergency planning and response.  

The Marshals have been integral in the federal response to nearly every natural disaster.

The expertise of Marshals in tactical operations is frequently called upon in critical situations. Experienced Marshals like Andrew Smith, who has served as the Assistant Director for Tactical Operations, have led strategic responses that require not only physical security measures but also a deep understanding of crisis management and operational planning.

Community Outreach

The U.S. Marshals also participate in spreading awareness through community outreach beyond their periphery of enforcement duties.

However, the ultimate objective of these programs is to educate the common people on how the federal judicial system functions and the key role of the Marshals in it. 

Community outreach acts as a link between the community and law enforcement. Besides, the Marshals play a key role in fostering a partnership that benefits both sides by enhancing the safety of the common people and community relations.

The Key Challenges Of Witness Protection

The witness plays a key role in extracting the right results of a criminal proceeding. However, the area of concern is that the malicious elements may try to use their resources to bury the evidence. 

This effort may usher in fear and danger in the lives of the witnesses. Moreover, there are instances when one of the parties involved in the case may try to buy the witness to have an outcome on their side.  

Even in instances galore, the criminals hurled attacks on the main witnesses. Besides, they lowered down to even taking their lives so that the truth remains embedded and does not see the light of justice.  

This is why protecting the witnesses becomes important in the case outcome. However, there are some of the inherent challenges that organizations like U.S. marshals or other such bodies face when it comes to protecting witnesses.

Psychological  Trauma:

The witnesses who come out against syndicates often do it at the cost of risks and uncertainty. An individual has to go through severe psychological trauma when it comes to becoming a witness. 

The sense of being vulnerable may affect an individual from within. As a result, it may lead to severe depression, anxiety, and psychological trauma. 

Social Dislocation:

The authorities may sometimes need to dislocate the witness for the sake of protection. As a result, the witness may need to stay away from friends, family, and communities. 

This awfully painful and grotesque situation may lead to stress, social alienation, and mental health problems. 

As a result many witnesses refrain from partaking in the proceedings. It becomes a challenge for security agencies like the U.S. Marshals to make them witnesses. 


One of the key challenges the U.S. Marshals may face while protecting the witnesses is logistical. Yes, ensuring security for the witnesses has indeed become complicated. 

In addition, the witness must have to be provided with access to resources and financial support. 

However, the authorities need to work with coordination and alacrity to overcome these challenges.  But notwithstanding all of this, logistics persist as one of the key challenges for the authorities. 


Witnesses who testify against the criminal syndicate are always at risk. They may face retaliation in the form of verbal attacks or social isolation. 

Attacks can also be in the form of economic sabotage. In addition, they witnesses face numerous threats to their safety and well-being.

Hence, the U.S. Marshals and other similar bodies usually play an important part in responding to threats. They are ever vigilant so that the witness remains unaffected. Protection for these witnesses includes programs like 24/7 security. This includes deploying surveillance bodyguards and secure housing.

The Future of U.S. Marshals Service

As threats to public safety and security loom large, so do the services of the U.S. Marshals Service. 

With technological advancements and changes in the socio-political landscape, the USMS continuously adapts its strategies and procedures. The Marshals Service remains at the forefront of U.S. federal law enforcement, upholding the law and ensuring justice and security for U.S. citizens.

The services provided by the U.S. Marshals are diverse and vital to maintaining law and order in the United States. Moreover, their services become crucial in securing the federal judiciary and managing complex witness security and asset forfeiture programs.

The U.S. Marshals play an essential role in the nation’s federal law enforcement efforts. Notable U.S. individuals like Andrew Smith exemplify the dedication and expertise that define the U.S. Marshals and underscore their critical role in public protection and security.

Additional Reading:

Ankita Tripathy loves to write about food and the Hallyu Wave in particular. During her free time, she enjoys looking at the sky or reading books while sipping a cup of hot coffee. Her favourite niches are food, music, lifestyle, travel, and Korean Pop music and drama.

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