History UsefulNotes / AmericanLawEnforcement

30th Nov '16 2:36:15 PM tommythegun
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Some non-governmental entities, like universities and railroads, have also been given authority to establish forces on their properties with full police power -- including, of course, the legal right to carry and use firearms. The decline of importance in the public eye of the railroads in America is probably why no major works of fiction deal with railroad police, but they are trained and sworn law enforcement officers with both state and (limited) federal authority. Campus cops also rarely appear in fiction unless it's as the butt of a joke, but you have to learn the trade '''some'''where. Still, in some cases campus police are a force to be reckoned with. For example, the University of California system's force covers all 11 UC campuses, and the California State University system's officers are responsible for all 24 schools. In addition, due to the fact that most public universities in the US are technically State land, campus police forces at many state universities are drawn from the State Highway Patrol and have the training that one would expect for State police. [[note]]For example, the University of Oklahoma.[[/note]] Given the fact that college and university campuses are large public spaces with thousands of students, faculty, and visitors in attendance, and can all too often be the site of things such as unruly sports mobs, violent protests, active shooters, or terrorist incidents, many campus police departments maintain qualifications in operations such as crow and riot control, SWAT, and bomb disposal, as well as close cooperative relationships with other local police agencies in emergencies. The Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, where President Barack Obama maintains a home, is widely regarded as one of the safest neighborhoods on the traditionally crime-ridden South Side of Chicago, due in part to the fact that the University of Chicago located there has its own police department which patrols the neighborhood alongside the Chicago Police Department. The distinction between "campus security" and "campus ''police''" is sometimes lost on new students...until they drunkenly assume they don't have to listen to a "rent-a-cop." HilarityEnsues.

to:

Some non-governmental entities, like universities and railroads, have also been given authority to establish forces on their properties with full police power -- including, of course, the legal right to carry and use firearms. The decline of importance in the public eye of the railroads in America is probably why no major works of fiction deal with railroad police, but they are trained and sworn law enforcement officers with both state and (limited) federal authority. Campus cops also rarely appear in fiction unless it's as the butt of a joke, but you have to learn the trade '''some'''where. Still, in some cases campus police are a force to be reckoned with. For example, the University of California system's force covers all 11 UC campuses, and the California State University system's officers are responsible for all 24 schools. In addition, due to the fact that most public universities in the US are technically State land, campus police forces at many state universities are drawn from the State Highway Patrol and have the training that one would expect for State police. [[note]]For example, the University of Oklahoma.[[/note]] Given the fact that college and university campuses are large public spaces with thousands of students, faculty, and visitors in attendance, and can all too often be the site of things such as unruly sports mobs, violent protests, active shooters, or terrorist incidents, many campus police departments maintain qualifications in operations such as crow crowd and riot control, SWAT, and bomb disposal, as well as close cooperative relationships with other local police agencies in emergencies. The Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, where President Barack Obama maintains a home, is widely regarded as one of the safest neighborhoods on the traditionally crime-ridden South Side of Chicago, due in part to the fact that the University of Chicago located there has its own police department which patrols the neighborhood alongside the Chicago Police Department. The distinction between "campus security" and "campus ''police''" is sometimes lost on new students...until they drunkenly assume they don't have to listen to a "rent-a-cop." HilarityEnsues.
30th Nov '16 2:32:43 PM tommythegun
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Some non-governmental entities, like universities and railroads, have also been given authority to establish forces on their properties with full police power -- including, of course, the legal right to carry and use firearms. The decline of importance in the public eye of the railroads in America is probably why no major works of fiction deal with railroad police, but they are trained and sworn law enforcement officers with both state and (limited) federal authority. Campus cops also rarely appear in fiction unless it's as the butt of a joke, but you have to learn the trade '''some'''where. Still, in some cases campus police are a force to be reckoned with. For example, the University of California system's force covers all 11 UC campuses, and the California State University system's officers are responsible for all 24 schools. In addition, due to the fact that most public universities in the US are technically State land, campus police forces at many state universities are drawn from the State Highway Patrol and have the training that one would expect for State police. [[note]]For example, the University of Oklahoma.[[/note]] The Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, where President Barack Obama maintains a home, is widely regarded as one of the safest neighborhoods on the traditionally crime-ridden South Side of Chicago, due in part to the fact that the University of Chicago located there has its own police department which patrols the neighborhood along with the Chicago Police Department. The distinction between "campus security" and "campus ''police''" is sometimes lost on new students...until they drunkenly assume they don't have to listen to a "rent-a-cop." HilarityEnsues.

to:

Some non-governmental entities, like universities and railroads, have also been given authority to establish forces on their properties with full police power -- including, of course, the legal right to carry and use firearms. The decline of importance in the public eye of the railroads in America is probably why no major works of fiction deal with railroad police, but they are trained and sworn law enforcement officers with both state and (limited) federal authority. Campus cops also rarely appear in fiction unless it's as the butt of a joke, but you have to learn the trade '''some'''where. Still, in some cases campus police are a force to be reckoned with. For example, the University of California system's force covers all 11 UC campuses, and the California State University system's officers are responsible for all 24 schools. In addition, due to the fact that most public universities in the US are technically State land, campus police forces at many state universities are drawn from the State Highway Patrol and have the training that one would expect for State police. [[note]]For example, the University of Oklahoma.[[/note]] Given the fact that college and university campuses are large public spaces with thousands of students, faculty, and visitors in attendance, and can all too often be the site of things such as unruly sports mobs, violent protests, active shooters, or terrorist incidents, many campus police departments maintain qualifications in operations such as crow and riot control, SWAT, and bomb disposal, as well as close cooperative relationships with other local police agencies in emergencies. The Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, where President Barack Obama maintains a home, is widely regarded as one of the safest neighborhoods on the traditionally crime-ridden South Side of Chicago, due in part to the fact that the University of Chicago located there has its own police department which patrols the neighborhood along with alongside the Chicago Police Department. The distinction between "campus security" and "campus ''police''" is sometimes lost on new students...until they drunkenly assume they don't have to listen to a "rent-a-cop." HilarityEnsues.
30th Nov '16 2:05:29 PM tommythegun
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State police agencies are responsible for apprehending criminals on State highways or across county lines, and also for investigating crimes involving state property and protecting state-owned facilities. (Hawaii is the only state without its own state police agency.) In most of the States, they are also (and primarily) responsible for enforcement of traffic laws, and are tasked with patrolling the Interstate highways that pass through their particular state. The State Police can also be called in if there is a conflict of interest with the local police force or accusations of corruption. They are variously called the State Police, the State Troopers, the State Patrol, the Highway Patrol, or the State Highway Patrol. Traditionally, many of these state police agencies were set up along paramilitary lines, especially in the Northeastern United States, and often use military-style uniforms, ranks, and organization (e.g., the use of the title and rank "Trooper").

to:

State police agencies are responsible for apprehending criminals on State highways or across county lines, and also for investigating crimes involving state property and protecting state-owned facilities. (Hawaii is the only state without its own state police agency.) In most of the States, they are also (and primarily) responsible for enforcement of traffic laws, and are tasked with patrolling the Interstate highways that pass through their particular state. The State Police can also be called in if there is a conflict of interest with the local police force or accusations of corruption. They are variously called the State Police, the State Troopers, the State Patrol, the Highway Patrol, or the State Highway Patrol. Traditionally, many of these state police agencies were set up along paramilitary lines, especially in the Northeastern United States, and often use military-style uniforms, ranks, and organization (e.g., the use of the title and rank "Trooper").
"Trooper," and commonly a "Smokey Bear"-style campaign hat as part of the uniform).
30th Nov '16 1:55:30 PM tommythegun
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State police agencies are responsible for apprehending criminals on State highways or across county lines, and also for investigating crimes involving state property and protecting state-owned facilities. (Hawaii is the only state without its own state police agency.) In most of the States, they are also (and primarily) responsible for enforcement of traffic laws, and are tasked with patrolling the Interstate highways that pass through their particular state. The State Police can also be called in if there is a conflict of interest with the local police force or accusations of corruption. They are variously called the State Police, the State Troopers, the State Patrol, the Highway Patrol, or the State Highway Patrol. Traditionally, many of these state police agencies were set up along military or paramilitary lines, especially in the Northeastern United States, and often use military-style uniforms, ranks, and organization (e.g., the use of the title and rank "Trooper").

to:

State police agencies are responsible for apprehending criminals on State highways or across county lines, and also for investigating crimes involving state property and protecting state-owned facilities. (Hawaii is the only state without its own state police agency.) In most of the States, they are also (and primarily) responsible for enforcement of traffic laws, and are tasked with patrolling the Interstate highways that pass through their particular state. The State Police can also be called in if there is a conflict of interest with the local police force or accusations of corruption. They are variously called the State Police, the State Troopers, the State Patrol, the Highway Patrol, or the State Highway Patrol. Traditionally, many of these state police agencies were set up along military or paramilitary lines, especially in the Northeastern United States, and often use military-style uniforms, ranks, and organization (e.g., the use of the title and rank "Trooper").
30th Nov '16 1:53:08 PM tommythegun
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State police agencies are responsible for apprehending criminals on State highways or across county lines, and also for investigating crimes involving state property and protecting state-owned facilities. (Hawaii is the only state without its own state police agency.) In most of the States, they are also (and primarily) responsible for enforcement of traffic laws, and are tasked with patrolling the Interstate highways that pass through their particular state. The State Police can also be called in if there is a conflict of interest with the local police force or accusations of corruption. They are variously called the State Police, the State Troopers, the State Patrol, the Highway Patrol, or the State Highway Patrol.

to:

State police agencies are responsible for apprehending criminals on State highways or across county lines, and also for investigating crimes involving state property and protecting state-owned facilities. (Hawaii is the only state without its own state police agency.) In most of the States, they are also (and primarily) responsible for enforcement of traffic laws, and are tasked with patrolling the Interstate highways that pass through their particular state. The State Police can also be called in if there is a conflict of interest with the local police force or accusations of corruption. They are variously called the State Police, the State Troopers, the State Patrol, the Highway Patrol, or the State Highway Patrol. \n Traditionally, many of these state police agencies were set up along military or paramilitary lines, especially in the Northeastern United States, and often use military-style uniforms, ranks, and organization (e.g., the use of the title and rank "Trooper").
28th Oct '16 9:28:36 AM drwhom
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In its original conception, The United States uses a [[AmericanFederalism federal system of government]]. In theory, this means that the States hold general police power, while the national government only has power over crime between different states, crimes affecting interstate commerce, criminals who cross state lines, or crime committed by members of the national armed forces, or crime that crosses the international borders.

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In its original conception, The United States uses a [[AmericanFederalism federal system of government]]. In theory, this means that the States hold general police power, while the national government has only has the enumerated powers set forth in the United States Constitution, such as power over crime between different states, crimes affecting interstate commerce, criminals who cross state lines, or crime committed by members of the national armed forces, or crime that crosses the international borders.



The hard part is, the theory has been complicated by 2+ centuries of judicial precedents. Simply put, these are legal cases in which the decision by the court establishes a new rule or principle that other courts follow from that time on. There have also been Constitutional Amendments that affect the original concept (notably the 14th Amendment). Finally, [[RealityEnsues the practical application was immensely complicated]] by what some Americans of Southern heritage still refer to as [[TheAmericanCivilWar "The Late Unpleasantness"]]. All of this has granted all American police agencies a huge amount of power, far beyond anything imagined by the folks who drafted the [[UsefulNotes/TheUnitedStates Constitution]]. And as we will see, there is an astounding array of US police agencies. While there are significant differences amongst them, all have several things in common.

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The hard part is, the theory has been complicated by 2+ centuries of judicial precedents. Simply put, these are legal cases in which the decision by the court establishes a new rule or principle that other courts follow from that time on. Of particular importance to criminal law, as well as to may other areas of law, is the broad reading that courts have given to "Commerce ... among the several States," which now means just about anything that could at least theoretically affect such commerce. There have also been Constitutional Amendments that affect the original concept (notably the 14th Amendment). Finally, [[RealityEnsues the practical application was immensely complicated]] by what some Americans of Southern heritage still refer to as [[TheAmericanCivilWar "The Late Unpleasantness"]]. All of this has granted all American police agencies a huge amount of power, far beyond anything imagined by the folks who drafted the [[UsefulNotes/TheUnitedStates Constitution]]. And as we will see, there is an astounding array of US police agencies. While there are significant differences amongst them, all have several things in common.
21st Oct '16 6:55:43 PM DocWildNole
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** More or less concurrently with the "War on Drugs," departments across the country began switching to semi-automatic handguns with 10, 12 or even 16 round magazines, chambered in 9mm or .40 caliber; Glock, Beretta, Sig Sauer seem to be the most popular brands. Almost all jurisdictions also require [[ShotgunsAreJustBetter 12 gauge shotguns]] as standard equipment in patrol cars. SWAT teams use even more lethal weaponry, including {{SniperRifle}}s, so-called "assault weapons" (semi-automatic rifles, usually based on the Armalite AR-15 design), and even [[MoreDakka submachine guns]]. And undercover officers may use almost anything that's easily concealable.

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** More or less concurrently with the "War on Drugs," departments across the country began switching to semi-automatic handguns with 10, 12 or even 16 round magazines, chambered in 9mm or .40 caliber; Glock, Beretta, Sig Sauer seem to be the most popular brands. Almost all jurisdictions also require [[ShotgunsAreJustBetter 12 gauge shotguns]] as standard equipment in patrol cars. SWAT teams [[SWATTeam Special Weapons And Tactics teams]], as you might expect, use even more lethal weaponry, including {{SniperRifle}}s, so-called "assault weapons" (semi-automatic rifles, usually based on the Armalite AR-15 design), and even [[MoreDakka submachine guns]]. And undercover officers may use almost anything that's easily concealable.
21st Oct '16 6:50:06 PM DocWildNole
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** Ford itself clams that its Taurus police model and its "Interceptor" brand of the Ford Explorer together sold almost 25,000 units in 2014. Other manufacturers angle for their share of the police market in different ways. The Dodge Charger was already a real competitor to the Crown Vic, due to it being more powerful, maneuverable, comfortable, and notably, not a 30-year-old design. Also, in many northern states, the Chevy Impala had become a common sight, due to the fact that it has front-wheel drive - not as badass as rear-wheel drive, but much more useful for driving in six inches or more of snow. Oh, and it's also more fuel efficient than the heavy Crown Vic and the big-engined Charger.

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** Ford itself clams that its Taurus police model and its "Interceptor" brand of the Ford Explorer together sold almost 25,000 units in 2014. Other manufacturers angle for their share of the police market in different ways. The Dodge Charger was already a real competitor to the Crown Vic, due to it being more powerful, maneuverable, comfortable, and notably, not a 30-year-old design. Also, in many northern states, the Chevy Impala had become a common sight, due to the fact that it has front-wheel drive - not as badass as rear-wheel drive, but much more useful for driving in six inches or more of snow. Oh, and it's also more fuel efficient than the heavy Crown Vic and the big-engined Charger. \n Most departments, insofar as budgets allow, consistently choose either one or the other; not out of brand loyalty, but because police pursuit/emergency/high-speed driving requires different techniques with rear-wheel drive than with front-wheel.

** Some departments assign a patrol officer her or his own particular car; an officer can drive such a car home and add a certain amount of individual accessories, as long as said gear does not detract from the uniform appearance of the vehicle. Other agencies have car pools, which does not refer to officers riding to work together. Rather, it means the department keeps the marked vehicles at the station, and as officers come onto and off shift they are assigned in and out of one of the pool of cars. Less individual choices, but the officer bears less of the responsibility also.



** Finally, contrary to some urban legends, citizens are not automatically at fault in the event of a motor vehicle accident involving a police vehicle or even an officer. However, if you ''are'' involved in such a crash, virtually every department has rules in place that prohibit the officers from working an accident involving "one of their own." In other words, a city cop would have to wait for a county deputy or state patrolman, and vice versa. In overworked departments (most of them) and large jurisdictions (almost as common), this can involve a long wait -- although other first responders don't have to wait for the police.



State police agencies are responsible for apprehending criminals on State highways or across county lines, and also for investigating crimes involving state property and protecting state-owned facilities. ( Hawaii is the only state without its own state police agency.) In most of the States, they are also (and primarily) responsible for enforcement of traffic laws, and are tasked with patrolling the Interstate highways that pass through their particular state. The State Police can also be called in if there is a conflict of interest with the local police force or accusations of corruption. They are variously called the State Police, the State Troopers, the State Patrol, the Highway Patrol, or the State Highway Patrol.

to:

State police agencies are responsible for apprehending criminals on State highways or across county lines, and also for investigating crimes involving state property and protecting state-owned facilities. ( Hawaii (Hawaii is the only state without its own state police agency.) In most of the States, they are also (and primarily) responsible for enforcement of traffic laws, and are tasked with patrolling the Interstate highways that pass through their particular state. The State Police can also be called in if there is a conflict of interest with the local police force or accusations of corruption. They are variously called the State Police, the State Troopers, the State Patrol, the Highway Patrol, or the State Highway Patrol.



** And as far as mailboxes, most people don't realize that the Post Office has its own police force so chances are, they handle it first before passing it on to the FBI.

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** And as far as speaking of mailboxes, most people don't realize that the Post Office has its own police force (See "Other police forces, below) so chances are, they handle it first before passing it on to the FBI.



One large yet relatively unknown example is the United States Postal Inspection Service, which investigates mail fraud, protects postal facilities in high crime areas, and protects sensitive mail deliveries. The IRS, which is the branch of the Treasury Department that collects federal taxes, has its own Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI) which has exclusive authority over criminal enforcement of the Internal Revenue Code, which makes it also a very active agency.

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One large yet relatively unknown example is the United States Postal Inspection Service, which investigates mail fraud, protects postal facilities in high crime areas, and protects sensitive mail deliveries. Somewhat better known is The IRS, which is the branch of the Treasury Department that collects federal taxes, taxes; this also has its own Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI) which has exclusive authority over criminal enforcement of the Internal Revenue Code, which makes it also a very active agency.



Some non-governmental entities, like universities and railroads, have also been given authority to establish forces on their properties with full police power -- including, of course, the legal right to carry and use firearms. The decline of importance in the public eye of the railroads in America is probably why no major works of fiction deal with railroad police, but they are trained and sworn law enforcement officers with both state and (limited) federal authority. Campus cops also rarely appear in fiction unless it's as the butt of a joke, but you have to learn the trade '''some'''where. Still, in some cases campus police are a force to be reckoned with. For example, the University of California system's force covers all 11 UC campuses, and the California State University system's officers are responsible for all 24 schools. In addition, due to the fact that most public universities in the US are technically State land, campus police forces are drawn from the State Highway Patrol and have the training that one would expect for State police. [[note]]For example, the University of Oklahoma.[[/note]] The Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, where President Barack Obama maintains a home, is widely regarded as one of the safest neighborhoods on the traditionally crime-ridden South Side of Chicago, due in part to the fact that the University of Chicago located there has its own police department which patrols the neighborhood along with the Chicago Police Department. The distinction between "campus security" and "campus ''police''" is sometimes lost on new students...until they drunkenly assume they don't have to listen to a "rent-a-cop." HilarityEnsues.

to:

Some non-governmental entities, like universities and railroads, have also been given authority to establish forces on their properties with full police power -- including, of course, the legal right to carry and use firearms. The decline of importance in the public eye of the railroads in America is probably why no major works of fiction deal with railroad police, but they are trained and sworn law enforcement officers with both state and (limited) federal authority. Campus cops also rarely appear in fiction unless it's as the butt of a joke, but you have to learn the trade '''some'''where. Still, in some cases campus police are a force to be reckoned with. For example, the University of California system's force covers all 11 UC campuses, and the California State University system's officers are responsible for all 24 schools. In addition, due to the fact that most public universities in the US are technically State land, campus police forces at many state universities are drawn from the State Highway Patrol and have the training that one would expect for State police. [[note]]For example, the University of Oklahoma.[[/note]] The Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, where President Barack Obama maintains a home, is widely regarded as one of the safest neighborhoods on the traditionally crime-ridden South Side of Chicago, due in part to the fact that the University of Chicago located there has its own police department which patrols the neighborhood along with the Chicago Police Department. The distinction between "campus security" and "campus ''police''" is sometimes lost on new students...until they drunkenly assume they don't have to listen to a "rent-a-cop." HilarityEnsues.
3rd Oct '16 2:31:55 PM tommythegun
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The United States Marshals Service (USMS) is the enforcement arm of the federal courts, responsible for serving warrants, writs, summonses, subpoenas, and other court orders and civil and criminal process, apprehending wanted fugitives, providing protection for the federal judiciary, transporting federal prisoners, protecting endangered federal witnesses (More commonly known as WitnessProtection) and managing assets seized from criminal enterprises. It is the oldest federal law enforcement agency, formed in 1789, and has several unique roles, including the ability to deputize necessary individuals who need federal law enforcement powers as "Special Deputy U.S. Marshals" for a year (usually state or local law enforcement officers participating in federal or interstate investigations or members of other federal agencies), and to exercise the same powers as a local sheriff within a state when executing the laws of the United States. The US Marshals Service supposedly is responsible for a narrow majority, about 55%, of all arrests made by federal law enforcement.

to:

The United States Marshals Service (USMS) is the enforcement arm of the federal courts, responsible for serving warrants, writs, summonses, subpoenas, and other court orders and civil and criminal process, apprehending wanted fugitives, providing protection for the federal judiciary, transporting federal prisoners, protecting endangered federal witnesses (More commonly known as WitnessProtection) and managing assets seized from criminal enterprises. It is the oldest federal law enforcement agency, formed in 1789, and has several unique roles, including the ability to deputize necessary individuals who need federal law enforcement powers as "Special Deputy U.S. Marshals" for a year (usually state or local law enforcement officers participating in federal or interstate investigations or members of other federal agencies), the common law authority to enlist willing individuals (though not military personnel) to assist in its duties, and to exercise the same powers as a local sheriff within a state when executing the laws of the United States. The US Marshals Service supposedly is responsible for a narrow majority, about 55%, of all arrests made by federal law enforcement.
3rd Oct '16 2:28:54 PM tommythegun
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The United States Marshals Service (USMS) is the enforcement arm of the federal courts, responsible for serving warrants, writs, summonses, subpoenas, and other court orders and civil and criminal process, apprehending wanted fugitives, providing protection for the federal judiciary, transporting federal prisoners, protecting endangered federal witnesses (More commonly known as WitnessProtection) and managing assets seized from criminal enterprises. It is the oldest federal law enforcement agency, formed in 1789, and has several unique roles, including the ability to deputize necessary individuals who need federal law enforcement powers as "Special Deputy U.S. Marshals" for a year (usually state or local law enforcement officers participating in a federal or interstate investigations or members of other federal agencies), and to exercise the same powers as a local sheriff within a state when executing the laws of the United States. The US Marshals Service supposedly is responsible for a narrow majority, about 55%, of all arrests made by federal law enforcement.

to:

The United States Marshals Service (USMS) is the enforcement arm of the federal courts, responsible for serving warrants, writs, summonses, subpoenas, and other court orders and civil and criminal process, apprehending wanted fugitives, providing protection for the federal judiciary, transporting federal prisoners, protecting endangered federal witnesses (More commonly known as WitnessProtection) and managing assets seized from criminal enterprises. It is the oldest federal law enforcement agency, formed in 1789, and has several unique roles, including the ability to deputize necessary individuals who need federal law enforcement powers as "Special Deputy U.S. Marshals" for a year (usually state or local law enforcement officers participating in a federal or interstate investigations or members of other federal agencies), and to exercise the same powers as a local sheriff within a state when executing the laws of the United States. The US Marshals Service supposedly is responsible for a narrow majority, about 55%, of all arrests made by federal law enforcement.
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