By Allan Lengel
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Marshals Service has becoming increasingly involved in apprehending local and federal officials, which may explain in part why its deputies are increasingly being put in harms way, the website Talking Points Memo suggests.
In the past several weeks, two deputy U.S. marshals have been shot and killed during confrontations with wanted felons.
“The USMS has seven Fugitive Apprehension Task Forces around the country and another 75 Violent Offender Task Forces run by various regional USMS offices,” Ryan Reilly of Talking Points Memo reports.
“And the volume of state and local fugitives apprehended or cleared by the Marshals Service through a decade-old initiative has surged from just 15,412 in 2004 to 34,015 in 2007 and 73,915 in 2008. The number peaked at 101,910 in 2009 (likely due to apprehension and Fugitive Safe Surrender programs funded by stimulus funds) then dropped in 2010, when the agency captured or cleared 52,519 violent state and local felony fugitives. The USMS is planning to apprehend or clear 52,000 state and local felony fugitives in 2012.”
The website reported that up until a few weeks ago, the last deputy U.S. Marshal killed in the line of duty was at Ruby Ridge in 1992.
Last week, deputy U.S. Marshal John Perry in St. Louis was shot and killed while trying to arrest someone. And last month, deputy U.S. Marshal Derek Hotsinpiller was killed in West Virginia.