First Responders

US Marshals To Begin Wearing Body Cameras

October 15, 2021Joshua Skovlund
us marshals

Agents from the US Marshals Service arrested 45 fugitives wanted for violent felony offenses during the summer of 2021, including seven suspects wanted for homicide and 17 wanted in relation to firearms offenses. US Marshals Service photo by Shane T. McCoy.

Prodded by nationwide calls for police reform, all members of the US Marshals Service will now wear body cameras when capturing federal fugitives.

The first phase of the camera mandate began with interim policy guidance signed Oct. 6 by the service’s director, Ronald L. Davis.

“The Marshals Service is committed to enhancing our transparency and accountability,” Davis said in a recent press release. “This interim policy directive is a critical step towards achieving that goal. We look forward to working on expanding the program, especially in our fugitive apprehension operations, where we capture nearly 75,000 fugitives each year.”

But when contacted by Coffee or Die Magazine, the US Marshals Service wouldn’t provide a copy of the new policy guidelines. 

It remains unclear when deputy marshals and police officers assigned to task forces led by the USMS will be allowed to turn off their body cameras or whether they’ll be disciplined if they stop taping when confronting fugitives.

Critics have long dogged what they describe as “cowboy” tactics used by fugitive-task-force personnel — tactics including shootouts with felons they’ve tried to collar.

body cameras marshals
The US Marshals Service counted 258 arrests over 10 days in March 2021 as part of Operation Frontier Justice in Topeka, Kansas. Marshals and their task-force members will now be required to wear body cameras and have them activated throughout these kinds of operations. US Marshals Service photo by Shane T. McCoy.

Supporters of the task forces contend that pursuing criminals on the run or who are wanted for violent crimes might naturally trigger exchanges of gunfire.

This won’t be the first time marshals have worn body cameras. Personnel in Georgia, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Texas have been doing a trial period with the cameras to help sculpt national policy, according to the release.

On June 7, US Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco directed the USMS, the FBI, the US Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to develop policies for wearing the cameras.

Monaco wanted agents to activate their cameras during planned arrests and when executing search warrants. She also urged the agencies to release recordings of conduct that led to serious bodily injury or death as soon as was practical. 

Police officers on FBI-led task forces were supposed to begin wearing the body cameras in October 2020 while serving arrest warrants and other “planned arrest operations.”

ATF agents in Phoenix and Detroit began wearing the cameras Sept. 1, according to the US Department of Justice. 

Read Next: US Marshals Involved in Multiple Shootings This Week

Joshua Skovlund
Joshua Skovlund

Joshua Skovlund is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die. He has covered the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France, multinational military exercises in Germany, and civil unrest during the 2020 riots in Minneapolis. Born and raised in small-town South Dakota, he grew up playing football and soccer before serving as a forward observer in the US Army. After leaving the service, he worked as a personal trainer while earning his paramedic license. After five years as in paramedicine, he transitioned to a career in multimedia journalism. Joshua is married with two children. His creative outlets include Skovlund Photography and Concentrated Emotion.

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
navy seal training
Navy SEALS Training Plagued by Massive Problems, According To Investigation

Medical oversight and care were “poorly organized, poorly integrated and poorly led and put candidat...

memorial day arlington
Memorial Day Is a Day of Remembrance, Not Celebration

Memorial Day was created as a remembrance to honor the fallen by decorating graves — a holiday meant...

air force joint chiefs
Air Force Fighter Pilot Tapped As Next Joint Chiefs Chairman Has History of Firsts

The Air Force fighter pilot about to be nominated as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ...

sowf special operations warrior foundation
BRCC Donates $500K to Special Operations Warrior Foundation

In an effort to continue Black Rifle Coffee Company’s mission of supporting the veteran community, B...

Coca Cola 600
BRCC to Honor Fallen Marine During NASCAR’s Legendary Coca-Cola 600

Black Rifle Coffee Company will honor Marine Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Menusa during NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 this Memorial Day. Menusa was killed in 2003 during the invasion of Iraq.

uss gerald r. ford oslo
US Aircraft Carrier Arrives In NATO Member Norway, To Take Part In Drills

The nuclear-powered ship USS Gerald R. Ford entered the Oslo fjord escorted by a rapid dinghy-type boat with armed personnel on board.

adam driver indy 500
Marine Vet, Actor Adam Driver Named Honorary Starter for Indianapolis 500

Two-time Academy Award nominee Adam Driver, who will soon be starring as Enzo Ferrari in a biopic of...

  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
  • Request a Correction
  • Write for Us
  • General Inquiries
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved