March 16, 2011
Jason Fornicola
(202) 639-6448

Recent Attacks on U.S. Marshals Cause for Concern, Federal Employee Union Says

WASHINGTON—In the wake of recent attacks on the U.S. Marshals Service that resulted in the deaths of two deputies, the union for the Marshals, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), today warned Congress that planned budget cuts would increase possible attacks and vulnerabilities to the service and its mission.

AFGE Local 2272 President Jason Wilder fears the Marshals, which is responsible for protecting the federal courts, apprehending federal fugitives, seizing property acquired by criminals through illegal activity, and enforcing the National Sex Offenders Registry, could face even more violence this year as a result of the decrease in staffing and funding. “We were already underfunded before the nation’s economic crisis,” said Wilder. “Our dedicated and hardworking deputies deserve adequate resources and manpower to do their jobs. Stifling the agency’s funding and staffing levels will do just the opposite.”

“We’re already working with resources and staff that have been scaled back significantly with previous budget cuts,” added Wilder. “Funding is desperately needed for training and additional staff. By slashing resources even further, Congress is jeopardizing the safety of our deputies and the public. We can’t afford to be understaffed and underfunded any longer.”

Deputy U.S. Marshals John Perry and Derek Hotsinpiller were killed in the line of duty this year, prompting concerns about violence against federal employees and inadequate staffing and funding levels. Perry, 48, was shot and killed March 8 while attempting to apprehend a fugitive in St. Louis. Perry served nearly 10 years in the service. Hotsinpiller, 24, was killed in February while serving an arrest warrant in Elkins, W. Va. He was with the Marshals Service for one year.

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