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New USMS Threat Assessment Center Provides Immediate Response to Threats
In September, officials from the federal Judiciary and the U.S. Marshals Service
cut the ribbon formally opening the Marshals Service’s new Threat Management
Center (TMC). The facility will be the nerve center of the Judicial Security
Division’s Office of Protective Intelligence, whose mission is to collect,
analyze and disseminate information about threats to the Judiciary to field
“During my tenure as chair of the Judicial Conference
Committee on Judicial Security, I have frequently discussed with Director Clark
the U.S. Marshals Service’s threat assessment capabilities,” said Judge David B.
Sentelle (D.C. Cir.). “I have also visited two of their tech centers and been
most impressed with what they have done in the use of technology for fugitive
tracking and apprehension. I have been delighted with the way they have adapted
their technical knowledge and expertise to the protection of judicial security.
We should all be pleased with this new addition to their arsenal and with the
direction the USMS is taking in the protection of federal judges.”
Marshals in all 94 districts, from Guam to New York, have 24-hour access
to the TMC. The Center will provide vital data and recommendations to district
personnel conducting protective investigations. A protective investigation
defines how marshals will address and mitigate a potential threat.
Henry Hudson (E.D. Va.), who now chairs the Conference Committee on Judicial
Security Off-site Security Subcommittee, recognized the need for the ability to
respond immediately to threats to the security of judges when he served as
director of the U.S. Marshals Service from 1992 to 1993.
“We needed an
information base and people skilled in its analysis, along with the ability to
quickly put into place a security plan,” said Hudson. “The Center is that
24-hour resource. It’s a central location judges can call if they feel there is
a potential threat. The Center is able to mine the database, assess a viable
threat, and quickly determine the appropriate level of response.”
has been designated a sensitive compartmented information facility, also known
as an SCIF, which allows for the transmission and storage of classified
information, provides secure video teleconferencing, and has geospatial
data-mapping capabilities. The Center monitors numerous Department of Justice
and USMS networks and databases, and has access to additional law enforcement
networks, both classified and unclassified. Several intelligence products are
generated in the Center, such as USMS intelligence bulletins, alert notices, and
threat assessments for cases and high-threat trials.
Providing the deputy
marshals with instant access to the TMC will improve the timely delivery of
pertinent information to the many protective details and threat investigations
being conducted by marshals, as well as to the agency’s senior leadership. In
addition, the Center will coordinate threat investigations directly with key
officials of state, local, and federal law enforcement and intelligence
Understanding that partnerships are at the core of any
successful operations center, the USMS has established liaison positions at the
FBI National Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Department of Homeland Security,
the Federal Bureau of Prisons, and other joint terrorism task forces. The
marshals also have part-time liaison positions at the U.S. Capitol Police and
the U.S. Supreme Court Police.