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John F. Clark
February 14, 2007
STATEMENT OF JOHN F. CLARK
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, I am pleased to present the views of the United States Marshals Service on the issues of "Judicial Security and Independence." Since my appointment as Director of the United States Marshals Service (USMS) in March 2006, I have made it my first priority to instill public confidence in the nation's judicial process by ensuring its security and integrity. I am proud to say that we have undertaken a number of initiatives to address the judicial security concerns previously expressed by both the Judicial Conference and this Committee during hearings on the subject in 2005.
As you know, Congress provided the USMS $11.9 million in emergency funding in Fiscal Year 2005 to improve and expand our judicial security mission. I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with some specifics on how those funds have been used, and how the structure and focus of our Judicial Security Division has evolved in the past year.
? Restructuring of the Judicial Security Division (JSD): This Division was reorganized on November 1, 2006. A new Assistant Director was appointed to lead it, and a significant number of senior field operational personnel were brought to USMS headquarters to assist in managing the Division's core functions. It is now comprised of two mission-oriented components, Judicial Operations and Judicial Services. The Judicial Operations component includes the greatly expanded Office of Protective Intelligence (OPI), which brought ten new criminal investigators and one intelligence research specialist on board in 2006 alone, to provide 24-hours-a-day/7-days-a-week threat response capabilities, and to analyze and investigate all threats to the federal judiciary and others for whom USMS has protective responsibility. Additional hiring is expected in 2007, and we appreciate the continuing support this Committee can give us to reach our staffing goals.
In FY 2006, JSD investigated over 1,100 judicial threats, safely handled 230 Personal Protection Details, provided security for nearly 200 judicial conferences, protected
? Home Intrusion Alarm Initiative: By the end of 2006, 1,616 federal judges had requested or expressed interest in having a home intrusion alarm installed in their residence. Working in conjunction with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AOUSC), the USMS has scheduled or completed Pre-Installation Plan surveys for all of those residences. Installation has been completed in 1,413 of the 1,616 residences, or almost 90 percent.
? Training of Court Security Officers (CSOs): Within the new Judicial Services component, a more aggressive approach is now being taken to CSO training and in exploring new screening technologies that CSOs can use in their efforts to secure federal courthouses. The CSO Orientation Curriculum has been completely updated, and training which formerly occurred on an annual basis is now being conducted quarterly at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia. Hands-on training is being conducted on new and current screening equipment, with added emphasis on detecting disguised weapons and explosives, and response plans for dealing with weapons of mass destruction.
With regard to advances in screening equipment technology, selected judicial districts are being asked to test next generation technologies, and the data obtained from these tests will assist the USMS in selecting and procuring the best possible screening equipment in support of our judicial protection mission.
? Communication with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts: I have personally met with the Chief Judges and Judicial Security Inspectors in many of the 94 judicial districts around the country to discuss courthouse and residential security needs in each district. As part of our commitment to providing the highest level of protection possible to the federal judiciary, senior-level JSD staff regularly meets with AOUSC to ensure ongoing dialogue and communication on security issues. I have had many productive meetings and conferences with AOUSC Director James Duff, and recently hosted the Judicial Conference Committee on Judicial Security at our Regional Technical Operations Center in Houston, Texas. There, we highlighted USMS improvements in tracking, investigating and deterring persons who threaten the judiciary.
? Improvements in the Protective Investigations Program: During FY 2006, the USMS conducted training in behavioral methodologies of investigation for 190 Deputy U.S.
? National Center for Judicial Security (NCJS): During FY 2007, the USMS will begin to establish the NCJS, to be operated, staffed and managed by members of the Judicial Security Division. It will provide a wide range of services and support to federal, state, local and international jurisdictions as they seek advice and assistance on questions of judicial security. It will initiate programs and activities directly related to threat assessment, training, information sharing, and technology review.
I trust you will find this information useful. I assure you that the USMS will continue to work diligently to prevent, detect, deter and disrupt threats to the judiciary, and provide an environment where judges, court employees and the public feel safe. Thank you for considering these issues, and I look forward to working with you in 2007 to accomplish the important objective of judicial security.