The U.S. Marshal service is the longest standing law enforcement agency in theUnited States. As the enforcement arm of the federal courts, marshals are tasked withprotecting judges, prosecutors, and witnesses, and are also responsible fortransporting prisoners and tracking down the country's most dangerous fugitives. Overthe years, the ranks of this pillar of American law enforcement have included the likesof Frederick Douglass, Wyatt Earp, and Wild Bill Hickok, and they have been involvedin diverse missions raging from tracking down train robbers in the Wild West, toprotecting African American school children segregating the south in the Civil RightsEra, to seizing and auctioning off Bernie Madoff's property.
The Marshals project started in 2010, and was photographed on and off over threeyears. Renowned photographer Brian Finke was reunited with a childhood friend whohad gone into law enforcement, now Deputy Marshal Cameron Welch. With Welch asan access point, Finke documents the wild, dangerous, and heroic work of the U.S.Marshals. Finke photographed marshals at various offices around the country, startingin Houston, then in Las Vegas, New York City, Syracuse, Utica, Philadelphia,Camdon, Atlantic City, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and a handful of Texas border towns:Brownsville, McAllen, Laredo, Del Rio, Alpine, and El Paso. Finke captured the
marshals during training, but also on the job on ride-alongs, and engaged inoperations with other agencies rounding up escaped convicts and executing warrants.
Through Finke's trained lens, the reader is treated to a unique, on-the-groundportrait of this elite group of officers. And at the same time Finke sheds light on howwe police ourselves in the United States today.