Difference Between FBI and US Marshals

FBI vs US Marshals

People who are not familiar with the US law enforcement system may find difficult to identify the difference between FBI and US Marshals. Both, FBI and US Marshals, are law enforcement agencies catching bad guys and producing them in law courts. Perhaps this is one fact that has created confusion in the minds of people as they do not know that these two are separate federal agencies with different roles and responsibilities. In this article the difference between US Marshals and FBI is highlighted to enable readers desirous of serving as an officer in these law enforcement agencies to take a better decision.

What is US Marshal?

US Marshal is a federal law enforcement agency within the Department of Justice. It is the oldest law enforcement agency since it was created by the judiciary in 1789. The present name of United States Marshals Service (USMS) was given to the agency in 1969. This executive arm of the government was created by the judiciary to protect the court buildings, premises, and for smooth operation of the judiciary. This involves giving security to judges and also to prisoners while transporting them from jails to courts. This is not all as US Marshals also have additional duties of serving warrants to people violating laws and they are also responsible for nabbing culprits and fugitives. The office of the US Marshals is in Arlington, Virginia.

 Difference Between FBI and US Marshals

What is FBI?

FBI is a central agency that works under Department of Justice and is mainly an intelligence agency though it is also an investigative body. Though established in 1908 as Bureau of Investigation, the name of the agency was changed to Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1935. The headquarters of FBI is in Washington DC and it has offices all over the country and even abroad. FBI today has many responsibilities such as protection of civil rights, countering terrorism and protecting the country through its intelligence, fighting corruption at all levels, fighting white collar crimes and also violent crimes, and so on. 


What is the difference between FBI and US Marshals?

• While both FBI and US Marshals are federal law enforcement agencies working under the same Department of Justice, they have different functions and responsibilities.

• US Marshals is an agency that is responsible for the protection of court buildings, judges, and in general ensure smooth operation of the judicial system. They serve warrants, seek fugitives and also undertake transport of prisoners to courts and prisons.

• FBI is a federal agency that is mainly responsible for the protection of the country using its intelligence and investigative powers.

• FBI also serves to fight corruption, serious white collar crimes and violent crimes in addition to protecting the civil rights of the people.

• US Marshals are more interested in nabbing fugitives and protecting the judiciary.

• FBI serves the interest of the country not just inside, but also abroad whereas US Marshals mainly serves the judiciary inside the country.


Photos By: Cliff (CC BY 2.0), Bill & Vicki T (CC BY 2.0)

Further Reading:

  1. Difference Between FBI and CIA