LPM Staff

A unique role in the federal justice system

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Fidencio Rivera, U.S. Marshals Service-Arizona District

Title: Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal

Years of service: 22 years

Education/ training: I received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Arizona, a M.Ed. in Counseling with an emphasis in Human Relations from Northern Arizona University, and a M.A. in Management from Webster University.

Career highlights: My position involves daily interaction with the federal judiciary, supporting Deputy U.S. Marshals who apprehend violent fugitives and sexual predators, and interacting with the community. I am also helping to shape the future of the U.S. Marshals Service.

On the job/ valuable learning experience: The importance of treating others with respect.

Why did you decide to pursue this career? My original goal was to work with young at-risk individuals (perhaps as a juvenile probation officer), but the opportunity to serve with the U.S. Marshals Service emerged while I was still going through college. I have never looked back.

Advice to others considering serving our community: I would tell them to seek a profession in which they are passionate, and do it to the best of their ability.

Chief Deputy Rivera received the U.S. Marshals Director’s Honorary Award for Meritorious Service in 2010 for superior performance over a long career.

The U.S. Marshal Service is the nation’s oldest law enforcement agency. In 1789, George Washington appointed the first 13 U.S. marshals. It wasn’t until 1870 that the U.S. Congress gave the newly created Department of Justice supervision over the U.S. Marshals Service.

While the Arizona District of the U.S. Marshals Service did not become official until statehood was conferred in 1912, the first U.S. Marshals’ office was established in Phoenix in 1863. The Earp brothers, most famous for their heroic performance at Tombstone’s OK Corral in 1881, are exemplars of the early style of law enforcement practiced by U.S. marshals. While many things have changed since the “Wild West” days, the duties of U.S. marshals are still the most wide-ranging among all the law enforcement agencies. Entry into the Service is highly competitive and less than 5 percent of qualified applicants are accepted.

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