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Bounty Hunters, Marshals, and Sheriffs: Forward to the Past

NCJ Number
Jacqueline Pope
Date Published
165 pages
This book details the 20th-century and historical roles of bounty hunters, city marshals, and sheriffs, together with city and county sheriffs and examines the relationships and cooperation of these professionals with other law enforcement officers and local police.
The analysis focuses on Arizona, New Jersey, New Mexico, and New York. It notes similarities and differences among the four States with respect to this topic. The text documents the contemporary legal aspects, responsibilities, and contributions of these individuals, based on interview materials. Issues considered include whether these law enforcers are archaic, whether they have too much unaccountable authority, and whether taxpayers should allow private business employees to assume the government's role of law enforcer. Additional issues include whether city or State agencies can perform the responsibilities of bounty hunters and marshals less expensively and more efficiently, whether structural economic issues need scrutiny, and whether these professionals represent a case of the privatization of law enforcement at its worst. The analysis concludes that needed actions include a thorough review of the law that empowers bounty hunters, the establishment of a national oversight agency on bounty hunters, total separation of the responsibilities of New York City sheriffs and marshals, and the development and publication of a precise count of the number of armed civil servants. Tables, chapter notes, index, and 152 references


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