The U.S. Marshals Are Coming
But Fort Smith Is Pleased
In January 2007, the United States Marshals Service (USMS) selected Fort Smith as the host city for the agency's new museum. Director John F. Clark made the announcement after receiving recommendations from a 10-person museum committee studying the issue for the past two years.
Fort Smith, located in the western part of Arkansas, was chosen as the future home for the new museum over the other finalist city, Staunton, Virginia. "This was a tough decision, as we were very pleased with the enthusiasm of both finalists," said Director Clark. "Now that we have selected Fort Smith, we are excited about this new opportunity to tell the story of the U.S. Marshals Service's 217-year history to the country."
Once completed, the museum will feature artifacts and special exhibits from America's oldest federal law enforcement agency. It will also serve as an educational center, and memorialize the Marshals Service's past, present and future law enforcement roles.
"We want to create an educational environment to inspire visitors, including the display of key artifacts and interactive exhibits to illustrate our many historical missions," says Historian David S. Turk. "Throughout the history of this country, the Marshals Service has always answered the call for help, and we want people to see, hear and experience our story."
Before the selection of Fort Smith, committee members spent several days in each city evaluating such factors as tourism, community support, historical ties and the community's business plans. "This committee worked very hard to study the strengths of each city. We wanted to form a partnership that would benefit not only the museum, but the community as well," said Assistant Director Michael Pearson.
"Now that we're partnering with Fort Smith, we're excited about transforming this vision into reality," Pearson added. No date has been set yet for the museum's opening.
For More Information
U.S. Marshal Service: www.usmarshals.gov
Fort Smith tourism information: www.fortsmith.org