The United States Marshals Service's Workforce Planning and Management
(Redacted for Public Release)

Audit Report 07-38
July 2007
Office of the Inspector General


Chapter 5: USMS Training

We reviewed the steps that the USMS has taken to ensure its operational employees are provided sufficient training to accomplish the organizationís mission. We concluded that the USMS generally provides adequate training to its operational employees during their initial basic training. However, a backlog exists for the initial training of DEOs.60 In addition, although a training framework and curriculum are in place for continued employee development, we determined that training for USMS operational employees after the initial training was sporadic and inadequate. Many USMS officials remarked that the inadequate amount of training was primarily caused by budget shortages. However, we believe that the USMS can more effectively manage its training budget for continued employee development.

Planning and Implementation of Training Programs

The USMS has developed a framework for its employeesí basic and continuing educational needs. U.S. Marshals, Assistant Directors, and Training Academy officials share responsibility for the implementation of various USMS training programs. According to USMS directives regarding in-district training and annual retraining, office management is responsible for assessing employee training needs, identifying appropriate training opportunities and providers of training, and ensuring that all employees comply with annual training requirements. The USMS Training Academy, located at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia, is responsible for all aspects of training conducted at the Academy, including the development of course content, scheduling class sessions, and administering courses.61

The amount of funds budgeted for training matters has fluctuated since FY 2003, as illustrated in Exhibit 5 1. A senior official from the USMS Training Academy noted that FY 2003 was a ďbannerĒ year in which a sizeable amount of funds were allocated for training to accommodate a hiring push of DUSMs. This official stated that he would prefer more stable funding amounts so the Training Academy could more effectively plan for its activities.


EXHIBIT 5-1
USMS ALLOCATED TRAINING FUNDS
FISCAL YEARS 2003 THROUGH 2006

FY 2003: $7.5 Million; FY 2004: $5.1 Million; FY 2005: $3.1 Million; FY 2006: $5.4 Million.
Source: USMS Training Academy

Since FY 2003, the USMS Training Academy has managed the USMSís training budget. Using these funds, the USMS provides basic and continued development courses at the USMS Training Academy. Additionally, these funds can be used to obtain training from external sources.

Basic Academy Training

To assess the adequacy of the initial basic training provided to operational employees, we interviewed Academy officials, trainees, and district representatives. Additionally, we reviewed course evaluations prepared by students attending the basic programs conducted during FYs 2004 and 2005, as well as examined the courses and schedules for each of the basic training programs. Based upon our review, we believe that the USMS has generally provided adequate basic training to its operational employees. However, we identified some concerns with the DEO Basic Training Program and the CIDUSM basic training program as it existed until September 2006.

Detention Enforcement Officers

According to the USMS Training Manual, all DEOs must successfully complete the DEO Basic Training Program.3 The course is a 4 week program at the Academy that involves classroom presentations, practical exercises, and firearms training. The course is also intended to provide an orientation to USMS policies and procedures and a comprehensive curriculum in the administrative and operational areas of prisoner handling and prisoner movement. According to one USMS Training Academy official, the USMS routinely plans for one 24-person DEO Basic Training Program per fiscal year.63

As part of our review, we analyzed course evaluations prepared by 2004 and 2005 attendees of the 4-week DEO Basic Training Program. Although the attendees offered many suggestions for improvement, generally their evaluations were positive and suggested that the program had adequately prepared them for their duties as DEOs.

However, during the course of our audit, we were informed by a senior USMS Training Academy official that newly hired DEOs can experience significant delays before attending the DEO basic training course. Specifically, this official stated that delays may be encountered due to the scheduling of the basic training program, which is typically conducted once each fiscal year in the fourth quarter. As a result, a DEO hired at the end of a fiscal year may be required to attend the course at the end of the following fiscal year. In addition, if a class is full or cancelled, a DEO may be delayed from attending this training for up to 2 years, depending on the date of hire.64

To mitigate delays in basic training for DEOs, in October 2004 the USMS developed an in-district training module to ensure that new DEOs are oriented to the essential functions of the DEO position after they are hired. Although the in-district training module provides some training to the DEOs, it is not designed to replace the DEO Basic Training Program, which all DEOs are required to attend before they can work independently.

During our fieldwork, we were not able to determine the overall backlog of DEOs in need of the 4 week DEO Basic Training Program because the USMS did not maintain centralized records that adequately supported training activities.65 However, at the conclusion of our audit, the USMS provided us with a listing of DEOs who had not yet attended the DEO Basic Training Program. Regardless, we believe that the USMS should regularly monitor any existing backlog and explore additional methods for providing basic DEO training to appropriate individuals.

Deputy U.S. Marshals

Prior to FY 2007, all DUSM candidates were required to complete a two-phase basic training curriculum before taking on the duties of the position and being assigned to a district office. A DUSM candidate was first required to successfully complete the U.S. Marshals Service Integrated (USMSI) Training Program, which was instructed jointly by the USMS and FLETC. According to the USMS, the USMSI Training Program (Phase I) was an 8-week program intended to be an in-depth study of the law enforcement and administrative concepts that DUSMs must possess, including court security, the handling of prisoners, and personal protection.

Upon successful completion of Phase I, DUSM candidates were required to complete the DUSM Agency-Specific Follow-On Training Program (Phase II). Phase II was a 3 week training program that was intended to serve as an enhancement to the broad topics initiated in the USMSI. The objective of the training program was to provide instruction on matters directly related to the USMSís core mission of judicial security. According to the USMS, the program was also designed to emphasize hands on training and provide new deputies with the knowledge and skills necessary to equip them for high-threat trials and prisoner handling.

Most USMS district personnel and trainees with whom we spoke stated that basic DUSM instruction was high-quality training. Specifically, several district supervisory personnel believed that the DUSMs were well-prepared to assume their duties upon exiting the Academy. This positive feedback mirrored the information provided by the trainees in the written post-training evaluations that we reviewed, which suggested that basic DUSM instruction left them feeling well-prepared and confident.

Criminal Investigator Deputy U.S. Marshals

Prior to FY 2007, all DUSMs selected for CIDUSM positions were required to successfully complete a three-part CIDUSM training program before assuming the duties of the position. The first training phase was a 1 day Abbreviated Pre-Basic Training Program consisting of physical fitness testing and various law enforcement and administrative matters. Upon completion of the 1-day orientation, candidates attended FLETCís 11-week Criminal Investigator Training Program (CITP). This course covered subjects such as interviewing techniques, undercover operations, warrant execution, tactical training, firearms precision shooting, and emergency response driving. Upon the successful completion of the CITP, candidates moved on to the final 5-day phase, the Abbreviated Basic Deputy U.S. Marshal Criminal Investigator Training Program. The program focused on fugitive, background, and protective investigation techniques, as well as numerous practical exercises involving warrant investigations.

We observed a CIDUSM course in session and spoke with approximately 40 trainees regarding the quality of the training. Most of these trainees noted that much of the CIDUSM basic training was already covered in the DUSM basic training program, which they attended earlier in their careers. These individuals generally found this repetition to be inefficient and a waste of resources. In addition to the trainees, Training Academy officials recognized that much of the criminal investigator basic training program was repetitive.

In September 2006, the USMS revised its basic training programs for DUSMs and CIDUSMs, which addressed the repetitive training issue. As a result, DUSMs hired after this date are no longer required to return to the Academy for the criminal investigator training before converting to the CIDUSM level. Instead, this training is now integrated into the basic training program for newly hired DUSMs. This step should eliminate for newly hired DUSMs the apparent inefficient use of resources that resulted from the repetitive training.

Continuing Employee Training

Unlike their satisfaction with basic training, a large number of USMS district employees we interviewed during our audit, including managers and supervisors, expressed dissatisfaction or concern with the employee training opportunities that occur after completing required basic training. The following sections articulate the issues we identified in distinct employee development areas.

Three-year Development Program

Prior to September 2006, USMS directives required all new CIDUSMs to complete a 3 year developmental program, which was designed to ensure that these employees were exposed to a wide range of operational duties and developmental assignments, including fugitive investigations, prisoner handling, and protective details. During this period, a Field Training Officer (FTO), assigned by district management, was to supervise and evaluate the newly appointed CIDUSM. Additionally, each new CIDUSM was required to fulfill minimum time requirements in each operational program area.

While USMS directives stipulated a developmental program for new CIDUSMs, there was no equivalent program in place for new DUSMs to complete in their first, post-basic training assignments. Additionally, although the USMS had basic guidelines for the FTO program that required district officials to ensure that FTOs receive training to introduce them to the program, the USMS did not have a formal training program to ensure that USMS personnel selected to serve as FTOs were trained to be effective instructors or leaders.

The USMSís September 2006 revision of its training program also affected the USMSís 3-year developmental program. The program, which must now be completed by all newly hired DUSMs after they complete basic training, is also now a pre-requisite for advancement to a CIDUSM position. We believe this change will result in a more highly trained DUSM workforce because it will be provided with the opportunity to obtain experience in each of the USMSís mission areas. However, we believe that the USMS should consider developing a formal training program for FTOs to ensure that appropriate training is provided in a consistent fashion by qualified USMS personnel.

Advanced Training

In 1993, the USMS implemented a follow-up training course for its CIDUSM workforce referred to as Advanced Deputy Refresher Training, which was designed to reinforce the skills and broaden the knowledge of journeyman CIDUSMs. Although this training is to be completed by CIDUSMs after 5 years in this position and then every 3 years thereafter, the USMS conducted no advanced deputy training sessions during FYs 2003 and 2004, and only two sessions in FY 2005. Additionally, we were informed by many CIDUSMs that this training requirement was often not being met within the specified timeframes. For example, some CIDUSMs remarked that they had only attended one course during their tenure as a CIDUSM, which in some cases had been at least 9 to 10 years.66

In general, the operational employees with whom we spoke were concerned about their lack of on-going training opportunities. Several operational personnel in the district offices we visited voiced specific concern about the lack of advanced firearms training, which is a component of the advanced deputy training. According to the advanced training curriculum, several sessions involve real-world shooting situations, such as advanced weapons proficiency, tactical shooting, reduced light firing, defensive drills with handguns, handling of weapons during building entries and room-to-room searches, and proper use of cover while firing weapons. This lack of training is detrimental to the professional development and safety of CIDUSMs, and we believe that CIDUSMs should periodically receive updates to their basic training.

In addition to the concerns about delayed Advanced Deputy Refresher Training, many district personnel commented about the lack of training opportunities from other sources. These employees stated that in order to receive any on-going training to further their development, they had to seek out hard-to-find free training or sometimes pay for the training themselves and take leave to attend.

Supervisory and Management Development

The USMS has developed formal training for its supervisory employees and senior managers. According to the USMS Training Manual, the Introduction to Management and Leadership (IML) course for new supervisors is intended to provide them the necessary information and tools to be effective in their new positions. For senior managers, the USMS offers a two-part training program, which focuses on ethical decision-making, conflict resolution, and leadership.

Very few of the supervisors that we interviewed had attended the IML course. We interviewed several supervisors who had been in their positions for 2 to 3 years without the benefit of the IML or any other supervisory or managerial training.

Detention Enforcement Officer Development

Although the USMS currently has a formal on-going training program for its DUSM and CIDUSM workforce, no such opportunities exist for the DEO workforce. In our opinion, the USMS should develop a formal, post-basic training plan for DEOs in order to ensure that its DEO workforce is adequately trained and kept abreast of new developments in law enforcement.

Management of Training Funds

As shown in Exhibit 5-2, the USMSís training budget has fluctuated since FY 2003. In addition, we found that over this same time period the USMS had training funds that were not expended prior to making end-of-year purchases for items, such as ammunition and vehicles.67 After accounting for these purchases, the USMS continued to record a surplus in training funds, which was returned to the USMS general fund in each of these fiscal years.


EXHIBIT 5-2
USMS TRAINING BUDGET RECAP
FYs 2003 THROUGH 2006
FY Allocation Expenditures68 Balance End-of-Year
Purchases
Overall
Surplus
2003 $7,515,631 $6,667,491 $848,140 $623,640 $224,500
2004 $5,058,087 $4,705,965 $352,122 $168,302 $183,820
2005 $3,075,550 $2,964,073 $111,477 $85,852 $25,625
2006 $5,432,467 $5,078,636 $353,831 $312,524 $41,307
Source: OIG analysis of USMS Training Academy data

Many of the employees who mentioned a lack of training opportunities attributed this condition to a lack of training funds. For example, both headquarters and district office personnel stated that the Advanced Deputy Training course was frequently canceled due to lack of funding. Exhibit 5-3 details the number of Advanced Deputy Training courses scheduled and conducted from FYs 2000 through 2005, as well as the average number of participants per class during each fiscal year.


EXHIBIT 5-3
OVERVIEW OF USMS ADVANCED DEPUTY TRAINING COURSES
Fiscal
Year
Number of Courses
Scheduled
Number of Courses
Conducted
Average Number of
Participants per Class
2000 7 7 41
2001 7 5 45
2002 7 5 43
2003 8 7 35
2004 7 3 31
2005 6 1 40
Source: USMS Training Academy

Although we recognize that it may be impossible for the USMS to use its entire training budget in each fiscal year, these significant end-of-year purchases and surpluses suggest that the training funds could be managed more effectively. Considering the numerous statements made to us by USMS employees indicating a need for continued training, the USMS should ensure that allocated training funds are being utilized to their greatest extent.

A USMS headquarters official spoke to this issue at the conclusion of our audit and commented that when budgeting for classes, the Academy projects for a worst-case scenario. Therefore, if the cost for classes is lower than projected, the Academy will have additional funds remaining at the end of a fiscal year. Further, this official noted that it generally is not until near the end of the fiscal year that the Academy is able to adequately determine the amount of remaining funds. While we understand that the Training Academy cannot predict the amount of surplus training funds in any given fiscal year, we believe that the USMS could improve its planning so that these training funds are used to provide additional training, either external or internal, for its operational personnel.

Inadequate Training Records

During our review of the USMSís training efforts, we noted that the USMS lacked a comprehensive automated system for recording and tracking its employeesí training. To comply with our request for accurate information related to the advanced deputy course completion, USMS Training Academy officials manually reviewed hard-copy documents such as course rosters. In gathering the data, USMS officials identified significant amounts of missing, erroneous, and inconsistent information. Ultimately, we could not use the data provided because it was not reliable.

The lack of an automated system has reduced the USMSís ability to assess its training needs. We discussed this issue with USMS headquarters and Training Academy officials, who agreed that the agency needs a training management system and stated that they have included provisions for an automated training system in their recent budget submissions. However, funding for this item was not approved by DOJ officials. According to the USMS officials, DOJ is exploring the procurement of a single training data information system for use by all DOJ components. However, in the interim we believe that there are low-cost methods of maintaining this information, such as a spreadsheet or database, in a centralized manner in the absence of a DOJ-wide system.

Chapter Summary

We found that the USMS generally provided adequate instruction to its operational workforce during its basic training classes. In contrast, we determined that the continued employee development of its operational workforce was sporadic and inadequate. For example, the Advanced Deputy Refresher Training was to be completed by CIDUSMs after 5 years in this position and then every 3 years thereafter. However, the USMS conducted very few sessions during FYs 2004 and 2005. Moreover, many CIDUSMs who we interviewed stated that this training was not being provided within the specified timeframes. Additionally, the USMS established formalized training for its supervisory positions, but we interviewed several USMS personnel who had been supervisors for 2 to 3 years but had not received any such training.

The majority of the employees who cited a lack of training opportunities attributed this condition to a lack of training funds. We noted that the amount of funds budgeted for training between FY 2003 and FY 2006 has fluctuated greatly. However, we also found that for FY 2003 through FY 2006, the USMS Training Academy was left with a surplus in training funds at the end of the fiscal year that was returned to the USMS general fund.

Recommendations

We recommend that the USMS:

  1. Develop a formalized training program for USMS operational personnel selected to be Field Training Officers to ensure that they have adequate knowledge, skills, and abilities to instruct new staff.

  2. Ensure that CIDUSMs attend the Advanced Deputy Training course within the timeframes prescribed by the USMS.

  3. Ensure that newly appointed USMS supervisors attend USMS supervisory training within a reasonable period of time following their promotion.

  4. Establish a procedure to periodically review the training of DEOs to identify and rectify any backlog of untrained DEOs exists.

  5. Establish a continuing education program for DEOs.

  6. Ensure that training funds are effectively managed and that significant surpluses are avoided.

  7. Follow up with DOJ on its plans for establishing a department-wide system to record employee training. At the same time, consider developing an interim centralized system to track the training for each USMS employee.



Footnotes
  1. A USMS official explained that the backlog for DEO initial training would be eliminated upon completion of the USMSís upcoming DEO Basic Training Course, which the USMS plans to conduct in the fourth quarter of FY 2007.

  2. FLETC serves as an interagency law enforcement training facility for over 80 federal agencies, including the USMS.

  3. An exception to this rule may be granted if a current DEO from another agency is offered a DEO position with the USMS and a waiver is granted by the Chief of the Training Academy.

  4. Between FYs 2000 and 2005, the USMS on average hired fewer than 40 DEOs per year.

  5. According to the USMS, the minimum class size is 18 students and the maximum is 24 students.

  6. The USMSís inadequate training records are further discussed on page 54.

  7. We attempted to analyze empirical data to determine if USMS personnel attended advanced deputy refresher training in a timely manner. We were unable to conduct such an analysis because the USMS did not maintain adequate documentation of the training provided or received. This is further discussed on page 54.

  8. According to a USMS Training Academy official, these end-of-year purchases may include items purchased to support the Training Academyís response support mission. According to this official, Training Academy personnel and trainees are deployed during national emergencies, such as the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and Hurricane Katrina. This requires that the Academy maintain supplies on-hand that it may need to provide an immediate response to future emergencies. The USMS official further stated that end-of-year purchases may include costs related to the Academyís administration of the USMSís firearms, less-than-lethal, and body armor programs.

  9. This column includes those costs incurred by the USMS for Academy class expenditures, operating expenses, FLETC charges, and external training courses.



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