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RCSO deputy chosen for US Marshal team

The Rockdale County Sheriff's Office announced the assignment of a deputy to the U.S. Marshals Service Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force.

Deputy Chris Baker, a 13 year veteran with the RCSO, was selected out of five finalists by the US Marshal Service selection panel.

In late February, the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office and U.S. Marshals Service reached an agreement to assign a deputy to the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force. An internal memorandum was then posted at the Sheriff's Office and all interested deputies that had at least seven years of law enforcement experience and met the other qualifications were able to apply for the highly coveted position.

Deputy Baker has been with the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office since 2000 and has spent the last five years assigned to the Warrants and Civil Division serving criminal warrants.

Sheriff Eric Levett said, "Having a deputy assigned to the U.S. Marshals Service was one of my top priorities coming into office. This joint task force will provide a great opportunity for Deputy Baker and will be a great benefit to the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office because it will allow us to seek out fugitives that are here inside Rockdale County much more quickly than in the past. While we have always been able to call on the Marshals Service to assist us with serving fugitive warrants, having a dedicated deputy to assist the Marshals Service with investigating and apprehending fugitives will be just one part of making the county safer. This assignment is part of my overall strategy to fight crime. I want to send a clear message to criminals: We will get you! While the Sheriff's Office cannot prevent every crime, criminals need to be aware that if they commit crimes in Rockdale County and then flee, we are now positioned with the resources to track these fugitives down and apprehend them. Likewise, if criminals commit crimes outside of Rockdale County and think that they can come here to hide, they are going to be in for a rude awakening."

The Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force is an initiative led by the U.S. Marshals Service that combines federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The joint task force's objective is to seek out and arrest fugitives with active warrants that include those charged with violent crimes, gang members, sex offenders and other felonies. Since its inception in 2003, more than 20,000 violent fugitives have been apprehended in the state of Georgia. In 2010 alone, U.S. Marshals led task forces arrested more than 90,000 fugitives with felony charges.