Rhode Island’s only federal marshal moving to Jamestown
Federal Marshal Jamie Hainsworth and his wife have almost finished building their house that they will eventually occupy full time. Hainsworth has been the U.S. marshal for the Rhode Island district since July 2012.
Hainsworth grew up in Providence. When relatives left the big city to move to Glocester, Hainsworth’s family followed suit by moving to Scituate. He graduated from Scituate High in 1978. He said the move from Providence took some getting used to, but he ended up loving his new home in the northwestern part of the state.
While he was still in high school, Hainsworth was hired as a clerk by the Scituate Police Department. What began as a summer job became more of a fulltime job in his senior year.
“I always wanted to be a police officer for as long as I can remember,” Hainsworth said.
While still in high school, Hainsworth began taking classes at the Community College of Rhode Island in an effort to get his degree as soon as possible. He was eventually hired by the Glocester Police Department. He took on a full-time role beginning on New Year’s Day 1980. While working as a police officer, Hainsworth furthered his education at Roger Williams University.
Hainsworth remained with the Glocester Police Department for more than 30 years. During that time, he graduated from the FBI National Academy in 1995. He retired from the force on April 1, 2010, having risen to the role of chief of police. He then took a job with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, working as a victim’s advocate. Soon after, the marshal’s job opened up. He applied for it. Another Jamestown resident, U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, was crucial in his hiring.
“Sen. Reed and Sen. Whitehouse recommended me to the president,” said Hainsworth. “The president nominated me.”
The nomination took place in February 2012. Senate approved the nomination in June, and in July, the presidential appointment was made. Hainsworth is one of 93 federal marshals and the only one representing Rhode Island.
The job of a U.S. marshal includes the apprehension of federal fugitives. Hainsworth’s office also works with the R.I. State Police on a task force to help capture violent fugitives wanted on state and federal warrants.
Asset forfeiture is also a part of the work of the marshal’s office. Anytime any government agency seizes property or possessions, the actual seizure is done by the marshal’s office. Admiralty law extends the seizure enforcement to bodies of water.
Under the Adam Walsh Act, Congress charged the marshal’s office with sex-offender registration in each district. Another task force includes representatives from local police departments across the state and keeps track of sex-offender registrations. The task force finds offenders who haven’t registered and brings them to court.
The marshal’s office also provides security for the federal courthouse and bankruptcy court, as well as the Pastore Building where the marshal service is housed. Protection is provided for the three buildings as well employees and visitors to the court. Security officers are also tasked with transporting prisoners to and from the courthouse. As if all that isn’t enough, the witness-protection program is also the responsibility of U.S. marshals.
Hainsworth has 11 deputies working under him. Many times they wear multiple hats based on department priorities. There are also 24 security officers, who are contracted from a private company but report to Hainsworth, as well as an administrative staff.
Hainsworth and his wife lived in Glocester for many years, but the couple says their lifelong dream has been to live in Jamestown. After years of hard work, their dream is about to become a reality.
“We always wanted to live near the water,” he said. “Jamestown was our number one choice. We looked at other places and we didn’t like them as much. Finally, when I decided to retire, we got serious about it and started looking for a new place to live.”
Working with local realtor Joan McCauley, the Hainsworths were able to identify a piece of land on Pleasant View Avenue that fit their needs. It was important to them to be able to walk to town and be as close as they could be to the water. They purchased the land in 2011.
“I had been promising my wife for years, but work always came first,” he said.
The Hainsworths planned to build a smaller house than the one they had in Glocester. The idea was simple living, all on one level, that would be easier to maintain as they get older.
When the marshal position opened up and Hainsworth decided to apply for it, he assured his wife that even if he got the job, they were going to go through with their plans to move to Jamestown.
Hainsworth said that the construction of the house is finished. It is currently being furnished and the couple is close to being able to move in. Since they still have their house in Glocester, there is no great rush to make the transition. But the couple has enjoyed spending time in Jamestown recently.
“We just want to settle down and relax, and enjoy all the quiet and peacefulness of Jamestown,” he said.