CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Marshal Baylous is on the job. Mike Baylous, the new U.S. Marshal for southern West Virginia begins his tenure this week. He was recommended to President Trump by U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito and was recently confirmed in the position by the Senate. He called it a dream come true.
“I grew up with my dad and grandfather watching westerns. I watched Gunsmoke, Wyatt Earp, and Bat Masterson all on TV,” he laughed. “I never dreamed I’d be this blessed to work for the United States Marshal Service.”
Unlike those western heroes of his childhood, the job is a lot more than cleaning up Dodge City with a six shooter. Baylous will oversee a staff of more than 20 Deputy Marshals whose number one job is providing security to the federal courthouses in Charleston, Huntington, Beckley, and Bluefield.
“That’s the primary job, the security of those facilities,” Baylous explained. “But there’s a whole lot more to it. We’re responsible for apprehending fugitives, compliance with the Adam Walsh Act to make sure sex offenders are properly registered. They run the witness protection program and they help insure safety of all witnesses, judges, U.S. Attorneys and anyone who has anything to do with the court.”
Baylous comes to the job with a higher profile than most lawmen. For nearly a decade he had become the face of the West Virginia State Police where he rose to the rank of Lieutenant and served as the the agency’s chief spokesman to the media on most issues and incidents.
“Everyone has seen me more in the role of the spokesman for the State Police,” said Baylous. “But throughout my 24 years in the State Police I’ve had a variety of duties and responsibilities.”
He believed those duties have prepared him well for the new task at hand and he relished the chance to embrace the job.
“It’s been a lengthy process, this all started in December 2016,” he said. “I’m just really thankful for the opportunity.”