Applying for protection through a witness program is lengthy. It begins with an initial request for protection from a state or federal law enforcement agency, followed by the submission of an official Witness Security Program application to the U.S. Department of Justice: Office of Enforcement Operations (OEO). Interviews are then conducted with the Marshals Service, and the Marshals Service makes a recommendation to the OEO as to whether the witness should be granted access to the program. The final decision of whether to accept a person into the Witness Security Program lies with the U.S. Attorney General. Once a person or family is accepted into the program, each member signs a Memorandum of Understanding, by which they commit themselves to the rules of the protection program.
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