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Striving to be the Best

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Episode No. 118

Date:  June 11, 2010

Notes: A conversation with former soldier, FBI Agent and US Marshal Allen Garber.


Allen Garber “retired as United States Marshal for the District of Minnesota on December 31, 2006. His career spanned 44 years.  Al served 5 years in the US Army attaining the rank of Captain. He served in the Infantry and the Military Police Corps. He was an Airborne Ranger and had duties which included platoon leader, executive officer and company commander. His combat experience was gained during a 13 month tour of duty with the US Army's 1st Cavalry Division in Vietnam.

He was an FBI Agent for 26 years as Agent and Supervisor. The majority of his duties involved investigation of violent crimes, apprehension of violent fugitives, Special Weapons and Tactics, firearms instructor, and defensive tactics instructor. He was the Supervisor of the Jacob Wetterling kidnapping investigation. As a police instructor Al taught thousands of law enforcement officers in the fields of arrest techniques, SWAT, use of force, firearms, defensive tactics, and leadership. He was the first supervisor of the original Minnesota Fugitive Task Force, and the joint FBI/ Minneapolis Police SWAT team.

The next portion of his career was spent as Chief of Police of the Champlin, MN Police Department. The Champlin Police Department had 23 sworn and 15 non sworn personnel. During his tenure as Police Chief, Al testified as an expert witness in the use of force. He also conducted reviews of several high profile incidents for the Minneapolis Police Department when the MPD was looking for an unbiased and professional opinion. In 1999 Al was appointed Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources by Governor Jesse Ventura. As Commissioner he had the opportunity to lead approximately 4000 employees, manage a $250 million budget, and work closely with elected officials and interest groups.

In 2002 Al was appointed United States Marshal for the District of MN by President Bush. The USMS is responsible for security at federal buildings and courthouses , as well as for Federal Judges, US Attorneys, and other officials. The service was also very active in the fugitive apprehension effort. Marshal Garber established a close working relationship with the Federal Judges. During his tenure, the USMS in Minnesota worked closely with area Police Departments, particularly the Minneapolis Police, and other Federal and State law enforcement agencies to fight violent crime. The only USMS/MPD/St Paul PD/ATF SWAT team in the country was established.

Al Garber is the author of Striving to be the Best.

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