The head of the Iowa State Patrol will be retiring in December to take a new job with the state’s prison system. Colonel Robert Garrison says he’s accepted the newly created position of chief of security for the Iowa Department of Corrections. Garrison says he’ll oversee security operations for Iowa’s nine prisons. He says his 32 years with the state patrol have prepared him for his new assignment.
"I spent 12 years on the state patrol tactical unit, three of those serving as a leader," Garrison says, "I spent time as a hostage negotiator and a K-9 cooridinator. All of those are entities that will be placed under my supervision." Garrison says his top priority in the new gig is "safety." "I believe you must maintain discipline," Garrison says, "not only amongst the (prison) population, but within the ranks of those people that serve as correctional officers – they need to be well trained."
The 54 year old Garrison, a native of Emmetsburg, has been with the state patrol since 1975. He’s served as the agency’s chief the past eight years. Iowa Department of Public Safety Director Gene Meyer says he plans to name a new colonel for the state patrol in mid-December – around the time Garrison will be leaving that post.