A man who spent 32 years with the Iowa State Patrol, including 8 years as chief, has been named the new chief of the law enforcement bureau for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Robert Garrison will start his new job during the second week of March.
The 56-year-old Garrison spent the past two years as chief of security for the Iowa Department of Corrections, but was laid off one month ago as part of state budget cuts. Garrison says he’s not interested in an early retirement.
“I still feel like I have something vital to share,” Garrison told Radio Iowa. “I have a lot of education, training and experience that I want to pass on to the next generation.” The Emmetsburg native says he’s always been an avid outdoorsman.
“I grew up on the side of lake…I was outdoors most of the time and as I looked at those things I enjoyed, this (job) seemed like it would be very interesting to me,” Garrison said. As chief of the D.N.R.’s law enforcement bureau, Garrison will lead a staff of 97 employees including 91 sworn peace officers.
“I want to look at some of the processes we have and see where we can economize and save money and of course, look at officer safety, training and leadership in the organization,” Garrison said. He succeeds Randy Edwards, who retired as chief of the D.N.R.’s law enforcement bureau in November. Garrison says he plans to spend most of his time in the field, rather than behind a desk.
“I’ve always been a field commander type personality,” Garrison said. “In the patrol, I enjoyed being out more than I enjoyed sitting in an office. I’ll do those things I need to do, but I plan on spending a considerable amount of time in the field amongst the officers and learning from them, because it is a different side of law enforcement.” Garrison’s salary will be $89,320.