Deputy U.S. Marshal Robert Garmon discusses his job with criminal justice students during Real Talk with CJ.
"TV shows us the action part. They are running and gunning," said Garmon, a 2005 Sam Houston State University grad. "Sometimes there is downtime and low times, and we are not running and gunning. It’s a good show. I like the way it shows that we work together. This is a job where we rely on each other, whether you are black or white, male or female."
After a three year stint as a Montgomery County probation officer, Garmon joined the U.S. Marshals Service in 2009. Upon completing the training program, Garmon was assigned to McAllen, Texas, where he handled a variety of duties, including fugitives warrants and civil process.
"Fugitives are an any-time type of work," said Garmon. "You could be up at 3 a.m. in the morning or not get home until after midnight. It involves a lot of research and patience. Fugitives don’t stay put when they know someone is looking for them. They don’t want to go back to jail."
Garmon also was assigned to civil process in which he served subpoenas, summons, and writs of execution to seize property based on court orders. In this capacity, he helped confiscate motorcycles from defendants who no longer met their financial responsibilities.
Several months ago, Garmon transferred to the Houston office, where he now served in federal courts. He aids in transporting prisoners to court for trial, sentencing and motions. He has been involved with several high profile cases, including kidnapping and gang trials.
"We want to make sure the environment is safe for the judges and the prisoners," said Garmon. "You have to be alert and pay attention."
Before joining the U.S. Marshals Service, Garmon was a probation officer, first serving a typical caseload with everything from petty theft to manslaughter, and later handling a specialized sex offender cases, which required more intensive monitoring.
Garmon, who graduated from Sam Houston with a degree in Criminal Justice and a minor in Biology, credits the College with teaching him many of the skills he needs for his job. As a Bearkat football player, he learned professionalism and time management. He also met "genuinely good people," including fellow students and faculty.
Garmon recently returned to Sam Houston State University to participate in Real Talk with CJ, a undergraduate series given by real-life criminal justice professionals in the field. He provided information on programs available at the College of Criminal Justice to begin a career with the U.S. Marshals Service.
Garmon warned students that decision they make in high school and college can impact their careers later, citing the extensive background check done by his agency. It took him two years to get through the process.
"Hard work pays off," Garmon said.