Born:  December 24, 1935
Memphis, Tennessee

Summary by
Channing D. Phillips

Interviews Conducted by
Joshua Klein, Esq. and Stephen J. Pollak, Esq.

Richard Kirkland Bowden

Oral History Text & Documentation

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Oral History Summary

BIOGRAPHY – November 28, 2007

US Air Force Criminal Investigation Division– tour of duty September 1954. Highly motivated to leverage four years of achievement during MP career to provide dedicated service for Metropolitan Police Department District of Columbia from 1958-1962.

This comprehensive field training; extensive experience in safety patrol, security details,undercover investigations and public-service activities led to a career with the US Marshal Service 1962 to 1987. Retired in 1987 as Supervisor Deputy US Marshal. Since 1991 to current performs duties as a District Security Officer with the US Marshal’s Office.

LeMoyne Owen College – Memphis, TN
Douglass High School – Memphis, TN High School Diploma, 6/1953

Completed US Marshal Training Academy 1964
Completed FBI Academy 1971

Began US Air Force experience at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonia, TX 1954, served at various locations throughout the world during four year tour of duty.

Awarded MP position of Criminal Investigator for 16 weeks. This catapulted and extensive career in law enforcement to include: dignitary escort security, fugitive investigation, judicial security, transportation of prisoners, seizing contraband, witness security.

Earned consistent commendations for the devotion to duty with citations for excellence in job performance, upholding law and order, relating effectively with culturally diverse populations and protecting property and lives.

Fulfilled a range of duties for both combat and peacekeeping missions. Gained proficiencies and experience in: investigations, report writing, felony traffic stops, search and seizures, criminal investigations and suspect interviewing / fingerprinting / processing.

Selected for elite security details providing dignitary protection fro visiting foreign officials, Presidential detail members of Congress and other high-ranking judicial officials.

Infiltrated illegal drug ring operating on base and civilian communities, participated in undercover surveillance and “sting” operation leading to the arrest, prosecution and incarceration of guilty parties.

Assigned to protect James Meredith’s admission to University of MS in 1962. Detailed to Civil Rights cases in Birmingham and Selma, AL. Security detail for Dr. Martin Luther King’s March on Washington, 1963. Assigned to Security detail during the Martin Luther King Poor People’s March on DC in 1968. Provided supervision of the sequestered Watergate jury during trial of President Richard Nixon in 1975.

During career with the US Marshal Service has supervised and participated in security for other high profile criminal and civil cases in the District of Colombia courts.

Key Skills
Law Enforcement & Public Safety
Emergency Planning & Response
Security/ Surveillance Operations
Criminal Investigations
Crime Prevention
Public Relations
Evidence Collection
Defensive Tactics
Counter-terrorism Strategies
Firearms Safety & Handling
Interviews & Interrogations
Crime Scene Management

Recognition & Awards
US Marshal Service Outstanding Job Performance Award
US Marshal Service Community Service Award
US Marshal Volunteer Partners Award
LeMoyne Owen College Alumnus of the Year 2001
Outstanding Service by EXPO – Douglass Bungalow and Crump Communities, District of Colombia
Ward 5 Public Service Award
Luke C. Moore Academy Outstanding Service Award, 200 and 2001

Community Service & Activities
Board of Directors Luke C. Moore Academy
National Douglass Alumni Corporation
LeMoyne-Owen College Alumni
Connecting Link (Arlington Chapter of The Links, Inc.)
The Heritage Signature Choral
Allen AME Church Choir
Northern VA Urban League
Tutor and Mentor DC Public Schools
National Organization of Back Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE)

Married, Honorable Shirley Watkins Bowden
3 Children and 2 Grand Children