U.S. Marshal Tobin honored at luncheon

By Jane Beathard

March 28, 2014

Former London Police Chief Pete Tobin has come full circle.

As the newly sworn U.S. Marshal for Ohio’s southern district, Tobin’s Columbus office is across the street from the police department where he began his law enforcement career 40 years ago.

Tobin, who continues to live in the London area, reflected on those early years at a luncheon and swearing-in ceremony on Friday, March 28.

He thanked his mentors in the Columbus police department and former bosses and co-workers, including London Mayor Dave Eades, Police Chief Dave Wiseman and Madison County Sheriff Jim Sabin for bolstering his efforts.

“It was an honor and privilege to work with them,” Tobin said. “I will carry gratitude for the rest of my days.”

Tobin also thanked wife Suzie and sons Clarke and Ryan for their patience and support over the years as he worked his way from second-shift beat cop to the U.S. Marshals Service.

More than 200 friends and professional associates were on hand as U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown administered the oath of office to Tobin on Friday in Columbus. A similar ceremony was held March 13 in Washington, D.C.

Brown recommended Tobin, a Republican, to President Barack Obama.

“He stood out,” Brown said. “There was no opposition.”

Despite its current “molasses like” movement, the U.S. Senate approved the presidential appointment without debate. Party politics were never an issue, Brown noted.

“They clearly looked at his background. There was never a question Pete would be the next U.S. Marshal,” Brown said.

Bi-partisanship was evident among Tobin’s supporters on Friday. Among those on the dais were former Ohio Attorneys General Betty Montgomery and Richard Cordray. Montgomery is a Republican; Cordray a Democrat.

Police chiefs from a dozen Ohio cities and as many county sheriffs were in the crowd, as were federal and state judges.

Broadcast newswoman Carol Luper served as master of ceremonies. Luper said she first met Tobin years ago and has covered many of his cases on the job.

Tobin rose through the ranks in Columbus, eventually commanding the department’s elite SWAT unit. He later served as police chief of Powell, then London.

He led narcotics investigations at the Ohio BCI before being named the bureau’s superintendent in 2009.

“I am thrilled to be with the (U.S. Marshals) Service,” Tobin said. “They have exceptional employees. I couldn’t be happier.”

Established by U.S. Congress in 1789, the service is the nation’s oldest federal law enforcement organization. President George Washington named the first 13 U.S. Marshals.

Today, 94 marshals are supported by more than 4,000 deputies and other staff across the country.

They pursue fugitives, secure federal facilities, transport prisoners and dispose of property confiscated by federal courts, according to the service web site.

Jane Beathard can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 16 or via Twitter @JaneBeathard.