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Retirement Of Thomas R. Vokes From The U.S. Marshals Service

Sen. Arlen Specter

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Mr. President, on August 31, 1996, while the Senate was in recess, Thomas R. Vokes retired from the U.S. Marshals Service after a distinguished law enforcement career of 33 years, including 26 years with the Marshals Service.

Mr. Vokes was born and raised in Clearfield, PA. He attended the public schools there through high school. In 1963, he embarked on what proved to be a most distinguished career in law enforcement when he joined the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Police Department as a police officer.

In 1966, Mr. Vokes joined the Federal service by becoming a White House police officer, a predecessor to today's Uniformed Division of the Secret Service. Four years later, Mr. Vokes joined the U.S. Marshals Service, the agency from which he just retired.

Upon joining the Marshals Service, Mr. Vokes returned to Pennsylvania as a deputy U.S. marshal for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Five years later, in 1975, Mr. Vokes became a supervisory deputy marshal in the Middle District. In 1980, Mr. Vokes was promoted and moved to California to become a court security inspector. He received a court appointment to serve as the U.S. marshal for the Central District of California, one of the Nation's largest Federal judicial districts, in January 1981 and served until March 1982.

Upon completing his term as U.S. marshal in Los Angeles, Mr. Vokes returned to Pennsylvania and served as chief deputy U.S. marshal, the senior career position, in the Middle District of Pennsylvania for 2 years. After additional service as chief deputy U.S. marshal in North Dakota, Mr. Vokes returned once again to Pennsylvania in 1991, having been appointed by the Attorney General to serve as the U.S. marshal for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, based in Philadelphia.

It was in this capacity that I came to know Mr. Vokes. As the U.S. marshal for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Mr. Vokes was widely recognized and esteemed by Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies and by the Federal courts for his effective leadership and management of the functions of the Marshals Service in the district. I knew the security of the Federal courts in Philadelphia was in good hands when Marshal Vokes was at the helm.

In March 1994, Marshal Vokes left Philadelphia and returned to Washington, where he had started his law enforcement career, to serve as the chief of the Marshal Service's Prisoner Operations Division, managing the agency that ensures that Federal prisoners awaiting trial show up in court at the appointed time. It was from this position that Marshal Vokes just retired.

If the measure of the man is the trust reposed in him, Marshal Vokes has been highly respected throughout his career. Twice he was selected to serve as chief deputy U.S. marshal, the senior career position in the Marshals Service. And twice he was selected to serve as the U.S. marshal in two of the Nation's largest and busiest judicial districts, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. Finally, he ended his career in charge of one of the operational divisions of the entire Marshals Service. Too often we in Congress fail to recognize publicly the thousands of dedicated civil servants like Marshal Vokes who carry out the laws that we adopt. I am pleased to honor Marshal Vokes for his dedication to our Nation and its people. He is one of Pennsylvania's finest, and we have been honored to share his talents with the rest of the Nation. I know all my colleagues join me in wishing Marshal Thomas R. Vokes all the best in his retirement.