Metro-East News

Boeing security chief approved as new U.S. marshal for Southern Illinois

Madison County Board member Brad Maxwell speaks at the New Douglas Memorial Day program in 2015.
Madison County Board member Brad Maxwell speaks at the New Douglas Memorial Day program in 2015. For the Highland News Leader

Brad Maxwell was on the way to his son's baseball game when he found out the U.S. Senate had confirmed him as the new U.S. Marshal for Southern Illinois

Maxwell is currently St. Louis manager and chief of uniform security for Boeing, signing with the aircraft manufacturer in 2011 after a 20-year career in the U.S. Air Force. He is also a member of the Madison County Board, a Republican representing District 11 in Edwardsville.

U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth had nominated Maxwell in March to lead the U.S. Marshal Service for the Southern District. But Maxwell didn't expect the Senate to vote until May 24, so it was a bit of a surprise to get a call from Durbin's office Thursday afternoon informing him that the Senate had unanimously confirmed him. He coaches his son's baseball team, and they were about to play a team with an undefeated record.

"I haven’t really had the chance to digest it, I just found out on my way out the door," Maxwell said.

During his military service, Maxwell became a special agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and was deployed twice to Iraq, where he apprehended insurgents and fugitives and handled prisoner transports. He served as deputy chief of counterintelligence at Scott Air Force Base before retiring to work for Boeing, where he supervises about 135 uniformed security officers.

As part of his OSI training, Maxwell said he went through the same academy as the U.S. Marshals do, and believes his experience in the military will be helpful in his new position. "In many ways, the apprehensions here in the U.S. are similar to what we were doing in counter-insurgency, apprehending insurgents in the Middle East," he said.

The U.S. Marshal Service is the oldest law enforcement agency in America and handles more felony warrants than any other agency, Maxwell said. The U.S. Marshals Service apprehends fugitives and transports prisoners, as well as providing protection for the federal judiciary and endangered witnesses. The Southern District has about 29 deputy marshals, Maxwell said.

However, the new job comes with a price. Maxwell will have to resign his seat on the Madison County Board, as it would be a conflict of interest and he will need to give his full attention to the U.S. Marshals, Maxwell said.

"He's well-qualified, and I wish him the best," said Madison County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler. After Maxwell resigns, Prenzler will nominate a successor who must live in the same district and be of the same party. The county board would then vote to confirm the nominee, who would serve out the rest of Maxwell's term.

U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth both backed Maxwell’s nomination as U.S. marshal for the Southern District. They issued a joint statement referring to his “strong qualifications.”

“We expect him to serve with professionalism, responsibility, and a clear focus on the mission of the marshals service,” the statement read. “We look forward to working with him in his new role."

Maxwell has two associate degrees from the Community College of the Air Force and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Park University. He lives in Edwardsville with his family, and said he is looking forward to his new challenge as U.S. Marshal.

And his team won the game. "I'm having a really good day," he said.

Elizabeth Donald: 618-239-2507, @BNDedonald