Susan Pamerleau first woman to serve as marshal in Western District of Texas

Pamerleau also served as first woman elected as Bexar County sheriff

SAN ANTONIO – When Susan Pamerleau was sworn in as the first woman to serve as United States marshal for the Western District of Texas this week, it was just a formality.

She had taken the oath earlier and was already at work.

“In just a few months, we will have an entirely new leadership team,” Pamerleau said.

She explained that she has made her selections and is now awaiting the approval of the promotion board.

“These are people who know their job and have done challenging work,” she said. “They’ve been very successful.”

Pamerleau was nominated for the job by President Donald Trump in August and was quickly confirmed by the Senate.

Though her experience in the federal system is not as extensive as that of her staff, Pamerleau said that she has the leadership skills that the position demands.

Prior to serving four years as Bexar County sheriff, she was a senior executive with insurance giant USAA.

Pamerleau also served as an officer in the United States Air Force and retired as a major general.

Among her priorities as marshal will be identifying housing for federal prisoners, she said.

“They have allowed us the time we need to make an orderly transfer of prisoners into facilities that are available to us already,” she noted.

Though she lost her bid for re-election as sheriff, Pamerleau said that her experience in that office was valuable.

“We work so closely with sheriffs and with police chiefs,” she explained.

She said that the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force is an example of that cooperation.
Pamerleau said that she takes a "hands-on" approach to her job, noting that she has already joined her deputy marshals in the field for an apprehension operation.

She said “What’s important about that is for me to be able to understand the challenges they have.”

Pamerleau said that though she is new to the job, she’s comfortable in the role.

“I’m a fast learner,” she quipped.

About the Author

Paul Venema is a courthouse reporter for KSAT with more than 25 years experience in the role.

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