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U.S. Marshals Service

District of South Dakota

United States Marshal Lyle W. Swenson

Lyle W Swenson, U S Marshal D/SD


Lyle Weir Swenson was appointed United States Marshal for the District of South Dakota on March 23, 1997 by President William J. Clinton.

Lyle Swenson was born in Pipestone, MN and moved to Mitchell, SD with his parents at a young age, where he attended and graduated from Mitchell High School in 1953.  He joined the South Dakota National Guard in 1952 and was honorably discharged in 1960 with the rank of SFC.  In 1958 Lyle Swenson was employed as a full time firefighter with the Mitchell Fire Department, but left nine months later to work as a volunteer retiring as a Captain after serving for a total of 35 years. 

On March 9th, 1961, Lyle Swenson started a career in law enforcement that spanned 41 years.  First as a deputy sheriff for Davison County in Mitchell, SD, then was elected sheriff of the same county in 1964.  In January 1965, Lyle Swenson took office and was re-elected ten more times, serving as Sheriff of Davison county for 32 years.  During that time he was appointed seven times by three different Attorneys General to the SD Law Enforcement Standards Commission, representing sheriffs for fourteen years.  In the early 1970s he was appointed Assistant Commander, by then Attorney General Kermit Sande of the State

Tactical Team, a force put together of state and local law enforcement officers to deal with the problems associated with the American Indian Movement (AIM). 

Swenson was also appointed as a member of the SD Board of Charities and Corrections by then Governor William Janklow, serving for six years, and later as a member of the SD Pardons and Parole Board by Attorney General Barnett, serving for five and a half years.

In 1970, Lyle Swenson was elected as President of the SD Sheriff's Association, in 1976-77 he was elected President of the SD Peace Officers Association and in 1989 he was elected as President of the National Sheriffs' Association, the only South Dakota sheriff ever to serve in that capacity.

In 1997 he was appointed as the 19th United States Marshal for the District of South Dakota by then President William Clinton and served until 2002.

Historical Listing of United States Marshals for District of South Dakota is an official site of the U.S. Federal Government, U.S. Department of Justice