Tupelo Police get boost from Marshals’ fugitive task force

TUPELO – Police officer Michael Bowens brings federal fugitive focus to Tupelo police work after months of training with the U.S. Marshals Service.

For the past three months, he’s transitioned into a new role he predicts will benefit law enforcement agencies throughout Northeast Mississippi, especially the Tupelo Police Department.
Bowens represents TPD as a full-time member of the 14-person marshals’ regional fugitive task force.

He will help track felony fugitives for departments throughout the region and nationally. Since he brings all of Tupelo’s felony warrants to the table, Tupelo investigators will have some help with their workload.

“Mike is with Tupelo P.D. and he brings all the felony warrants to the pot from the City of Tupelo,” said Christopher Felix, supervisory inspector for the U.S. Marshals Service in Oxford. “Then our team comes together and we help him work his warrants and he helps us work our warrants and we help Marshall County, and everyone else, work their warrants.”

Bowens served as a school resource officer in Tupelo for one year and as a patrol officer for 11 years. He works alongside task force representatives from Lowndes County, Marshall County, the Mississippi Department of Corrections, DeSoto County, Tate County, Panola County and the Highway Patrol.

“It takes some of the strain and workload off the investigators,” Bowens said. “They may be working cases that are three to four years old where the individual has disappeared. We’ll work to bring that person to justice and the investigators can concentrate on investigating newer crimes.”

Felix offered the example of a fugitive who has a warrant in Tupelo for rape charges.

“We feel that he is out of the country and we’re helping them with the process of trying to get the appropriate paperwork so we can capture him,” he said.

The task force also assists smaller agencies that don’t have the manpower to offer up a full-time task force representative.

jb.clark@journalinc.com