FVCC Names Garner 2014 Distinguished Alumni

By Beacon Staff

Former Kalispell Police Chief Frank Garner was named Flathead Valley Community College’s newest distinguished alumnus this week at the college’s annual Alumni and Ambassadors Spring Luncheon.

Garner was presented the fifth annual FVCC Distinguished Alumni Award by Alumni and Ambassadors Co-chair Suzy Williams.

The award is given to an individual whose career achievements, service to others and passion for FVCC rises above the rest.

Garner graduated from Flathead Valley Community College in 1995, and according to Williams, he has been a point of pride for FVCC ever since.

“This individual’s career of nearly 30 years would touch lives in our community in positive and lasting ways, and it continues strong today,” she said. “His leadership and service to youth and the community at large are far and wide, from serving as former president of Kalispell Rotary and on the Boards of Big Brothers Big Sisters and Flathead C.A.R.E. to being an active member of the Evergreen Lions Club.”

Garner was recognized for his service as director on the Flathead Valley Community College Foundation Board, on advisory committees for FVCC instructional programs and as an active member of the FVCC Alumni and Ambassadors organization.

He is the recipient of the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce Great Chief Award, the Kalispell Rotary Community Service Award and Lions Club International’s highest award, the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award. In addition, he was selected for the inaugural class of Leadership Montana and was the first FVCC alumnus to receive the FVCC President’s Montana Mentor Award.

From 1997 to 2006, Garner served as Kalispell chief of police after having served as patrolman, narcotic investigator, SWAT team leader, sergeant and detective. Throughout his service, he received the department’s Meritorious Service Medal for his work as a drug investigator and was named Police Officer of the Year by the Violence Free Crisis Line on three separate occasions. In addition to playing an instrumental role in bringing organized community law enforcement into Kalispell, he was actively involved in the D.A.R.E. program and in promoting aggressive drug interdiction, education and prevention to the local community.

In 2004, Garner was appointed interim Kalispell city manager. Following his retirement from the police force, Garner traveled to Afghanistan where he worked as a police advisor for the Afghan National Police Force. Upon his return, he became business manager at Kalispell Medical Equipment. He currently serves as director of security at Kalispell Regional Healthcare and is a candidate for Representative of Montana House District 7.

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