QC native heads Homeland Security

David Glawe knew he wanted to go into law enforcement when he was 13 years old

DAVENPORT, Iowa - On Aug. 3, the United States Senate confirmed Davenport native David Glawe to one of the top law enforcement positions in the land: Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Intelligence and Analysis. 

Something David said he's still getting used to.

"I still wake up every morning and go, ... 'How did I get here?,'" David said.

For his parents, that's an easy question to answer. 

"We took a trip to Washington, D.C. when he was 13 years old," his mother Nancy Glawe said. "With that he said, 'I want to be a FBI agent.' He never lost sight of that goal."

His path to the nation's capital was relatively quick. David joined the Houston Police Department when he was just 22 years old. Later he joined the FBI before leading Customs and Border Patrol. 
 
He's now tasked with protecting the country from any type of threat: foreign or domestic.
 
"It's a big machine and I love every minute of it," David said.
 
But David isn't one to shy away from a challenge. Long time Quad Cities residents may recall a local news story that gave an early glimpse to David's passion for keeping the public safe.
 
It happened during his first job as manager of Cork Hill Pool in Davenport. Pool goers were threatening the life guards, according to a 1989 Quad City Times article.
 
"He felt that the lifeguards were not being respected and their safety was at stake," Nancy said. 
 
At 19 years old, he made an executive decision to shut down the pool. That forced the Parks Department and then-mayor Thom Hart to address the problem. It worked and Davenport ultimately added more police to the area. 
 
"It's kind of the same personality," Nancy said. "[He's] interested in the safety and well being of his coworkers."

FBI Special Agent and Rock Island-native Jim Berry has known David since they were teenagers. He said David's dedication to justice makes him ideal for this job. 

"He's always had a very strong desire and drive for service: service for community and service to his country," Berry said. 

But at one point, David said he wasn't sure if that would be enough. 

"There was one question asked of me during the vetting process: Is there anything in your background that we should be aware of?," David said. "I said, 'Well, I'm gay.' The white house official said, 'Why would that matter? You're qualified aren't you?'" 
 
So on Aug. 8, David was sworn in with his family, including his husband Perry and their two children, by his side. He said the support he's received has been overwhelming and surprising. 
 
"The support from the Executive Office of the President and his family, Ivanka, it's taken us back a little bit," David said. 
 
The swearing ceremony is now a  centerpiece in his mother's carefully assembled scrapbooks from an unforgettable trip to Washington, D.C.
 
Glawe said he misses his family, who are now hundreds of miles away at home in Davenport. But his family says his Quad City roots still shape and direct his actions, which now affect so many.

"That hasn't changed him," Nancy said. "He's very much grounded in the values: honesty, integrity, the work ethic, caring about others, your community."


More Stories

Don't Miss

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center