Brian D. Gardner

Command Staff
Title: Sheriff
Phone: 319-892-6100
Sheriff Brian Gardner

Sheriff Brian D. Gardner


Sheriff Brian Gardner began his career with the Linn County Sheriff’s Office in 1980 as a communications operator. He became a reserve deputy sheriff in 1981 and began working as a full-time deputy sheriff in 1982. As a deputy sheriff, he worked in the Jail, Civil and Patrol Divisions and served as the Accreditation Manager in the General Services Division. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1994 and worked in the Community Services Unit of the General Services Division and in the Jail Division. In 1997, he was promoted to Lieutenant and became the Jail’s first Assistant Jail Administrator. He was promoted to Captain in 2000.  In 2002, he was reassigned to the Patrol Division as the division commander. In 2008, he was appointed Second Deputy with the rank of Major, overseeing the Patrol and Communications Divisions. He was elected Sheriff in 2008, assuming the position on January 1, 2009. He was reelected Sheriff in 2012, 2016 and 2020, and is currently serving his fourth term in office. 

Sheriff Gardner is a lifelong Linn County resident and is a Kennedy High School graduate. He received an Associate of Science degree in Law Enforcement from Kirkwood Community College in 1991, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Mount Mercy College in 1995, and a Master of Public Administration degree in Criminal Justice from City University in Bellevue, Washington in 2004.

Sheriff Gardner is a graduate of the 80th basic class of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy in 1982, the 199th session of the FBI National Academy in 1999, and the 99th session of the National Sheriffs' Institute in 2010. He has been an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) since 1981 and a Certified Credible Leader (CCL) since 2017.

Sheriff Gardner was a recipient of the Marion–East Cedar Rapids Rotary Club, Linn County Peace Officer Recognition Award in 1985, the Greater Cedar Rapids Sertoma Club, Annual Peace Officer Recognition Award in 1986, the Iowa Department of Public Safety, Commissioner’s Special Award for Excellence in Traffic Safety in 1996, the Keep Iowa Beautiful, Iowa Litter Enforcement Award in 2005, the Mount Mercy University, Alumni Professional Achievement Award in 2011, the Kirkwood Community College, Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016, the National Command & Staff College, MAGNUS MOΛΩN ΛABE Award in 2018, and the Iowa Police Chiefs Assocation 2022 Law Enforcement Executive of the Year Award.

Sheriff Gardner currently serves as the President of the Iowa State Association of Counties, the Chairperson of the Linn County Emergency Management Commission, the Chairperson of the Linn County 911 Service Board, the Chairperson of the Linn County Radio System Governance Board, and the Chairperson of the St. Luke's Hospital/UnityPoint Health Child Protection Center Advisory Board. He is a Past-President of the Iowa State Sheriffs' and Deputies' Association (2015) and is a former Chairperson of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Council (2016–2020).  He is also a member of numerous professional organizations.


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