In Memory of Special Deputy Marshal Craig Alan Kriner

In Memory of Special Deputy Marshal Craig Alan Kriner

The United States Marshals Service announced that they had lost a deputy marshal among their ranks due to the current COVID19 pandemic. On Saturday, January 23, 2021, Special Deputy Marshal Craig Kriner died due to complications from contracting the coronavirus while on duty. Kriner had served his country, community, and neighbors for over 32 years. He was 66 years old.

Most recently, Special Deputy Marshal Kriner had been assigned to the Wheeling Federal Building and Courthouse in Wheeling, West Virginia. Contact tracing shows that he may have contracted the virus during his work which put him into contact with many people each day.

COVID19 has become the number one cause of line of duty deaths in the US. Hundreds of officers have died; thousands of children have been left without a parent or primary caregiver. We needed our first responders and law enforcement to remain on the job. To encourage this, the federal government added legislation to protect the families of law enforcement. Active-duty officers who contract the virus while on the job and die, their families are given full line of duty death benefits.

Kriner was the epitome of a civil servant. He began after high school graduation when he joined the US military. He was a veteran of the US Air Force. For more than 24 years, Kriner served his community as a sworn law enforcement officer with the Wheeling Police Department. When Kriner passed, he had been a special deputy marshal for the US Marshals Service. Kriner had worked for the Marshal’s Service for over eight years.

US Department of Justice

The US Department of Justice, or DOJ, was initially formed in 1870. The federal executive department is charged with the enforcement of federal law. Other countries have similar offices, sometimes under interior ministries. Ulysses S. Grant signed the DOJ into its existence.

The DOJ comprises several other departments, including the US Marshals Service, the FBI, the DEA, and the ATF. The primary responsibilities of the DOJ are investigating white-collar crime and representing the US in court. In addition, the DOJ also manages the duties included in running the federal prison system.

United States Marshal Service

The US Marshals Service is the primary law enforcement arm of the DOJ and federal courts. US Marshals are responsible for guaranteeing the operation of the judiciary and the integrity of the Constitution. George Washington was the first US President to enact this office and define its scope of enforcement. It was signed into effect with the Judiciary Act of 1789, making it the oldest US federal law enforcement agency.

The US Marshals Service also has many other responsibilities, including the oversight and management of the US Federal Witness Protection Program, federal prisoner and alien transportation, and the execution of federal search warrants.


Special Deputy Marshal Craig Alan Kriner leaves behind his wife, daughter, and grandson. Kriner’s family joins the hundreds of thousands of American families who have lost a loved one to the virus. Full honors were performed at services for Special Deputy Kriner. Area law enforcement joined with their honor guards to demonstrate the significance of Kriner’s life and the loss felt by all.

The Wheeling Police Department shared news of the loss with their residents. “WPD is saddened to learn of the passing of retired Sgt. Craig Kriner. He served the City of Wheeling from 1989 until his retirement in 2013. Occasionally, as some retirees do, he would stop back at his old stomping grounds to say hello. An all-around good guy. We will miss him.”

Pamela Howard-Grahg, a friend and coworker, shared her condolences. “Very sorry for your loss; I remember many great conversations with Craig over the years when he was working with my Dad. I also worked with his brother Jeff at Wesbanco. Thoughts and prayers.”