Alabama Department of Public Safety

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Alabama Department of Public Safety
Seal of the Alabama Department of Public Safety.svg
Alabama Department of Public Safety Seal
Common nameAlabama State Troopers
MottoCourtesy, Service, Protection
Agency overview
FormedDecember 5, 1935
Preceding agency
  • Alabama Highway Patrol (1935-1939)
Employees700–1,000 (civilian) ~ 250 (law enforcement)
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionAlabama, USA
Legal jurisdictionState of Alabama
General nature
HeadquartersAlabama Criminal Justice Center
Montgomery, Alabama

Agency executives
  • Charles Ward, Colonel
  • Sue Capps, Major of DPS
  • Dina Pregno, Major of Drivers' License Division
  • Steve Thompson, Major of Marine Patrol
Parent agency
  • Alabama Law Enforcement Agency
Child agencies
  • Alabama Highway Patrol
  • Alabama Marine Patrol
  • Alabama Drivers License Division
Facilities
Posts and Field Offices14 posts and 3 field offices
Police VehiclesFord Explorer

Ford Taurus

Ford Crown Victoria

Ford F-250

Chevrolet Tahoe

Chevrolet Impala

Dodge Charger
HelicoptersUH-1-H Huey

Bell 206B Jet Ranger

OH-58A+(w/ NightSun and FLIR)
PlanesBeech King Air 200 Cessna C-182
DogsGerman Shepherd Belgian Malinois
Website
Alabama DPS site
The Alabama Criminal Justice Center, which houses the headquarters of the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Corrections

The Alabama Department of Public Safety is a law enforcement agency serving the U.S. state of Alabama. It is made up of three divisions: Highway Patrol Division, Marine Patrol Division, and Drivers' License Division.[1]

History[edit]

The Alabama Department of Public Safety began as the Alabama Highway Patrol on December 5, 1935. The Highway Patrol was renamed the Department of Public Safety on March 8, 1939, and then included 4 divisions: Highway Patrol, Driver License, Accident Prevention Bureau, and Mechanical and Equipment.[2]

On January 17, 2011, Hugh B. McCall was appointed to the position of Colonel of the Alabama Department of Public Safety by Governor Robert J. Bentley, making him the first African-American to head the agency.

Organization[edit]

The Department of Public Safety is headed by a director appointed by the Governor of Alabama who is the executive officer of the Department and holds the rank of colonel. The director is aided in managing the department by an assistant director, who is also appointed by the governor and who holds the rank of lieutenant colonel. Each of the department's three divisions are headed by uniformed officers with the rank of major.

  • Driver License Division
    • Drive License Examining Unit
    • Drive Records Unit
    • License Reinstatement Unit
    • Safety Responsibility Unit
  • Alabama Highway Patrol Division
    • Career Development and Training Office
    • Motor Carrier Safety Unit
    • Traffic Homicide Investigations Office
    • Division Programs Office
    • Patrol Operations
      • Alexander City Post
      • Birmingham Post
      • Decatur Post
      • Dothan Post
      • Eufaula Field Office
      • Evergreen Post
      • Gadsden Field Office
      • Grove Hill Field Office
      • Hamilton Post
      • Huntsville
Post
      • Jacksonville Post
      • Mobile Post
      • Montgomery Post
      • Opelika Post
      • Selma Post
      • Troy Post
      • Tuscaloosa Post

Highway Patrol[edit]

The Alabama Highway Patrol is a division of the Alabama Department of Public Safety and is the highway patrol agency for Alabama, which has jurisdiction anywhere in the state. It was created to protect the lives, property and constitutional rights of people in Alabama.

In 1971, the Alabama Highway Patrol became the first U.S. police organization to use down-sized vehicles for regular highway patrol duties when they purchased 132 AMC Javelins. This pre-dated, among others, the Camaros and Mustangs used by other departments years later.

Rank structure[edit]

The Alabama Department of Public Safety rank structure is as listed:

Rank Insignia
Director
US-O6 insignia.svg
Assistant Director
US-O5 insignia.svg
Chief
US-O4 insignia.svg
Captain
US-O3 insignia.svg
Lieutenant
US-O2 insignia.svg
Sergeant
Army-USA-OR-05.svg
Corporal
Army-USA-OR-04a.svg
Trooper
Blank.jpg

Fallen officers[edit]

There have been 29 Alabama State Troopers killed in the line of duty since its beginning in 1935.[3]

Rank Name Date of Death Cause of Death Age Location
Patrolman Maury Young 09-05-1936 Killed in a crash after his motorcycle struck a trailer 29 In Calhoun County, Alabama
Patrolman William D. Raiford, Sr. 10-16-1937 Killed in a crash while on his motorcycle after a vehicle struck him 29 In Jefferson County, Alabama
Chief Radio Engineer L. Bert Ussery 09-21-1943 Killed in a crash while in his State vehicle while traveling to fix a dispatch radio N/A On U.S. Route 231 in Troy, Alabama
Patrolman Arvil O. Hudson 05-20-1952 Killed in a crash after striking a pothole and losing control on a rain-slicked road during a pursuit 39 In Walker County, Alabama
Patrolman Henry Preston Bryant 12-07-1952 Killed in a crash after a vehicle failed to yield in an intersection while in a pursuit with a drunk driver 30 On Lee Highway west of Larkinsville, Alabama
Patrolman Julian F. Draughon 10-03-1953 Killed in a crash while on his motorcycle after a vehicle failed to yield to his lights and siren as he escorted a vehicle to the hospital 29 In Houston County, Alabama
Patrolman Howard Milford Brock 11-08-1957 Killed in a crash with a vehicle that failed to yield to his lights and siren during a pursuit 46 In Lee County, Alabama
Patrolman Joe F. Partin 07-25-1960 Killed in a crash while on his motorcycle after a truck turned out in front of him 32 In Baldwin County, Alabama
Patrolman Anthony A. Scozarro 12-13-1961 Killed in a crash in which he was the passenger after a vehicle struck the side of the patrol car after running a stop sign 22 In Montgomery, Alabama
Captain Thomas Estes Maxwell 10-04-1962 Killed in a crash after being struck by a vehicle while in his patrol car while responding to help a Mississippi Highway Patrol Officer 43 Intersection of Danville Road and Chapel Road in Danville, Alabama
Sergeant Raymond M. Carlton 02-27-1965 Killed in a crash while in his patrol car after a tire blew causing him to hit a bridge abutment 52 On the side of U.S. Route 331 in Covington County, Alabama
Trooper Randolph G. Glover 07-19-1967 Killed in a crash while in his patrol car after losing control during a pursuit 28 In Monroe County, Alabama
Trooper Brooks D. Lawson 07-31-1969 Killed in a crash while in his patrol car after being hit by a train at an unmarked crossing during a pursuit 29 N/A
Corporal Thomas Odean Gillilan 07-01-1970 Succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained on 06-28-1970 after being shot while on a traffic stop 38 On the side of U.S. 331 in Crenshaw County, Alabama
Corporal Harlan B. Blake 10-10-1970 Killed in a crash while in his patrol car during a pursuit 38 N/A
Auxiliary Trooper Ormand Franklin Watkins 04-11-1971 Shot and killed while on a traffic stop with a drunk man who shot him during a fight; his partner, Trooper Ronald Ogletree was also shot but survived 30 On the side of Pineview Circle in Rainbow City, Alabama
Corporal Riley Delano Smith 12-17-1971 Electrocuted to death while checking on a dead body in a swamp; a billboard wire shorted out and electrocuted him as soon as he touched the post 34 Off the side of the Mobile Causeway (U.S. Route 98) in the Mobile Bay in Mobile, Alabama
Trooper James Buford Robinson 12-10-1972 Shot and killed while helping Talladega Police Officers search for a man that wounded a Talladega Officer; Trooper Robinson chased the suspect to a residence when the man turned and killed Trooper Robinson 41 On Chandler Street in Talladega, Alabama
Trooper Bobby S. Gann 02-21-1974 Shot and killed after chasing an escaped mental patient into a dark, abandoned home; the suspect had previously stolen a vehicle 39 Just off of U.S. Route 31 approx. eight miles north of Prattville, Alabama
Trooper Kenyon M. Lassiter 04-19-1974 Struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while writing a warning to a driver he just stopped 51 On the side of U.S. Route 331 approx. eight miles north of Opp, Alabama
Sergeant Julius Douglas Stuckey 06-27-1974 Killed in a crash while in his patrol car after a tire blew and he struck a bridge railing 36 On the side of I-65 in Evergreen, Alabama
Trooper Johnnie Earl Booker 11-02-1978 Killed in a crash while in his patrol car after a logging truck pinned him against a bridge railing 28 On Alabama State Route 21, approx. 1.5 miles north of Talladega, Alabama
Trooper David E. Temple 09-13-1979 Shot and killed while on a traffic stop with a car that was wanted in an earlier armed robbery 36 On the side of Alabama State Route 20/U.S. Route 72 (Alternate)/I-565 in Mooresville, Alabama
Trooper Simmie L. Jeffries 12-21-1984 Killed in a crash while in his patrol car after a tractor trailer turned in front of him 22 On the interchange of U.S. Route 72 and I-65 near Athens, Alabama
Trooper Larry D. Cawyer 05-25-1985 Struck and killed by two vehicles that wrecked and slid into him as he wrote a traffic ticket 42 On the side of the I-10 Bayway in Mobile, Alabama
Trooper Elizabeth S. Cobb 10-11-1987 Shot and killed by her boyfriend who was also an Alabama State Trooper in an attempt to collect her $350,000 life insurance policy 36 Behind New Bethel Church on County Road 6 in Dallas County, Alabama
Trooper Robert William Jones 10-03-1991 Killed in a crash while in his patrol car after a tractor trailer pulled out in front of him as he responded to a reckless driver call 41 On U.S. Route 231 in Pike County, Alabama
Trooper Willis Von Moore 02-26-1996 Killed in a crash while in his patrol car while responding to a crash; multiple cars failed to yield to Trooper Moore's lights and siren causing Trooper Moore to strike a guardrail 34 On the side of U.S. Route 431 just north of Bob Wade Lane in Huntsville, Alabama
Trooper Brian Keith Nichols 02-17-2002 Killed in a crash while in his patrol car after striking a horse as he topped a hill; the horse fell into his windshield and crushed the top frame of the car 35 On Alabama State Route 56 near Chatom, Alabama

Since 1935, the Alabama State Troopers have had one Trooper killed in the military.

Rank Name Date Employed Date of Death Cause of Death Age
Trooper Stephen Ray Robinette N/A 04-06-1991 Killed by an IED during Operation Desert Storm; he was a Sergeant of the U.S. Army's VII Corps 36 In southern Iraq

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Alabama DPS main page". Archived from the original on 2008-11-24. Retrieved 2008-11-25.
  2. ^ ADPS History page
  3. ^ "Alabama Department of Public Safety, Alabama, Fallen Officers". Officer Down Memorial Page. Retrieved 13 June 2018.

External links[edit]