Alabama Department of Public Safety

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Alabama Department of Public Safety
Seal of the Alabama Department of Public Safety.svg
Alabama Department of Public Safety Seal
Common name Alabama State Troopers
Motto Courtesy, Service, Protection
Agency overview
Formed December 5, 1935
Preceding agency
  • Alabama Highway Patrol (1935-1939)

700–1,000 (civilian)

~ 250 (law enforcement)
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction Alabama, USA
Legal jurisdiction State of Alabama
Headquarters Alabama Criminal Justice Center
Montgomery, Alabama

Agency executives
  • Charles Ward, Colonel
  • Sue Capps, Acting 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
Posts and Field Offices 14 posts and 3 field offices
Police Vehicles

Ford Explorer

Ford Taurus

Ford Crown Victoria

Chevrolet Tahoe

Chevrolet Impala

Dodge Charger

UH-1-H Huey Bell 206B Jet Ranger

OH-58A+(w/ NightSun and FLIR)

Beech King Air 200

Cessna C-182

German Sheperd

Belgian Malinois
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]


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.


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]

Alabama Highway Patrol

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
US-O6 insignia.svg
US-O4 insignia.svg
US-O3 insignia.svg
US-O2 insignia.svg

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 Employed Date of Death Cause of Death Age
Patrolman Maury Young N/A 09-05-1936 Motorcycle struck wagon near Pine Level N/A
Patrolman William D. Raiford, Sr. N/A 10-16-1937 Vehicle struck his motorcycle in Jefferson County 29
Chief Radio Engineer L. Bert Ussery 12-05-1935 09-21-1943 Car crash in Troy on U.S. 231 N/A
Patrolman Henry Preston Bryant 08-16-1945 12-07-1952 Hit by vehicle that failed to yield right of way during pursuit in Jackson County 30
Patrolman Arvil O. Hudson 03-17-1952 05-20-1952 Hydroplaned during pursuit in Walker County N/A
Patrolman Julian F. Draughon 05-26-1941 10-03-1953 Escorting a vehicle to the hospital, hit by truck that failed to yield right of way in Houston County 29
Patrolman Howard Milford Brock 05-10-1942 11-08-1957 Hit by vehicle that failed to yield right of way during pursuit in Lee County 46
Patrolman Joe F. Partin 01-13-1952 07-25-1960 Killed on his motorcycle by truck making an improper turn in Baldwin County, Patrolman Kenneth Rush also seriously injured 32
Patrolman Anthony A. Scozarro 11-16-1960 12-14-1961 T-boned by a vehicle that ran a stop sign in the City of Montgomery, Patrolman Kenneth Rush also seriously injured 22
Captain Thomas Estes Maxwell 05-31-1940 10-04-1962 Killed in collision with another vehicle in northwest Alabama while responding to a wreck at the Mississippi state line 41
Sergeant Raymond M. Carlton 11-01-1937 02-27-1965 Killed when his tire blew out, causing him to lose control and hit a bridge column on U.S. 331 in Covington County 53
Trooper Randolph G. Glover 09-16-1966 07-29-1967 Lost control of his vehicle during pursuit in Monroe County 31
Trooper Brooks D. Lawson 12-27-1966 07-31-1969 Struck and killed by train at unprotected crossing during pursuit 29
Corporal Thomas Odean Gillilan 06-27-1957 07-01-1970 On a traffic stop for speeding when the man he stopped overpowered him, took his pistol, and shot him on the side of U.S. 331 in Crenshaw County. The shooting happened on 06-28-1970 and he died 3 days later 38
Corporal Harlan Blake 05-01-1967 10-10-1970 Collided with another vehicle while in pursuit of a stolen truck 38
Reserve Trooper Ormand Franklin Watkins N/A 04-11-1971 Shot and killed while he and Trooper Ronald Ogletree attempted to arrest a drunk driver in Etowah County 26
Corporal Riley Delano Smith 05-10-1964 12-17-1971 Electrocuted when called to check a body in marshy water; he came in contact with a metal post on a billboard, which had an electrical short 34
Trooper James B. Robinson 09-19-1966 12-10-1972 Shot and killed while assisting Talladega PD in an investigation of a man with a rifle; a gun battle ensued, and Robinson was shot in the throat 41
Trooper Bobby S. Gann 08-27-1963 02-21-1974 Shot and killed by an escaped mental patient; the patient stole a truck with Gann in pursuit, he bailed and fled on foot inside a house; Gann followed inside and was shot 38
Trooper Kenyon M. Lassiter 10-28-1957 04-19-1974 Hit and killed while writing a warning in Covington County; the driver entered the opposite lane of traffic and struck the stopped car and Trooper Lassiter; he had earlier saved the life of the driver who hit him 51
Sergeant Julian D. Stuckey 11-01-1966 06-27-1974 Killed when a tire blew out, causing him to hit an I-65 bridge railing in Conecuh County; Stuckey had planned to be married that weekend 36
Trooper Johnnie Earl Booker 10-29-1975 11-02-1978 Killed in a traffic collision in Talladega County 28
Trooper David E. Temple 03-26-1975 09-13-1978 Shot and killed while attempting to apprehend 2 robbery suspects in Limestone County 36
Trooper Simmie L. Jeffries 08-19-1981 12-21-1984 Killed in a traffic collision with an 18-wheeler in Limestone County 22
Corporal Larry D. Cawyer 10-29-1975 05-25-1985 Killed while writing a citation; two vehicles collided and hit him and his car in Baldwin County on the Mobile Bayway 42
Trooper Elizabeth S. Cobb 08-18-1986 10-11-1987 Shot and killed by fellow Trooper Joe Duncan in Dallas County; Duncan was arrested and convicted of her murder 31
Trooper Robert W. Jones 07-05-1978 11-03-1991 Killed when an 18-wheeler pulled out in front of him on U.S. 231 in Pike County 40
Trooper Willis V. Moore N/A 02-26-1996 Killed in a one-vehicle crash in Madison County on U.S. 231, north of Huntsville, while en route to a wreck; his vehicle was forced off the road by vehicles who did not give right of way and was impaled by a guardrail 33
Trooper Brian Keith Nichols 09-20-1993 02-17-2002 Killed while headed home after his shift in Washington County; he topped a hill and hit a horse in the road, which fell over the hood and crushed him through the windshield 35

Since 1935, the Alabama State Troopers have had 2 off-duty and/or military deaths.

Rank Name Date Employed Date of Death Cause of Death Age
Trooper Stephen Ray Robinette N/A 04-06-1991 Killed by a mine in southern Iraq during Operation Desert Storm; he was a Sergeant of the U.S. Army's VII Corps 36
Trainee Ervin Michael Hawk Johnston, II N/A 06-16-2008 Johnston was going through the Trooper Academy at the time of his death; he was participating in 1.5 mile run when he became disoriented and collapsed and died from heat exhaustion 25


External links[edit]