New Agency Official: Drivers License Wait Times ‘Unacceptable’

Press Release from the State of Tennessee, Aug. 15, 2011:

MEMPHIS, TN – Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons on Monday announced the appointment of Lori Bullard as Assistant Commissioner of Driver Services. Bullard, a 25-year veteran of the Memphis Police Department, currently holds the rank of colonel and is the commander the Union Station Precinct in midtown Memphis. Bullard will start her new role as Assistant Commissioner on August 24.

“Lori Bullard has an outstanding record of leadership with the Memphis Police Department. She is driven by a strong work ethic and is known for helping employees do their best. And she has a reputation with citizens in the community she serves as being responsive and accessible. I am confident Lori will successfully lead the employees of the Driver Services Division in delivering better services to the citizens of Tennessee and carrying out their important role in public safety,” said Commissioner Gibbons.

“The Driver Services Division is the face of state government to millions of Tennesseans. I know the average length of time many citizens wait at most Driver Service Centers is unacceptable. I also understand the important law enforcement and homeland security role that the Driver Services Division performs. I am ready for this challenge and look forward to working with the employees of the division,” said Bullard.

As a veteran officer of the Memphis Police Department, Bullard has extensive management and supervising experience, culminating in overseeing the operations of the midtown precinct, with more than 230 officers. In addition, she brings an extensive background in training to her new task.

Many of Bullard’s management and training responsibilities occurred during the time Larry Godwin served as director of the Memphis Police Department. Godwin serves now as deputy commissioner of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security.

“Lori has a wealth of experience in leading employees in a productive and professional manner. She will be a great addition to our team,” said Commissioner Godwin.

Bullard started her public safety career as a Memphis police officer in 1986, assigned to the Metro Narcotics Unit after graduation from the Memphis Police Academy. She was also one of the first six officers to start a community policing program. In 1995 Bullard was promoted to sergeant and was appointed as a recruit instructor at the academy. During this time, Bullard wrote the Memphis Training Academy annual report.

In 2002, Bullard was promoted to lieutenant and remained at the academy in a leadership role until 2002, when she was assigned to MPD’s Special Operations Unit as a supervisor of the Mounted Patrol Unit. As lieutenant, she held other supervisory positions with various units, including Uniform Patrol, Robbery, Felony Assault, and Crime Scene Investigation. In 2008, Bullard was promoted to major assigned to a precinct where she supervised officers, and eventually served as an acting lieutenant colonel, responsible for the daily operations of the precinct.

After a brief assignment back at the Crime Scene Investigation Unit, where she handled administrative duties, Bullard was named commander of the Memphis Police Training Academy. As commander of the academy, Bullard supervised all instructors, managed all aspects of training, and daily operations. In April 2010, Bullard was promoted to the rank of colonel and was assigned commander of the Union Station Precinct. In this role Bullard managed the precinct budget and all personnel. She oversaw all field operations of the precinct, handled citizen complaints, and conducted administrative hearings.

In addition to being an instructor at the Memphis Police Training Academy throughout her career, Bullard also has been an instructor at the Mid-South Training Institute, conducted classes for the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, and currently conducts supervision, leadership, and workplace violence and conflict resolution classes for Smith and Nephew and Investigative Techniques Unlimited.

Bullard is a graduate of The University of Memphis with a bachelor of arts degree in English and a minor in criminal justice. She earned a master of arts in education degree from Union University. Bullard has completed hundreds of hours of criminal justice training and is a member of several professional public safety organizations.