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Gibbons Names New Chief of Staff

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security; February 2, 2015:

NASHVILLE — Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons today announced the appointment of David McGriff as his chief of staff. McGriff, who served as interim Deputy Commissioner in early 2011, will begin his new role effective immediately.

“David brings a wealth of state government and law enforcement experience to the Department of Safety and Homeland Security. Since 2011, he has been a trusted member of my staff twice on an interim basis, and I am pleased that he has agreed to join the department full-time,” Commissioner Gibbons said. “His leadership skills, hands-on approach and counsel will be invaluable as we continue to ensure the safety and security of Tennessee,” he added.

McGriff also served as a consultant to the department from July 2013 to March 2014. During that time, he evaluated and provided recommendations for processes in the state’s driver services centers.

As chief of staff, McGriff will act as top advisor to Commissioner Gibbons. He will oversee the day-to-day operations in the department and work closely with the assistant commissioners of the Administrative Division, Driver Services Division and Office of Homeland Security, as well as the colonel of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

McGriff comes to the department after having spent six-plus years as the Director of the West Tennessee Drug Task Force (WTDTF), as well as the Chief Criminal Investigator for the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office. Prior to that, he was Deputy Director for the West TN Drug Task Force from 2001 to 2007.  McGriff also worked as a task force supervisor for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and criminal investigator for the District Attorney General for the 30th Judicial District.

McGriff began his law enforcement career as a police officer for the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia in 1969. He joined the Memphis Police Department as an officer in 1974.

A 44-year veteran law enforcement official, McGriff is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and member of the FBI National Academy Association and Metropolitan Area Chiefs of Police Association.

McGriff also served in the United States Marine Corps.

TNDHS Announces New Regional Advisor for East TN

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security; January 29, 2015:

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security today announced the promotion of Dwayne Collins to Regional Advisor in Charge over 11 Homeland Security Districts, effective immediately. Collins previously served as the Eastern Regional Advisor, which covers 34 counties, for the state’s Office of Homeland Security.

As the Regional Advisor in Charge, Collins will assist in coordinating regional activities across the state, including, but not limited to, training, facilitating exercises, investigations, event security planning and citizen outreach. He will also support the six Homeland Security regional advisors in their role and district responsibilities.

“I have complete confidence in Dwayne’s ability to lead the 11 Homeland Security Districts across the state and to continue working closely with local and state public safety officials to help keep Tennessee safe,” Assistant Commissioner David W. Purkey said. Commissioner Purkey serves as the state’s Homeland Security Advisor.

Collins is a 29-year veteran law enforcement professional. Prior to his promotion, he was assigned to Homeland Security District 2 as the Eastern Regional Advisor. Collins also worked as a Training Advisor for the Office of Homeland Security until July 2012. He began his law enforcement career with the Morristown Police Department, where he advanced to the rank of lieutenant.

Collins received his Master’s of Business Administration from Milligan College and earned a bachelor’s from Tusculum College.  He is currently an adjunct instructor in the Criminal Justice Program for Walters State Community College.

THP Accepting Applications for Spring Citizens’ Trooper Academy

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security; January 26, 2015:

NASHVILLE— The Tennessee Highway Patrol is now accepting applications for the 2015 Citizens’ Trooper Academy in the spring. Classes will be held in both Nashville and Knoxville during the spring sessions.

The Nashville session is scheduled to begin Tuesday, March 10, while the Knoxville class will start on Thursday, March 12. Both sessions will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. local time weekly.

The academy, which consists of approximately 30 hours of training, is designed to develop a better understanding and awareness of the Tennessee Highway Patrol as well as its parent agency, the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, in the community through a hands-on approach. Topics covered include investigations, special operations, homeland security and many other areas of the patrol.

Participants must be at least 21 years old, available to attend weekly three-hour sessions with no more than one absence, sign required waivers and agreements, and have no criminal history.

Applications are available on the departmental website at www.tn.gov/safety or you may request an application by emailing email.safety@tn.gov. Please be sure to indicate on your application whether you wish to attend the Nashville or Knoxville sessions.

Deadline for registration is February 11, 2015.  Applications must be returned by that date for processing.

For more information, call Sergeant Stan Hollandsworth at 615-251-6321 or Shannon Hall at 615-251-5170.

THP Taking Applications for Fall Citizens’ Trooper Academy

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security; July 9, 2013:

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Highway Patrol is now accepting applications for the fall session of its Citizens’ Trooper Academy. The 10-week academies will be held in both Nashville and Knoxville. The upcoming session will mark the first academy held in Knoxville.

The first session for the Nashville class is scheduled to begin Tuesday, September 3, 2013. The Knoxville class is scheduled to begin on Thursday, September 5, 2013. Both sessions will run from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. weekly.

The Citizens’ Trooper Academy, which consists of approximately 24-30 hours of training, is designed to develop a better understanding and awareness of the Tennessee Highway Patrol as well as its parent agency, the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, in the community through a hands-on approach. Topics covered include investigations, special operations, homeland security and many other areas of the patrol.

Participants must be at least 21 years old, sign required waivers and agreements and have no criminal history. Also, citizens must be available to attend weekly three-hour sessions with no more than one absence.

Applications are available on the departmental website (www.tn.gov/safety), the THP Facebook page (www.facebook.com/tennesseehighwaypatrol), or citizens may request applications by sending an email message to email.safety@tn.gov. Applicants are asked to indicate whether they wish to attend the Nashville or Knoxville sessions.

Deadline for registration is August 2, 2013. Applications must be returned by that date for processing.