Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons and Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott on Monday announced changes to the highway patrol’s top command staff.
Richard “Dean” Hurley has been promoted from major to lieutenant colonel, supervising the agency’s Field Operations Bureau. Cheryl Sanders has been promoted from captain to major, supervising the Field Operations East Bureau. The promotions for both patrol veterans are effective Feb.
The changes are prompted by the retirement of Lt. Col. Wayne Springer, who joined the Tennessee Highway Patrol in 1982 as a dispatcher and went on to be commissioned as a trooper in 1984. He has served as lieutenant colonel since 2011.
“Wayne has dedicated himself over his career and especially the last seven years to making the THP a better and more professional law enforcement agency,” Col. Trott said.
Mr. Hurley has served as major over field operations in east Tennessee since 2010. Prior to that, he served as captain over the 13-county Fall Branch district. Mr. Hurley started his career with the THP in 1977, serving in Sullivan County and his native Washington County as a road trooper. Mr. Hurley is an adjunct faculty member teaching criminal justice courses at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, where he also received his Master of Arts degree in criminology and a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice. Hurley served in the U.S. Air Force from 1973-1976.
“An advocate for training, education, and professionalism, Dean has played a major role in advancing the performance and integrity of the Tennessee Highway Patrol. In this new role, he will continue that emphasis on training and will help ensure our troopers in the field function to the best of their abilities,” Mr. Trott said.
Commissioned as a road trooper in 1983, Ms. Sanders first worked in Knox County where she was also assigned to the CID Division in undercover narcotics enforcement. In 2002, Ms. Sanders became the first female promoted to lieutenant with the THP. In 2006, she became the first female promoted to captain overseeing the Chattanooga District. In 2008, Ms. Sanders was reassigned as captain over the Knoxville District. Ms. Sanders earned an associate’s degree in police science and criminal justice from Roane State Community College, and is a graduate of the Northwestern School of Police Staff and Command.
“Cheryl has a way of bringing out the best in people. Her personnel always perform near the top and she has an exceptional level of respect from troopers on the roads. She will make a great leader in the THP,” Mr. Trott said.
Captain David McGill, who currently commands the Chattanooga District, is being transferred to the Knoxville District. Mr. McGill’s replacement will be announced in the coming weeks.