Gov. Haslam names David Purkey as safety commissioner

Friday, July 29, 2016, Vol. 40, No. 31

NASHVILLE (AP) - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam has named David Purkey as the new commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Safety.

The safety commissioner oversees law enforcement and homeland security issues in the state and is in charge of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Purkey succeeds outgoing Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons on Sept. 1.

Purkey previously served as both assistant commissioner for homeland security and as director of the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency. He relinquished the TEMA responsibilities when former Ohio emergency operations administrator Patrick Sheehan was hired in June.

Purkey is a former four-term mayor of Hamblen County and previously served as a state trooper and special agent with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. He was also an eight-year member of Tennessee Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves.