Department of Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons and Tennessee Highway Patrol Colonel Tracy Trott announced changes to the highway patrol's top command staff today.
Richard "Dean" Hurley was promoted from major to lieutenant colonel, and will supervise the agency's Field Operations Bureau. Cheryl Sanders was promoted from captain to major, and will supervise the Field Operations East Bureau. Their promotions will take effect on February 14.
The changes were made because of the retirement of Lt. Col. Wayne Springer, who joined the highway patrol in 1982 as a dispatcher and became commissioned as a trooper in 1984. He served as Lt. Col. 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.
Since 2010, Hurley served as major over field operations in East Tennessee. Before that, he served as captain over the Fall Branch district. He began his career with the highway patrol in 1977, serving in Sullivan and Washington counties as a road trooper. Hurley also teaches criminal justice courses at East Tennessee State University, 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 to 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," Trott said.
Sanders was commissioned as a road trooper in 1983 and worked in Knox County where she was also assigned to the CID Division in undercover narcotics enforcement. In 2002, Sanders became the first female promoted to lieutenant within the THP. In 2006, she became the first female promoted to captain and oversaw the Chattanooga district. In 2008, Sanders was reassigned as captain over the Knoxville district. Sanders earned an associate degree in police science and criminal justice from Roane State Community College. She is also 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," Trott said.
Captain David McGill, who currently commands the Chattanooga District, is being transferred to the Knoxville District. McGill’s replacement will be announced in the coming weeks.