Public Safety Commissioner Albert Santa Cruz announced today the promotion of Lt. Col. Chris Gillard. Effective February 1, Gillard will take over as Director of the Mississippi Highway Patrol/Assistant Commissioner of Public Safety and will hold the rank of colonel.
Lt. Colonel Gillard he has served in many capacities during his 23 years at MHP. He has been Director of Training, Executive Officer to the Commissioner, Homeland Security Liaison Officer, DPS Training Coordinator, Team Leader for Patrol Schools, Driving Instructor, Firearms Instructor and Tactical Communications Instructor. He also worked is several specialty units, including Governor’s Security, Drug Trafficking Unit (Interdiction), Patrol Recruiter, Trooper Association Board Representative. Additionally, he has received accolades for leading the district for the most drug seizures and felony arrest, largest crystal meth seizure in the state’s history, Outstanding Trooper of the Year Award, DUI 100 Club member and a countless number of accommodations for outstanding job performance.
Lt. Colonel Gillard is a native a Tupelo and a graduate of Tupelo High School. He received a football scholarship and attended Alcorn State University. While at Alcorn he served as President of the Criminal Justice Club, was a member of the Criminal Justice Club Debate Team, was on the Dean’s List and also listed in Who’s Who among college students.
Gillard replaces Colonel Donnell Berry, who announced his retirement after 35 years with the Highway Patrol.
Lt. Colonel Gillard and his wife Karla reside in Madison, Mississippi and they have one child, Christyl Ward. Lt. Colonel Gillard and Karla attend Pinelake Church in Brandon.