The Oklahoman

Stitt appoints public safety commission­er

- Carmen Forman

Gov. Kevin Stitt on Thursday appointed a top Oklahoma Highway Patrol official to serve as the state’s next commission­er of public safety.

Highway Patrol Capt. Tim Tipton will start in his new role Sept. 10, following the retirement of Commission­er John Scully.

Tipton, who has worked for the Department of Public Safety for 33 years, started with the agency as a Highway Patrol gunsmith at age 21.

He called the appointmen­t the greatest profession­al honor of his life.

“My primary areas of focus will be trooper safety and wellbeing, and customer service,” he said in a news release. “I value the high standards, traditions, and history of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, and it is a privilege to see the men and women of the OHP uphold these high standards of service to their fellow Oklahomans daily, even during the most trying times law enforcemen­t has ever seen.”

In recent years, Tipton has coordinate­d the state’s public safety response to numerous crowd control and civil disturbanc­e events.

He also was selected by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to help instruct law enforcemen­t officers across the country.

He is a graduate of the FBI-Law Enforcemen­t Executive Developmen­t Associatio­n’s Command Leadership Institute.

The Department of Public Safety runs the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and handles the issuance, revocation and reinstatem­ent of driver’s licenses.

The agency has been been in charge of the state’s REAL ID rollout.

Tipton’s appointmen­t is contingent upon confirmation by the state Senate.

Stitt also announced Thursday the departure of his general counsel. Attorney Jason Reese said he plans to return to private practice. He worked for Stitt for about nine months.

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