New leadership team with local ties takes over Ga Department of Public Safety

Georgia News

Col. Chris Wright and Lt. Col. William Hitchens

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Wednesday, Georgia’s new Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner  of the Department of Public Safety were sworn into office after a vote of approval from the Board of Public Safety.

Lieutenant Colonel Chris Wright was named as the next Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety and Colonel of the Georgia State Patrol, following Interim Commissioner Gary Vowell’s planned departure.

Wright worked in Statesboro earlier in his career with the Georgia State Patrol.

The Board also named Major William Hitchens to serve as Lieutenant Colonel of the Georgia State Patrol and Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety. 

Hitchens graduated from Effingham County High School in 1990.

Wright appointed Lieutenant Stephanie Stallings to serve as Lieutenant Colonel of the Georgia State Patrol and Director of Support/Administrative Operations, overseeing several divisions of the agency.

“With distinguished careers spanning several decades and an unparalleled commitment to the safety of all Georgians, incoming Colonel Chris Wright, Lieutenant Colonel Billy Hitchens, and Lieutenant Colonel Stephanie Stallings embody that leadership. I am grateful for their willingness to serve, and look forward to working together to ensure Georgia’s best and safest days are ahead,” said Governor Brian Kemp on the appointments.

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