DeKalb County Sheriff Lloyd Emmons is among twenty six persons who have applied for Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Safety.
The Tennessean is reporting Thursday that Interim Safety Commissioner Gerald Nicely is in the process of interviewing candidates to replace him atop the state Safety Department, which includes the THP and the state office that issues driver's licenses.
Governor Phil Bredesen last week said \"I want a real commitment to professionalism. I want somebody that I really believe is not just saying the words but I really believe is intent on creating a first-class, modern, professional Highway Patrol and all the stuff that that implies ? getting politics and all that kind of nonsense out of it.\"
Bredesen says if the interviews go well, a new commissioner could be in place by next month, but if he doesn't find the right person among these candidates, the process could take longer.
Nicely says the next commissioner will be tasked with seeing through changes in the department, which include a revamped professional standards division and the naming of several top command staff positions to be added after July 1.
The new commissioner will have to restore credibility to the agency and continue to get it back on track since its implosion in December. The top three officials stepped down amid scandal then, and Bredesen brought in Nicely from his regular job ? state transportation commissioner ? on a temporary basis.
Sheriff Emmons, former Tennessee Highway Patrolman and Lieutenant, left the patrol in 2002 to serve as DeKalb County's sheriff, but he lost the May primary this year and will be leaving office in September.