ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Gov. Jay Nixon today announced that Daniel Isom II will become the new director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety, effective Sept. 1. Dr. Isom currently serves as the E. Desmond Lee Professor of Policing and the Community for the nationally recognized Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, a position he took after retiring as chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department in January 2013. He will replace outgoing Public Safety Director Jerry Lee, who is retiring after almost three years in the position.
“Dr. Isom has experience and training in law enforcement that are almost unmatched, including as a top-level manager and as a front-line officer in one of the state’s largest police forces,” Gov. Nixon said. “We are fortunate that he will be using those skills on behalf of the department that works to protect the safety of Missourians.”
Daniel Isom joined the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department in 1988, and was promoted through the ranks before being appointed as the department’s 33rd Chief in October 2008. He worked in patrol, investigation, training, internal affairs and management positions with the department.
“Protecting the public is one of the most fundamental obligations of government, and I am honored to lead the Missouri Department of Public Safety at this critical time,” Dr. Isom said. “I thank Governor Nixon for this tremendous opportunity, and I look forward to building on the good work Director Lee and others have done to achieve a future of greater safety, security and trust for all Missourians.”
Dr. Isom holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in criminology and criminal justice from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, as well as a master’s in public administration from Saint Louis University. He was selected as a U.S.A. Eisenhower Fellow in 2013 to study police education and training in Europe, and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, FBI National Executive Institute and the Police Executive Forum Senior Management Institute.
The appointment of Director Isom is subject to confirmation by the Missouri Senate. The Department of Public Safety comprises eight different agencies (including two commissions) and six separate programs all committed to ensuring the safety of the citizens of Missouri.
Under Director Lee’s steady leadership, the Department of Public Safety became more efficient and responsive in the critical services it provides. These include the department’s highly coordinated response to the historic 2012 drought and the 2013 establishment of the Missouri Statewide Interoperability Network (MOSWIN), the interoperable radio network that allows local, state and federal agencies around the state to communicate with one another at all times
“Serving the State of Missouri in this role has been a true honor and a privilege,” said retiring Director Lee. “I thank Governor Nixon for this opportunity, and especially the fine men and women of the department who carry out their responsibility to keep Missouri communities safe with exceptional dedication and professionalism. They have made me and their state very proud.”
“The Department of Public Safety has made significant strides under Jerry Lee’s leadership over the last three years, and I am grateful for his successful efforts to improve the safety and security of Missouri communities.” Gov. Nixon said. “For more than four decades, Jerry Lee has dedicated his career to serving the public, and on behalf of six million Missourians I wish him all the best in his well-deserved retirement.”
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