Colonel Chris Gillard is the Assistant Commissioner of Public Safety and Director of the Mississippi Highway Patrol, who coordinates the largest statewide law enforcement agency in Mississippi. With a combined workforce of over 1,000 employees comprising of sworn officers and non-sworn personnel, the Mississippi Department of Public Safety is dedicated to preserving public order and the safety of citizens in our state.
Colonel Gillard previously served in the rank of Lt. Colonel as the Bureau Director of the Driver Service Bureau where he was instrumental with the implementation and modernization of the state’s antiquated licensing system with a complete overhaul of services for the purpose of improving public safety through upgraded security controls to meet federal and national requirements. The divisions under his leadership included Driver Issuance, Firearm Permits, DUI, Driver Records, Motor Vehicle Records, Implied Consent and the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Division.
Throughout his years of service, Colonel Gillard has worked in many different facets of the Mississippi Highway Patrol including Director of Training, Executive Officer to the Commissioner of Public Safety, Governor’s Executive Protection Detail, Drug Trafficking Interdiction Officer and Highway Safety Patrol Recruiter.
Colonel Gillard has been recognized throughout his twenty-five years of dedication and service to law enforcement and his community as a Member of the DUI 100 Club (1994-1996), Outstanding Trooper of the Year (1997), Mississippi’s 25 Most Influential African Americans by Our Mississippi Magazine (2019) and Mississippi Trailblazer of the Year (2019).
Colonel Gillard holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Alcorn State University where he earned a football scholarship due to outstanding athletic achievement in his hometown of Tupelo, Mississippi where he was a member of the Tupelo High School Golden Wave football team. He is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Executive Institute Academy.