DPS Appoints First African-American to Director

Col. Lamar Beckworth was named interim director of the Texas Department of Public Safety on Wednesday.

The Texas Public Safety Commission selected Beckworth, a 31-year agency veteran, to serve until a permanent director is named. Beckworth replaces Col. Stanley E. Clark, who resigned Monday amid allegations of sexual harassment.

"Col. Beckworth is a well-qualified individual who is a logical choice as interim director," Allan B. Polunsky, chairman of the Texas Public Safety Commission, said in a news release. "He will be able to step immediately into the position and provide the leadership to take the agency through the end of the legislative session."

Beckworth is the first African-American to lead the DPS. His appointment carries a promotion in rank from lieutenant colonel.

Beckworth said he would not disappoint the commission.

"I task all of our employees to support the mission of our management team," he said.

Beckworth began his DPS career as a driver license trooper in Irving. He served as a Highway Patrol trooper in Kilgore for five years. His career also took him to Brownfield, Garland and Lubbock, where he served nine years as the regional commander. He was assistant chief of the Highway Patrol for six years and was named lieutenant colonel and interim assistant director of the DPS in September.

Clark had been named interim director in September, taking over after Col. Tommy Davis retired amid intense criticism of the agency over a June fire that severely damaged the historic Governor's Mansion.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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