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Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security

  (Redirected from Tennessee Department of Safety)

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security (TDOS), also known as the Tennessee Department of Safety or DOS, is a law enforcement agency serving the U.S. state of Tennessee. The TDOS is made up of three main divisions: the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), the Tennessee Driver License Services division, and the Tennessee Office of Homeland Security.[1]

Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security (TDOS)
Common nameTennessee Department of Safety
Agency overview
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionTennessee, USA
Size42,143 sq. miles
Population6,346,105 (2010 estimate)
General nature
Headquarters1150 Foster Avenue
Nashville, Tennessee

Agency executives
  • Jeff Long, Commissioner (since January 2019)
  • Terry Ashe, Deputy Commissioner (since January 2019)
  • Rick Shipkowski, Assistant Commissioner (since 2016)
  • Lori Bullard, Assistant Commissioner (since 2011)
  • Dereck Stewart, Colonel (Tennessee Highway Patrol) (since 2018)
Child agencies
  • Tennessee Highway Patrol
  • Tennessee Driver License Services
  • Tennessee Office of Homeland Security
Helicopters5 Bell 206B Jet Rangers and 1 Huey UH-1H


The TDOS was established in 1939 by the Tennessee General Assembly to exercise authority over the THP.[2] Over the decades, the agency has evolved to meet new challenges, such as drug trafficking, the issuance of drivers' licenses, and terrorism. Therefore, the DOS currently comprises three divisions: the THP, the Driver License Services division, and the state Office of Homeland Security (OHS).

The current commissioner of the Department of Safety is Bill Gibbons, who has been serving since January 2011 after being appointed by Governor Bill Haslam. He is assisted by a deputy commissioner, two assistant commissioners, and the director of the Tennessee Highway Patrol since 2010, Col. Tracy Trott.[3]


The DOS manages the THP, OHS, and the Driver License Services division. The THP is the highway patrol agency for Tennessee, which has jurisdiction anywhere in the state. The Office of Homeland Security was created in April 2003 by an executive order by then-Governor Phil Bredesen in the aftermath of September 11, 2001.[4] The Driver License Services division issues various kinds of identification cards, including hardship licenses for minors, graduated drivers licenses, regular driver licenses, commercial driver licenses, and state identification cards.[5] In addition to the above functions, the DOS has issued handgun permits through the THP since October 1996, assuming the role previously taken by local sheriffs' offices.[6]


  1. ^ "About Us". Tennessee Department of Safety. p. 1. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  2. ^ "Tennessee Department of Safety Strategic Plan 2010" (PDF). Tennessee Department of Safety. November 2010. pp. 1 of 91. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  3. ^ "Administration: Tennessee Department of Safety". Tennessee Department of Safety. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  4. ^ Breseden, Gov. Phil (April 3, 2003). "Executive Order #8: An Order Constituting the Tennessee Office of Homeland Security, the Homeland Security Council and the Tennessee Governor's Citizen Corps Advisory Committee" (PDF). Tennessee Secretary of State. p. 4. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  5. ^ "Tennessee Driver License Services Division Main Page". Tennessee Driver License Services Division. Retrieved 5 June 2012.
  6. ^ "Tennessee Department of Safety Handgun Permits". Tennessee Department of Safety. Retrieved 5 June 2012.