JACKSON, Miss. (WDAM) - Mississippi Highway Patrol has announced that Col. Chris Gillard will be retiring after serving 26 years on the force.
MHP made the announcement Thursday that Gillard will begin his retirement on June 30.
Gillard was promoted to colonel appointed to serve as Assistant Commissioner of Public Safety in February 2016.
“I would like to thank the men and women of the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol along with the employees of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety who worked under my direction as Colonel and Assistant Commissioner,” said Gillard. “We are blessed to have a great team of dedicated public servants who will continue working hard to protect the citizens of our great state.”
Before being tapped to head MHP, Gillard served in the rank of Lt. Colonel as Director of the Driver Service Bureau and also served as Director of Training, Executive Officer to the Commission of Public Safety, Governor’s Executive Protection Detail, Drug Trafficking Interdiction Officer and Highway Safety Patrol Recruiter throughout his career with MHP.
Gillard received recognition for his work while in law enforcement and in 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).
“Col. Gillard has been a strong leader within the Mississippi Department of Public Safety and a brave public servant within the Mississippi Highway Patrol dedicated to making Mississippi a better and safer place for all who call our great state home,” said Gov. Tate Reeves. “Never letting anything sideline his commitment to protect his fellow Mississippians, it has been an honor to work with him over the years.
When asked about his legacy, Gillard wants people to know that anything is possible with a strong faith in God and a will to never give up on pursuing a goal.
Gillard will continue to mentor the youth and provide inspiration while in retirement.