On Monday, officials with the Alabama Department of Public Safety confirmed that Department Director Colonel Hugh McCall announced his retirement. The
announcement was made in an email that was sent to all employees.
served as the state's second African American Public Safety Director
and served for 34 years with Alabama State Troopers. His retirement will
be effective immediately.
McCall's retirement comes just months before a drastic reorganization is set to take place within the state law enforcement organization. The state legislature approved the reorganization in 2013, and it is set to go into effect later this year.
McCall was well known as a leader and law enforcement professional throughout his more than three decades of service.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley said he was not surprised by McCall's plan to retire, but public safety sources say that many within the department were caught off guard by the news.
Gov. Bentley announced on Tuesday that John Richardson has been appointed to serve as the acting Director of the Alabama Department of Public Safety.
"For nearly three decades, John Richardson has been a dedicated law enforcement officer," Governor Robert Bentley said. "He is a strong leader and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Alabama Department of Public Safety. I appreciate his willingness to serve and continue our efforts to streamline Alabama's law enforcement agencies into one efficient department."
Richardson began his career in state law enforcement in 1988 as an agent with the ABC Enforcement Division. He was assigned then to the Narcotics Bureau. Most recently, he served as the Assistant Director of ABC's Enforcement Division.
"I want to express my sincere appreciation to Governor Bentley for his confidence in me and for affording me the opportunity to lead the Department of Public Safety," Richardson said. Since 1935, the department has played a pivotal role in state law enforcement and the protection of Alabama citizens. As we move forward with the consolidation of state law enforcement in the coming months, I pledge to continue this longstanding commitment to the citizens of Alabama, while working toward providing a more effective and efficient department."
The new Alabama Law Enforcement Agency will be officially running by January of 2015. The head of that agency will be Spencer Collier who will oversee State Troopers as well as the Department of Homeland Security and the Alabama Bureau of Investigation.
The new agency was billed as a cost-saving and efficiency measure by the governor and top GOP lawmakers.