Department of Public Safety Director Appoints Matthew Packard as Chief of Colorado State Patrol

(LAKEWOOD, Colo. – Dec. 14, 2017) Colorado Department of Public Safety (CDPS) Executive Director Stan Hilkey has appointed Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Packard as Chief of the Colorado State Patrol, effective Dec. 19, 2017.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper will swear in the new chief during a Changing of the Chief ceremony on the Capitol steps at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 19.

Packard has served as a member of the Colorado State Patrol for 17 years and currently oversees the agency’s communications branch, training, public outreach, media relations, headquarters and grants.

“Lieutenant Colonel Packard is committed to supporting the mission and the members of the Colorado State Patrol,” said Hilkey. “He is skilled at building relationships within and outside of the organization, and he understands that Colorado citizens and visitors are best served when law enforcement works together toward the common goal of improved public safety.”

Packard was chosen from among four finalists from within the Colorado State Patrol, all who have held leadership positions within the State Patrol for at least seven years, as required by Colorado statute. Packard started his career with the Colorado State Patrol in 2000 as a member of the facilities management group, prior to training to become a Colorado State Trooper. He has held various positions within the organization, including serving as Deputy Director of the Colorado Information Analysis Center and as the Major for the Criminal Investigations Branch. Packard was promoted to his current position as the Region 3 Commander in February of 2017.

“It is with an abundance of humility and honor that I accept the responsibility to serve as the 9th Chief of Colorado’s State Patrol,” Packard said. “I could not be more proud to lead the incredible men and women of the Colorado State Patrol as we serve together, charged with safeguarding the people of Colorado and all who visit our great state. I will seize this opportunity to serve our communities throughout the state at the highest levels, holding close our core values of Honor, Duty and Respect.”

Packard will replace Chief Scott Hernandez, who is retiring on Dec. 31, 2017. Hernandez served with the Colorado State Patrol for more than 30 years. Hernandez will participate in the Changing of the Chief ceremony on Dec. 19, where he will be recognized for his many years of service and then will formally hand over the Colorado State Patrol flag and chief’s badge to the new chief.

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