A new KHP superintendent has been appointed by Gov. Kelly
A DEA Chief Inspector named as Highway Patrol Superintendent
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Kansas Highway Patrol has a newly appointed superintendent.
Governor Laura Kelly announced on Friday, June 9, the appointment of Erik Smith as the KHP superintendent. His previous role before becoming superintendent was the Assistant Administrator and Chief of the Inspection Division within the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
“I am extremely grateful for Governor Kelly’s confidence and am humbled by the responsibility to carry on KHP’s storied tradition of service, courtesy, and protection,” Erik Smith said. “I am honored to serve beside these brave men and women and am absolutely committed to leading this organization as they deliver quality law enforcement and public safety services to all Kansans.”
Smith’s career in law enforcement first began in 1993. He has served nine years with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office, and for the past 20 years, he held multiple positions with several offices, including the DEA, and acting as the head of the Kansas City District Office. Ever since becoming the DEA’s Chief Inspector in 2021, he has overseen the Office of Professional Responsibility, Office of Inspections, and Office of Security Programs, which together comprise the DEA’s integrity system and provides support to the DEA headquarters and field offices.
He is originally a native of Ellsworth, Kansas, and received his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Wichita’s Friends University.
According to the Governor’s Office, Smith will take over as the Acting Superintendent on July 7 before he is advanced for confirmation by the Kansas Senate. Until then, KHP’s Assistant Superintendent Lieutenant Colonel Jason De Vore will be the Acting Superintendent.
“I appreciate the Governor’s steadfast support of the Kansas Highway Patrol,” Assistant Superintendent Lt. Col. De Vore said. “I’m proud of the vital work and public safety mission the KHP carries out every day across the state, and I look forward to continuing that service to the KHP and Kansas as the acting superintendent.”
The Governor’s Office also noted that Friday, June 9, is the last day for KHP’s current superintendent Colonel Herman Jones, who announced his retirement back in February.
“I appreciate Colonel Jones’ tenure at KHP and his over 45 years of service to our state,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “I also welcome Erik Smith back to Kansas. I am confident he will draw upon his experience in law enforcement in Sedgwick County, in Kansas City, and at the national level to strengthen the Kansas Highway Patrol and keep Kansans safe.”
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