FRANKFORT – Jeffersontown Police Chief Rick Sanders will be the new Kentucky State Police commissioner.
Republican Gov. Matt Bevin announced the appointment Monday in a news release. An eight-person committee, which included three current and two retired state police officers, unanimously recommended Sanders after interviewing 16 other candidates. Bevin also appointed Alexander Payne as deputy commissioner. Payne, like Sanders, also works for the Jeffersontown Police Department.
“After a long, thoughtful process, we are pleased that Chief Sanders and Major Payne will lead the men and women who make up the ‘Thin Gray Line,'” Bevin said in a news release.
Sanders has more than 40 years of law enforcement experience, mostly with the Drug Enforcement Administration. He was a pilot based in Miami in the late 1980s before being promoted to various leadership roles including special agent in charge of the Chicago Field Division and administrator in the DEA’s Washington headquarters overseeing investigative technology and forensic sciences.
Since 2007 Sanders has been chief in Jeffersontown, where the governor’s office noted his reforms led to seizing more than $1.5 million from drug traffickers.
“I am honored to be selected by Governor Bevin and Secretary Tilley to lead such a prestigious law enforcement agency,” Sanders said in a news release from the governor’s office.