Gov. Matt Bevin has selected a state police commissioner and deputy commissioner from the Jeffersontown Police Department in suburban Louisville.
Bevin announced Monday that Jeffersontown Police Chief Richard W. Sanders, who has more than 40 years of experience in federal and local law enforcement, will be the state police commissioner. He replaces Rodney Brewer of Oldham County, who recently retired.
Jeffersontown police Maj. William Alexander Payne will be the state’s deputy state police commissioner. He brings more than 30 years of experience in law enforcement and police operations, including almost 19 years with the state police.
Both appointments were recommended by an eight-member search committee comprised of Justice Secretary John Tilley; state Rep. Robert Benvenuti, R-Lexington; two retired state police officers; three current state police officers; and a community representative, according to a news release from Bevin’s office.
“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 statement. “We are confident that the KSP tradition of providing excellent protection and service to the commonwealth will grow even stronger under their direction.”
Sanders has led Jeffersontown police since 2007. He previously worked 24 years for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. During his final year there, he was assistant administrator for the operational support division at DEA headquarters in Washington, D.C., where he oversaw information technology, investigative technology, forensic sciences and administrative management programs. Before that, he worked as special agent in charge for the Chicago field division.
Sanders started his career as a cadet with the Jefferson County Police Department. He has a bachelor’s degree in police administration and a master’s in administration of justice from the University of Louisville. He was named Kentucky’s chief of the year in 2012.
“I am honored to be selected by Gov. Bevin and Secretary Tilley to lead such a prestigious law enforcement agency,” Sanders said. “As commissioner of KSP, I pledge to continue the tradition of public safety with integrity and professionalism while responding to the diverse and unique needs of all communities within the commonwealth of Kentucky.”
Sanders and Payne received unanimous support from the search committee, which interviewed 17 candidates and submitted a recommendation to Bevin.
Payne is patrol commander and special operations group commander for the Jeffersontown police. He worked for the state police from 1985 to 2004, starting as a road trooper at Post 9 in Pikeville. He was an original member of the full-time state police special response team that began in 1989 and later was a sergeant and staff instructor at the state police academy.