Tennessee, 4 other states participating in Operation Southern Shield

(WSMV file photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The new leader of the Tennessee Highway Patrol has assumed his new role with the agency, succeeding Col. Tracy Trott, who retired after 40 years in the post.

Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner David W. Purkey announced Monday that Col. Dereck Stewart was named to the position. He is the first African-American to lead the highway patrol.

Stewart has been in law enforcement for 30 years and was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 2011. He has been responsible for the agency's daily operations for the last seven years.

Stewart is a Tennessee native and graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.