Commissioner's Office

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety


The Department of Public Safety was established in 1969, per Minnesota Statute 299A. Listed below are the Public Safety commissioners starting with present commissioner, John Harrington, to the first commissioner, Wallace Hoglund, who began as commissioner in January 1970.

Public Safety Commissioners from Present to Past

John Harrington, January 2019 to Present

Mona Dohman, March 2011 to January 2019

Michael Campion, April 2004 to February 2011

Rich Stanek, January 2003 to April 2004

Charlie Weaver, January 1999 to November 2002

Don Davis, April 1996 to December 1998

Michael Jordan, December 1992 to April 1996

Thomas Frost, October 1991 to December 1992

Ralph Church, January 1991 to October 1991

Paul Tschida, January 1983 to January 1991

Kenneth Dirkzwager, September 1982 to December 1982

John Sopsic, May 1979 to September 1982

Edward Novak, June 1974 to May 1979

Wallace Hoaglund, January 1970 to December 1973



Year Event
1905​ ​​The position of State Fire Marshal is created
1913 ​Fire Marshal Department is created
1927 ​The BCA is created
1929 ​Minnesota Highway Patrol is created. The first force consists of nine men
1934 ​Patrol is authorized to enforce speed limits on trunk highways
1947​ ​BCA lab becomes operational
1951 ​Minnesota creates its Department of Civil Defense
1957 ​Highway Patrol purchases two fixed-wing aircraft
1966 ​The Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) is created under the Federal Highway Act
1969​ The Department of Public Safety is created
1972 ​The Driver’s License Division of the Highway Department  joins DPS
1974 ​Highway Patrol is reorganized; official name changed to “Minnesota State Patrol.”
1987​ ​The Minnesota Office of Pipeline Safety (MNOPS) is created
1990 ​BCA establishes one of the first DNA laboratories in the nation
1994​ ​First drug detection dog begins work for the State Patrol
1996 ​The Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division (AGED) is created
2003 ​The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) is created
2004 ​Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) is created
2004 ​OTS and the Minnesota Departments of Transportation and Health establish the Toward Zero Deaths (TZD) Program