Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon has announced that the former police chief of St. Louis County, Jerry Lee, has been named as the new state public safety director.
Lee will replace former director John Britt, who left the position last Thursday.
The appointment of Lee now leaves a vacancy on the St. Louis City Board of Police Commissioners to be filled by gubernatorial appointment "in due time," Nixon spokesman Scott Holste said.
“Chief Lee has been an invaluable asset for law enforcement in the St. Louis area for several decades,” Nixon said in a release. “His insight and experience in law enforcement will serve the people of Missouri well as Public Safety Director, and I appreciate him taking on the responsibilities of this position."
The release from Nixon's office says that Lee is a 38-year veteran of the St. Louis County police department and retired as chief in 2009, a role he'd held since June 2004.
“I am honored and humbled to serve Governor Nixon and the citizens of Missouri as the Director of the Department of Public Safety,” Lee said in the release from Nixon's office. “My number one priority is to ensure that the Department continues to do everything it can to keep Missouri families safe from crime, terrorism, and natural disasters and to support our law enforcement community.”
Lee's appointment requires confirmation by the Missouri Senate.