DPS Announces Retirements and Promotions at Key Leadership Positions

August 31, 2023
Retirements and Promotions

AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) announces the retirement of Lieutenant Colonel Jeoff Williams, North Texas Regional Director Hank Sibley and Aircraft Operations Division Chief Pilot Tim Ochsner.

Jeoff Williams has served DPS faithfully since 1994 and retires as the Deputy Director of Law Enforcement Services, holding the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. After graduating from the DPS Academy, Williams began his career with DPS assigned to the Highway Patrol Division stationed in Winnie. In the years that followed, he served on DPS’ SWAT Team and as staff sergeant on the Governor’s Protection Detail. In 1999, Williams promoted to narcotics sergeant in Garland and then to narcotics lieutenant at Headquarters in Austin in 2007. Several more promotions followed, including to CID major in Region 1, and in 2018, Williams was named North Texas Regional Director. He served there until his promotion to Deputy Director in March 2020.

Williams is a graduate of the DEA Drug Unit Commanders Academy, FBI National Academy, and the FBI National Executive Institute, as well as an Adjunct Instructor with the ALERRT Program at Texas State University, with extensive experience developing and providing active shooter training. Williams served as an infantry platoon sergeant in the United States Marine Corps during Operation Desert Storm and has a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from Southwest Texas State University.

Hank Sibley joined DPS more than 38 years ago and retires as the Regional Director for the North Texas Region. During the last three decades, Sibley has served in numerous capacities within in the department and was instrumental in several higher-profile incidents in that time. He was involved in the Texas DPS response the 1993 Branch Davidian siege in Waco, the 2003 Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, the 2014 Ebola Virus outbreak in Dallas and the Texas DPS Southeast Region (Houston) response to the Hurricane Harvey disaster in 2017. While serving as the North Texas Regional Director, Sibley oversaw parts of the state’s COVID-19 response and response to the 2020 protests/riots that occurred across the North Texas Region.

Sibley served in the law enforcement and emergency response operations field for over four decades. He received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Louisiana State University, is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command and is an active member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Tim Ochsner retires after 29 years with DPS as the department’s chief pilot of the Aircraft Operations Division. Ochsner’s assignments included time with the Texas Highway Patrol as a Trooper in Sweetwater and Hurst, a pilot-investigator in McAllen, a pilot-lieutenant, training captain, assistant chief pilot and chief pilot. 

Ochsner has over 9,000 hours of flight time and his ratings include: ATP multi-engine airplane, ATP helicopter, ATP single engine airplane, certificated flight instructor airplane and helicopter, and certificated flight instructor-instrument airplane and helicopter.  Ochsner also served 34 years in the United States Army and Texas Army National Guard including two combat tours in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan as a Special Forces Company Commander and Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq as a Special Forces Deputy Commander.  He currently is a retired Colonel.

“The combined contributions these three men have made to the department are immeasurable,” said DPS Director Steven McCraw. “We simply cannot thank them enough for their service, for their sacrifice and for all that they have done to make Texas a safer place and to make this department a better organization then when they arrived. We are all better for having worked alongside these great men.”

These retirements created vacancies which are being filled through promotions. The promotions were approved by the Public Safety Commission during its meeting on Thursday, Aug. 25. This includes current Chief of the Training Operations Division Walt Goodson promoting to Lieutenant Colonel of Law Enforcement Services, current Texas Highway Patrol Major Jeremy Sherrod promoting to Regional Director for the North Texas Region, current Assistant Chief of the Aircraft Operations Division Stacy Holland promoting to Chief of the Aircraft Operations Division and current Ranger Major for Company “F” James Thomas promoting to Chief of the Training Operations Division.

Walt Goodson, Lieutenant Colonel of Law Enforcement Services

As Lieutenant Colonel of Law Enforcement Services, Walt Goodson will oversee personnel in the Law Enforcement Service areas including Crime Lab, Crime Records, Cyber Security, Driver License Division, Finance Division, Information Technology, Infrastructure Operations Division, Training Operations Division, Regulatory Services Division and Chief Innovation Officer.

Goodson began his career with DPS in 1994 as a Texas Highway Patrol Trooper and has held positions as a member of the DPS SWAT team, sergeant, lieutenant and captain in the Criminal Investigations Division, captain over the Law Enforcement Promotions System, major in the DPS Training Academy and assistant chief in the Infrastructure Operations Division. He promoted to chief of the Training Operations Division earlier this year. Prior to joining DPS, Goodson was a correctional officer with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Huntsville.

Goodson received a BA in criminal justice from Sam Houston State University and MS in quality systems management from National Graduate University. He is a graduate of the Northwestern University Police School of Staff and Command and the Texas Department of Public Safety Command College.

Jeremy M. Sherrod, Regional Director, North Texas Region

As Regional Director for the North Texas Region, Jeremy Sherrod will oversee and direct all Texas DPS personnel within the 42 counties that comprise that area.

Sherrod began his career with the Texas Highway Patrol (THP) in 2007, and was stationed in Austin, Abilene and Midland. In 2017, he promoted to captain, managing the Highway Safety Operations Center (HSOC) at THP Headquarters. Sherrod then promoted to major in the North Texas Region in March 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

He holds a bachelor of applied arts and science in criminal justice administration from Tarleton State University and is preparing to graduate with a master of science in law enforcement public safety leadership from San Diego University in December. Sherrod is a graduate and class president for the FBI National Academy, Session #281, an FBI National Executive Institute student, Session #46, and a DPS Command College, Cohort #7 graduate. He is also a recipient of a Director's Citation.

Stacy Holland, Chief Pilot, Aircraft Operations Division

Stacy Holland will now serve as chief pilot for the Aircraft Operations Division, overseeing the operations, maintenance and training of 90 personnel and 25 aircraft located at 12 different aircraft stations across the state of Texas. 

Holland began his law enforcement career with the Kilgore Police Department in 1993, where he obtained his first law enforcement commission as a reserve police officer. He served as patrol officer and detective before entering the DPS Academy in 1997. After graduation, he served in the Texas Highway Patrol and went on to serve in the DPS Narcotics Division as a Criminal Law Enforcement Trooper.  Holland began his service in the Aircraft Operations Division and promoted through the ranks to become assistant chief pilot in 2018.

Holland holds FAA ATP certificates in both multi-engine airplane and rotorcraft and is type rated in Beechcraft King Air 350.  He has logged more than 15,000 hours of flight time and earned his associate degree in criminal justice from Kilgore College.

James Thomas, Chief, Training Operations Division

As chief of the Training Operations Division, James Thomas will be responsible for the recruiting and training for the entire department. Thomas began his career with DPS in 2001. He spent his first nine years with the Texas Highway Patrol and in 2011, joined the Texas Rangers Company “A” Special Response Team. Thomas later promoted to special agent with the DPS Criminal Investigations Division in Houston, where he served in the Gang Section and the Texas Anti-Gang Center. In 2013, Thomas received an appointment as a Special Deputy United States Marshal with the United States Marshals Service Gulf Coast Violent Offenders and Fugitive Task Force. In May 2015, he promoted to Texas Ranger and served in numerous companies before promoting to the rank of administrative captain to serve at Ranger HQ.

In 2021, DPS Colonel Steven McCraw appointed Thomas to the rank of major and placed him on the Director’s Staff. Later that year, Colonel McCraw created a DPS Fellowship Program with the Office of the Governor (OOG) and Thomas became the first DPS Fellow to OOG. In that role, he was responsible for the Texas Border Infrastructure Program and Operation Lone Star. In August 2022, Thomas became the Company “F” commander for the Texas Rangers where he has served until this promotion.

Thomas is the recipient of the Department of the Army’s Public Service Commendation Medal and DPS’ Adolph Thomas Distinguished Service Award.

He holds a doctoral degree in educational leadership from Lamar University in Beaumont and a master’s degree in behavioral science from the University of Houston – Clear Lake, a graduate certificate in criminal justice education from the University of Virginia and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Lamar University.  Thomas has also completed the DPS Leadership Develop School, first-line supervisor training, the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association (LEEDA) trilogy and is a graduate and class spokesperson for the 285th Session of the FBI National Academy.

Goodson, Holland and Thomas will be stationed at DPS Headquarters in Austin. Sherrod will be stationed in Garland. The promotions are effective Sept. 1.

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