Washington State Patrol Chief Ronal Serpas has accepted the job as chief of the Nashville, Tenn., Police Department, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Serpas, who took over the state agency in August 2001, cracked down on speeders, drunken drivers, and seat-belt scofflaws and held his leadership accountable for their enforcement and accident records. The 43-year-old was selected from a field of eight candidates and will start in Nashville on Monday.
Serpas joined the State Patrol after more than 20 years with the New Orleans Police Department. He was New Orleans operations chief during a leadership change aimed at ending police corruption.
In Washington, his goal-oriented, “no excuses” leadership style has won him respect among many in the 2,200-person agency. “Chief Serpas is one of the finest chiefs in the history of the Washington State Patrol,” Gov. Gary Locke said.
Locke credited him on the racial profiling issue by getting an independent analysis of more than 2 million traffic stops in the state. That report showed no evidence the State Patrol was stopping people because of their race.