Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Col. Keith Squires of the Utah Department of Public Safety speaks with members of the media as local, state and federal agencies gather Friday, April 19, 2013, at the Salt Lake City Police Department for a media availability to discuss security for the Salt Lake City Marathon.

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert has named Col. Keith D. Squires the state's new commissioner of public safety. The appointment follows a nationwide search to replace retiring Commissioner Lance Davenport.

As the department's current deputy commissioner, director of emergency management and the governor's homeland security adviser, Squires has assisted in the oversight responsibility for 1,573 Department of Public Safety employees and a budget of $190 million.

"Utah is recognized for its quality of life and great communities that are built upon having the best public safety services possible," Squires said. "I look forward to working closely with all of our state's public safety officials in finding innovative ways to coordinate our resources and provide the most efficient use of the public funds."

Squires joined the Utah Highway Patrol in 1989 after working three years in local law enforcement. Prior to his post as deputy commissioner, Squires served as assistant superintendent of UHP, director of the Utah State Bureau of Investigation and deputy director of the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. In UHP, Squires served as a trooper, sergeant, lieutenant and captain.

Squires is the current chairman of various national committees, including the President's Director of National Intelligence State and Local Law Enforcement Advisory Board, as well as the National Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council, and he was the National Governors Association's Homeland Security Advisors Council chairman in 2012. He is the chairman of the four-state Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Executive Board's Intelligence Committee and represents Utah law enforcement on the eight-state Rocky Mountain Information Network Executive Board.