State Hires Driver License Czar

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A Memphis police officer has joined the state Department of Safety and Homeland Security with the goal of improving services for Tennessee drivers.
Memphis Police Col. Lori Bullard was introduced in Memphis on Monday as the assistant commissioner of driver services, a newly-created job that includes oversight of the state’s 49 driver centers that serve about 1.5 million Tennesseans a year.
The Commercial Appeal reported that Bullard begins the job Aug. 24, making about $95,000 a year. A 25-year veteran of the police department, Bullard has a strong background in employee training.
Bill Gibbons, the commissioner of the department, said these centers are considered the face of state government for many residents, but improvement is needed.
“Many citizens are frustrated by the amount of time they have to wait,” Gibbons said.
More training, he said, “is something we realize we need in driver services.”
Deputy Commissioner Larry Godwin worked with Bullard when he served as the Memphis police director and called her an “out-of-the-box” thinker.
“Lori has a wealth of experience in leading employees in a productive and professional manner,” Gibbons said.
She has served in a variety of positions at the police department, including in the narcotics division, at the police academy, in the special operations unit and the robbery and felony assault bureaus. Last year she took over command of the Union Station precinct and its 200 officers.
“I know the average length of time many citizens wait at most driver service stations is unacceptable,” Bullard said during a news conference at the driver service center on Shelby Drive.
The department is reviewing studies on how to streamline the system, including adding more kiosks in the future, said Godwin.

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