OKLAHOMA CITY — Gov. Mary Fallin has appointed a longtime Oklahoma Highway Patrolman to serve as the state’s next commissioner of public safety.

Fallin on Friday announced OHP Maj. Billy “Rusty” Rhoades will assume the post on Tuesday. He also will serve as Fallin’s secretary of safety and security on her executive cabinet.

Rhoades is a 28-year veteran of the OHP whose assignments have included overseeing the Capitol patrol and the security detail for former Gov. David Walters. He also served on FBI task forces targeting gangs, violent crimes and terrorism.

Rhoades replaces Michael Thompson, whom Fallin appointed last month to serve as Oklahoma’s adjutant general.

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