Gov. Hutchinson appoints 3 to fill vacancies at cabinet level, state posts

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,708 views 

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has selected three men to fill state-level positions. Boyce Hamlet will assume the drug director’s role on Aug. 29. He replaces Kirk Lane, drug director since July 2017, who accepted a job as director of the newly created Arkansas Opioid Recovery Partnership.

Hutchinson has appointed A.J. Gary, director of Arkansas Division of Emergency Management, to Secretary of the Department of Public Safety, and J.R. Hankins, chief of staff to the Department of Public Safety, to the Director of the Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training.

“Boyce is a veteran in Arkansas’s fight against the plague of substance abuse in Arkansas,” Hutchinson said. “The combination of his commitment to the enforcement of law and his compassion for those caught in the cycle of substance abuse will serve Arkansas well as he continues the pursuit of our initiatives to prevent the abuse of alcohol and drugs in our state.”

Hamlet has served as chief criminal investigator for the 20th Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney and as director of the Enforcement Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The Arkansas Drug Director works within the state’s Department of Human Services (DHS).

“A.J. Gary has managed some of the most difficult natural disasters in our state, and the value of his contributions cannot be overstated,” Hutchinson said. “The experience and skills that A.J. brings to this expanded role ensure that Arkansas’s public safety agencies will continue their good service to Arkansas.”

Gary has worked in law enforcement and security preparedness for more than 35 years. As former chief of police in Conway, Gary has the experience, knowledge, and understanding of what it takes to manage large operations that affect thousands of individuals, the governor said.

J.R. Hankins works as chief of staff for the Department of Public Safety and will continue to serve along with his new role as director of the Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training.

“J.R.’s experience in public safety and leadership provides him with a vision for the future of Arkansas’s law enforcement,” Hutchinson said. “He will be a great benefit to the commission and the future of Arkansas.”