JACKSON—Governor Phil Bryant has named Marshall L. Fisher as Commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety (DPS). Fisher replaces Albert Santa Cruz, who is retiring on January 31, 2017, after 43 years of service to the state. Fisher will vacate his position as Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC) Commissioner on the same date and assume his position at DPS on February 1, 2017. Fisher’s MDOC Chief of Staff, Pelicia Hall, will be acting Commissioner of MDOC until a permanent replacement for Fisher is named.
“Marshall has a long and distinguished career as a law enforcement officer, and I’m pleased that he has accepted the position to lead the Mississippi Department of Public Safety,” Gov. Bryant said. “His experience at the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and the Mississippi Department of Corrections will serve him well, and I know he will do an outstanding job leading the men and women who keep us safe each day.”
“Governor Bryant has honored me today with the opportunity to lead the state’s top law enforcement agency,” Fisher said. “It is my intent to set a high bar for professionalism and transparency. The citizens of this great state support those who protect and serve. I will preserve their confidence.”
Most recently, Fisher has served as the Mississippi Department of Corrections Commissioner since January 2015. He also served as executive director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics from 2005-2014. Additionally, Fisher has served as state director for the Mississippi Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. Throughout his career, he has coordinated joint operations involving DEA, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, Mississippi Highway Patrol, and numerous other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
He is retired from the Drug Enforcement Administration, where he was assigned as Agent in Charge of Mississippi DEA operations. During his tenure with the DEA, Fisher was assigned to field offices in Texas, Kansas, Kentucky and DEA Headquarters, where he served as section chief in the Office of Domestic Operations to Europe, Asia, Africa and Canada.
Fisher started his career in law enforcement as a police officer in Texas and as a parole agent in Louisiana.
He is a U.S. Navy veteran and a graduate of the University of Memphis. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice.
He and his wife, Thelma, have two sons, Grady and Shane, both of whom work in federal law enforcement.
Fisher’s appointment must be confirmed by the Mississippi Senate.