DATE: Feb. 18, 2011


JACKSON – Gov. Haley Barbour announced today the appointments of Albert Santa Cruz as Public Safety Commissioner and Lt. Col. Donnell Berry as Director of the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol.

Santa Cruz, who has been serving as Highway Safety Patrol chief, replaces Steve Simpson, who resigned earlier this month to seek public office.

“I thank Santa Cruz and Berry for accepting these new roles leading our state’s law enforcement,” Gov. Barbour said.

“Santa Cruz has a strong reputation and extensive experience in law enforcement that makes him well qualified to lead our Department of Public Safety,” Gov. Barbour said.

“Berry’s knowledge of law enforcement guidelines combined with his on-the-street experience will serve him well as the head of the state’s highway patrol,” Gov. Barbour said.

Santa Cruz, a native of D’Iberville, has served as Director of Special Events and Planning, which crafts security plans and organizes law enforcement protection for major events, including the National Governors Association meeting, among others. Santa Cruz began his law enforcement career in 1974 as a trooper in George County and became a Master Sergeant in District 8, which covers a portion of South Mississippi, in 1986. Ten years later, he was promoted to Captain and served as Commander of Troop K in District 8 for six years. He then became Director of the Southern Region with Mississippi Bureau of Investigations managing three patrol districts before becoming Director of Special Events and Planning. Santa Cruz has been trained at the Northwestern University Traffic Institute and several sniper programs across the country. He also served as commander of Highway Patrol’s sniper team. He and his wife, Doris, have four children, Mike, Sherry, Steven and Glenn.

Bentonia native Berry has served as Assistant Chief of Patrol of Uniform Division Enforcement, which oversees department guidelines, since 2004. Previously, he was Assistant Commander of Enforcement at Troop C, which manages the highway patrol in the Jackson area. The 31-year department veteran began his career in Troop C. He also has worked as a field training officer in the department’s training program for troopers. Berry and his wife, Winnie, have two children, a daughter Evann and a son Noah.

Gov. Barbour Press Release