Beshear taps Colonel Phillip Burnett as new KSP commissioner

Burnett, a Bell County native, has served as KSP interim commissioner since November 2020 and is a 25-year veteran on the force.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — According to release from Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s Office, Colonel Phillip Burnett Jr. was sworn in as the new commissioner of Kentucky State Police (KSP) Friday. 

Burnett has served as interim commissioner for KSP since November 2020 and is a 25-year veteran on the force working in a number of assignments including investigative operations, field training, post commander and executive director of the Office of Operations as Unit 1.

“I believe in Commissioner Burnett’s ability to lead KSP into the future,” the governor said. “He is already working to increase recruitment and create a more diverse workforce, which is crucial to fulfilling our state’s law enforcement duties.”

Burnett is a native of Bell County and currently resides in Pineville. He has been honored with multiple awards including Post Trooper of the Year, the Citation for Bravery, the Commissioner’s Award and back-to-back Governor’s Awards for Impaired Driving Enforcement. 

“Every day the men and women in our agency work tirelessly to provide public safety for Kentuckians, and they deserve nothing less than my absolute best as we continue to be one of the national leaders in law enforcement.”  Commissioner Burnett said. “As your commissioner, I am committed to protecting the integrity of all investigations, interactions with the public and our state officials as we conduct law enforcement in the right way.

In the release, Beshear highlighted what Burnett oversaw during his time as interim commissioner including providing additional security at the Kentucky Capitol grounds amid concerns related to the presidential inauguration, requiring all sworn personnel to complete courses on implicit bias, race relations and social intelligence and reopening the doors to all 16 local post locations while following CDC guidelines to assist in the fight against the drug epidemic. 

“Our law enforcement officers help the entire commonwealth move forward to becoming the better Kentucky we all want for ourselves, family and future generations,” Beshear said. 

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