Governor Tabs Jacksonville Police Chief New ADEM Director

September 11, 2003 - Posted at: 11:53 a.m. CDT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Governor Mike Huckabee this morning named Wayne Ruthven, the Jacksonville police chief, as the new director of the state Department of Emergency Management.  Huckabee made the announcement during a news conference Thursday morning at the state Capitol.  Ruthven will begin his new duties on November 3.

Ruthven, 54, has led the Jacksonville Police Department, which has 93 employees and a $4 million annual budget, since early last year.  He previously served as a senior adviser for the Arkansas Army National Guard, a role in which he provided assistance in the areas of organization, administration, operations, training and planning for 70 Army National Guard units across the state.  Before accepting that position in 1999, Ruthven served as inspector general for the Arkansas National Guard.  He handled inspections and investigations for the Guard's almost 100 Army and Air Guard units.

"It's fitting that we make this announcement on September 11," Huckabee said.  "That's because the job of ADEM director has evolved from disaster recovery into a full-scale homeland security position.  We need someone with a background in the military, law enforcement, disaster releif and dealing with local governments.  Wayne has an extraordinary background that will allow him to connect to all of these pieces.  He will bring clear direction to ADEM and ensure that all of our state agencies coordinate their efforts in the area of homeland security."

Ruthven is a Mountain Home native who received his bachelor's degree from Arkansas Tech University in 1971.  From 1972-91, he held numerous command, staff, operational and teaching assignments with the U.S. Army in this country as well as in Europe and Korea.

Ruthven replaces Bud Harper, who resigned in July after allegedly sending out offensive e-mails from his office on a state-issued computer.