VERMILLION, S.D. -- Thomas Dravland, secretary of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, was announced as the 2009 recipient of the Legacy of Leadership Public Employee award at the University of South Dakota Masters of Public Administration pre-commencement luncheon on Friday, May 8.
The Legacy of Leadership Public Employee Award is sponsored by the Students of Public Administration and the W. O. Farber Center for Civic Leadership in the USD Political Science Department. The award recognizes an outstanding federal, state or local government employee working in South Dakota who has demonstrated exemplary civic leadership skills for the betterment of government and community.
Through Dravland's leadership and vision, the South Dakota 9-1-1 Coordination Board was created to address statewide issues with 9-1-1 response systems. He was instrumental in bringing the “Alive at 25” program to South Dakota in 2008. This program focuses on reducing the number of traffic fatalities and injuries in the state.
Dravland was appointed secretary of the Department of Public Safety in April 2003. Prior to this appointment, he worked for the South Dakota Highway Patrol for more than 27 years. Dravland served in various positions during this time, including field trooper, investigator for the Vehicle Theft Unit, staff sergeant/lieutenant, assistant superintendent and superintendent. From 1986 to 1994, Dravland served as a Class B Trustee for the South Dakota Retirement System and is a current member of the Law Enforcement Standards and Training Commission. In 1999, Dravland earned the rank of colonel and became superintendent of the Highway Patrol, a position he held until his appointment as Secretary of the Department of Public Safety.
A photograph of Dravland is available for download at www.usd.edu/urelations/images/Thomas_Dravland.jpg.
The W.O. Farber Center for Civic Leadership offers the Civic Leadership Studies program at USD. Civic Leadership is a 21-hour minor designed to complement any major at the U. The program combines academic instruction, enrichment opportunities, andcivic leadership experience. For more information about this program, please visit this Web site: www.usd.edu/ctrcivic/undergraduate.cfm.