MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WRBL) — Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) Secretary Hal Taylor announced on Thursday the appointment of Colonel Johnathan Archer as the Director of ALEA’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) starting in March.

The appointment follows former DPS Director Colonel Jimmy Helms’ retirement announcement.

Colonel Archer, a native of Mobile, Alabama, graduated from the University of South Alabama in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and a master’s degree in Public Administration.

Colonel Archer also graduated from the FBI’s National Academy, and his career in law enforcement began in 2005 after he joined the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Marine Police Division.

Colonel Archer has also served under multiple roles within ALEA, including serving as the agency’s Driver License Division Chief, Marine Patrol Training Coordinator, Law Enforcement Special Response Unit Commander, and Commander of both the Central and Southern Districts of the Marine Patrol Division.

During his time in the Driver’s License Division, ALEA says Colonel Archer “led his staff through the demanding challenges of COVID-19 to provide public services.” In 2022 Colonel Archer and ALEA’s Driver License Division collaborated to develop the new Law Endorsement Agency’s Driver License System (LEADS), which replaced a two-decade-old system.