Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature
Skip Navigation Links > >

Minnesota Agencies

Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

Public Safety Department

Also known as:
Minnesota Department of Public Safety
Active dates:1969-

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety is a large and complex agency dedicated to prevention, preparedness, response, recovery, enforcement, and education. DPS' 15 divisions serve Minnesotans with programs in: law enforcement; fire code development, fire investigation and safety inspection; forensic science; crime and fraud prevention; crime victims’ services; homeland security and emergency management; emergency communications network management; traffic and motorcycle safety; driver licensing and vehicle registration; alcohol and gambling enforcement; pipeline safety and rule enforcement; and public safety education.

Preceded by:

A major function of the old highway department, the Safety Division, had its functions transferred to the Department of Public Safety when it was created. The functions included the Minnesota State Patrol, drivers' license administration and safety promotion.

Minnesota Department of Public Safety currently is an enforcement, licensing, and services agency that develops and operates programs in the areas of law enforcement, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, fire safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration, emergency management and public safety information.

Agency heads:


  • Hoaglund, Wallace R., January 1, 1970 - December 31, 1973
  • Novak, Edward G., June 10, 1974 - May 1979
  • Sopsic, John, May 1979 - September 1, 1982
  • Dirkzwager, Kenneth, September 1, 1982 - December 1982
  • Tschida, Paul, January 3, 1983 - January 1991
  • Church, Ralph, January 1991 - October 8, 1991
  • Frost, Thomas H., October 8, 1991 - December 15, 1992
  • Jordan, Michael, December 1992 - April 19, 1996
  • Davis, Don, April 19, 1996 - December 31, 1998
  • Weaver, Charles R. Jr., January 4, 1999 - November 2002
  • Mitchell, Mancel T. Jr. (Acting) , November 2002 - January 2003
  • Stanek, Rich, January 2003 - April 16, 2004
  • Campion, Michael, April 16, 2004 - February 2011
  • Dohman, Ramona, March 2011 - January 6, 2019
  • Harrington, John, January 7, 2019 - January 2023
  • Jacobson, Bob, January 2023 - 
Note: The Legislative Reference Library may have additional reports on or by this group available through our catalog.
DPS Commissioner Bob Jacobson 'still have something to give' to Minnesotans. Department of Public Safety Blog, 1/30/2023.
Gov. Tim Walz names new education, health and public safety commissioners. Star Tribune, 12/22/2022.
Walz, Flanagan Announce Cabinet Appointments. News Release (Governor Tim Walz), 12/21/2022.
News clippings and documents: Commissioner of Public Safety . Agencies Notebook Collection, 1969-2019.
News clippings and documents: Public Safety Department. Agencies Notebook Collection, 1971-2019.
Record last updated: 04/22/2024

All information on this group from the Library’s collection of agency notebooks has been digitized. These materials are incorporated into the “documents/articles” section of the record. Please contact a librarian with any questions. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

Agencies image