Mississippi Department of Public Safety Commissioner Albert Santa Cruz is retiring the post he has held since appointment by Gov. Haley Barbour in 2011. In all, Cruz, 76, has spent 43 years with the Highway Patrol and Department of Public Safety.

As commissioner, Santa Cruz directed completion of the Mississippi Forensics Laboratory, modernization of the state drivers’ license process and implementation of a merit-promotion system for Highway Patrol.

Santa Cruz, a D’Iberville native, began his career as a Highway Patrol trooper in 1974.

Gov. Phil Bryant is considering possible replacements.

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