CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- State Police Superintendent Col. Timothy Pack is retiring, effective Wednesday.
Jay Smithers, head of the state Division of Protective Services, will take his place, said Rob Alsop, chief of staff for Acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.
Smithers, a former State Police trooper, retired from the department in 1998 with 25 years of service.
Alsop said that Smithers' appointment would be sent to the Senate for confirmation Friday.
"I have known Jay for a number of years and am pleased he accepted the opportunity to lead the West Virginia State Police," Tomblin said in a press release. "I am indebted to the commitment and service of Col. Pack. He has done a tremendous job for West Virginia and I wish him a well deserved retirement."
Pack was appointed superintendent in December 2008 by then-Gov. Joe Manchin. At the time, he was head of Manchin's security detail. He joined the unit in 1997. Prior to that he was stationed in Hinton and Princeton. He has 23 years total service with the State Police.
Pack has repeatedly denied requests for press interviews about his agency, even as questions about the actions of some officers in the State Police have come into question.
In December, he released a statement saying that allegations of police brutality on behalf of the State Police have been "over-sensationalized by a select few in the media" and that complaints against officers have decreased in recent years.
A recent interview request was met with the following statement from Pack: "When you apologize about the lies you have written about the State Police, then you will immediately have your interview."
Smithers has been with the Division of Protective Services since it began in 1998. He has been director of the agency, which serves as the Capitol's police force, since 2005.
Before that, Smithers was captain of the State Police's West Virginia Turnpike Division.
Smithers, a Sissonville native, graduated from West Virginia State College and continued his graduate work at Marshall University, according to the press release from Tomblin's office. He has previously also served on the senior staff of the State Police. He has more than 37 years of law enforcement experience, according to the press release.
Reach Gary Harki at gha...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.