New colonel for Nevada Highway Patrol

Nevada Department of Public Safety Director James Wright on Thursday announced the appointment of John O’Rourke as colonel of the Nevada Highway Patrol.

O’Rourke has been the NHP’s acting colonel for the past several months and will officially assume the title of colonel on Monday, the state said in an announcement.

“Colonel O’Rourke brings vast knowledge and experience to the position, having served in two divisions and in multiple capacities with the department,” Wright said in a statement.

O’Rourke has served for more than 20 years with the Department of Public Safety, joining the Highway Patrol Division in 1995.

As a trooper, O’Rourke was active in impaired driving apprehension, field training and motorcycle programs, field sobriety test instruction, and defensive tactics instruction.

His numerous assignments have included deputy chief with the Parole and Probation Division, commander with the honor guard and lieutenant colonel with the Highway Patrol.

O’Rourke was the first NHP trooper to be awarded the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Mountain Pacific Trooper of the Year.

He is also a James D. Hoff Meritorious Service Award and Gold Star Medal of Valor recipient.

“It is a privilege and honor to serve as colonel alongside the men and women of the NHP,” O’Rourke said. “We will continue to make safety a priority for residents and visitors on Nevada highways and in our state.”