Billy Hitchens was appointed as the Colonel of the Georgia State Patrol and Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety on October 1, 2023.

Colonel Hitchens served as the Deputy Commissioner and the Director of Field Operations. He oversaw the Georgia State Patrol, the Motor Carrier Compliance Division, the Capitol Police Division, the Headquarters Adjutant, and the Special Operations Adjutant.

Prior to this appointment, Colonel Hitchens served as Major and South Adjutant. He began his career with the Georgia State Patrol as a Cadet Trooper in Sylvania and graduated from the 69th Trooper School in 1995. During the 1996 Olympic Games held in Atlanta, Colonel Hitchens was assigned to Centennial Park and received a Meritorious Service Award for his actions prior to and immediately after the bombing. Colonel Hitchens was also selected to serve on the committee which developed the department’s mission statement and core beliefs.

Colonel Hitchens earned an undergraduate degree from Georgia Southern University and an MPA from Columbus State University. He is a graduate of the Georgia Law Enforcement Command College and the FBI National Academy.

Colonel Hitchens and his wife, Angie, have two children and reside in Statesboro.