Gov. John Carney announced Feb. 14 that Secretary Robert Coupe, a longtime leader in Delaware law enforcement, will step down from his current role as the head of the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security next month to join the Office of the Attorney General.
“There are few people across our state who are more well-respected, and more committed to serving the people of Delaware, than Secretary Coupe,” said Carney. “When I was elected governor in 2016, he was the clear choice to lead the Department of Safety and Homeland Security. He spent almost three decades at the Delaware State Police, rising through the ranks to become superintendent, and later took on the unique and difficult challenge of leading the Department of Correction. There is simply no one more prepared to help Attorney General Jennings lead the Department of Justice. I look forward to continuing to work together with Secretary Coupe to protect the safety and welfare of Delaware communities.”
“It was an honor to be selected by Gov. Carney as the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security and to have served alongside the members of the governor’s cabinet,” said Coupe. “I am grateful to have had the privilege to work with the dedicated women and men of the DSHS. Their devoted service was an inspiration for me to be at my best and to earn the right to lead such a talented group of people working to ensure the safety and security of Delaware.”
Carney will nominate Col. Nathaniel McQueen Jr., who currently leads the Delaware State Police, to serve as the next secretary of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security.
The agency has responsibility for protecting the safety and welfare of all Delawareans, overseeing the Delaware State Police, the Capitol Police, the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, the Office of Highway Safety and the State Council for Persons with Disabilities, among other divisions.
The Delaware Senate is expected to consider McQueen’s nomination in March.
“A real public servant and a natural leader, Col. McQueen is the right choice to serve as our next secretary of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security,” said Carney. “I’ve known Col. McQueen a long time, and I know he has dedicated his career to law enforcement, to protecting our communities, and to keeping Delawareans safe. Col. McQueen has the right skill set and temperament to continue building trust between Delaware law enforcement and the communities they serve, and I look forward to the Senate considering his nomination.”
“I am truly humbled and honored to be nominated by Gov. Carney as the next secretary of Safety and Homeland Security,” said McQueen. “I am grateful for his trust and confidence in me to lead and serve as a member of his Cabinet. I thank Secretary Coupe for his leadership and guidance. He has been a true inspiration to us all.”
McQueen has led the Delaware State Police since 2012, during a time of reductions in violent crime statewide. Over the past decade, violent crime in Delaware communities has fallen 27%, according to data released in September 2019 by Delaware’s Statistical Analysis Center. Property crime is down 25%.
McQueen joined the Delaware State Police in 1988 and has served as operations major managing all troops statewide. He also served as troop commander at Troop 1, Penny Hill; Troop 2, Bear; and Troop 9, Odessa. McQueen was a member of the Delaware State Police’s Critical Incident Stress Management Team, and he served for a time as the agency’s sketch artist.
Before he was nominated by Carney to lead the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, Coupe served as the commissioner of the Delaware Department of Correction under Gov. Jack Markell from 2013-2017.
He previously spent more than 28 years at the Delaware State Police, including more than three years leading the state police as superintendent. During his career as a state trooper, Coupe worked as a detective in the Major Crimes and Homicide units, a drill instructor at the training academy, a patrol sergeant and an internal affairs investigator.