DSP Lt. Col. Melissa A. Zebley Named Superintendent Of Delaware State Police



P.O. BOX 818

DOVER, DELAWARE 19903-0818


Date: July 9, 2020

Contact: DSHS Wendy Hudson – (302) 382-7978

DSP MCpl. Melissa Jaffe – (302) 382-2136



Today Governor John Carney joined Kimberly Chandler, Acting Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security, to announce the appointment of Lt. Col. Melissa A. Zebley as Superintendent of the Delaware State Police.

Lt. Col. Zebley, 50, assumes command of the State Police following the retirement of Col. Nathaniel McQueen Jr. Lt. Col. Zebley, a 28-year veteran of the State Police, is currently responsible for Internal Affairs, Information Support Services and Planning. She joined the Executive Staff in 2010 at the rank of Major with oversight of the Budget, Training Academy and Human Resource sections. In 2013, she transitioned to the role of Operations Officer overseeing New Castle County Patrol Troops and Criminal Investigations, as well as the statewide Traffic Section. Her former assignments include patrol Trooper, Training Academy Officer, Patrol Sergeant, Public Information Officer, Fiscal Executive Officer, and Troop Commander.

Lt. Colonel Zebley has also served as the Officer in Charge of the Honor Guard and as a member of the Division’s Critical Incident Stress Management Team.

“Lt. Col. Zebley has a tremendous track record of leadership at the Delaware State Police, and is the right person to lead our largest police agency” said Governor Carney. “A 28-year veteran of the State Police, Lt. Col. Zebley has the trust of community leaders not only in New Castle County, but up and down our state. I know she will build on the good work of Colonel McQueen to keep Delaware safe and continue to establish trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. Thank you to Lt. Col. Zebley for taking on this important challenge.”

“Having served in almost every leadership position within the Delaware State Police, Lt. Col. Zebley not only possesses the qualifications, skills and experience to lead the State’s largest police agency but has also earned the respect of her fellow troopers and the Delaware law enforcement community. She has demonstrated the temperament, demeanor, and wisdom necessary to navigate the challenges in policing today and is committed to serving the citizens of our State, said Acting Secretary Chandler.

“I am humbled and honored to serve as the 26th Superintendent of the Delaware State Police. I thank Governor Carney and Acting Secretary Chandler for their faith in me to lead this division of professional and dedicated members. I pledge to serve with the dignity and honor befitting the high standards of the agency,” Lt. Col. Zebley said. “The Delaware State Police remain steadfast in our mission of service to all citizens and will continue on our course of community collaboration and progressive policing.”

Lt. Col. Zebley earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Delaware and a Master of Science degree in the Administration of Justice from Wilmington University. She is also a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command and a graduate of the 235th Session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Academy. In addition, she is a graduate of the Anti-Defamation League’s Advanced Training School course on Extremist and Terrorist Threats and is currently attending the 43rd Session of the FBI’s National Executive Institute.

Lt. Col. Zebley is an instructor for the Delaware Leadership Development Program, a three-week school targeted for first line supervisors. Since 2003, she has served as an adjunct faculty member at Wilmington University, teaching in the undergraduate and graduate Criminal Justice Programs.

Lt. Col. Zebley is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives, Mid-Atlantic Association of Women in Law Enforcement, and the FBI National Academy Associates. She was the 2015 Chapter President of the FBINAA Maryland/Delaware Chapter. She is currently the Chair of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) Law Enforcement Standing Committee.


Safety and Homeland Security Secretary Lew Schiliro to Leave Administration after Successful Tenure Marked by Increased Public Safety Measures Statewide

Governor nominates former Wilmington Public Safety Director to build on tremendous progress

Wilmington, DE – After leading the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security for more than six years, Secretary Lew Schiliro, an original member of Governor Markell’s cabinet, announced his plans to retire. He intends to take time off before returning to teaching and the private sector.

“Lew has been a trusted advisor and a strong leader, and I am grateful to him for his many contributions over the last seven years,” said Governor Markell. “I will miss his leadership and counsel and I wish him well as he enters the next phase of his life.”

The Governor will nominate Jim Mosley, a former Wilmington Public Safety Director with a distinguished career of public service in the military and law enforcement, to succeed Schiliro and continue the Department’s efforts. Markell will submit his nomination to the State Senate for consideration during a special session on October 28.

“Jim has dedicated his life to ensuring the safety and security of others,” said Governor Markell. “If confirmed by the Senate, his experience, skills, and passion for service, combined with the strong relationships he’s built, will support our ongoing efforts to strengthen public safety across our state.”

With a career spanning more than 40 years, Mosley has worked with local, state, federal and international agencies in a variety of code and law enforcement environments including overt and covert operations. During his career as an officer in the Military Police Corps, he served throughout the United States, Cuba, Honduras and Europe as a law enforcement officer and liaison between U.S. and Allied Country Law Enforcement and Security personnel. While assigned to NATO Headquarters in Belgium, he coordinated the security for the Supreme Allied Commander and commanded his personal security team.

“I am honored and humbled for the opportunity to support the tremendous efforts underway in Delaware,” said Mosley. “If confirmed by the Senate, I look forward to working with the dedicated men and women who pledge to keep our communities safe, as we continue implementing successful public safety strategies for the State of Delaware.”

During his time as Secretary, Schiliro brought a wealth of experience to Delaware as a 25-year veteran with the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation. After retiring from the F.B.I. Secretary Schiliro held several leadership positions at M.B.N.A. Bank, the Metropolitan Transit Authority in New York City, and A. I. G. Insurance.

“First, I express my heartfelt thanks to the Governor for giving me an incredible opportunity to work with the men and women of the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security,” Schiliro said. “Their dedication, enthusiasm, and compassion for all Delawareans has truly been an inspiration that I have witnessed every day. Secondly, I express my appreciation to each and every member of the Department for what they do, for who they are and most importantly for their commitment to the people of the State of Delaware. It has truly been an honor and privilege to serve with each and every one of them.”

In recent years, the Delaware State Police has seen favorable trends in its violent crime statistics.  DSP saw a 10 % decline in number of violent crimes investigated in 2013. For this year, DSP is experiencing an 8% decrease in the number of violent crimes. These violent crimes include homicides, kidnapping, forcible sex offenses, robbery and assaults.

Key accomplishments advancing Governor Markell’s public safety agenda under Schiliro include:

Creation of State Gun Investigation Unit: The new team at State Police will focus on firearm transactions as well as developing statewide strategies to better enforce our gun purchasing laws to prevent and uncover straw purchases, weapons trafficking and all illegal sales.

Strengthening Gun Laws: Secretary Schiliro’s advocacy helped the state pass a new background checks law to close the private sale loophole. Another law mandating the reporting of lost or stolen firearms, is designed to deter gun trafficking and discourage straw purchases. It requires owners to report a firearm loss or theft within 48 hours of discovery.

Comprehensive School Safety Program: Delaware has become the first state to have a fully operational statewide safety and planning program. All Delaware public schools now have comprehensive safety plans that reside in a web-based electronic central repository making the plans accessible through the Internet and on smartphones, laptops and similar devices.

Creation of Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE):   In its first year (2009), DGE worked with Harrington Raceway, Dover Downs, and Delaware Park to get table games up and running. The division instituted a regional intelligence sharing network with regulatory authorities from surrounding states to ensure coordination on issues of mutual concern.

Creation of New Division of Forensic Science/Commission of Forensic Science: New legislation reorganized forensic science functions within the Department of Safety and Homeland Security and provides for a Director to run the agency. A newly established Forensic Science Commission provides important oversight and assistance to the Division.

Enhanced Court Security (Capitol PD): Violence Intervention Program (VIP) created to identify and mitigate potential acts of violence that may be perpetrated against victims/petitioners while attending judicial proceedings in the State’s courts.

DSP Maritime Unit: The DSP Maritime Unit is currently the only agency working within our State and local government with a full-time maritime and homeland security mission.

Crime Reduction Assistance to City of Wilmington

Operation Pressure Point: In collaboration with Wilmington police, DSHS lead an initiative to combat violent crime in the City of Wilmington. The Delaware State Police assigned troopers three nights a week to a high crime area of the City to provide high visibility patrols in most violent prone sectors.

High Visibility Operation: In August 2014, the Delaware State Police took part in a high visibility joint operation within the city limits of Wilmington to target the quality of life crime/issues occurring along the N. Market St. (Route 13 N) corridor.

Gun Buy Back: DSP troopers partnered with Wilmington police and New Castle County police to collect more than 2,000 firearms during the State’s Buy Back. This one-day collection far exceeded expectations and resulted in the distribution of gift cards totaling more than $200,000.

Public Safety Strategies Commission: The Commission was established by House Joint Resolution No. 2, which was sponsored by the entire Wilmington delegation of the General Assembly and co-sponsored by all other members of the legislature. The Commission, chaired by Secretary Schiliro and Joseph Bryant, Jr., Director of Public Safety for New Castle County, was tasked with carrying out a rapid, fact-based, intensive examination of public safety strategies in the City and offering recommendations to address Wilmington’s significant problem with violent crime. The Department retained the Police Foundation of Washington, D.C. and Vigilant Resources International of New York to serve as consultants and assist the Commission in its work. The consultants provided a comprehensive report outlining specific strategies to help the Wilmington Police Department address crime in the City.

Additional Measures to Protect the Public

Regulations Governing Travel Restrictions During State Of Emergency: A three-tier system, unique to Delaware, has proven to be a highly efficient way to control traffic during critical weather events.

Special Needs Registry: DSHS launched an online emergency registry to help citizens with special needs prepare for an emergency before it happens. The emergency preparedness registry is linked to a secure database which ties into the State’s 911 system making this valuable information immediately accessible to 911 dispatchers.

700 MHz Communications System for Department of Corrections: The Division of Communications implemented a highly efficient cost savings program to provide a new 700 MHz communications system within the Department of Correction (DOC) improving communication capabilities within all prison facilities and for the first time, providing a direct connection to emergency responders statewide.

800MHz Communications System Technology Refresh Program: The Division of Communications is moving forward with the signing of a contract for the 800MHZ Communications System Technology Refresh Program. Since the initial deployment of the 800 MHz system in 1993, the State has made strategic investments to augment its capabilities, increase its performance and sustain its operability. This Technology Refresh Program positions the system for continued operations through 2024.

Statewide Body Worn Camera Pilot: Following an extensive evaluation by the Department of Safety and Homeland Security (DSHS) of the benefits and challenges of effectively implementing body cameras on law enforcement officers, Governor Markell and Secretary Schiliro recently announced plans for State and Municipal police officers to participate in a 30-45 day trial, using about a dozen body cameras throughout the state. The pilot will allow for the study of a number of complex privacy, procedural, and technical issues to ensure successful deployment of the cameras.


Secretaries Landgraf and Schiliro Propose Medical Examiner’s Office be Recognized as New Division of Forensic Science within Department of Safety and Homeland Security

DOVER (May 14, 2014) – In an effort to better meet the needs of Delaware’s criminal justice system, Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) Secretary Rita Landgraf and Department of Safety and Homeland Security Secretary (DSHS) Lewis Schiliro proposed to reorganize the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner as the Division of Forensic Science and move it from DHSS to DSHS.

Appearing before a joint committee hearing Wednesday of the Senate Public Safety and the House Safety & Homeland Security committees, the two Cabinet secretaries also proposed creating the Forensic Science Commission to provide oversight and support to the work of the Division of Forensic Science. The Commission would be located in the Office of the Secretary of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security and include representatives of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, the Department of Health and Social Services, the criminal justice community, law enforcement, academic experts on forensic science, and legislators.

The Commission would have oversight of the Division of Forensic Science, including review of its operations, staffing and resource needs, quality assurance, evidence protocols, responsiveness to the criminal justice community, accreditation and audit needs, and maintenance of the professional independence of its expert staff.  The Commission would also consider whether additional changes in the structure or the organization of forensic sciences in Delaware would be more efficient or make the office more effective.

Finally, Secretary Landgraf and Secretary Schiliro proposed reforms to the leadership structure of the office.  Reflecting the broad set of responsibilities in the office, the secretaries proposed to replace the requirement that the office be led by a certified pathologist with a requirement that the Secretary of Safety and Homeland Security appoint a division director with expertise in the forensic sciences.  The role of the Chief Medical Examiner would be preserved within the division, but it would no longer have a 10-year term and both the Division Director and Chief Medical Examiner would be exempt positions.

“There is no doubt that expert forensic science is at the core of our work in the criminal justice system,” Governor Jack Markell said. “The proposal today from Secretary Landgraf and Secretary Schiliro is a significant reform that will not only help address concerns with the office today, but will create a structure that will keep us on the forefront in the future.”

“This reorganization is done around the core mission of the Medical Examiner’s Office, which is to provide forensic services in the support of the criminal justice system,” Secretary Landgraf said. “It makes sense to move those services completely within the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, where greater coordination and efficiency can be obtained.”

“These reforms are going to help ensure that the important work done by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is fully integrated within the criminal justice community,” Secretary Schiliro said.  “The Department already manages other areas that support our criminal justice efforts, such as the Council on Police Training, and emergency communications, and other forensic resources located in law enforcement. Today’s proposed reforms will improve the coordination of our criminal investigations, and oversight from the proposed Forensic Science Commission will make certain that the professional independence of the new division’s staff is maintained.”

Secretary Landgraf and Secretary Schiliro said if the changes are approved by the General Assembly, they hope the transition could begin as soon as the first quarter of the state’s new fiscal year, which begins July 1.