Friday, July 16, 2010


Gov. Bill Ritter announced today that Colorado Homeland Security Director Mason Whitney is retiring effective Aug. 31 and will be replaced by former Denver Fire Chief Larry Trujillo.

Whitney has led Gov. Ritter’s homeland security initiatives since August 2007, first as a coordinator and then as the new Office of Homeland Security’s first director in April 2008. Prior to that, he served as The Adjutant General of the Colorado National Guard from 2000 to 2007.

Trujillo spent 25 years rising through the ranks of the Denver Fire Department. He served as chief from 2003 until his retirement in 2007. He was a senior safety adviser to the Democratic National Convention in 2008.

“On behalf of the people of Colorado, I offer my sincerest gratitude to Gen. Whitney for his 10-plus years of service to our great state and for his earlier distinguished and decorated service in the U.S. Air Force,” Gov. Ritter said. “Mason inspired everyone he worked with by living up to the old Vince Lombardi ideal of chasing perfection and catching excellence.”

In retirement, Whitney will serve as an adviser to Centennial-based Bye Aerospace and a Jordanian company that is developing joint peacekeeping training opportunities with Jordan and the U.S. in Africa. He and his wife also intend to spend time at a vacation home on the Gulf Coast.

“I have been grateful to work for two Governors I admire and respect for their dedication to making our state a great place to live,” Whitney said. “I hope my service on the Governor's cabinet has made a positive difference in their efforts to meet that goal. I leave a talented and wonderful team at the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and am tremendously proud of all that has been accomplished by them and all of our federal, state, and local partners in our Homeland Security mission since 2007.”

Gov. Ritter said the Office of Homeland Security will be extremely well-served with Trujillo at the helm.

“Larry is a strong decision-maker, a visionary leader and a consensus-builder,” Gov. Ritter said. “I’m grateful he has agreed to bring his many skills and talents to the critical task of keeping Colorado communities safe.”

“It was an honor to serve the citizens of Denver as their fire chief and it will be just as much an honor to serve the people of Colorado as director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security,” Trujillo said. “I have great admiration for Gov. Ritter and it will be a privilege to work for him in this capacity.”

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