Montgomery, AL (WSFA) – Friday was a day of history and change for the State Department of Public Safety
A 37 year veteran of the department, Colonel Bubba Bingham, took over the reins replacing Colonel Chris Murphy.
It's a story of dedication and hard work and moving from the very bottom to the top.
Surrounded by family and what Bingham calls his DPS family, Colonel F.A. "Bubba" Bingham is now the new Director of the Alabama Department of Public Safety.
He said, "I'm just overwhelmed by it all."
It's a day he never imagined he'd see, but his wife Carolyn says she always knew he'd get the job.
Carolyn said, "As he was moving up the ranks, I told him, 'You'll be Colonel one day'. He said, 'No, I'll never be Colonel'."
His journey began on Valentine's Day in 1973; he took a job as a citizen radio operator.
Col. Bingham said, "I think I'm the only employee of the department that's gone through the radio operator ranks all the way through all the trooper ranks to Director."
In his 37 years, he served most recently as Assistant Director, under Col. Murphy. Before that he was Chief of the Driver's License Division.
"I have a lot of historical knowledge of the department, and I know a lot of the employees. This is just a fabulous day for me, " he said.
"I'm so proud of him. He loves the department. He eats, sleeps, and drinks it, really," his wife said.
With the Gubernatorial election just around the corner, it's unclear how long Bingham will serve in his new position.
But no matter what happens, he says, "It's been a great ride for me."
Bingham hopes to continue the success of programs like Take Back Our Highways.
He says his goal is to leave the department better than he found it.
For more than 30 years, Bingham has also served in the Alabama National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve, including active service in the War on Terror.