AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced the promotions of three career employees to assistant chief positions. The promotions include Justin Chrane and Ben Urbanczyk to assistant chiefs in the Texas Highway Patrol Division and Katie Conley to the Assistant Chief of the Human Resources Operations Division.
The promotions were approved at prior meetings of the Public Safety Commission (PSC). All three are stationed at DPS’ Austin headquarters.
“It is essential that we recognize and promote proven talent to maintain operational excellence and continuity in the department,” said PSC Chairman Steven Mach. “Our new assistant chiefs have eight decades of experience between them serving the people of Texas and DPS, and we know they will excel in their new roles.”
DPS Director Steven McCraw also commended the promotions.
“I have no doubt that Assistant Chiefs Chrane, Urbanczyk and Conley will continue the great work of their predecessors and use their experience and leadership skills to help bring out the best in our department and the people they manage,” said McCraw.
After Hank Sibley, who previously served as Assistant Chief of the Texas Highway Patrol, was promoted to regional director, DPS split that position in the agency’s largest division into two positions – Assistant Chief of Administration and Assistant Chief of Operations. Conley took over for Norma Cortez, who retired effective Aug. 1.
Justin Chrane, Assistant Chief of Administration, Texas Highway Patrol Division
Chrane, whose promotion was effective in March, previously served as the Highway Patrol operations major at headquarters. Chrane has more than 20 years with DPS. He began his career in January 1997 as a recruit and was first stationed in Decatur as a Trooper, followed by duty stations in Terrell and Austin. In 2002, he promoted to sergeant in Bastrop, before being promoted to lieutenant in 2006 at the Capitol. Chrane was promoted to captain in 2008 and was stationed in the Chief’s office, where he served as the state K-9 coordinator for six years. In 2014, he promoted to major and was stationed in El Paso briefly, before he transferred back to Austin as the operations major for six years. For five of those years, Chrane served as the executive director of Operation CARE, a nationwide initiative to reduce and prevent crashes, as well as save lives. He graduated from the Northwestern University Traffic Institute in 2007. Chrane is a second-generation employee — both of his parents retired from DPS.
Ben Urbanczyk, Assistant Chief of Operations, Texas Highway Patrol Division
Urbanczyk, whose promotion was effective in March, previously served as the Highway Patrol field major in San Antonio providing regional leadership to 43 counties in the Central Texas Region. He has more than 34 years with DPS. Urbanczyk graduated from the DPS Training Academy in 1986, and was assigned to Dalhart as a Trooper. He promoted to sergeant in 1997, serving in Center and Hereford. In 2002, Urbanczyk was promoted to lieutenant in Amarillo, before being promoted to captain of the Bryan district in 2011. As captain, he also supervised the State Criminal Interdiction Team. Urbanczyk was promoted to field major in the South Texas Region (Weslaco) in 2015. He transferred to the Central Texas Region (San Antonio) in 2017. Urbanczyk attended West Texas State University in Canyon, and is also a 2006 graduate of the FBI National Academy Session No. 225 in Quantico, Virginia.
Katie Conley, Assistant Chief, Human Resource Operations Division
Conley, whose promotion was effective Aug. 1, previously held the rank of Human Resource Operations major. She began her career with DPS in 1994, and following recruit school was assigned to the Texas Highway Patrol. As a Trooper she was stationed throughout the state, including Floresville, Humble, El Paso and Caldwell. Conley transferred to the Driver License Division in Waco in 2000. In 2002, she promoted to Driver License sergeant and was stationed in Plano, followed by Lewisville. Conley promoted to lieutenant in 2005 while serving as a counselor for A-05 recruit school. She returned to the field and was again stationed in Plano. In 2008, Conley transferred to Austin and supervised the Statewide Fraud Investigation Unit. The following year she was selected to Internal Affairs, which transitioned into the Office of Inspector General. Conley promoted to captain of Law Enforcement Promotional Services (Human Resources) in 2016. In 2019, Conley promoted to major in the Human Resource Operations Division. She is also a graduate of Northwestern University’s School of Police Staff and Command, completed the FBI Leadership Trilogy and is a Society for Human Resources Management—Certified Professional.