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Airport Authority selects Wes Blair as new chief of police

Chief Wes Blair, MAPD

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (June 25, 2024) – Memphis Shelby County Airport Authority (MSCAA) today announced James “Wes” Blair as its next Memphis Airport police chief. With a proven track record in law enforcement, education, and leadership, Blair brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the position. MSCAA’s current and longtime police chief, Jerry Brandon, is retiring in the Fall of 2024.

Throughout an extensive search and interview process, MSCAA’s top priority was to identify a candidate with a proven track record of effective leadership, a commitment to public safety and collaboration, and an understanding of the unique airport environment.

“Wes Blair comes to Memphis International Airport with nearly three decades of experience in law enforcement. His education, tenure of service, and commitment to public safety speaks for itself. I am confident that he will be a great asset to us and serve in a vital role as we continue to prioritize safety,’ said MSCAA President and CEO Terry Blue. “We are also very grateful to Chief Jerry Brandon, who has served the Airport Authority, and his country prior to that, with honor and distinction.”

Blair’s longtime law enforcement career spans over 30 years and began in California as a United States border patrol agent. His most recent tenure was at the Cape Girardeau Police Department in Missouri, where he has served as the Chief of Police since 2013. He will begin his new role on August 12.

As Memphis airport’s Chief of Police, Blair will lead the fully accredited, independent law enforcement agency to ensure the safety and security of passengers, tenants, and members of the public. Airport property spans 3,900 acres and includes not just the Memphis International Airport terminal, but dozens of tenant facilities, businesses, roads, runways, and more. Blair will report to Nathan Luce, Director of Airside Operations & Public Safety.

“As the new police chief at Memphis International Airport, I am excited to join a dynamic team dedicated to ensuring the safety and security of travelers and staff. I look forward to leveraging my experience and expertise to uphold the highest standard of law enforcement, collaborating with airport stakeholders to implement innovative strategies, and fostering a culture of professionalism within the organization. Together, we will continue to safeguard the airport community and uphold public trust in our services.”

Blair holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership from Mountain State University, a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Texas at Arlington, and a doctorate degree in criminal justice leadership from Liberty University. He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, FBI National Academy Alumni Association and served as the president of the Missouri Federation of Chiefs of Police.