Colonel Heston Silbert
Director, Arizona Department of Public Safety
Heston Silbert was confirmed as Director of the Arizona Department of Public Safety in March 2020. Prior to that, he was appointed Deputy Director of the Department in February 2015. Colonel Silbert retired from the Phoenix Police Department with 22-years of service. After his retirement from the Phoenix Police Department, he was hired as a Commander by the Mesa Police Department, where he assumed command of the Red Mountain Division. In May of 2011, he was promoted to Assistant Chief of Police for the Operations Bureau, and in 2013 he was promoted to Executive Officer.
Colonel Silbert began his career as a patrol officer in South Phoenix at the South Mountain Precinct. After working in a patrol capacity he was transferred to work on a proactive enforcement squad that conducted gang and drug investigations. During this assignment, Colonel Silbert also worked in an undercover capacity.
Colonel Silbert continued his career working street gangs, but also mentoring at risk youth in the Foothills Housing Projects of South Phoenix, where he was a PAL officer. After this assignment, he continued to investigate street gangs as a detective on the Night Gang Enforcement Unit in the Organized Crime Bureau. Colonel Silbert was also a member of the FBI Violent Street Gang Task Force where he and members of the unit conducted wire-tap and conspiracy investigations.
After his assignment in the Gang Unit and the FBI Violent Street Gang Task Force, he was selected to be a member of the Special Assignments Unit (SAU/SWAT). After several years with SAU, Colonel Silbert was promoted to sergeant where he worked at both the Squaw Peak Precinct and again in South Phoenix at the South Mountain Precinct. During these years he was selected as Supervisor of the Year and Police Officer of the Year. After his assignment as a Field Training Sergeant in South Phoenix, he was promoted to lieutenant.
As a lieutenant he served in Patrol, Systems Integration, the Vehicular Crimes Unit, the Special Assignments Unit, the Police Academy, and as Unit Commander of the Major Offender Bureau’s Fugitive Apprehension Unit and Career Criminal Squad. Colonel Silbert holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. He also holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Arizona State University. He is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command, the FBI National Academy and is also a graduate of the Police Executive Leadership Institute.