ELWOOD — David Kane has always had the mindset of a public servant. He wants to bring that same attitude to his new role.

Kane, 55, an Elwood native and longtime veteran of public safety and security, was tapped by Gov. Mike Pence to be the next executive director of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security. Pence made the announcement in a press release on Thursday. Kane will officially take over the position on Nov. 24.

Kane said he was honored to take the position and wants to continue to collaborate with agencies throughout the state in his new role.

"I want to carry on my experience, build on the relationships I've made, and across the state, when events occur, make sure we all know what we're doing," Kane said. "We need to make sure we're collectively prepared."

Kane has strong ties to Madison County. After growing up in Elwood, he spent time in the Explorers program at the Madison County Sheriff's Department in 1975. He went on to work for the Elwood Police Department, the Madison County Sheriff's Department and the Madison County Jail before joining the Federal Aviation Administration as an air marshal in 1985.

Madison County Sheriff Ron Richardson, who grew up with Kane and served alongside him in the Explorers program, said Kane is dedicated and a good fit for the job.

"He's a proven professional in a public safety role. This will be an awesome opportunity for him," Richardson said.

Kane moved to Denver, then to Chicago and came back to Elwood permanently in 1988. Kane is currently the federal security director for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Transportation Security Administration, a position he has held since 2005. Prior to that, he was the assistant director for the department. He oversaw policy implementation for the national transportation security program.

He was also the DHS's federal coordinating official for the 2012 Super Bowl in Indianapolis. He also serves on several state and national security committees and policy boards.

Kane said he was very proud of his work at the Super Bowl, and the event gave him experience coordinating public safety with several agencies on a large stage. He said the work he did then should translate well to the Indiana department.

"One of the things the governor told me when he gave me this job was there is no mission more important than the health and well-being of the citizens of Indiana. That meant a lot to me," Kane said.

The release quotes Pence as saying: "With nearly 30 years of experience in emergency response and management positions, David Kane has demonstrated his public safety expertise and epitomized what it means to be a true public servant. I am confident that he is the right man at the right time to lead Indiana’s efforts to ensure the preparedness of the state and the safety of Hoosiers as Executive Director of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security."

Kane replaces John Hill, who serves as deputy chief of staff of public safety in the governor's office.

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