Local News

Acting commander named for Highway Patrol

Posted January 29, 2013

— Department of Public Safety Secretary Kieran Shanahan on Tuesday named Lt. Col. Gary Bell as acting commander of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

Bell succeeds Col. Michael Gilchrist, who will retire Friday.

“Bell has a breadth of experience and demonstrated leadership skills that make him well-suited for this assignment. He has garnered the respect of his peers as he has risen through the ranks of the patrol over the past 27 years,” Shanahan said in a statement.

For the last two years, Bell has overseen statewide field operations for the Highway Patrol. Before that, he managed the patrol’s Professional Standards Section and commanded Troop B, which is based in Fayetteville and encompasses 11 counties. He also has overseen internal affairs and accreditation and managed technical support and logistics.

Gilchrist has been commander of the patrol since October 2010.

“Col. Gilchrist’s distinguished service to the patrol and the citizens of North Carolina is truly appreciated,” Shanahan said. “He took the lead at a challenging time for the patrol and he has managed the position with integrity and professionalism.”

10 Comments

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  • outhousecat Jan 30, 11:34 a.m.

    There haven't been a lot of negative stories about the Highway Patrol since Bev had to accept her boyfriend's resignation. Maybe things will continue to improve. At least, we can hope...

  • Sherlock Jan 30, 10:57 a.m.

    WHy just acting, is he not good enough for the position full time?

  • btneast Jan 30, 9:24 a.m.

    perhaps with perdue gone some of the politics can now be erased in the running of the ncshp

    Good luck with that. The commander has always been a pick of the governor since the Patrol's inception. That's why they almost always cahnge when the new governor takes office.

  • wildpig777 Jan 30, 8:27 a.m.

    perhaps with perdue gone some of the politics can now be erased in the running of the ncshp. politicans are truly a threat to all tarheels.

  • dirtydozen431 Jan 29, 6:14 p.m.

    Bring him in and throw CALEA out.

  • thinkin out loud Jan 29, 5:51 p.m.

    I to knew Lt. Col. Bell when he was a road trooper and he truly is a credit to the SHP. I ran into him at an awards ceremony last year and enjoyed the opportunity to just chat with him. i had no idea he was a Lt. Col. until I asked him. He is truly one of the most down to earth and nicest peroson one could ever meet. I hope he gets this position permamently.

  • jrfergerson Jan 29, 5:43 p.m.

    For the last two years, Bell has overseen statewide field operations for the Highway Patrol. IN OTHER WORDS HE HAS BEEN GROOMED TO TAKE THIS POSITION.

  • Bigbadwolf Jan 29, 4:22 p.m.

    I knew Lt. Col Bell when he was assigned to Harnett County several years ago. He is well liked, respected, had good common sense and a class act all the way around. Would be a great choice for the permanent post!

  • clintoflannagan Jan 29, 4:04 p.m.

    I would like to thank Col. Gilchrist for his service. He took over the Patrol during tough times and has done a wonderful job. I wish him the best in the future.

  • dirtydozen431 Jan 29, 3:03 p.m.

    Very interesting