Raleigh, N.C. — 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.”