Local News

New Highway Patrol commander takes oath

Posted July 9, 2008

— The new commander of the North Carolina Highway Patrol has been sworn in at the State Capitol to take over the agency beset by a number of problems.

Col. Walter J. Wilson Jr. took the oath Wednesday from state Supreme Court Chief Justice Sarah Parker.

Lt. Col. Jamie Hatcher also took the oath as deputy commander.

Wilson is a 28-year veteran of the patrol appointed last month by Gov. Mike Easley after Col. W. Fletcher Clay said he would leave the position after four years.

The change comes after one trooper was fired for abusing his police dog in a case where a judge said he should be rehired.

Another was sentenced to prison on charges of making unwanted sexual advances to women he stopped.

The patrol also acknowledged incidents of troopers having sex on duty.


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  • iamac Jul 9, 2008

    I know the new Deputy Commander. Went to high school with him. Good man, Good family.

  • twixandbetwwen Jul 9, 2008

    The Commandant of the NCSHP should be appointed by the General Assembly and serve no more than four years. Instead of being a capable police organization, they tend to be a "Tessie Boy" for the Governor.

  • tgw Jul 9, 2008

    WRAL is not perfect. They tend to run a story into the ground once they get started. Duke LaCross was a perfect example. NCHP seems to be another. Shame they can't go after the crooks in our Legislature with similar aggressiveness.

    Concerning the new Commander, Bulldog, do you know him personally. Your comments led me to believe that to be so.
    We all need to get behind this man, encourage him, pray for him... The NCHP is out there to defend and protect each person who rides the highways of North Carolina. They have an awesome responsibility and many miles to cover. WE NEED TO HELP THEM ALL WE CAN!!! Call *HP if you see something. Better to call and not need, than to need and not call!!!

    Best wishes, SIR!!!

  • Bulldog78 Jul 9, 2008

    Regardless of what the article or anyone who is commenting has to say, this is a great day for the Highway Patrol of North Carolina. This gentleman is a straight-shooter who epitomizes integrity and respect. He plays by the rules and by the book and plays no favorites. He will not ask the women or men of the Highway Patrol to do anything that he would not do and/or has not already done throughout his sterling career.

    So everyone get out a new scorebook and mark this down as Day One in a great new era for the North Carolina Highway Patrol and the citizens of North Carolina.

  • hearmeout Jul 9, 2008

    I OCCASIONALLY come over to WRAL to check and see what they are reporting and sure enough - this story is true to their biased and lowly standards. Maybe somebody needs to change command post at the TV Station.

  • Common Sense Man Jul 9, 2008

    Headly Lamar hasn't made it here yet? Huh.

  • tgw Jul 9, 2008

    May God's blessings be on you sir. You have a difficult job ahead of you. many North Carolinians have concerns about the NCHP. However, with your experience, you should be able to clean up the personnel issues at hand. In addition, your spokesman seems to be a good man-Officer Clendenon- I think.
    He needs to be more agressive in getting the good NCHP stories out to the media. That way, the NCHP is not always on the defensive.

    Good luck sir.

  • doobedobedoodoo Jul 9, 2008

    Hondaman, the last comment about the dogs was pretty dumb. All of the Troopers have my respect and I am eternally grateful to all of law enforcement-even the dogs you mention. Even they have more sense than you.

  • superman Jul 9, 2008

    You are certainly right-- they have done a terrific job in the past but they gone to the dogs. They no longer have or deserve the high regard and respect they enjoyed in the past. Respect for the patrol will have to be earned again. That will take time! I am a senior citizen-- never been stopped or had a ticket so dont think I am angry or unhappy with them. Some of the troopers are no better than the dogs they handle.

  • med4centrl Jul 9, 2008

    This story really should have been about the new Colonel and not yet another WRAL bashing of SHP. Apparently WRAL and the N&O team up to do trooper bashing articles. Colonel Clay retired and should be respected and commended for his years of service protecting each of us. A lot of local firefighters, EMS and law enforcement friends of mine have stopped watching WRAL because of this very thing. How about a WRAL update on how Trooper Blanton's family is doing - or how his fellow troopers are coping with his death? Instead it's yet another dead horse beating from WRAL. Why not let the new Colonel start out fresh and highlight his accomplishments and plans for our great state. The man has served and protected us for 28 years - I'm sure his experiences and thoughts would be a lot more interesting than your dead horse stories.