Local News

Highway Patrol commander stepping down

Posted June 23, 2009

— Col. Walter Wilson Jr. announced Tuesday that he plans to retire from the state Highway Patrol on Aug. 1, 13 months after taking charge of the patrol.

"I have dedicated 29 years of my life to the Highway Patrol and our great state. I have never regretted my career choice. As colonel, I have worked hard to make things better for all employees," Wilson wrote in an e-mail to patrol employees.

A native of Tarboro, he joined the patrol in 1980. He was sworn in as the law enforcement agency's 23rd commander last July.

Wilson has tried to rebuild the image of the Highway Patrol, which has been shaken by a series of trooper misconduct cases. Several troopers have been fired in the past two years over allegations of on-duty sex, profiling of young women for traffic stops, drunken driving and abuse of a K-9.

A four-month evaluation cited 43 recommendations for change, including more personal interviews with applicants, more active recruiting and an increase in pay and incentives to make the agency more competitive with other law enforcement agencies.

The patrol also overhauled its K-9 program after concerns were raised about improper training and animal abuse. The new program was launched two weeks ago, pairing Labrador retrievers with six newly trained troopers.

Wilson succeeded Col. Fletcher Clay, who retired after four years in charge of the patrol. There was no immediate word on who would succeed Wilson.


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  • UNCrocks Jun 24, 2009

    ncvoter23- they are some people in this world who do not understand the difference between constructive and destructive criticism. Both your comments would be more credible if you weren't trying to be vindictive.

  • ncvoter23 Jun 24, 2009

    How sweet of Wilson's three supporters (of which do not work for the Patrol) to write such glowing words. Thanks for the laughs - we who have had to work for him have been laughing for a year now! If you three only knew.... He is smart enough to leave before the truth starts to come out - no one ever said he is stupid - I think the word is paranoid!

  • mrsmom Jun 24, 2009

    It looks like a very good man is either getting caught in Easley's web or Bev's party for her friends.

    Too bad. It took courage to take the job of Colonel when the SHP was in such a mess with news stories about troopers coming out every day.

    It takes time to clean up and you have to clean up before you can rebuild. Hopefully whichever friend Bev chooses to replace him will be competent and given the time to make the patrol the symbol of strength and honor that it should be for NC.

  • ukidding Jun 24, 2009

    Get a life Woody and quit boring us with your poorly written comments. Come to think of it you weren't much of a Trooper either! Enjoy retirement and the biscuits! Jamie

  • southernbelle999 Jun 24, 2009

    Col. Wilson, was the most dedicated man in his line of work. Ive never seen anyone work as hard as he did. He put his job and the love of this state before his family for so many years. Not many people can do that. So anothersmallbusinessman, what have you done for this state? All you heard is people whine & complain and he said stuff because they believe that troopers shouldn't be punished for the mistakes they made.

  • concernedincary Jun 24, 2009

    Hello to the taxpayers of the great State of NC. You are about to lose a man of great integrity all because the "leadeship" wants to reward one of its "friends." This is not about the job, this is political. In the trying economic times in which we are now living, it is appalling to think the governor even has time to worry about a wheel that is not broken. But, again, this is not about Wilson, this is about rewards. During Wilson's watch, I have seen troopers fired, and possibly for things that were done in the administration prior to his. But, Wilson advised his staff that standards were changing and there would be no second chances. Troopers are present to enforce and uphold the law. So, to all of you whining people, I hope you enjoy your new political appointee. And Colonel, thank you for a job well-done!

  • anothersmallbusinessman Jun 24, 2009

    Greek Goddess wrote;
    Anothersmallbusinessman: It is a shame that your friends believe that Col. Wilson has set the Patrol back a few years by holding troopers, Sgts, Captains, Majors, etc, to the moral standards established by God in the Bible.

    Let's not bring the Lord into this equation. Leadership includes so much more than religion, although I believe it does factor in somewhat. Just arbitrarily firing Troopers for doing the same things that others did and they didn't get fired is wrong. According to my pals, he was a micro manager and wanted all things to come through him. Some of the firings were unjustified and they'll have to hire them back as soon as the court system gets involved. I was told that he would forgo the opinions and recommendations of the investigators, who recommended a punishment based on the problem at hand and the precedent, and he'd go for the jugular.
    Leadership is about steering the ship, not just throwing people overboard.

  • D Kaine Jun 23, 2009

    Oh by the way. I want to thank Brian for showing me how to "handle" my opponents. Finally I can become the commander the patrol has groomed me for all these years. Sorry to all those I have "stepped on" to get where I am. As Forrest says "it Happens".

  • D Kaine Jun 23, 2009

    I am glad I finally get my shot. Mike promised me Colonel before "bubba". Now me an m new Lt Col. Castiloe can make some real change in the ranks of the NCSHP. I want to thank all of my supporters and staff I have reviewing these posts for their support. See you guys tomorrow at IHOP to discuss our changes.
    Thanks, Jamie

  • ncvoter23 Jun 23, 2009

    The Mis-LadyJustice - maybe as his wife you should have saved your loving comments for his retirement dinner.
    As for the rest of us - I promise you the state's phone bill peaked today as word traveled quickly and the celebration began. Wilson would not know how to move forward if someone gave him a map and put the car in drive. Whew - finally some relief from the most non-progressive year in SHP History.