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Perdue wants plan to restructure Highway Patrol

Posted July 7, 2010
Updated July 8, 2010

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— Gov. Beverly Perdue said Wednesday she wants an immediate restructuring plan for the state Highway Patrol in light of a growing string of misconduct cases involving state troopers.

“That small percentage that we read or hear about every day are killing the image of the patrol,” Perdue said Wednesday. “A few can destroy the many and I’m going to work as hard as I can to fix it.”

Perdue met with 160 ranking members of the Highway Patrol on Wednesday afternoon.

"I will not let the Highway Patrol of North Carolina be diminished," she told the media following the meeting. "We will fire the bad troopers as quickly as we can. We will hold the first sergeants and the leadership of the patrol accountable."

Perdue said she has asked Department of Crime Control and Public Safety Secretary Reuben Young and Col. Randy Glover, the commander of the patrol, to develop a plan to restructure the patrol. That report is due in 60 days.

"There are many changes that will be made," Perdue said.

In addition, Perdue is requiring ethics training for all state troopers and management training for first sergeants and above. Following training, all troopers and leadership will be required to sign a code of conduct oath.

Perdue meets with Highway Patrol Perdue meets with Highway Patrol

Perdue has also urged patrol leadership to get out in the field "do it the old-fashioned way and find out what is going on."

Glover and Young will also be traveling the state meeting with troops in every district to find out what problems exist, she said.

Perdue and Glover, the commander of the patrol, had previously issued a zero-tolerance policy for trooper misconduct.

A number of troopers and patrol officers have been disciplined or fired in recent years for offenses that included profiling young women for traffic stops, drunken driving, animal abuse and having sex on duty.

Last month, the State Bureau of Investigation launched a probe into the activities of a trooper after a Raleigh woman alleged that he exposed himself to her in his patrol car.

Also last month, the longtime spokesman for the agency resigned amid an internal investigation into text messages he sent to a co-worker.

Gov. Beverly Perdue Web only: Perdue speaks about Highway Patrol

The misconduct cases have rocked the Highway Patrol's image, and Glover issued a memo to troopers in May saying that he would deal with anyone who embarrasses the patrol.

Following the two-hour meeting with Perdue on Wednesday, Young announced immediate changes for the Highway Patrol, including an increase in sexual harassment and ethics training from experts outside of the patrol.

Other changes:

  • Review internal personnel policy to better reflect the law.
  • Re-organization and re-deployment of members from patrol headquarters to the field.
  • Patrol members disciplined with less than a dismissal will be required to take additional training pertinent to the offense committed and be subject to increased monitoring by supervisors.
  • Supervisors will be required to spend more time with members under their supervision, including riding with them.
  • All members will be required to live within the county of assignment.
  • All communications records for state issued cell phones and BlackBerrys will be maintained consistent with record retention policy.
  • Increase the number of in-car cameras and establish a systematic review of them by supervisors.

Political watchdog Joe Sinsheimer said Perdue’s new "get tough" approach stops short of solving what he described as a cultural problem within the patrol.

“The proof is in the pudding. We need change at the top of the Highway Patrol and the governor had a leadership test today and she failed it," he said.

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  • roneil Jul 8, 2010

    I believe Gov. Perdue decision not to replace Col. Glover only diminishes the Highway Patrol of North Carolina even more. As a state employee myself, I’ve noted many times the Highway Patrol drivers/operators violating the speed, crossing the roadway median without cause and several other violations but if it had been you or me, we would have been stopped. I’ve driven all around North Carolina due to my job and observed it for myself. It’s should always be about the “LAW for ALL”. I’m also retired Air Force and during my career in the service, if you had problems with a squadron or command, you simply and always “START AT THE TOP”.
    R O’Neal

  • wakeconative4ever Jul 8, 2010

    FE...work day does begin when they get into their assigned county and yes, until a few years ago, you had to live in the county you worked, unless you are in special ops, or something like that....i think it is budget related, but more so, its about getting things back to the way they used to be. Its like this: if all the troopers live in the district, they are closer together, can be watched more by supervisors when the troopers time off, and be a part of the community they are serving. I think it is an excellent idea.

  • sdrawkcab Jul 8, 2010

    FE- Work day begins when they enter there assigned county.

  • pbjbeach Jul 8, 2010

    ETHICS TRAINING IS ALREADY FOR EVERY STATE EMPLOYEE AN ALL IT AMOUNTS TO IS TO ATEND ONE CONFERENC WHERE THEY TALK ABOUT ETHICS AN THEN YOU SIGN THEIR ETICS TRAING STATEMENT SAYING THAT YOU HAVE HAD ETHICS TRANING THE END AN YOU ARE CONSIDERED TO BE EHICS TRAINED PERIOD STATE GOVERNMENT NEEDS INTEGERITY REFROMS AN INTEGERITY TRAING IN EVERY DEPARTMENT FROM THE TOP TO THE BOTTOM AN ALL THROUGHT OUR CORRUPT ELECTED OFFICIALS FROM THE GOVERNOR HERSELF DOWN TO THE LOWEST AID IN THE LEGISTURE ON JONES STREET THANK YOU

  • BubbaDuke Jul 8, 2010

    Just like the government to over-react. They want to control every aspect of our lives so that no one is offended or inconveienced - no matter how much it costs.

  • pbjbeach Jul 8, 2010

    wHEN IS SOMEONE GOING TO FINALY HOLD THE POLITICIANS FEET TO THE FIRE AN HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE OUT RIGHT FRAUD AN MISMANGAMENT OF THE TAXPAYERS FUNDING ALL ACROSS THIS STATE THAT IS AN HAS BEEN TAKING PLACE WITH REGARDS TO ISSUES OF THE STATE BUDGET AN THE WASTEFUL SPENDING THAT IS AN HAS BEEN ALLOWED TO TAKE PLACE FOR THE LAST PAST 10-15 YEARS WITHIN STATE GOVERNMENT THANK YOU

  • FE Jul 8, 2010

    garrettsmom - Do you think this "live in the same county" rule is budget-related, such as saving commuting costs, or something else? I assume a "work-day" still begins when the car starts and ends when the car is parked in the driveway/garage?

    (I thought at one time a Trooper DID have to live within his/her own county?)

    FE

  • wakeconative4ever Jul 8, 2010

    I think all troopers should live in the county in which they are assigned. I also think it should be at least 10 years before you can go back to the county in which you lived in before patrol school. I also think that if your spouse works for the patrol, whether it be civilian or sworn, you should not be able to get a job there. Too many problems with spouses working on the patrol. Troopers need to get back to being less friendly and more like law enforcement officers. You just can't be everyone's friend. Then people expect favors when they get a ticket. That is why troopers and their families used to stay to themselves with the moved to a new county and it should go back to being that way.

  • wakeconative4ever Jul 8, 2010

    just 1 view--its everyone

  • just1view Jul 8, 2010

    sdrawkcab - Is that what Purdue meant by her statement? That the supervisors would have to reside within their assigned county or all troopers? It was mentioned right on the heels of the comment of making the supervisors accountable.

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