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Advisory panel debates changing Highway Patrol policies

Posted July 29, 2010

— A six-person advisory panel to help restructure the beleaguered state Highway Patrol met for the first time on Thursday afternoon and discussed a number of possible policy changes for the agency.

The proposals include requiring troopers to live in the county that they patrol, reviewing staffers' personal cell phone bills, changes to promotions policies, having supervisors document their on-duty activities, procedures for having people of the opposite sex in patrol cars and installing cameras and GPS systems in all patrol cars.

Highway Patrol advisory panel Advisory panel debates changes to Highway Patrol policies

The Highway Patrol's image has been plagued in recent years by a number of cases involving state troopers who have resigned, been fired or been disciplined for inappropriate or questionable conduct, including profiling, drunken driving, animal abuse, sex on duty and inappropriate text messages.

Gov. Beverly Perdue had asked patrol commander Col. Randy Glover and Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety Reuben Young to devise a plan to restructure the agency. Glover unexpectedly announced two weeks ago that he would step down on Sept. 1, saying he didn't want to become a target for the patrol's critics.

The advisory panel is expected to help Young with the selection process for a new commander and provide recommendations on the patrol's structure and policies, consider recommendations for the 2011 legislative session to enact further reform and rebuild the focus on integrity, honor and the heritage of the patrol.

The panel includes former state Supreme Court Justice Burley Mitchell, University of North Carolina law professor Julius Chambers, former FBI assistant director Chris Swecker, Mecklenburg County District Attorney Peter Gilchrist, former state Court of Appeals Judge Ralph Walker and UNC law professor Norma Houston.

"We expect them to look at these proposals with the breadth of their experience, advise us with regard to where the minefields are – where the pitfalls are – and why they believe this policy – or drafted policy or proposed policy – is a good idea or not a good idea," Young said.

The panel is expected to discuss the selection process for a new patrol commander when members meet again next Thursday.


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  • oleguy Jul 30, 2010

    I think the troopers do a fine DM Job,,, Its the Judges and Lawyers that need their BH Kicked,,, We need 100 percent punishment,, The courts turn about 50 percent loose... DWI need 5 years in prison automatic, That would slow them down

  • smalldogsrule Jul 30, 2010

    Most of the job of the SHP is traffic hardly as dangerous as being a police officer and other law enforcement agencies.

    Was that a Joke?

    More officers die on an annual basis during traffic stops than any other method, with the possible exception of vehicle crashes.

  • leo-nc Jul 30, 2010

    Superman, you going senile man? lol - Goodness... I don't even have anything to say about the last couple of comments except koo koo!!!

  • superman Jul 30, 2010

    As for drunk drivers, I rather take my chances with the small number of them rather than my chances with the 1,000's of reckless people with cell phones. My chance of having an accident with a person using a cell phone outnumbers my chances of having an accident with a drunk driver. Now a drunk driver using a cell phone is really serious. Outlaw the use of cell phones and legalize drunk driving.

  • superman Jul 30, 2010

    I am retired, over 70-- never had a ticket, never had an accident and have never been stopped by any law enforcement. So please get my message clear and sweet. The SHP has a bad history of covering up. Glover was a poor choice at best, he had an affair and instead of firing him, they moved him to another district and he ended up as commander. The guy who recently sent the text messages was unfortunately allowed to resign and was not fired. Another serious error on the part of the SHP. I think perhaps the SHP is kinda like the catholic church-- just move people and cover up the wrongdoings. No agency is without their bad apples-- but lets just get rid of the bad apples when they surface and move on. A good screening of the applicants would be more than sufficient. Then hire the best one without any regard as to political ties. When you appoint a person with a past history of an affair-- you get exactly what you knew you were getting. Glover was no surprise.

  • justice1123 Jul 30, 2010

    The Governor is correct. Putting another insider in charge of the NCHP is rediculous. Like the fox guarding the hen house. Get someone from the outside to oversee this agency.

    R is for reality

  • demo7691 Jul 29, 2010

    That would be like having law enforcement officers be on a board to govern lawyers

  • genaoas21 Jul 29, 2010

    from there loved ones for the simple purpose of serving the great state of North Carolina. Obviously you don't think about these things because it more about the talk and not the walk. So if so many of you feel like they aren't doing such a great job even though they reduce fatalities, arrest a ridiculous amount of drunk drivers and still manage to find time to serve the public in other areas... Why don't you get off your rear ends and join the organization and make the difference that you think they don't. Otherwise you need to keep the negative comments to yourself unless you know first hand what they go through.

  • genaoas21 Jul 29, 2010

    you know what the funny thing is? That 99% of the people that post negative comments on this site are people that have probably gotten a ticket from a Trooper in the past and are now upset. Nobody talks about the fact that we have reduced the number of teen drivers killed in the past year because of such an active role in enforcement in this area. Nobody talks about the fact that we work ALONE... so every time we stop a car at 3am and the nearest backup is 30 min away you think about that. Think about how you would feel in a situation like that. In a situation where you have 4 people stopped wearing red bandanas in a blacked out Tahoe in the middle of US 17 where there isn't a sole around but you and these 4 occupants. Or the fact that there are 1800 members and there are about 6. 6 Troopers that have been fired for misconduct. So how about the other 1794 Troopers? Are they bad also? do they deserve to be crucified by stereotypes? Because some of these Troopers live over 100 miles

  • pamlico2 Jul 29, 2010

    Elvis, The Motor Carrier Section of the Patrol cannot do proper truck inspections at night.

    Superman, I didn't imply that police and deputies don't have dangerous jobs. They do. Each agency, local state and county have different missions. At times they overlap and mirror. Each serve a purpose. I have stood on many porches and now along hwys with cars speeding by without a care... equally with concerns for my safety.