New Highway Patrol boss may not come from inside

Governor Perdue speaks to reporters about changes at the NC Highway Patrol

July 18, 2010 3:33:54 PM PDT
North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue will consider hiring someone from outside the Highway Patrol to be the troubled agency's new commander.A state law requires the governor to appoint someone from within the ranks to take over the Highway Patrol, but a Perdue spokeswoman says the governor is not ruling out anything at this point.

Col. Randy Glover announced late last week he is leaving as commander at the end of August after a series of scandals in the department tarnished the Highway Patrol's reputation.

Governor Perdue will have the task of hiring someone new to head the patrol. State Senator Ellie Kinnaird is on a committee who oversees the patrol. She says lawmakers may need to reach deep into the patrol to fix recent problems.

"The question is, is it a systemic problem or, as some people say, just a few bad apples," Kinnaird said. "But you know, they're getting to be quite a few."

Senator Kinnaird is on the appropriations committee on Justice and Public safety. She says a new commander may be one part of the solution.

"Probably there may be some culture of, well, boys will be boys, in which case maybe it's time to start thinking, well, how about a few females?," Kinnaird said.

She says more diversity within the patrol could be the solution to some of the problems.

"There were not many black troopers for a long time and still aren't so if we're looking at this from a systemic standpoint, maybe what we need to look at is the whole culture," Kinnaird said. "Does it really reflect all of our state, all of our people?"

Governor Perdue's spokeswoman says they are open to the idea of looking for someone from the outside to head the patrol but a state law forbids it.

Lawmakers went home earlier this month and she would have to call for a special session to bring them back before next year.

Kinnaird says she is open to seeing that law overturned and is open to an interim boss.

This week Governor Perdue will announce new members of a Highway Patrol transition leadership team to help as a new colonel is picked.

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