Governor's panel on Highway Patrol meets

(Image courtesy Flickr creative commons)

July 30, 2010 4:38:15 AM PDT
The search is now underway for the new leader of the North Carolina Highway Patrol.

A governor's advisory panel, which was formed to help fix the patrol, met for the first time in Raleigh Thursday.

Governor Bev Perdue formed the panel after a number of scandals involving Troopers surfaced.

"I mean business," the Governor said as the scandals made headlines. "And I intend for it to be fixed."

She instructed the panel to investigate the patrol and find solutions to allegations of rampant misbehavior among its ranks.

"What we want to do - as charged by the Governor - is try to ensure that those acts are not somehow systematic of the function of the organization," the panel's leader, Crime Control Secretary Reuben Young, said.

The six-member panel's first job is to recommend how the patrol should go about finding a new commander to replace Colonel Randy Glover. Glover handed in his resignation earlier this month.

The panel has a long list of reforms to consider, including some dating back two years from a report commissioned by former Governor Mike Easley.

Included on the list is the way the patrol handles promotions, cameras in patrol cars, transporting members of the opposite sex and, possibly the most controversial, the use of personal cell phones.

"What we are concerned about is how much time they may be talking while they are supposed to be working," Young said.

While the panel cannot change policy or pick a new leader, it will ultimately draft a report including its findings and recommendations to the Governor.

For the first time, Young raised the possibility Thursday of hiring an internal interim commander for the patrol, if the panel recommends an outside leader to officially take over the job.

ABC11 Eyewitness News also learned Thursday that the patrol received proposals from NC State and Methodist University for ethics training courses.

It also received a proposal from the Federal Bureau of Investigations to hold leadership training.

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