Final recommendations for HP released

(Image courtesy Flickr creative commons)

January 14, 2011 8:36:26 PM PST
The blue-ribbon panel appointed by the governor months ago to help figure out how to clean up the troubled agency has released its final report.It amounts to a roadmap for how the North Carolina Highway Patrol can rebuild its image, which took a beating last year after a series of scandals, many involving senior personnel.

In response, the governor appointed a blue ribbon panel to help figure out, among other things, how to rebuild integrity and honor at the patrol.

The panel's final report includes recommendations on that, as well as a change in the law.

The first crack at a final report, highlighted areas where they think the Highway Patrol could do better.

The same report was amended by patrol leadership and was offered to the rest of the panel for comment. The two versions are similar, but there are a few differences in writing.

Click here to read the initial report

Click here to read the final report

Among the recommendations in the final report; trail audits of serious misconduct cases that focus on supervisors, a re-investigation of every sworn employee every five years, and a quarterly report on disciplinary action that gets circulated throughout the patrol and is made public.

The panel is also recommending changing state law.

Right now, commanders must be chosen from within the state Highway Patrol, but panel members suggest opening it up to a much broader pool of candidates, which would require legislative change.

On Friday evening, Crime Control Secretary Ruben Young released a statement on both the blue ribbon panel and its report saying, "Each member proposed recommendations that they believe will only strengthen the core values of the Highway Patrol. During this review process, the highway patrol has worked diligently to implement many of these recommendations and in some cases implemented changes beyond those proposed."

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