North Carolina State Highway Patrol

North Carolina State Highway Patrol
North Carolina State Highway Patrol
Abbreviation NCSHP
North Carolina State Highway Patrol.jpg
Patch of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
Logo of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
NC - Highway Patrol Badge.png
Badge of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
Agency overview
Formed 1929
Employees 2,340 (as of 2008)[1]
Volunteers 12 (as of 2008) [2]
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* State of North Carolina, USA
NC - Troop Map.png
North Carolina State Highway Patrol Troops
Size 53,865 square miles (139,510 km2)
Population 9,061,032 (2007 est.)[3]
Legal jurisdiction State of North Carolina
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Raleigh, North Carolina
Troopers 1,517 (as of 2004)[4]
Civilians 212 (as of 2004)[4]
Agency executive Col. Michael W. Gilchrist, Commander
Parent agency North Carolina Department of Crime Control & Public Safety
Troop Headquarterss
Districts 54
Airbases 4
Helicopters Bell 206 JetRanger, Bell OH-58A+ and Bell 407
NCSHP website
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.
North Carolina State Trooper on I-85

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol is the highway patrol agency for North Carolina which has no per-se "state police" agency. The Patrol has jurisdiction anywhere in the state except for federal or military installations. The Highway Patrol was created in 1929 and is a paramilitary organization with a rank structure similar to the armed forces. NCSHP personnel at times conduct formations, inspections, honor guard activities and drill similar to the armed forces drill and ceremonies. Troopers have a reputation in North Carolina for immaculate uniform and grooming standards.

The primary mission of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol is to reduce traffic collisions and make the highways of North Carolina as safe as possible. The Highway Patrol is one of the largest divisions of the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety and its headquarters is located in Raleigh. This department also includes the NC Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE), NC Civil Air Patrol, Emergency Management, NC State Capitol Police, and the NC National Guard.

The Highway Patrol has many responsibilities. The primary job of the rank and file trooper is traffic law enforcement, including traffic collision investigation, issuing warning tickets and citations for traffic violations, and finding, arresting, and processing impaired drivers. Troopers also routinely assist local police and sheriff's departments on serious calls and back up other agencies. With a request made to and approved by higher headquarters, troopers also assist local officers and agencies with search warrant executions, mass arrest warrant service and "round-ups" and other requests for help from various agencies. Troopers also set up road checks for drunken drivers. These "checkpoints' result in arrests and citations for drug and weapon charges, DWI, suspended licenses and other crimes. The patrol's air wing and its helicopters routinely assist with manhunts, pursuits and lifesaving emergencies.

Because a state trooper is a sworn peace officer, and although their primary duty is traffic enforcement, they assist in the aforementioned duties as they also can perform other law enforcement functions. Troopers are referred to as "members" if they are commissioned, sworn troopers and it is a breach of internal traditional protocol for a NC trooper to claim to "work for" the patrol. Rather, they are taught to proudly state: "I am a member of the Patrol" and refer to themselves only as "Trooper" NC Troopers bristle at being referred to as an "officer".

Since its inception in 1929, the NC State Highway Patrol has suffered the most deaths of any law enforcement agency in North Carolina, with 59 Troopers, Patrolmen and DMV Officers having been killed in the line of duty; a large proportion of those have been killed by gunfire. Traffic accidents and aircraft accidents also have claimed numerous lives. With the Patrol being a rather new police agency, this makes the per capita death rate even higher. The Title of Trooper was instituted in 1977, when women were admitted into the ranks and it is considered to be earned by completing and graduating from basic school. DMV Officers were absorbed into the NCSHP by a 2002 legislative change, with DMV enforcement section was previously a separate law enforcement agency. Troopers work alone in an assigned, take-home patrol car and often patrol desolate and isolated multi-county regions with no readily available back up. Training is harsh for recruit cadets to ensure they will be able to meet the rigors of working "the road" alone throughout North Carolina. Troopers serve at locations designated by the patrol commander or his designee. They can be transferred at state expense to any location in the state at any time. Additionally, troopers may pay their transfer expenses and transfer to a vacancy anywhere in the state, if approved by the appropriate commands. Troopers who resign and later are accepted to return to the Patrol must complete the entire basic school again. Several troopers have done so two or even three times in recent history.


Duties of the Highway Patrol

The State Highway Patrol shall be subject to such orders, rules and regulations as may be adopted by the Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety, with the approval of the Governor, and shall regularly patrol the highways of the State and enforce all laws and regulations respecting travel and the use of vehicles upon the highways of the State and all laws for the protection of the highways of the State. To this end, the members of the Patrol are given the power and authority of peace officers for the service of any warrant or other process issuing from any of the courts of the State having criminal jurisdiction, and are likewise authorized to arrest without warrant any person who, in the presence of said officers, is engaged in the violation of any of the laws of the State regulating travel and the use of vehicles upon the highways, or of laws with respect to the protection of the highways, and they shall have jurisdiction anywhere within the State, irrespective of county lines. The State Highway Patrol shall enforce the provisions of G.S. 14-399.

The State Highway Patrol shall have full power and authority to perform such additional duties as peace officers as may from time to time be directed by the Governor, and such officers may at any time and without special authority, either upon their own motion or at the request of any sheriff or local police authority, arrest persons accused of highway robbery, bank robbery, murder, or other crimes of violence. The only criminal offenses troopers may not make a warrantless arrest for by statute are non-traffic misdemeanors and non-highway crimes that occur out of the trooper's presence.

The clause of allowing for troopers to "have full power and authority to perform such additional duties as peace officers as may from time to time be directed by the Governor" gives the patrol the ability at the governor's orders to function as a de facto state police agency, though this clause has never fully implemented as an ongoing policy change.

Other famous ceremonies, crimes and incidents have resulted in massive trooper deployments to various locations statewide and even outside North Carolina. Troopers provide a large contingent at the ceremony inaugurating the NC Governor in Raleigh every 4 years and have worked civil protests in Warren County, when toxic waste was dumped at a waste site there in 1982. A mass force of troopers was deployed to suppress a bloody prison riot at Central Prison in Raleigh in the late 1960's. In the early to late 80's, troopers were deployed in contingents in excess of 500 to manhunts for suspects who murdered or shot troopers and officers in separate high-profile incidents in Halifax on two different occasions, one a prison escape from adjacent Virginia concluded in North Carolina, the other the murder of a trooper on a traffic stop. Other high-profile modern manhunts were conducted involving over 500 troopers in Haywood, Madison and Henderson Counties following murders or shootings of troopers in each case. The 1979 murder by rifle fire of 2 Rutherford County sheriffs deputies who answered a domestic disturbance call in Rutherford County near Rutherfordton also claimed the life of NC Trooper R. L. "Pete" Peterson, who was also shot and killed by the suspect after a brief chase. Peterson was unaware of the murder of the deputies and tried to stop the suspect thinking he was a speeder and not knowing he had just murdered 2 deputies. That incident also resulted in hundreds of troopers deploying to Rutherford County for a manhunt and was the largest one-day murder of peace officers in NC history. The tragedy inspired a motion picture "Rutherford County Line" and also changed the way domestic disputes were handled by law enforcement officers. The suspect in that case, James W. Hutchins, an unemployed textile worker and former Air Force rifle marksman, was the first NC inmate executed when the death penalty was reinstated by the US Supreme Court in 1977. The Halifax County escape incident was shown on the Discovery Channel in 2009.

9/11 response: The Governor mobilized a contingent of over 150 troopers and deployed them to Graham County in 1987 to assist state wildlife officers and federal forest service officers at a month-long mass gathering in the Nantahala National Forest, that overwhelmed the resources of the local sheriff. Over 100 troopers and a SHP helicopter from the Asheville airbase deployed to Avery County in 2003 for a standoff with a man charged with murdering an Avery County sheriff's lieutenant and wounding his partner. Troopers work security and traffic control annually at the NC State Fair in Raleigh and at the Western State Fair in Asheville. They also direct traffic at major college football games and at the Charlotte Motor Speedway NASCAR races. A large contingent of troopers were also used as a presence to deter unrest at a hearing at the Avery County Courthouse in Newland in 2000, when the Sheriff was dismissed from officer by a superior court judge, resulting in anger by the sheriff's supporters.

The entire sworn staff of the NC Highway Patrol was mobilized and alerted on September 11th, 2001, following terror attacks in VA, NYC and PA. The patrol was later tasked with being alert to safeguard nuclear plants, military installations and critical infrastructure in North Carolina. NC Troopers were also been given the distinction to be selected by the US government to deploy to Washington DC and be deputized as special deputy US Marshals, to assist with security at Presidential inaugurations.

Only the patrol's sister agency, the NC Alcohol Law Enforcement Agency (ALE) has true state police powers to enforce any state law anywhere in the state.

The Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety shall direct the officers and members of the State Highway Patrol in the performance of such other duties as may be required for the enforcement of the motor vehicle laws of the State.

Members of the State Highway Patrol, in addition to the duties, power and authority herein before given, shall have the authority throughout the State of North Carolina of any police officer in respect to making arrests for any crimes committed in their presence and shall have authority to make arrests for any crime committed on any highway.

Regardless of territorial jurisdiction, any member of the State Highway Patrol who initiates an investigation of an accident or collision may not relinquish responsibility for completing the investigation, or for filing criminal charges as appropriate, without clear assurance that another law-enforcement officer or agency has fully undertaken responsibility, and in such cases he shall render reasonable assistance to the succeeding officer or agency if requested.[5]

The NCSHP is the state's ready-response force and can mobilize at least 800 troopers anywhere in the state within 6 hours. Troopers are trained to respond to strikes, disasters, mass protests, riots and other emergencies. Troopers carry an assortment of issued equipment in their vehicles at all times. Troopers all carry a sidearm, a .12 gauge shotgun and in certain cases, semi or fully automatic weapons. Troopers also carry Oleoresin capsicum OC defensive spray, expandable baton and TASER electronic Control Device as defensive weapons, which they are trained to use. Troopers are "tased" at the basic school to carry the Taser and are sprayed with OC spray.

Troopers are issued individually assigned patrol vehicles which can be a motor cycle with trailer in addition to a patrol car, a patrol car only which may be marked and in some cases unmarked (no more than 17% of the SHP fleet can be unmarked) or SUV-type 4X4 vehicles, especially in mountain regions prone to bitter cold, ice and snow. Troopers' vehicles are routinely inspected along with equipment and troopers take pride in keeping their vehicles and equipment clean and functional. Each troop of the 8 headquarters complexes have a communications center (with certain outlying radio sub-centers in some areas) and patrol garages that solely care for and maintain trooper's vehicles and radios. The used patrol vehicles are well known in the state to be cared for and well-maintained and are sought after by smaller law enforcement agencies for bid purchase in a second life as a local police or county patrol car.

The NC Highway Patrol, like other state and county law enforcement agencies, does not have territorial jurisdiction on Cherokee Indian tribal lands in western North Carolina. Because this land is exclusively under federal law enforcement and tribal police jurisdiction, troopers who are assigned to that area are commissioned as "special officers" of the US Bureau of Indian Affairs, allowing them to assist tribal police and federal authorities as needed and to make arrests and issue citations in tribal or federal court. The Patrol also does not have jurisdiction on federal military installations in North Carolina except for concurrent jurisdiction on certain state highways that pass through Fort Bragg and on several inactive Marine Corps Airfields in the Eastern part of the State. The NCSHP has full police powers on the NC portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway, in all US Park Service and Wildlife Preserve lands and on all US Forest Service lands in North Carolina, with troopers often assisting US Park and Forest Service law enforcement rangers in the performance of their duties.

The patrol's state-wide radio system was the first such system in the state and was first one way and then two-way. Today, troopers use little verbal communication by radio and instead use mobile data terminals (MDT's) which include portable laptop computers which allows troopers to do collision reports, issue citations and other work electronically which is transmitted to area headquarters, alleviating hand-written reports. The NCSHP radio system is also used by other state agencies except the NC Wildlife Enforcement Division, which has its own state-wide radio system for wildlife officers and state park rangers. It is headquartered in Raleigh. Federal agencies such as the FBI, US Marshals and Secret Service also use the NCSHP radio system.


Established in 1929, the NC State Highway Patrol's mission is to reduce collisions and make the highways of North Carolina as safe as possible.[6]

North Carolina, like many Southern states, was distrusted by the federal government from starting a "state police" agency, due to concerns that the department would be used for political motives to intimidate blacks from voting in the late 1920s, a time when lynchings and Ku Klux Klan activities were on the rise following the end of World War I. The NC Sheriffs also did not want to lose power to a state police agency. These issues were alleviated by establishment of a traffic enforcement agency to police the ever-expanding highways and motor vehicles only. The original members of the Highway Patrol, the command staff, were sent to the Pennsylvania State Police Academy for training. Upon their graduation, they returned to North Carolina and established the first basic school at Camp Glenn, an abandoned World War I Army Camp in Morehead City where Carteret Memorial Hospital is now located. Several extra recruits were brought to the original basic school and were sent home as alternates, in the event that original members quit or were fired. Most of these men were never recalled to duty after 8 weeks of training. Over the years, the agency obtained semi-state police powers with the authority of the Governor to implement it, but this has never been fully done by any NC Governor.


In 1921, 150,558 motor vehicles were registered in North Carolina. By 1929, the number of registered vehicles increased to 503,590. As the number of vehicles increased, so did the number of people killed in traffic accidents: 690 deaths in 1929.

Traffic control was of such concern that in 1929 the General Assembly passed an act authorizing the establishment of a State Highway Patrol. The new organization was given statutory responsibility to patrol the highways of the state, enforce the motor vehicle laws, and assist the motoring public.

The organization was designed as a division of the State Highway Commission. The Highway Commission initially sent ten men (later designated as a captain and nine lieutenants) to Pennsylvania to attend the training school of the Pennsylvania State Police. Their mission was to study law, first aid, light adjustments, vehicle operation, and related subjects for use in North Carolina's first Patrol School.

An office was established in Raleigh to serve as state headquarters, and a district office was established in each of the nine highway districts. A lieutenant and three patrolmen were assigned to each district. All patrolmen were issued Harley Davidson motorcycles and the lieutenants drove Model A Ford Coupes. The Patrol commander was issued a Buick automobile. The new patrolmen and command staff made a cross-state introductory riding tour on July 1st, 1929 to show off the new agency's personnel to the state. On the following day, the first officer death occurred when a patrolman on a motorcycle in the procession was killed in a traffic collision. [7]


In 1931, the General Assembly increased the Patrol to 67 members and reduced the number of lieutenants to six. The Patrol was increased in size in 1933 to 121 members. Patrolmen were relieved of gasoline inspection duties and given responsibilities for issuing driver licenses and enforcing the new driver license laws. Without vehicular radios, patrolmen were issued rolls of dimes each week to call in for calls. If they arrrested a violator, they would hide their motorcycle in brush and drive an offender to the local jail.

All patrolmen were assigned individual vehicles in 1937, and during the same year the legislature authorized a statewide radio system for the purpose of coordinating operations and improving the efficiency of the Highway Patrol. Numerous executive, legislative, and administrative changes have occurred since the Patrol's creation. The duties and responsibilities have varied, different ranks have been designated, and the organizational structure has been modified to improve efficiency.

In World War II, a number of Patrolmen were recalled to active duty, having served in World War I and/or the Guard or Reserves. Patrolmen assisted in being alert for saboteurs and spies by reporting suspicious activity to the FBI. Deserters and AWOLS were also arrested. By 1946, all personnel on military status had returned to duty with the Patrol.

As of 2008, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol had an authorized strength of over 1,800 sworn law enforcement officers.

In 2008, the NC State Highway Patrol arrested 23,199 people for Driving While Impaired, seized $10 million worth of drugs, and investigated 1,081 fatalities on North Carolina highways. The Motor Carrier unit fined thousands of truck drivers for various violations.[8]

Rank structure

The NC Highway Patrol is a paramilitary organization, with a rank structure similar to that of the armed forces. Rank denotes grade while title denotes special duties. Not all special duties include a title. Title is reserved for more permanent, semi-permanent or time period assigned assignments or skills, while some duties and assignments are adjunct to primary duty and may be part of the trooper's duties for much of or all of his-her career.

The ranks of Captain and above are appointed by the Governor and exempt from the jurisdiction of the State Personnel Commission. Commissioned officers of the patrol with ranks of lieutenant or higher have gold badges, while first sergeants and below have silver badges. All titles of rank are now reflected on the trooper's badge.

  • Colonel (Col.): The commanding officer of the NCSHP holds the rank of Colonel and is appointed by the governor. The title of commander corresponds with silver eagles collar or shoulder insignia. This title is also reflected on the trooper's badge. The Colonel must be by statute, a graduate of SHP basic school and meet all hiring requirements for rank-and-file troopers. This law was passed to ensure rank-and-file patrol personnel rose to command positions and to prevent non-qualified civililans from being appointed as a commander by politicians for political motives. It was considered for change after a series of commanders were replaced in a short period of time in recent years, but no such changes were actually made by the state legislature.
  • Lieutenant Colonel (Lt. Col.): The deputy commanders (up to three) hold the rank of lieutenant colonel, with silver oak leaf clusters collar or shoulder insignia. This title is also reflected on the trooper's badge.
  • Major (Maj.): Each zone (half of the state) and various other positions have a major in charge or command, with gold oak leaf clusters as collar or shoulder insignia. This title is also reflected on the trooper's badge.
  • Captain (Capt.): Each of the troops and certain other units is commanded by a captain, with double silver bars as collar or shoulder insignia. This title is also reflected on the trooper's badge.
  • Lieutenant (Lt.): Each troop has two deputy commanders, a lieutenant with a single silver bar as collar or shoulder insignia. This title is also reflected on the trooper's badge.
  • Warrant Officer (WO): This is a no-longer used rank that was given to pilots on the NCSHP, with a silver bar with a black vertical strip in the middle as collar or shoulder insignia. This rank was abolished in the late 1980s.
  • First Sergeant (F/Sgt.): Each district within a troop is supervised by a first sergeant. A first sergeant's insignia is three chevrons up, three rockers down, with a French lozenge (diamond) in the middle . The collar insignia is silver, while the embroidered sleeve insignia is black on a yellow background. The stripes are worn below the agency patch on the sleeve of the coat, shirt and coveralls. This title is also reflected on the trooper's badge.
  • Sergeant: Each district has 3-8 sergeants. Their insignia is three chevrons on the sleeve, pointing up. A sergeant supervises a team of troopers. This title is also reflected on the trooper's badge.
  • Master Trooper (M/Tpr): This title is reflected on the trooper's badge.
  • Senior Trooper (S/Tpr): This title is reflected on the trooper's badge.
  • Trooper (Tpr): This title is reflected on the trooper's badge and after two years of service following completion of basic school, the trooper is authorized to wear an attachment bar under the nameplate denoting "serving since" with the year joined the NCSHP.
  • Probationary Trooper: This title is reflected as "Trooper" on the badge, but the probationary trooper is the lowest sworn rank of the NCSHP. The new trooper completes probation after one year of service, following graduation from the basic school.

Vehicles and uniforms

Vehicles and agency colors: By NC Statute, all NCSHP patrol vehicles must be black and silver to be considered marked, though up to 17% of patrol vehicles can be unmarked. Many Interstate patrol vehicles are black and silver but now have only a small trooper seal on the door, no marking panels and no roof light bars. These vehicles are considered "low-profile" for better use in traffic enforcement. The vehicle color scheme is historically similar to the uniform of gray and black, a historic reference to the gray of the Confederacy and the black of the damage done by the fires of the Civil War.

NCSHP Officers were originally titled as "Patrolmen" and were not called "Troopers" until 1977, when females were accepted to patrol School.

Of the uniform items, only the trooper's hat badge, a diamond-shaped badge and dress coat collar insignia (NC state seals) have remained unchanged since 1929.

Merger with DMV Enforcement

Until 2002, there were two state-run law enforcement entities patrolling the highways of North Carolina; the Highway Patrol and the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles Enforcement Section. This branch of the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles, which itself is a division of the North Carolina Department of Transportation, was primarily responsible for ticketing and weighing commercial traffic, and enforcing federal motor carrier laws on truckers. DMV Enforcement was structured similar to the Highway Patrol, with districts and even similar model patrol cars (DMV Enforcement cars were light blue and white with "State Owned" license plates, as opposed to the gray and black Highway Patrol colors and Highway Patrol license plate). This division, also, ran the state's interstate weigh stations and patrolled state rest areas. Over the years some tension and animosity developed between the two agencies because of their overlapping authority, since both agencies, ultimately, had the power to pull over all vehicular traffic in the state and write citations. After several scandals and a multitude of state and federal corruption violations rocked the DMV and its Enforcement Division, the state finally decided to restructure the Division of Motor Vehicles and concluded that the Highway Patrol and DMV Enforcement were in fact too similar and more money could be saved by having one agency performing all highway law enforcement duties. DMV Enforcement was merged into the Highway Patrol, and is presently run as the Motor Carrier Enforcement Section of the Highway Patrol.

Former DMV supervisory and command personnel such as sergeants, lieutenants, captains and majors kept their rank when they merged with the NCSHP, though they were originally prohibited from commanding troopers. Also, a number of DMV officers in various positions had been fired previously as troopers and were resented upon returning to the SHP, with some troopers commonly referring to them disparagingly as "trooper-rejects". They were issued badges and vehicle markings different from troopers. After all of these officers completed a special trooper conversion training course, they were fully integrated into the NCSHP chain-of-command and rank structure and given the title of trooper. That move, which included a special DMV officer-only basic course was referred to by irate troopers as the "instant trooper" or "shake and bake" basic school. All of these factors combined to cause additional resentment with basic school graduate troopers. That merger caused some troopers to lose placement to DMV officers for seniority as troopers and for promotional purposes and hence, some tension still lingers somewhat to date. Overall, the integration process has largely transitioned completely.

Though the NC Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) under the NC Department of Transportation (DOT) transferred the weight and commercial vehicle law enforcement uniformed officer personnel to the Highway Patrol in 2003, the DMV Inspectors, plainclothes special agents were retained under DMV in the License and Theft Bureau. These officers "Inspectors" are tasked with investigation of motor vehicle title fraud and investigation, motor Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) alteration, motor vehicle safety inspection sticker fraud, license and theft investigations, drivers license fraud and related identity theft, along with other similar crimes. These officers have general police powers related to their duties and are empowered to enforce traffic laws throughout the state. They have the same territorial jurisdiction as troopers. All NC weight scale stations are now staffed by uniformed NC troopers.

North Carolina Center for Missing Persons

As of November 2009, the NC Center for Missing Persons merged into the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. The N.C. Center for Missing Persons serves as the clearinghouse for information regarding missing children and adults and is charged with issuing AMBER Alerts and Silver Alerts. Each year, more than 10,000 people are reported missing to the N.C. Center for Missing Persons. The problems of non-custodial abductions, runaways, stranger abductions, and missing adults transcend socio-economic, racial and ethnic boundaries. Reasons for these disappearances may include problems at home, health or mental issues, snags with the law, or a taste for adventure. Most eventually return or are found by law enforcement officers and do not involve foul play. Many adults who disappear do not want to be found, or they may have other problems such as memory loss, mental illness, or a history of drug use or alcoholism. Since its creation in 1985, the Center has worked with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to locate missing persons and reunite them with their families. North Carolina is one of the few states with a clearinghouse for missing adults as well as children.[9]


Highway Patrol Commander: Colonel Michael W. Gilchrist

  • Deputy Commander: Lt/Colonel Wellington R. Scott
    • Director, Professional Standards: Major Jennifer A. Harris
      • Inspections Unit
      • Grants Unit
      • Accreditation and Quality Management Unit
      • Research and Planning Unit
      • Internal Affairs Unit
    • Director, Training[10]: Major Troy E. Butler
  • Director, Field Operations: Lt/Colonel Gary L. Bell
    • Director, Troop Operations: Major Alvin L. Coley
    • Director, Special Operations & Motor Carrier Enforcement: Major Patricia A. Poole

The NC Highway Patrol is broken down in geographical areas known as troops. These troops are lettered A through H, The troops are broken down further by district. These districts are responsible for anywhere from 1-5 counties depending on geographic size.

Troop/District Location County(ies)
A1 Kill Devil Hills Dare and Currituck
A2 Ahoskie Bertie, Gates and Hertford
A3 Elizabeth City Pasquotank, Chowan, Perquimans and Camden
A4 Washington Beaufort, Washington, Tyrrell and Hyde
A5 Greenville Pitt and Martin
A6 New Bern Craven and Pamlico
A7 Kinston Lenoir and Jones
A8 Morehead City Carteret
B1 Fayetteville Cumberland
B2 Clinton Sampson
B3 Jacksonville Onslow
B4 Kenansville Duplin and Pender
B5 Whiteville Bladen and Columbus
B6 Wilmington Brunswick and New Hanover
B7 Lumberton Robeson
B8 Lillington Harnett
C1 Rocky Mount Edgecombe and Nash
C2 Goldsboro Wayne
C3 Raleigh Wake
C4 Henderson Franklin, Warren and Vance
C5 Wilson Greene and Wilson
C6 Smithfield Johnston
C7 Durham Durham and Granville
C8 Roanoke Rapids Halifax and Northampton
D1 Siler City Chatham and Lee
D2 Greensboro Guilford
D3 Reidsville Rockingham
D4 Roxboro Caswell and Person
D5 Graham Alamance
D6 Asheboro Randolph
D7 Hillsborough Orange
E1 Lexington Davidson
E2 Albemarle Montgomery and Stanly
E3 Salisbury Davie and Rowan
E4 Winston Salem Forsyth and Stokes
E5 Elkin Surry and Yadkin
E6 Concord Cabarrus
F1 Morganton Burke
F2 Wilkesboro Alleghany, Ashe and Wilkes
F3 Lenoir Caldwell and Watauga
F4 Statesville Alexander and Iredell
F5 Hickory Catawba and Lincoln
G1 Burnsville Avery, Madison, Mitchell and Yancey
G2 Marion McDowell and Rutherford
G3 Hendersonville Henderson, Polk and Transylvania
G4 Asheville Buncombe
G5 Waynesville Haywood and Jackson
G6 Bryson City Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Macon and Swain
H1 Gastonia Gaston
H2 Hamlet Richmond, Scotland
H3 Monroe Union, Anson
H4 Shelby Cleveland
H5 Charlotte Mecklenburg
H6 Aberdeen Moore, Hoke


The NC Highway Patrol Basic School for cadets with no prior law enforcement training is twenty-nine weeks long. The basic school is located on Garner Road in Raleigh and cadets live in the paramilitary setting for the duration of the course. Cadets who are already trained as officers attend an abbreviated portion of the course, which caused some resentment with veteran troopers when the program began. During this intensive training the cadet class will typically lose 40% of its members. It is in this live-in environment where the cadets learn about state and federal laws, firearms marksmanship, and high speed driving. Early every morning the cadets rise, rain or shine, for physical fitness training before starting a full day of classroom instruction. The cadets will form a tight-knit bond and learn to never leave one another "in the ditch".

Following these months of effort, the cadets are sworn in as Probationary Troopers and are assigned to their respective troops and districts. Once in their assigned district, they will participate in on-the-job training for an additional twelve weeks with an experienced trooper who is trained as a Field Training Officer, or FTO.

Special facilities: In addition to the Basic School on Garner Road in Raleigh, located on the site of the old Governor Morehead School for the blind, the Patrol also operates a pursuit driving training track in Raleigh, to simulate interstate and highway driving and pursuit driving, at high and low speed. Other law enforcement agencies also train at this facility.

In addition to the Training Center located at the former Governor Morehead School for blind children which is shared with the State Bureau of Investigation on Garner Road in Raleigh, the NCSHP has also used the Main NC Justice Academy (NCJA) Campus at Salemburg in Sampson County and the NCJA Western Campus at Edneyville in Henderson County as training schools for basic cadet classes when the main campus is full. In-service training is also conducted at these locations for troopers in the field annually, to update personnel on agency and legal changes, as well as to meet state-mandated training requirements.

Prior to the establishment of the current trooper basic school in Raleigh in 1977, the NCSHP used the Institute of Government (IOG) campus at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill for a basic school, which also trained NC Wildlife Enforcement Officers. Other locations for early training schools were in Hendersonville, Henderson County and in Morehead City, on the location of an old World War I old Army camp, Camp Glenn, where Carteret General Hospital is now located in Carteret County. The current training center was taken over by the Highway Patrol in the 1970s with half of the campus operated by the NC State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) for administrative officer.

Special duty assignments on the NC Highway Patrol

Polygrapher: Specially trained and certified troopers conduct polygraph exams for pre-employment screening of applicants, employees and in certain internal investigations.

Accident reconstructionist: Specially trained investigators handle major or complex traffic collision investigations such as major damage, serious or multiple injury or any fatality. Reconstruction is a phase beyond reporting and investigation, which general troopers handle.

Law enforcement dog handler: Specially trained troopers handle SHP drug detection dogs.

Internal affairs investigator: Specially trained sergeants and lieutenants conduct investigations into misconduct (serious violations of SHP policies and minor criminal offenses) involving SHP sworn personnel. Minor incidents are investigated by immediate supervisors, while more serious and firing offenses are handled by internal affairs. Trooper-involved shootings and serious internal criminal matters are generally investigated by agents of the NC State Bureau of Investigation (SBI).

Instructors: All NCSHP instructors must complete the NC Criminal Justice Training and Standards Commission "Instructor" course of 80-hours to be a general instructor or any specialized instructor. These can include the following: Instructor rating: This person trains troopers and other personnel on basic courses at in-service annual training or for cadets in basic school.

PT Instructor-specially-trained, state-certified trooper instructors train cadets at the basic school for fitness and general daily training life.

Firearms Instructor-Specially-trained, state-certified trooper instructors, proficient with firearms, train cadets and sworn personnel in initial and semi-annual firearms qualification training and retrains personnel on new firearms as they are adopted.

Time-distance instructor: Trains and recertifies troopers in use of speed measurement instrument (SMI) instruments (RADAR, LIDAR and VASCAR to state standards.

Driving instructor-Specially-trained, state-certified trooper instructors, proficient in vehicle operation, train cadets and other agency personnel in pursuit driving on the NCSHP's pursuit driving track in Raleigh.

Pilot-Pilots of the NCSHP are FAA-certified Commercial/Instrument rated helicopter pilots and fly the Patrol's Bell 206 JetRanger, Bell OH-58A+ and Bell 407 helicopters from the various aviation centers throughout the state. The aircraft are used in pursuits, manhunts, rescues, training and other critical missions. Pilots respond to requests for aviation based mutual aid from Federal, State and Local public safety officials throughout North Carolina. Therefore, pilots are generally not expected to perform vehicular traffic enforcement. Pilots have a wing insignia on their uniform and wear flight suits for flying duty. Pilots are assigned an unmarked patrol car to drive to and from the aviation bases and are not expected to routinely make enforcement contacts and stops. The patrol made headlines in 1994, when a patrol helicopter assisted Gaston county and Gastonia city police officers in a fierce gunbattle in a suburban housing area. The helicopter was hit several times and a trooper copilot returned fire with a rifle from the helicopter. The suspect, a murder suspect committed suicide in that incident.

Motorcycle: Specially trained troopers patrol on motorcycles and must complete US Park Police motorcycle officer training. They are issued a marked car, trailer and motorcycle. Motorcycle officers wear a wheel and wing insignia on their uniform, high boots and helmet while on motorcycle duty. These select troopers attend the US Park Police motorcycle training unit's basic school to be on the "bike" units.

Administrative or training center assignments: These troopers and other personnel are assigned to the training center or other non-enforcement duties.

Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT's): Certain troopers are trained as NC-certified EMT-Basic level (EMT-B).

Executive security: A select and specially trained detail of Troopers is assigned to protect the Governor's Mansion in Raleigh and to drive and protect the Governor and his/her immediate family or other designated VIP's. These troopers also augment the US Secret Service during Presidential or VIP visits to North Carolina. They receive special training from the US Secret Service.

SWAT-The NCSHP no longer maintains a tactical arm, though it did have a sniper program through the mid-1980s.

The SHP also has an honor guard and a caisson team to carry caskets for fallen members who receive a formal burial. These select troopers wear special dress uniforms and white gloves. This team was trained by the US Army's "Old Guard" honor guard at Ft. Myer Va.

Drivers licensing: NC Troopers originally gave driver license tests in the early years of the patrol. After World War II, this task is now done by DMV license examiners, though they often share facilities with the NCSHP.

Fallen officers

The NC State Highway Patrol has a fallen trooper memorial monument at the training center, with the names of all troopers, patrolmen and enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty since the agency was chartered on July 1, 1929. The first Trooper to die in the line of duty was killed on the first day the agency was chartered in a collision during a statewide ride to introduce the new officers to the state. The first trooper murdered in the line of duty was in 1937. As of May 2009, since July 1, 1929, 59 NC Highway Patrol members; patrolmen, troopers and enforcement officers have died in the line of duty: 4 by aircraft accident, 13 by automobile accident, 1 by drowning, 19 by gunfire, 1 by heart attack, 5 by motorcycle accident, 1 struck by vehicle, 12 in pursuits and 3 by vehicular assault.[11]

CONTROVERSY: In recent years, scandals have damaged the image and rocked the once sterling reputation of the NC Highway Patrol. Veteran troopers claimed that a lowering of recruitment standards was a move of "political-correctness" to recruit and retain unqualified minorities and females. The absorption as troopers of the DMV personnel, who were notorious for having bad and substandard officers in their ranks further fueled this problem. Already-trained local officers and DMV personnel were not required to complete a true basic school but were instead only made to attend an abbreviated and easy-to complete training course that veteran troopers derisively referred to as "instant-trooper" or "shake-n-bake" basic schools, which many felt let substandard personnel into the ranks. Many such substandard troopers later rose to sergeant and lieutenant rank or higher, making the problem systemic and difficult, if not impossible to remedy. The uproar over patrol scandals reached fever pitch with the NC general public in 2010. Notorious malfeasance incidents included:

  • In 1983, a sergeant in Craven County was involved in a pursuit-related collision in a residential neighborhood, killing 2 elderly women who backed out of their driveway. He did not have his siren on at the time to give reasonable warning. He was not dismissed and later rose to the rank of captain and was allowed to drive across several districts each day to troop headquarters in Greenville from him home in Carteret County, a violation of the policy at the time.
  • In the mid-1980s, a district first sergeant in District 1 of Troop G (Burnsville) was dismissed after a State Bureau of Investigation probe revealed he had ties to the Ku Klux Klan and Nazis and for theft of state property that he allegedly sold to unsuspecting local police officers and deputies. He had been investigated for among other incidents, saying in uniform while on-duty to subordinates that handicapped persons should be euthanized, resulting in a subordinate sergeant with a handicapped family member attempting to strike him and being restrained. He was also reported to have stated that he most admired Adolph Hitler and he allegedly struck a doctor at a Cherokee County hospital years earlier. When troopers complained, no action was taken against him and half a dozen troopers were instead forced to resign. Because of alleged politics, he was never prosecuted and though he was ultimately dismissed, he was later reinstated on a procedural issue. In 1987, that same district first sergeant who was by then district supervisor in District 4 of Troop G, his home county of Buncombe (Asheville), was investigated by the patrol and US labor department for forcing a trooper to resign in retaliation for his reserve membership. The incident reached high levels of patrol command and a senior zone major who was at the time the patrol's 3rd ranking officer, personally threatened to have the trooper fired for contacting the governor's office. The trooper in question was the only reservist in that district at the time. The patrol changed its guard and reserve policy to mirror federal law the day after the trooper's resignation was effective, but the patrol also denied there was a connection between events, stating the change had been "in the works" for months. The sergeant in question was not disciplined in that incident and retired as a lieutenant. He later became an assistant chief of police the all-white, wealthy town of Biltmore Forest NC in Buncombe County.
  • In the early 1990's a patrol commander with only a high school equivalency certificate was in command of the agency and making over $130,000.00 at the time. He was implicated in a stolen vehicle parts ring. He resigned but were not charged and became a vocal supporter of future NC Governor Bev Perdue.
  • More recently, ranking officers such as a captain, lieutenant and first sergeant were dismissed or resigned after drunken driving allegations or arrests.
  • Since 2008, high-profile incidents have included troopers who have been charged with felony perjury in court, felony hit and run, domestic violence, indecent exposure, drug possession, and a particularly outrageous case involved a patrol major who was public information officer and tasked with reporting patrol information and response to reports of misconduct to the media. The major who was married, was dismissed for having an affair with a civilian subordinate employee who was also married.
  • NC Governor Bev Perdue was a state senator in 2006 when she was involved in a minor collision in wake County. Despite a policy stating troopers shall issue citations in such cases. Perdue, a vocal supporter of the highway patrol, was not cited and her accident was investigated by an internal affairs lieutenant, not a rank-and-file trooper, which was unheard of and a violation of state policy. Perdue was rumored to have promised certain troopers promotions and to increase the patrol's budget if she was elected governor and this scenario proved true. This and other incidents involving Perdue's mismanagement of state government and the highway patrol in particular, played a role in making her one of the least-popular US Governors in recent times.
  • Since 2010, numerous troopers have been highlighted for adultery which in years past was jokingly referred to ny rank-and-file troopers as a "fringe benefit of membership in the NCSHP". The newly appointed commander, COl Randy Glover promised enforcement of "high ethical standards in trooper ranks" but it was learned shortly after his appointment, that Glover himself had been disciplined for adultery 20 years earlier after having an adulterous relationship with a married sheriff's office employee in Craven County NC. His discipline was overturned and he was transferred at the request of his close lifelong friend, then-senator Bev Perdue, who would later appoint him as commander when she was elected governor. Troopers questioned how such a person could have the moral authority for command when he too was guilty of the very transgression he was chastising troopers for. After a week of media uproar surrounding Glover's past record and his appointment and leadership, Perdue became loud and hostile with shocked reporters and refused to answer questions at a news conference. She then cut the conference short and stormed off stage when asked about the circumstances and disparity in that situation. Glover, who was derisively referred to by rank-and-file troopers as "backseat randy" (a joking reference to rumors that many troopers had sex in the backseat of their patrol cars) also ultimately resigned. Troopers who had been dismissed for adultery then filed appeals that continue.
  • A trooper was dismissed and charged with raping female illegal immigrants while on traffic stops.
  • A sergeant was dismissed and later reinstated for abusing a police dog he was training. He claimed the training was legitimate to instill aggression in the sniff and attack dog. This highly publicizeed incident resulted in restructuring the SHP cannine program by moving to only sniff and detect drug dogs, vs. attack dogs.

((Source: WRAL, Raleigh News and Observer, Asheville Citizen Times and NC Highway Patrol))

In Popular Culture:

  • In the famous 1958 cult classic and famous movie "Thunder Road" mega-famous Actor Robert Mitchum references to having to stay ahead of "patrolmen" as he portrays a Korean War veteran and bootlegger who routinely outruns federal revenue agents. The movie was largely depicted in the plot to be in Tennessee and Kentucky, but also was .shot on the Blue Ridge Parkway and in Asheville.
  • In the famous Andy Griffith sitcom series in the 1960s, North Carolina State Patrolmen in non-authentic uniforms are depicted as "the NC State Police" which is and was non-existent, in numerous episodes, including the famous episodes "Jailbreak", "Barney gets his man" and "Manhunt". In Jailbreak, patrolmen are frustrated with Andy Griffith's character Sheriff Andy Taylor and his bumbling and inept cousin, deputy Barney Fife who eventually earns their respect. In Barney gets his man, Barney unintentionally arrests a fugitive and is praised by patrolmen. In Manhunt, he allows a state prisoner to escape while being temporarily held in the Mayberry Jail and Taylor is chastised by state police detective Horton, portrayed by famous character actor Ken Lynch who tells Taylor to stick to "chicken thieves". When Andy and Barney finally capture the fugitives and free Horton who had been kidnapped by the fugitives, Taylor says "Well Mr. Horton, it looks like we caught ourselves some chicken thieves". Lynch also portrayed a uniformed state police Captain Baker in the Manhunt episode. In later episodes of the series, the patrolmen are depicted in generally correct uniforms for the era, but are still erroneously referred to as state police. When the "State police commander" visits Andy he is in somewhat correct uniform and admonishes him about his privately owned laundromat interfering with his duties as sheriff. In reality, as a protocol, no trooper or agent or even a commander unless a close personal friend would ever chastise a powerful elected local sheriff about his private business. Additionally, a patrolman would have been assigned to the area of fictitious Mayberry County and should have been a recurring character in the show, not only appearing in times of crisis. Several other characters as "state police detectives" appear several times, who would have actually been State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) agents, not members of the highway patrol which has never had "detectives".
  • In the movie 1973 "Where the Lillies bloom", which was filmed in Avery and Watauga Counties of the NC mountains, the highway patrol is referenced when the character of 15-year-old Mary Call Luther is warned by family members not to drive without a license, because "the state patrolmen will lock her up".
  • The NC Highway Patrol was depicted the 1987 movie "Rutherford County Line" which detailed the life of the late long-serving Rutherford County Sheriff Damon Huskey and the murder of 2 of his deputies (one was his half-brother). The film also showed some of the life and murder of Trooper R.L. "Pete" Peterson and other troopers in the manhunt that followed the murders. Peterson, who was nicknamed "super trooper", was also slain in the incident, was the largest one-day murder loss of peace officers in NC history, which resulted in the suspect James W. Hutchins, being NC's first inmate to be executed in March of 1984 at Central Prison in Raleigh. That incident, now referred to as the infamous "Rutherford County tragedy" also changed the way that domestic disturbance responses were conducted by peace officers in NC.
  • In the 80's TV series "Matlock" starring Andy Griffith, which was often shot in Dare County NC on NC's outer banks and in the Wilmington-New Hanover County area, actual NC troopers often were seen in the shooting scenes and in the background.
  • In the 1994 movie "Nell", starring actress Jodie Foster, which was filmed in the Western NC mountains of Graham County, the character of Sheriff Nick Searcy is played by NC native and actor Todd Peterson who whose character refers to contacting the highway patrol for assistance on several occasions.
  • NC State Troopers are depicted in the 1994 made-for-TV movie "Bitter Blood" which recounted the tragic 1985 high-speed chase by Forsyth County sheriff's deputies, the NC SBI and NC troopers after a kidnapping suspect who was a phony doctor, portrayed by actor Harry Hamlin and his cousin-lover, portrayed by actress Kelly Mcgillis, committed suicide by detonating a powerful bomb in their vehicle while being chased by officers, following a gun battle in an apartment complex. The blast also killed his lovers tow young sons. The extras in the movie were not real NC troopers, as evidenced by one having a moustache. NC troopers are not allowed to have any facial hair by regulations.
  • NC State Troopers were shown manning an Interstate weight station on Interstate 85 near Charlotte in the 1998 motion picture "Black Dog" starring the late actor Patrick Swayze and singer Meatloaf. Extras played the troopers and this was not a realistic portrayal of NC troopers, because at that time, NC weight stations were manned by uniformed NC Division of Motor Vehicles enforcement officers, though troopers do now man the weight stations after the 2002 merger of DMV enforcement with the highway patrol.
  • NC State Troopers appear in the 1999 Hanibal Lecter movie trilogy thriller "Hannibal" with actual troopers from Troop "G" in Asheville portraying themselves as extras. The movie started Julianne Moore and Anthony Hopkins. In the film's plot, the NC troopers swarm en masse to the massive estate of villain and Lecter victim, Mason Verger to search to see if the millionaire deviant has kidnapped the anti-hero Dr. Lecter. The real location was depicted off US Highway 25 in Asheville NC at the famous Biltmore Estate, the largest private home in the US. The portrayal of troopers searching a house is not realistic. The the local police or sheriff in jurisdiction of the estate portrayal would have done so in reality, thought troopers could possibly have been authorized to assist at the local officers request.
  • NC Troopers appear on regular state-funded public service commercials in North Carolina, warning motorists to refrain from drinking and driving, to use seat belts and child safety seats and not to speed and not to speed near stopped emergency vehicles with the emergency lights flashing.

Source: Internet Movie Database).

See also

Portal icon North Carolina portal
Portal icon Law enforcement/Law enforcement topics portal


  1. ^ [1] NC Crime Control & Public Safety Website
  2. ^ [2] Volunteers in Police Service Website
  3. ^ 2007 Population Estimates
  4. ^ a b USDOJ Statistics
  5. ^
  6. ^ North Carolina State Highway Patrol Website,000014
  7. ^ North Carolina State Highway Patrol Website,000014,000721
  8. ^ [3] NC Department of Crime Control & Public Safety Website
  9. ^ [4] NC Department of Crime Control & Public Safety Website
  10. ^ [5] North Carolina State Highway Patrol Website
  11. ^ North Carolina State Highway Patrol Retirees Website

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужна курсовая?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • North Carolina Department of Transportation — (NCDOT) Agency overview Formed 1979 Preceding agencies …   Wikipedia

  • Highway patrol — A highway patrol is either a police agency created primarily for the purpose of overseeing and enforcing traffic safety compliance on roads and highways, such as the California Highway Patrol, or a detail within an existing local or regional… …   Wikipedia

  • North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety — The North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety is an umbrella agency that carries out many of the state s law enforcement, emergency response and homeland security functions. The department was created in 1977. It is headed by a …   Wikipedia

  • North Dakota Highway Patrol — North Dakota State Highway Patrol Abbreviation NDHP Patch of the North Dakota State Highway Patrol …   Wikipedia

  • Ohio State Highway Patrol — Abbreviation OSHP Patch of the Ohio State Highway Patrol …   Wikipedia

  • Missouri State Highway Patrol — Abbreviation MSHP Patch of the Missouri State Highway Patrol …   Wikipedia

  • List of law enforcement agencies in North Carolina — This is a list of law enforcement agencies in the state of North Carolina. State Agencies * North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement Agency [,000005] * North Carolina Department of Correction * North …   Wikipedia

  • North Dakota State Capitol — The North Dakota State Capitol is the house of government of the U.S. state of North Dakota. The Capitol, a 19 story tower, is located in Bismarck at 600 East Boulevard Avenue, on a 160 acre (0.6 km2) campus that is the site of many other… …   Wikipedia

  • State police — are a type of sub national territorial police force, particularly in Australia and the United States. Some other countries have analogous police forces, such as the provincial police in some Canadian provinces, while in other places, the same… …   Wikipedia

  • List of North Carolina-related topics — The following is a list of topics about the U.S. State of North Carolina. NOTOC compactTOC4 0–9*12th State to ratify the Constitution of the United States of AmericaA [ 100 counties of the State of North Carolina] *Adjacent states: **Commonwealth …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”