RALEIGH, N.C. — Gov. Bev Perdue had tough talk Wednesday about a spate of behavioral problems at the N.C. Highway Patrol, saying she will have no tolerance for troopers who drive drunk, have sex on duty or assault women.
She said that all troopers will get ethics training and sign a code of conduct. And the governor stood steadfastly by the agency's commander, Col. Randy Glover.
Perdue assigned Glover and Secretary of Crime Control Reuben Young to provide her with a plan within 60 days to restructure the patrol's leadership, which she said had become too concentrated in the state capital. Young and Glover will also visit each of the patrol's eight district troops within the next two weeks to reinforce the governor's "zero tolerance" message.
Perdue spoke after meeting with about 160 patrol supervisors from across the state who had assembled in Raleigh. She was in the closed-door meeting with the troopers less than 23 minutes, where she said she told them about "the new normal in North Carolina."
"I just said to them very directly and very plainly, that perception is reality in North Carolina," Perdue said, facing a bank of television cameras. "Although I continue to believe that 99.9 percent of the men and women of the North Carolina Highway Patrol are doing tremendous work for the people of North Carolina, that small percentage that we read or hear about every day are killing the image of the patrol."
The problem troopers include a major who resigned after sending sexually explicit text messages; a captain fired for drunken driving; a sergeant fired for abusing his canine partner; a master trooper who resigned after a charges of drunken driving and felony hit and run; and others dismissed or forced to resign for shooting a cat, lying in court and being investigated in the sexual assault of a motorist.
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