WHITEVILLE, NC (WECT) – A Whiteville native was named Tuesday as acting commander of the State Highway Patrol. Lt. Col. Gary Bell, of Whiteville, succeeds Col. Michael Gilchrist who is retiring Feb. 1.
"Bell has a breadth of experience and demonstrated leadership skills that make him well-suited for this assignment. He has garnered the respect of his peers as he has risen through the ranks of the patrol over the past 27 years," said Kieran Shanahan, Department of Public Safety secretary. "I have confidence in Commander Bell's abilities and am grateful for his willingness to serve."
According to a press release, Bell has been responsible for overseeing all statewide field operations for the SHP over the past two years. Before that, he managed the patrol's Professional Standards Section and commanded Troop B.
"I am honored to be given this opportunity by Secretary Shanahan and look forward to reaffirming the high ethical, moral and professional standards expected of the patrol," said Lt. Col. Bell, who has been with the patrol since 1986.
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