Mother's murder drives new Highway Patrol commander
As Col. Glenn McNeill prepares to take the helm of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, he is confident he's not alone in his journey. "She's with me right now," the 46-year-old McNeill said Wednesday of his mother, who was murdered in his hometown of Reidsville when he was 10 years old. Her killer was never caught. "As a result of that investigation, that's why I wanted to be a North Carolina state trooper," said McNeill, who will be sworn in Friday morning at the State Capitol as the patrol's latest commander. He succeeds Col. William Grey, who retired last month after four years in charge. "I'm never going to forget where I come from. I don't think I'm worthy to be sitting in this position," McNeill said. "I'm still a poor, black kid from Reidsville, North Carolina. That's how I view and see myself. My history with the patrol is going to be present with me and is going to inform all of the decisions I make as commander of the Highway Patrol." A 24-year veteran of the patrol, he started out in Durham and gradually worked his way up the ranks, most recently serving as the agency's director of training. Improved training remains a priority for him, as are better pay and new equipment for troopers and increased enforcement of motor carrier regulations and illegal drug trafficking. "How do you put our troopers, who are doing a very dangerous job, in the position to be successful?" he asked. "That's through training.” The patrol will undergo a complete policy and procedure assessment in hopes of restoring accreditation, he said. "I'm going to hold them accountable because we are ambassadors for our state. The bar's going to be set very, very high," he said. He said he also wants to build trust with the public. "We're up to the challenge, and we're going to do our very best to make sure that the relationship that we maintain in the community that we serve is a positive one," he said. As McNeill takes on the challenge, he said his law enforcement dream never leaves him, nor does the mother he lost. "This is all I've ever wanted to do is be a North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper," he said.
Mother reunites with New Jersey State Troopers who helped deliver her baby
A mother reunited with the state troopers who helped her deliver her newborn baby. NBC10 was at the Port Norris State Police Barracks Tuesday as the troopers held Ka'Niah Williams."If it wasn't for them, I don't even know if she would be here," Ka'Niah's mother Deshyamma Dalton said. "I'm thankful. I'm really thankful." On January 19, Deshyamma Dalton needed help. In labor with her baby girl, Dalton desperately pulled into the parking lot of the Port Norris State Police Barracks, a decision that may have saved her child. Four state troopers rushed to her aid and helped deliver her daughter in the back of her van. The baby arrived just seconds after Dalton pulled into the parking lot. On Tuesday Dalton returned to the same place Ka’Niah’s life began to give thanks to the troopers who came to the rescue. During the reunion, everyone was thankful the scene was much calmer. “It was nice to see them again in a lot less stressful situation,” said State Trooper Andrew Abdill. “We’re happy to have a successful ending and this was just icing on the cake," said Trooper Matthew Hanlin. Dalton’s mother Katrina Govan says she is grateful for the officers’ quick response. “So many people talk about the different things that the state troopers go through," Govan said. “All the negative. But a lot of people need to know the positive.” The good deeds didn’t stop there- Ka’Niah went home with gifts from the troopers as Valentine’s Day is just one week away. But like any good day, Dalton says they’ll be back next week to give the troopers a gift of their own.
Watch video at: https://www.facebook.com/NewJerseyStatePolice/videos/1223755991012274/
Governor Roy Cooper announces that Glenn McNeill will be North Carolina's new commander
Gov. Roy Cooper announced Thursday that he’s picked State Highway Patrol veteran Glenn McNeill as the agency’s new commander. McNeill replaces Col. William Grey, who led the agency throughout Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s term and retired abruptly in January. It’s common for new governors to pick new Highway Patrol commanders as the role traditionally is a political position. McNeill is a Reidsville native who’s served with the Highway Patrol since 1994. He’s been the agency’s director of training since 2014 and completed the FBI’s National Academy in 2015. Lt. Col. Vic Ward, who’s been serving as acting commander since Grey’s departure, will now be the deputy commander under McNeill. “These men have dedicated their careers to serving the state with professionalism, high moral character and integrity,” Secretary of Public Safety Erik Hooks said in a news release. “They both have a broad range of experience in the Highway Patrol and have garnered well deserved respect of their fellow troopers and other law enforcement.” McNeill’s appointment means that the state’s two top law enforcement officials – Highway Patrol commander and secretary of public safety – are African-American. Cooper promoted Hooks from within the State Bureau of Investigation, where he was the special agent in charge overseeing the inspections and compliance unit. The Department of Public Safety oversees the patrol and the SBI as well as the state’s prison, juvenile justice and emergency management agencies.McNeill spoke to Highway Patrol cadets at their graduation ceremony in November. “You must demonstrate a commitment to justice, diversity and equal treatment to all we serve,” he told them, according to a news release about the ceremony. “You are ambassadors for our state, so be the professionals you were trained to be and make sure your actions are filled with integrity and your heart encircled with loyalty.”N.C. Troopers Association President Daniel Jenkins issued a statement Thursday afternoon saying his group “looks forward to working with the new command staff to continue improving the Highway Patrol and protecting the citizens of N.C.”
Missouri State Highway Patrol acting superintendent reflects on changes in Highway Patrol, society
Minutes after being named as the Missouri Highway Patrol's next superintendent, Lt. Col. Sandra Karsten last Wednesday told the 29 members of the current recruit class: "The Patrol is a great organization — I've had a passion for it since I was 17 years old." Karsten, 53, will be the 23rd superintendent — and the first woman to be appointed to head the now-85-year-old Patrol. She holds the job on an "acting" basis until she is confirmed by the Missouri Senate — with her confirmation hearing to be scheduled during this legislative session. "I have an older brother and grew up on a farm, and anything he could do, I could do," she said, explaining her initial interest in the Patrol and a law enforcement career. "I attended the program by the American Legion Cadet Patrol Academy, here (at General Headquarters) — it's a week for 16- to 18-year-olds, and they introduce you to recruit training. "I was so impressed that I wanted to be a part of that organization." But first, after graduating from high school, Karsten went to Truman State University, graduating in May 1985 with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. She joined the Highway Patrol in September 1985 and began training with the other new recruits of the 57th Recruit Class — 11 years after the first women had attended the Patrol Academy. (The current group is the 104th Recruit Class). Since joining the Patrol, Karsten also has earned a master's degree in public administration from the University of Missouri. After graduating from the Patrol Academy, she was assigned to road duties in Callaway and Audrain counties — and noted the technology used by the Patrol today is far-advanced from what was available 31 years ago. "When I came on, we had a high- and a low-band radio," she recalled. "Now we have a digital system" as well as the use of cellphones and computers in cars. "It's just amazing how much technology is in the cars now," she said. She also pointed to engineering changes — like median cable barriers on interstate highways and primary routes like U.S. 63 — that have occurred over the years. Big changes also have occurred in personnel policies, she reported — and she helped the Patrol develop some of them. "When I became pregnant the first time, there was no policy on what to do with a pregnant trooper," Karsten recalled. "So, through the course of my pregnancy, I was able to develop a policy. "It's a temporary condition — it doesn't last forever, thank goodness — so we were able to treat it as that." Yes, she acknowledged — the Patrol didn't have a policy for dealing with pregnant employees, even though she wasn't the first woman to work for the agency. "How they dealt with it with the first women was," Karsten explained, "she knew, 'If I get pregnant, I have to stop working for the Patrol.' "We even had that in the 1960s and early '70s — that many of our civilian employees, when they became pregnant, had to stop working for the Patrol until the pregnancy was concluded." Today, the new superintendent said, the Patrol has changed a great deal. "We're very inclusive of all people, now — whether it's a mom, a dad, a partner or whatever the case may be," Karsten said. "I think this signifies how we have grown as an organization." While society has changed, she acknowledged many women still face choices and decisions men usually don't have to make. "In the Patrol, we have so many opportunities, career-wise, that as a mother I had to look at some of those whenever we had children — was it going to be conducive for me to continue working the road?" Karsten explained. "And it was! "I had very supportive supervisors (and) very supportive lieutenants, and since then, I came off the road and we had another child. And that support continued." When asked what advice she might offer to women working in a male-dominated industry, she told reporters: "Sometimes, you've got to figure out how to navigate in a male-dominated profession — sometimes with a sense of humor, sometimes with your proper attitude. "What I have found, though, is that my husband was the greatest partner I could choose, and he has been very supportive. "I would be very careful in selecting your life-mates, is my advice."