State to monitor troopers' cell use

Staff WriterJuly 16, 2010 

— The N.C. Highway Patrol plans to require state troopers to provide supervisors with copies of their mobile phone bills to ensure that they are not spending too much time talking and texting while on the job.

The new policy, now under development, comes a month after a high-ranking state trooper was forced to resign over thousands of text messages sent to his secretary, some of which included sexual banter. Maj. Everett Clendenin sent and received the messages on a state-owned BlackBerry while both at work and at home, late at night.

Most troopers aren't provided with state-owned phones, but they often carry personal phones while on duty.

Sgt. Jeff Gordon, who replaced Clendenin as the spokesman for the Highway Patrol, said Thursday that the new policy is not aimed at invading troopers' privacy.

"It's not to monitor who they're calling or why they're calling, but to confirm that they are spending their time performing the duties they are sworn to uphold and that the taxpayers are paying them to do," Gordon said.

The new policy is part of wide-ranging ethics reforms being implemented at the patrol in the wake of several embarrassing recent episodes involving troopers' misconduct.

Gordon said he didn't know exactly when the new rule will take effect, but said he expects the patrol commander, Col. Randy Glover, to sign the policy when the specific language is finalized. or 919-829-4698

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service