Under the Dome

Highway Patrol commander retires, Cooper appoints replacement

Col. William Grey
Col. William Grey

The commander of the N.C. State Highway Patrol abruptly retired Monday, and Gov. Roy Cooper named a veteran leader of the agency to take over on a temporary basis.

Col. William Grey, who led the agency throughout Republican Gov. Pat McCrory’s term, announced in an email Monday morning that he is retiring at the end of the day. The agency’s leadership often changes when a new governor takes office.

“I want everyone to know that I will leave with a happy heart and thankful that I had the privilege to be a part of such a wonderful family and organization,” Grey said in an email to Highway Patrol staffers. “As I leave, I have no doubts the Highway Patrol will continue to thrive and prove time and again that we are one of the state’s greatest assets.”

Grey worked for the Highway Patrol for 25 years. He briefly served as State Capitol Police chief before he became commander of the Highway Patrol in March 2013.

On Monday afternoon, Cooper announced that he’s named Major Charles “Vic” Ward to serve as acting commander. Ward has been with the Highway Patrol since 1990 and most recently headed field operations for the eastern part of the state.

“Thanks to Col. Grey for his many years of service to our state, and to Major Ward for stepping up to lead the patrol,” Cooper said in a news release.