(Oklahoma City, Ok.) – Chief of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Colonel Kerry Pettingill has announced his plans to retire Feb. 1, 2014 after having served as the 25th Chief of the Patrol since February 2011.
“When I started out as a trooper in 1982, I had no thoughts or aspirations
of being anything other than a trooper, but I’ve had tremendous
opportunities in my tenure with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.” Col.
Pettingill said. “I was just a kid from Mangum, Oklahoma that wanted to be
in law enforcement.”
Pettingill risen through the ranks in his nearly 32-year career to the highest ranking uniformed member and administrative head of the Patrol. Some of his more notable assignments included: Interim Deputy Director and then Director of Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security appointed by then Gov. Brad Henry where Pettingill directed the daily operation of the Homeland Security Office for over eight years and was tasked with securing the State of Oklahoma from the results of acts of terrorism.
Pettingill also served as the Commander of both the OHP Bomb Squad and Tactical Teams and was assigned as the Department’s liaison to the FBI-Joint Terrorism Task Force.
He expanded the OHP Bomb Squad from a part-time assignment to a
full-time one, with technology resulting in the implementation of new standards for all seven Oklahoma bomb squads; a $4 million project
Pettingill expanded the state public safety radio system from a 12 tower 10,000 radio system to 42 towers and over 25,000 radios with the expansion still in progress, an estimated $70 million project. He championed the formation of the Oklahoma Information Fusion Center; an $8 million project.
He established the Oklahoma Regional Response System a system of emergency responders from all disciplines to provide chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive response, urban search and rescue, medical mass casualty response, technical rescue and foreign animal disease response; involved over 110 pieces of equipment being placed across
the state and advanced training for responders; $40 million project.
DPS Commissioner and Public Safety Cabinet Member, Michael C. Thompson said, “I am extremely grateful for Chief Pettingill's 32 years of dedicated service to Oklahoma and our nation. Chief Pettingill has left an indelible mark on all of us, and is largely responsible for the success of the OHP Bomb Squad and establishing Oklahoma's Office of Homeland Security. As the 25th Chief of the Patrol, Pettingill has led with integrity, honor and a spirit of selfless service. On a personal note, I will always appreciate the friendship of Kerry Pettingill. I sincerely wish him the utmost success in his future endeavors,” said Thompson.
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When asked what Pettingill will do after retirement he said he was looking
forward to spending time with his family. “I’ve already been what I wanted
to be when I grew up,” Pettingill said jokingly. “I’m excited about
whatever unknown possibilities are in store for me and I look forward to
whatever challenges lie ahead.”