OHP Chief Pettingill Announces Plans for Retirement - October 2013
OHP Chief Pettingill Announces Plans for Retirement
Oklahoma City, OK - Chief of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, Colonel Kerry Pettingill has announced his plans to retire February 1st,
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."
Chief Pettingill has done a lot more than just "be" in law enforcement though. He has risen through the ranks in his nearly thirty-two-year
career to the highest ranking uniformed member and administrative head of the Patrol. Some of his most notable assignments included:
Interim Deputy Director and then Director of Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security appointed by Governor 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.
Some of Chief Pettingill's most notable accomplishments with the Patrol include: Expanding the OHP Bomb Squad from a part-time assignment to a
full-time one, with cutting edge technology resulting in the implementation of new standards for all seven Oklahoma bomb squads; a $4 million
project (approximately.) 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.
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."