Lt. Col. Gary Bell has been named acting commander of the N.C. Highway Patrol.
Bell's appointment was announced Tuesday by Public Safety Secretary Kieran Shanahan.
Bell replaces Col. Michael Gilchrist, who is retiring effective Feb. 1 after serving as commander since October 2010.
For the last two years, Bell has been responsible for overseeing all statewide field operations for the patrol. Prior to that, Bell managed the patrol's professional standards section. He also commanded Troop B, which encompasses 11 counties in the south central and southeastern part of the state; oversaw internal affairs and accreditation; and has managed technical support and logistics.
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