New major appointed in scandal-ridden Tennessee Highway Patrol

| 3/10/2006

A new major has been selected to serve as the third-highest ranking uniformed officer in the battle-weary Tennessee Highway Patrol.

On Thursday, March 9, Department of Safety Interim Commissioner Gerald Nicely announced his appointment of Tracy Trott, a 28-year veteran of the patrol, to the new rank. In a statement, Nicely said his decision was based on a desire to “assemble a top management team” in the wake of a number of scandals within THP.

On Wednesday, March 1, Col. Mike Walker – a 29-year-veteran of the patrol – replaced Col. Lynn Pitts as commander, the highest uniformed position within the patrol. Pitts resigned in December 2005 after accusations of bribery, cronyism and corruption surfaced within the patrol’s ranks.

The new leadership has been installed in hopes of cleaning up the patrol’s ranks, after dozens of incidents began to emerge from Tennessee’s state and local police forces, most of which stem from an ongoing investigation by The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville. The newspaper has uncovered allegations ranging from sexual misconduct to high-level cronyism throughout the state’s police force and various levels of government.