North Dakota Highway Patrol Col. Michael Gerhart Jr. will retire as the agency's superintendent this summer.
In a press release, Gerhart announced his retirement as effective June 30. He will go on to work as executive vice president for the North Dakota Motor Carriers Association.
“The Highway Patrol is a stronger agency and North Dakota is a safer place because of Col. Gerhart’s exceptional service as a law enforcement officer and leader,” Gov. Doug Burgum said in a statement. “We are deeply grateful for his 26 years of dedication to the Highway Patrol and his unwavering commitment to public safety. His steady leadership, strong integrity and unflappable demeanor served the state well in times of both calm and crisis, including his critical role in peacefully resolving the Dakota Access Pipeline protests."
Former Gov. Jack Dalrymple first appointed Gerhart as superintendent in 2014, with Burgum's reappointment in 2016. Gerhart's career in law enforcement has been entirely with state Highway Patrol, beginning as a trooper in 1992.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity to serve our citizens and honored to work with a team of professionals committed to making a difference every day by providing high-quality law enforcement services to keep North Dakota safe and secure. It’s been a very rewarding career,” Gerhart said in a statement.
With Gerhart's input, Burgum will appoint the new superintendent, historically someone within Highway Patrol, governor's spokesman Mike Nowatzki said.