Friends join NCHP

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 28, 2007

AHOSKIE – A friendship forged years ago now continues on a professional level.

Two rookies assigned to Troop A, District II of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol come to the Ahoskie office as acquaintances. Not because they graduated from the same training academy class, but rather due to attending the same high school.

Trooper Matt Bryan and Trooper Ricky West are now patrolling the roads of the Roanoke-Chowan area. It wasn’t all that long ago they were riding the roads of their native Onslow County.

Both are graduates of Richlands High School. West graduated in 2002; Bryan gained his diploma two years later. They said they were friends in high school.

Neither said they had discussed a plan to join the Highway Patrol at the same time….it just happened that way.

“I’ve always admired people who worked in law enforcement,” Bryan said. “I wanted to become a part of that profession and decided to apply for the Patrol.”

“I knew that Matt wanted to get into law enforcement, and so did I, but we didn’t plan this in advance,” West admitted. “I wanted to get into that profession because I like helping people….serving the public.”

Bryan said his career goal was identical, that of providing assistance to the motoring public.

Both were part of the 121st Basic School to graduate Nov. 29 from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol Training Academy in Garner. For each, it’s their first job in law enforcement.

First Sgt. K.P. Pitts of the NCHP’s Ahoskie office said Bryan and West will be assigned to help cover Hertford County. The local NCHP district also covers Bertie and Gates counties.

“We’re almost at full strength within our district,” said Pitts, making reference to the 13 troopers currently working the three counties.

First Sgt. Pitts noted that the latest two additions to his roster represented the seventh and eighth troopers trained locally this year.

“We’re glad to have them join us here in Troop A, District II,” Pitts said. “We’re always looking to improve our service to the motoring public.”

Pitts also stressed that the new additions to his roster will hopefully help lower the rate of motor vehicle fatalities in the three counties.

“We would very much like to see that (fatality) rate decrease, but it’s not going to happen overnight,” he stressed. “Our main focus is to save lives and we can do that by focusing in on seat belt enforcement. It’s a fact that using seat belts does save lives and these two new Troopers will be concentrating their focus on seat belt enforcement.”

With that said, if you prefer not being issued a citation, perhaps it would be in your best judgment to wear a seat belt while operating a motor vehicle. Choosing not to do so may lead you to an undesirable introduction to one of the two friends now on patrol.