BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum today expressed his deep gratitude to Col. Michael Gerhart Jr. for his outstanding leadership and long history of service as the North Dakota Highway Patrol superintendent announced his retirement.
“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,” Burgum said. “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. His easygoing nature and sense of humor also made him a joy to work with, and we will miss him. The Highway Patrol, Governor’s Office and cabinet wish him all the best in his next endeavor.”
Gerhart’s retirement from the Highway Patrol is effective June 30, 2018. He will then begin a new chapter in his career as executive vice president of the North Dakota Motor Carriers Association, an education and advocacy organization for the state’s transportation industry.
“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.
Burgum reappointed Gerhart as Highway Patrol superintendent in December 2016, after his original appointment by Gov. Jack Dalrymple in July 2014. Gerhart has spent his entire law enforcement career with the Highway Patrol, starting as a trooper in 1992. He was promoted to sergeant in 2004 and to lieutenant in August 2007, serving as the patrol’s safety and education officer. He was training director of the Law Enforcement Training Academy before being promoted to major in 2011 and serving as the field operations commander.
Gerhart recently helped launch Vision Zero, a multi-agency effort aimed at continually working toward zero motor vehicle fatalities and serious injuries on North Dakota roads.
His successor will be appointed prior to his retirement date.