on Jun 08, 2010 12:00 AM • Views 5105
Media Contact: Geoff Cantrell, Public Information Officer
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RALEIGH, N.C. (June 8, 2010) – Colonel Kenneth Everhart, the ranking officer for the Division of Law Enforcement with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, has announced his retirement, effective July 1.

The 28-year law enforcement veteran has served as colonel since July 2004, leading 200 wildlife officers statewide who enforce hunting, fishing and boating laws; offer hunter and boater safety courses; and investigate hunting and boating accidents.

“One of the first things I plan to do (in retirement) is buy some clothes, since I’ve been wearing a tan and green uniform for so long,” Everhart said. “Then I expect to do something for a group like Habitat for Humanity, catch up on my hunting and fishing, and generally enjoy time with my family.”

He and his wife, Marilyn, have three children, Abby, Kyle and Hunter, and live in Raleigh.

“I know I will miss his humor, his wit and wisdom, but most of all I will miss his integrity,” said Gordon Myers, executive director of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. “I join with the sportsmen of this state in thanking him for his years of service and dedication, and in wishing him the best in his retirement.”

A successor to lead the Division of Law Enforcement is expected to be announced in the near future.

An Eagle Scout who grew up in Rowan County — where his parents Howard and Diane Everhart still live — Everhart recalls a camporee where a wildlife officer came and spoke to the young men attending.

“I came home from that weekend and told my parents I knew what I wanted to do,” he said.

Col. Everhart worked up through the ranks. He was first stationed in Granville County in 1982. He also worked in Union County, as a sergeant for Catawba, Lincoln and Gaston counties and as a lieutenant based in Wake County. In 1993, he earned a promotion to captain in charge of officer recruit training.

He was promoted to major in charge of wildlife enforcement’s administrative operations in 1996. A year later, he became major in charge of field operations, a post he held until promoted to head the Division of Law Enforcement upon the retirement of Col. Roger LeQuire in 2004.

During his tenure, Col. Everhart stressed that wildlife officers maintain the highest level of integrity and conduct themselves with dignity, pride and honor.

He is known for his fairness toward fellow officers and sportsmen, which prompted one wildlife officer to say, “If you’re in the right, there’s nobody better to stand behind you.  But if you’re in the wrong, he’s the last person you want in front of you.”