Phil's 1st Pix / Flickr.com

An across-the-board pay hike for state troopers is among several new state laws that take effect Jan. 1.

Although most new laws take effect on Nov. 1 or shortly after the governor's signature, about a dozen measures have an effective date that coincides with the calendar year.

The pay raises for troopers will average between 14 and 20 percent and cost the state about $8.5 million when fully annualized. A starting trooper who currently makes about $38,000 will see his or her pay boosted to more than $43,000 under the bill.

Oklahoma Dept of Public Safety

The chief of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol is retiring early next year.

Col. Kerry Pettingill says he'll step down Feb. 1, 2014, after serving three years as the agency's chief. Pettingill started off as a trooper with the highway patrol in 1982 and worked his way up to chief.

He is a native of Mangum.

Pettingill has also served as director of the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security and as commander of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol's bomb squad.

Trooper Norwood Dies

Apr 1, 2013
Oklahoma Highway Patrol

A familar face representing the Oklahoma Highway Patrol has died. A statement from the OHP says Captain Rodrick "Pete" Norwood died Saturday from a sudden illness.Norwood was a former public information officer for the patrol and was frequently seen and heard on TV and radio stations across the state. 

Graduates of the 60th Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper academy.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol

 The Oklahoma House has overwhelmingly approved a $7.3 million plan to give state Highway Patrol troopers a pay increase.

The House voted 90-0 on Thursday for the bill by Dacoma Republican Rep. Jeff Hickman. It now goes to the state Senate.

Hickman says one-third of the roughly 770 troopers currently are retirement eligible and that there's a critical "manpower issue."

The bill would boost the starting salary of a cadet from $33,192 to $38,602. Starting troopers who have completed their probation would see their pay boosted from $38,000 to $44,194.