Lt. Col. John Butler of Cheyenne has been selected to become the next administrator of the Wyoming Highway Patrol (WHP).

Butler, a 27-year Highway Patrol veteran, is being promoted to the rank of colonel. He officially began his new duties Tuesday, becoming the 12th person to head the Patrol since its formation in 1933.  Butler replaces Col. Jess Oyler, who retired at end of 2011 and Butler had served as interim Patrol administrator since then. A formal pinning ceremony to mark’s Butler’s promotion will be scheduled for June.

Butler says the Patrol will remain committed to highway safety, using education and enforcement to accomplish that goal, and continue its effort to interdict drug trafficking and other criminal activity which occurs on or along the state’s highways.

Butler, who was born in Douglas, is a 1978 graduate of Sheridan High School, and he subsequently attended the University of Wyoming. He joined the Highway Patrol as a recruit patrolman in 1985 and was initially posted in Lander. In 1998, he was promoted to supervise Division “A” based in Cheyenne. In 2003, Butler was promoted again, to captain, assuming duties as commander of WHP District 1, which encompasses Albany, Laramie and Carbon counties. In 2003, he was elevated to major, and placed in charge of field operations for the entire state. He had held the rank of lieutenant colonel and has been second-in-command of the Patrol since July 2010.