Major Eric Cannaday serves as the commander for Zone 8 and has oversight of Patrol Operation in Troops C and E, located in Muskogee and Durant. In this capacity, Cannaday serves as the Turnpike Liaison and maintains administrative and financial oversight of the Futures, Capabilities, and Plans Division. Cannaday is also the Governor’s law enforcement appointee to the Governmental Technology Applications Review Board.
Cannaday joined the Oklahoma Highway Patrol in May of 2002 and graduated from the 54th Academy in October of that same year. Upon graduation, he was assigned to the Cherokee and Adair County detachment in Troop C. While assigned to Troop C, Cannaday transferred to Muskogee County and accepted an additional duty position with the Troop C Fatality Investigation Unit. In 2004 Cannaday received a temporary duty assignment to Troop Z, the Internal Affairs and Special Investigations Division. Later in 2004, he was named the Director of Planning and Research and served in that capacity until the Department reorganized the division in 2012 and created the Law Enforcement Technology Development Division. Cannaday remained in that assignment unit in June 2012.
On June 30, 2012, Cannaday was promoted to Lieutenant and assigned to the newly formed Office of Professional Standards. He served as an investigator and technical specialist in that office until transferring to Troop F in Ardmore, Oklahoma, in 2016. Cannaday supervised troopers assigned to the Carter and Love County detachment until receiving a promotion to the rank of Captain on April 1, 2018. After his promotion, he assumed the role of Commander for Troop E in Durant, which encompasses six counties in far southeastern Oklahoma and borders Texas and Arkansas. Cannaday remained in Troop E until March 2021, when he accepted a transfer to the Futures, Capabilities, and Plans Division. While assigned there, Cannaday oversaw the transition to a new records management platform and provided technical guidance to Department Administrators. In December 2021, Cannaday accepted a transfer to become the Troop Commander for the five turnpike troops in Eastern Oklahoma. He remained as the Eastern Turnpike Commander until promoted to Major on May 1, 2022. Cannaday has played a critical role in advancing technology and implementing practical technical solutions throughout his career.
Major Cannaday was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and grew up on a dairy farm in Porum, Oklahoma. He graduated from Porum High School in 1989. After graduation, he accepted a scholarship to Carl Albert State College in Poteau, Oklahoma, where he studied pre-engineering. Cannaday attended Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and majored in chemical engineering following Carl Albert. Cannaday left OSU to pursue an interest in agriculture. In 2011 he began working on completing his education. He earned an Associate in Applied Science in Police Science and, in 2012, a Bachelor of Technology Degree from Oklahoma State University in Oklahoma City.