The South Carolina Highway Patrol recently held graduation ceremonies for 39 troopers from its Highway Patrol Basic Class 101.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson spoke to graduates on behalf of Gov. Henry McMaster and read a letter to the graduates from the Governor.
“Leadership is not about the perks and privileges that come with it. It is about service,” Wilson told the graduates. “It is about serving those who are subordinate to you. You are public servants now … I appreciate the level of commitment you have gone through to be in this room today. I am here today to tell you thank you.”
Basic 101 brings the total number of troopers in South Carolina to 798. The next class, Basic 102, will report to the Academy July 14. Today’s graduating class began training January 20 with an additional three pre-certified officers joining April 21.
The SCHP Basic Training Program consists of 21 weeks of extensive law enforcement training in-residence. After graduation, troopers must complete a minimum of 400 hours of field training.
“Your job is important because you do something that few people can even imagine,” SCDPS Director Leroy Smith told the graduates. “Each and every day, you can be assured that you have made an investment in safer communities for your family and the millions of visitors and citizens travelling in our state. How many careers can give you that sense of fulfillment at the end of the day?”
Troopers are assigned to areas based upon population, calls for service, and the number of licensed drivers/registered vehicles in an area. The troopers from Basic 101 are designated to the counties found in the link above, along with their Troop assignments and photos.
“Many long hours of training and sacrifice lead up to this exciting day,” said SCHP Col. Michael Oliver. “The obstacles and challenges that Basic 101 has encountered in the training environment, however, have prepared them well to serve and protect the citizens and visitors of this great state.”
At each graduation, the Patrol presents distinguished awards to outstanding troopers from the class. The winners from the Basic Class 101 include:
- Winner of the Colonel P.F. Thompson Outstanding Achievement Award: Spencer Nieto; Hometown: Goose Creek; Assignment: Troop Six, Post A. For the trooper who displays the character and dedication symbolic of former Highway Patrol Colonel P.F. Thompson, the longest serving Patrol commander.
** Special note: Trooper Spencer Nieto was diagnosed with cancer in his 16th week of training. Even while he has begun his treatments, he remained committed and graduated with the class today with honors. **
- Captain Cecil Dilworth Marksmanship Award: Chad Richards, Hometown: Grantsville, West Virginia.; Area of Assignment: Troop 5, Post D; Presented to the trooper who demonstrated the best marksmanship during firearms training.
- Winner of the Israel Brooks Jr. Physical Fitness Award: Stephen Steagall ; Hometown: Gaffney; Area of Assignment: Troop 4, Post A; presented to the trooper who excelled on the physical training test and each day during the early morning exercises.
The South Carolina Department of Public Safety includes the Highway Patrol, State Transport Police, Bureau of Protective Services, Office of Highway Safety and Justice Programs, Immigration Enforcement Unit and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame. Our mission is to ensure public safety by protecting and serving the people of South Carolina and its visitors. www.scdps.gov