COLUMBIA — The South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) is commemorating its 30th anniversary this year, celebrating three decades of public service through law enforcement and education.
Established in 1993, the agency was created to carry out programs related to highway safety and traffic enforcement when Governor Carroll A. Campbell signed the State Government Restructuring Act. At that time, SCDPS included the South Carolina Highway Patrol, two newly created law enforcement divisions, the State Transport Police (STP) and the Bureau of Protective Services (BPS), as well as the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles and the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. Later on, SCDMS and SCCJA were separated from SCDPS.
With the creation of SCDPS, Governor Campbell appointed B. Boykin Rose as the first Director of the Department, who served in that role for more than a decade. Since Director Rose, the agency has had four directors with Director Robert G. Woods IV currently leading the agency with approximately 1,300 employees.
“When Governor Campbell created the Department of Public Safety, I don’t think he could have envisioned what this agency would become, or how the field of law enforcement would evolve,” said Director Woods. “Although he sadly passed away in 2005, I think Governor Campbell would be proud of what this agency has accomplished since 1993.”
In addition to the Department’s 30th anniversary, the agency also celebrates as both the State Transport Police (STP) and the Bureau of Protective Services (BPS) enter their 30th year of service, which were established the same year as SCDPS. Their missions were set to enforce state and federal laws for commercial motor vehicles and to provide services for the protection of the Governor, the first family and the State Capitol Complex, respectively.
Leading up to its 30th anniversary, SCDPS undertook an initiative to modernize the agency’s brand. This included a refreshed logo, with a streamlined tagline of Protect. Educate. Serve. The initiative serves to create a cohesive voice for agency communications and to unify the many divisions that make up the Department of Public Safety, which has offices and facilities across the state.
“A lot has changed about our agency through the years,” noted Woods. “Where we’ve come from looks much different than where we are today, but the mission is still the same - to protect and serve the public with the highest standard of conduct and professionalism; to save lives through highway safety education and traffic law enforcement; and to ensure a safe, secure environment for the citizens of our state and its visitors.”
Throughout the month of August, SCDPS held employee appreciation events to celebrate the agency’s milestone, thank employees for their service, and recognize outstanding public servants with 10 or more years of service. A recognition for these outstanding individuals will be shared this week on the agency’s Facebook and other social media platforms. The public photo album with photos from the events and awards of service can be viewed online here - https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjARuGg
As part of the anniversary celebration, SCDPS also produced a video feature to highlight its first three decades as an agency, highlighting its humble beginnings, its early challenges and aspirations, and a look at the formation of the State Transport Police and the Bureau of Protective Services. Past and present leaders provided insights as to what it was like to be there for the beginning of the largest law enforcement agency in the state. Viewers can watch the full video feature on the SCDPS YouTube channel here - https://youtu.be/PVeKKBu3RdM
In addition, SCDPS is unveiling a new interactive website to showcase the agency’s 30-year history online. This page will further showcase the history of the agency, as well as its divisions, leaders, modernization efforts, and more. It will be updated throughout our 30th year with new features in an effort to showcase our history in a unique interactive experience. Viewers can explore that page here – https://bit.ly/scdps-30year.
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, 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.