Columbia -- The South Carolina Highway Patrol held graduation ceremonies today for 38 troopers from its Highway Patrol Basic Classes 103 and 104.
These are the first classes to graduate under the new training program, which began in December 2017. The new training process has enhanced the application process and offers more frequent, ongoing opportunities for applicants to begin their training to become a South Carolina State Trooper.
Gov. Henry McMaster thanked the graduates for choosing this career path and for their willingness to serve and protect the state.
“It is with great appreciation and pride that I look at you because the Highway Patrol is usually the most visible of all the enforcement agencies,” said Gov. Henry D. McMaster. “I just wonder what it would be like in South Carolina if this room were empty today, if we did not have the men and women who were willing to do what you are willing to do.”
The graduation of Basic 103 and 104 brings the total number of troopers in South Carolina to 785 (including today’s graduates) and another 47 troopers are currently in training. The class includes 29 prior-certified officers and nine troopers who are new to the law enforcement profession.
“These 38 new troopers join the Highway Patrol at an exciting time when we are making advances in technology; expanding efforts to fight drug trafficking in our state; and training and equipping our troopers to face the new realities in the world of law enforcement,” said SCDPS Director Leroy Smith.
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 103 and 104 are designated to the counties found in the link above, along with their Troop assignments and photos.
SCHP Col. Chris Williamson encouraged the graduates to remember their Oath of Office long after graduation day.
“We act with the authority afforded us by the people we have pledged to serve and protect,” Williamson told the graduates. “Consider your oath daily as you go about conducting your law enforcement activities. Reflect on your core values of Selfless Service. Integrity and Responsibility.”
Special awards from the Basic Classes 103 and 104 classes include:
- Colonel P.F. Thompson Outstanding Achievement Award: For the trooper who displays the character and dedication symbolic of former Highway Patrol Colonel P.F. Thompson, the longest serving Patrol commander. Basic 103: Jason M. Blaney, Hometown: Tampa, Fla., Area of Assignment: Troop 1, Post C (Lexington); Basic 104: Matthew Krieger, Hometown: Fort Mill, SC; Area of Assignment: Troop 5/Post D (Horry).
- Captain Cecil Dilworth Marksmanship Award: Presented to the trooper who demonstrated the best marksmanship during firearms training. Basic 103: William B. Allen, Hometown: Lexington, SC; Area of Assignment: Troop 1, Post D (Richland); Basic 104: Jordan S. Vaughn, Hometown: Galax, Va. Area of Assignment: Troop 1, Post D (Richland).
- Israel Brooks Jr. Physical Fitness Award: Presented to the trooper who excelled on the physical training test and each day during the early morning exercises. Basic 103: Jason M. Blaney, Hometown: Tampa, Fla., Area of Assignment: Troop 1, Post C (Lexington);Basic 104: Jordan S. Vaughn, Hometown: Galax, Va., Area of Assignment: Troop 1, Post D (Richland).
For those interested in joining SCHP, please check out the qualifications.
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.