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SCHP Holds Graduation Ceremony, Welcomes 54 New State Troopers

Tue, 06/11/2019
SCHP basic 107
SCHP Basic 107


SCHP basic 108
SCHP Basic 108


SCHP basic 109
SCHP Basic 109

Graduate photos, county of assignment, and award winners can be found here:
Additional photos from today’s ceremony will be posted on SCDPS Facebook.

COLUMBIA – The South Carolina Department of Public Safety held graduation ceremonies today for 54 SC Highway Patrol troopers from Highway Patrol Basic Classes 107, 108 and 109.

USC Women’s Head Basketball Coach Dawn Staley was the keynote speaker. She thanked the graduates for choosing the law enforcement profession and wished them success and safety throughout their careers.

“I always remember this…someone told me this:  Some people may say and do certain things to you but how you respond to them is how you make your reputation and you always want to be a person of great character, great integrity, a person that is a community leader, a person that is one that makes great decisions,” Staley said.

The graduates of Basic 107, 108 and 109 bring the total number of troopers in South Carolina to 807 (including today’s 54 graduates and 22 troopers in training). Seven of today's graduates were prior-certified officers. Troopers are assigned to areas based on population, calls for service, and the number of licensed drivers/registered vehicles in an area. The troopers from Basic 107, 108 and 109 are designated to the counties found in the link above.

SCDPS Director Leroy Smith spoke to the graduates:

“I want to remind you that your families, TEAM DPS, your state, and your communities are so proud of you,” Smith said. “Even in light of the dangers and risks, the time away from families and the many sacrifices you make along the way, we are so grateful that there are people like you – ready and willing – to yield to a higher call to serve and protect.”

SCHP Col. Chris Williamson reminded graduates of SCHP’s core values: Selfless Service. Integrity. Responsibility. “I know today is full of excitement and nervous energy, but I ask you to pause for a moment, and I want to challenge each of you to reflect on what it means to commit yourself to this chosen profession,” Williamson said. “Ask yourself today why you yielded to this particular calling – a road that few are courageous enough to follow. How do you use your power to serve the greater good; and what does it mean to make a difference every day you put on this uniform?”

Special awards from Basic Classes 107, 108 and 109 include:

  • Captain Cecil Dilworth Marksmanship Award: Presented to the trooper who demonstrated the best marksmanship during firearms training.  Basic 107: Micah B. Peek, Hometown: Greenville; Assignment: Troop 3, Post D (Spartanburg). Basic 108: Jarrin M. Coombs, Hometown: Baltimore, MD; Assignment: Troop 4, Post B (York); Basic 109: James A. Norman, Hometown: Easley; Assignment: Troop 3, Post A (Anderson).
  • Major 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 107:  Dwayne W. Farr, Hometown: Detroit, MI, Assignment: Troop 6, Post C (Beaufort/Jasper); Basic 108: Clifton R. Nelson, Hometown: Leland, N.C., Assignment: Troop 1/Post C (Lexington); Basic 109: Steven T. Hafner, Hometown: Myrtle Beach; Assignment: Troop 5, Post C (Georgetown).  
  • 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 107:  Joshua L. Dill, Hometown: Myrtle Beach; Assignment: Troop 5, Post C (Georgetown/Williamsburg); Basic 108: Richard D. Davis, Hometown: Fountain Inn; Assignment: Troop 3/Post C (Greenville); Basic 109: Austin T. Reid, Hometown: Starr; Assignment: Troop 3, Post A (Anderson).

For those interested in joining SCHP, visit the SC Troopers Career page.

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.