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SC Highway Patrol Holds Graduation Ceremony, Welcomes 38 New Troopers

Fri, 02/23/2024

MEDIA: The following link includes the roster, press release, and individual trooper photos as well as award winners: Highway Patrol Graduating Classes.

COLUMBIA — The South Carolina Highway Patrol held a graduation ceremony today for 38 troopers from its Highway Patrol Classes 124 and 125. Senator Thomas Alexander, President of the South Carolina Senate, addressed the graduates as the keynote speaker.

These graduating classes include 12 pre-certified officers and 26 who are new to the law enforcement profession. The addition of this graduating class brings the total number of troopers in South Carolina to 774.*

“Today’s ceremony commemorates the hard work and sacrifices these men and women have made to become a state trooper,” said Robert G. Woods, IV, Director of the South Carolina Department of Public Safety. “They have dedicated themselves not only to the training but also to a mission that seeks to ensure the safety of the people of South Carolina as they travel throughout this great state.”

Troopers are assigned to areas based on a number of considerations, which include population density, the number of calls for service, and the number of licensed drivers/registered vehicles in an area. To see where the troopers from Classes 124 and 125 are assigned, review the information in the link that includes their Troop assignments and photos:

Colonel Christopher Williamson, Commander of the SC Highway Patrol offered the new troopers words of wisdom as they embarked on their new career. “Remember with commitment to the SC Highway Patrol comes responsibility — responsibility to yourself, to your family, to your community, and to your fellow troopers. I encourage you to uphold that responsibility and take each opportunity to protect and serve others with fairness and impartiality.”

Special awards from Class 124 and Class 125 include:

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. 

Class 124 Recipient: Derrick Fountain
Class 125 Recipient: Darren Botticelli

Captain Cecil Dilworth Marksmanship Award: Presented to the trooper who demonstrated the best marksmanship during firearms training.

Class 124 Recipient: Matthew Derrick
Class 125 Recipient: Kevin Ackim, Jr.

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 SC Highway Patrol commander.

Class 124 Recipient: Derrick Fountain
Class 125 Recipient: Kevin Ackim, Jr.

More photos can be found on the DPS Flickr album.

For those interested in joining SCHP, please check out the qualifications to apply at

*These numbers are from the latest monthly report, and do not include any that were hired or resigned after February 2, 2024.

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.