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South Carolina Bureau of Protective Services Names 2023 Officer Of The Year

Tue, 06/04/2024

Media: Photos from the ceremony will be posted to the SC Department of Public Safety’s online photo album and SCDPS Facebook page. Please continue to check for updates.

COLUMBIA — The South Carolina Bureau of Protective Services (BPS) announced its 2023 Officer of the Year during a ceremony at the South Carolina State House on Monday, June 3, 2023. This year’s overall winner for Officer of the Year was Master Officer Jess W. Driggers III. Master Officer Driggers was nominated for consistently exemplifying professionalism and commitment to his duties, as well as demonstrating leadership and compassion towards his fellow officers and the public. As a K-9 handler, he has maintained strong relationships with partner K-9 units, facilitating and participating in continued training, and was appointed to the Department of Homeland Security Detector K-9 Advisory Panel.

A division of the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, the Bureau of Protective Services is responsible for ensuring the safety and security of all state employees and visitors who come to the Capitol Complex each year. In addition, BPS officers are responsible for the safety and well-being of the Governor, the First Family, and the security of the Governor’s mansion. BPS includes four divisions of service: Governor's Mansion, State House, Judicial Division, and State Agency Support.  

“Being a BPS officer is no easy task,” explained South Carolina Department of Public Safety Director Robert G. Woods, IV, “Our officers are responsible for the protection of more than 200,000 visitors of the State House complex, in addition to the dignitaries and state employees who work here. What makes them so special is that they don’t just survive in this high-intensity environment - they thrive in it. We are proud to honor these men and women for their constant vigilance and dedication to their important mission.”

Chief Matthew P. Calhoun, commander of the Bureau of Protective Services, named the award winners and recognized the nominees for their exceptional work in 2023 during Monday evening’s ceremony.

“I am continually impressed by the attentiveness, bravery, and commitment of the officers who proudly serve alongside me,” said Chief Calhoun. “This ceremony is a small way of expressing our immense gratitude for their outstanding efforts that go beyond the call of duty to ensure the safety of everyone who visits. It brings me great pride to bestow Master Officer Driggers with our most prestigious award for this year. He’s extremely deserving of this acknowledgement and we’re very fortunate to have him on our team.”

2023 Bureau of Protective Services Officer of the Year

Master Officer Jess W. Driggers
State House Division

2023 Chief’s Award Recipient*

Lieutenant Darren D. Coleman
BPS Headquarters

 The following is a list of nominees for the 2023 BPS Officer of the Year:
*indicates overall winner

Monday’s event also marked a special occasion for two BPS officers, as they were presented with official retirement plaques, marking an end to their service with BPS.

*Chief’s Award:
The annual Chief’s Award recognizes an individual for outstanding leadership, service, and professionalism. This award is given to an individual who has not only demonstrated exceptional commitment and dedication to their work but also to their colleagues and the BPS mission.

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.