Retiring STP colonel looks back on 30 years — and to what lies ahead | SCDPS Skip to main content
The Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina

Retiring STP colonel looks back on 30 years — and to what lies ahead

Fri, 06/28/2024

Colonel Dill

As Colonel Dean Dill says goodbye to law enforcement when he retires from the SC State Transport Police at the end of June, he knows it’s the beginning of an exciting new chapter — for him, the new colonel, Dwayne Wilson, and for STP.

“I love the job, and think I’ve made some good progress in my time here,” said Dill, who leaves after 30 years of service, including nearly four as STP’s colonel. “But it’s time to relinquish that to somebody else, let the new ideas come in and help us keep growing and moving forward.”

The first STP commander to ascend the ranks from officer to colonel, Dill recalled applying to several law enforcement agencies as an eager 21-year-old fresh out of the academy.

“And then I heard about a new division at the Department of Public Safety — the State Transport Police,” he said. “I thought it would be interesting. After about six months, I was hooked. But, we really didn’t have a good identity when STP was first created in the early 1990s,” he explained. “I don’t know how many times I got asked in a restaurant, ‘Do y’all transport prisoners?’”

Dill credits his predecessor, Colonel Leroy Taylor, for establishing and reinforcing STP’s identity. After becoming Colonel in 2020, Dill continued to refine that identity and the public’s knowledge of STP, improving not just how his division was viewed from the outside, but also how it was viewed from within.

“I wanted to make sure this is a place these men and women are proud to work, and that they like working here,” he said. “I believe in treating everybody with respect.”

While much has changed at STP over the past 30 years, a few things have not: Like the handcuffs and sidearm Dill carried on his belt from the road to the colonel’s office. “Sometimes turning your stuff in makes it real to you,” he said. “I’ve had some of this gear as long as I’ve been here.”

While the decision to leave was difficult, Dill knows it was the right one. “To me, it was just time,” he said. “I’ve always heard, ‘When you know, you know.”

Although he may be leaving his life as STP commander, he still will be involved in maintaining safety on South Carolina roadways, working in a safety and compliance division for a motor carrier company.

“I’ll be coaching commercial drivers to operate vehicles more safely, staying in compliance with regulations, and keeping us out of harm’s way,” he said. “The strong background I have in federal regulations will be a huge asset.”  

With a much shorter commute in his future, Dill shares he’s looking forward to spending more time with his wife and children.

“We were actually married while I was at the academy,” he chuckled. “We got married on a Saturday, and I came back to the academy on a Sunday night. It was not ideal, but it helps to keep up with my work and wedding anniversary since they’re pretty close.”

As a father, Dill is used to giving advice, and this extends to new STP officers.

“Apply yourself and do the best you can do out there. If you’re the best you can be, you’re going to make us, as an agency, the best we can be. Because exceptional agencies are defined by exceptional employees at all levels.”

As this momentous chapter comes to a close, Dill says he will continue to proudly support and cheer from afar, “I’ll always be a fan of them and support them,” he said. “I just want to see them continue to grow and improve. At the end of the day, that’s all I hope for.”

To learn more about the new State Transport Police Colonel Dwayne Wilson, please visit here:

Dill_New Dill_traningDill_group