POWDERSVILLE — The South Carolina Highway Patrol held graduation ceremonies in Columbia on Dec. 14 for 39 troopers from its Highway Patrol Basic Class 102.
Gov. Henry McMaster spoke to the graduates about the important role they play in protecting and serving our state’s citizens.
“I couldn’t be more proud of South Carolina. I couldn’t be more proud of the men and women who put their lives literally on the line to keep us safe …While I am putting on a tie like this and a cotton shirt and maybe a coat, they are putting on a bullet proof vest.”
“Law enforcement is a calling, and that calling is a passion — a passion to help others. You have chosen a profession where you can not only feel you make a difference – you will make a difference,” said SCDPS Director Leroy Smith. “Furthermore, every arrest or citation is more than a number on a ticket book…it is potentially a life saved.”
Basic 102 brings the total number of troopers in South Carolina to 784. Today’s graduating class began training July 14 with an additional four pre-certified officers joining on October 13.
“Most of you came to us as a civilian, never having worn the uniform,” said Col. Chris Williamson. “Some of you had worn the uniform of another department. All of you, however, have earned the right to wear the gray uniform of a South Carolina state trooper today.”
Basic 102’s Training Program consisted of 21 weeks of extensive law enforcement training in-residence. After graduation, the new troopers must complete a minimum of 400 hours of field training.
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 102 are designated to the counties found in the link above, along with their Troop assignments and photos.
Special winners from the Basic Class 102 include:
Colonel P.F. Thompson Outstanding Achievement Award: Jeremiah Hauprich; Hometown: Schuylerville, N.Y.; Assignment: Troop 1, Post D/Richland. For the trooper who displays the character and dedication symbolic of former Highway Patrol Colonel P.F. Thompson, the longest serving Patrol commander.
Captain Cecil Dilworth Marksmanship Award: Robert B. Hansen, Hometown: Powdersville, S.C.; Assignment: Troop 6, Post A/Berkeley/Charleston. Presented to the trooper who demonstrated the best marksmanship during firearms training.
Israel Brooks Jr. Physical Fitness Award: Robert B. Hansen; Hometown: Powdersville, S.C.; Area of Assignment: Troop 6, Post A/Charleston/Berkeley; presented to the trooper who excelled on the physical training test and each day during the early morning exercises.