The South Carolina Highway Patrol announces the graduation of 37 troopers from Highway Patrol Basic Class 93 on Thursday. Gov. Nikki Haley spoke to the graduates for the fifth consecutive graduation.
Haley said to the new graduates, “You were tested physically and you succeeded. You were tested mentally and you proved you were up for the challenge. And now you wear the uniform, and that uniform means so much. When you walk into a room, you are automatically respected.”
Basic 93 will bring the total number of troopers in South Carolina to 773. The troopers began training in July and have been trained by the Highway Patrol and Criminal Justice Academy over the past 21 weeks in all areas of law enforcement including DUI detection, traffic laws, collision investigation and the use of firearms as well as three weeks of field training for a total of 24 weeks of training.
“This is a proud day for the State of South Carolina when we can add such an outstanding group of men and women to our ranks and strengthen our law enforcement presence statewide,” said SCDPS Director Leroy Smith. “We are grateful for the continued support of Gov. Haley and our State Legislature to help make our roadways safer.”
Col. Mike Oliver encouraged Basic 93 to continue to build upon the tradition and legacy of the men and women who have laid the groundwork for the South Carolina Highway Patrol.
“The Highway Patrol has continued to grow and change to meet the evolving needs of our state, but what doesn’t change is the pride and tradition on which this organization was founded, and we are confident that this group will continue to build on this tradition.”
The Patrol presents awards to outstanding troopers from each graduating class.
Winners from the 93rd class include:
Tonya G. Kelley, Hometown: Greenwood; Winner of the 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.
Anthony T. Ashley, Hometown: Anderson; Captain Cecil Dilworth Marksmanship Award: presented to the trooper who had the best marksmanship during firearms training.
David G. Jackson, Hometown: Charleston; Winner of the Israel Brooks Jr. Physical Fitness Award: presented to the trooper who excelled on the physical training test and excelled each day during the early morning exercises.