Dorchester recruits among new troopers


The South Carolina Highway Patrol announced the graduation of 43 troopers from Highway Patrol Basic Class 94 on June 27, including two from Dorchester County.

Jess Driggers, of Summerville, will be assigned to Lexington County.

Jason Wells, of Ridgeville, will be assigned to Dorchester and Colleton counties.

Gov. Nikki Haley addressed the graduates for the sixth consecutive ceremony.

Haley told the graduates they will stand out in their communities and people will look up to them now because they wear the uniform of the Highway Patrol.

“There is great power that comes with that uniform,” Haley said. “There is great respect, but that respect doesn’t come from putting it on but how you act in that uniform.”

The governor encouraged the troopers’ families to always support and encourage them so that they can be prepared for the hard jobs they do each day. “It’s in their blood to serve,” Haley said. “It’s for that reason, they will be great at it.”

Basic 94 brings the total number of troopers in South Carolina to 780. The troopers began training in January. They graduated from the Criminal Justice Academy on May 9 and continued on for specialized training from the patrol 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. They have trained for 21 weeks and will begin another four to six weeks of field training upon graduation.

“This class continues the outstanding tradition of protecting, serving and educating our residents and visitors of the Palmetto State,” said SCDPS Director Leroy Smith. “I remain grateful for the continued support of Gov. Haley and the General Assembly for funding us in a way that allows us to continue to place new troopers in our communities around the state.”

“You have made an investment in the South Carolina Highway Patrol and we have made an investment in you,” Col. Mike Oliver told the graduates. “You are our future … the bridge from our past to our next generation. Thank you in advance for the sacrifices you will make to serve others.”