The South Carolina Highway Patrol held a graduation ceremony today for 30 troopers from its Highway Patrol Basic Classes 118 and 119. The two graduating classes include five prior-certified officers and 25 who are new to the law enforcement profession. The graduation of these two classes brings the total number of troopers in South Carolina to 764 (including today’s graduates and 38 troopers currently in training).
Friday’s ceremony was the Highway Patrol’s first in-person graduation since November 2019, with the COVID-19 pandemic causing a shift to virtual-only ceremonies throughout 2020 and 2021.
“In today’s rapidly changing world, law enforcement is more than a job — it’s a calling,” said SCDPS Director Robert G. Woods, IV. “We are fortunate to have a mix of prior-certified law enforcement along with those new to the profession. These 30 troopers are more than equipped to answer that call, not just with the training instilled in them during these past months, but with the ideas and experiences they bring to this agency.”
Troopers are assigned to areas based upon population, calls for service, and the number of licensed drivers/registered vehicles in an area. To see where the troopers from Basic 118 and 119 are assigned, review the information in the link that includes their Troop assignments and photos: https://scdps.sc.gov/news/2022/schp/class118-119pictures.
“Today, you leave the security of the training bubble and begin a difficult, challenging and exciting journey,” SCHP Col. Christopher Williamson told graduates. “Each new day will bring an opportunity to save a life, or to make a difference in someone else’s life. In crossing this stage, you become accountable — not just to your family and your fellow troopers — but to the public you now serve.”
Special awards from Basic 118 and 119 classes include:
Major Israel Brooks Jr. Physical Fitness Award: Presented to the trooper who excelled on the physical training test and each day during the early morning exercises.
Basic 118: Jared Meeks
Basic 119: Cody Cherry
Captain Cecil Dilworth Marksmanship Award: Presented to the trooper who demonstrated the best marksmanship during firearms training.
Basic 118: Derick Rivera Figueroa
Basic 119: Joshua LeBrecque
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.
Basic 118: Jared Meeks
Basic 119: Brent Caldwell
For those interested in joining SCHP, please check out the qualifications to apply at www.JoinSCHP.com.