South Carolina Highway Patrol graduates 39 new troopers

SCHP 101st Graduation

The South Carolina Highway Patrol held graduation ceremonies for 39 troopers from its High Basic class 101 Wednesday.  South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson spoke to the graduates on behalf of Gov. McMaster and read a letter to the graduates from the governor.  "Leadership is not about the perks and privileges that come with it.  It is about service," Wilson told the graduates.  Basic 101 brings the total number of troopers in South Carolina to 798.  The SCHP Basic Training Program consists of 21 weeks of extensive law enforcement training in-residence.  After graduation troopers must complete a minimum of 400 hours in the field training.  "Your job is important because you do something that few people can't even imagine," said SCDPS Director Leroy Smith.  Troopers are assigned to areas based upon population, calls for service, and the number of licensed drivers in an area.  "Many long hours of training and sacrifice lead up to this exciting day," said SCHP Col. Michael Oliver.  At each graduation, the Patrol presents distinguished awards to outstanding troopers from the class.  The winners from the 2017 Basic Class 101 are:  Trooper Spencer Nieto of Goose Creek is the winner of the Outstanding Achievement Award.  TroNieto was diagnosed with cancer in his 16th week of training.  Throughout his treatments, he remained committed and graduated with honors.  Trooper Chad Richards was presented with the Marksmanship Award after he demonstrated the best marksmanship during fire training.  Lastly, Trooper Stephen Steagall of Gaffney was presented the Physical Fitness Award after he excelled on all physical training test during each exercise.  The South Carolina Highway Patrol strives to ensure public safety by protecting and serving the people of South Carolina.