South Carolina Highway Patrol

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South Carolina Highway Patrol
Patch of South Carolina Highway Patrol
Patch of South Carolina Highway Patrol
Common nameHighway Patrol
Agency overview
Formed1930; 92 years ago (1930)
Employees1100+ (as of 2008)
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionSouth Carolina, USA
SC - Highway Patrol Troop map.png
SCHP Troop Map
Size32,020 square miles (82,900 km2)
Population4,679,230 (2011 est.)[1]
Governing bodySouth Carolina Department of Public Safety
General nature
Operational structure
HeadquartersBlythewood, South Carolina
Troopers955 (as of 2008)[2]
Civilian members180 (as of 2004)[3]
Agency executive
  • Colonel Christopher N. Williamson, Commander
Parent agencySouth Carolina Department of Public Safety
Special UnitsACE/Motorcycle/K9
Insurance Enforcement

The South Carolina Highway Patrol is the highway patrol agency for South Carolina, which has jurisdiction anywhere in the state except for federal or military installations. The Highway Patrol was created in 1930 and is an organization with a rank structure similar to the armed forces.[4] The mission of the South Carolina Highway Patrol includes enforcing the rules and regulations in order to ensure road way safety and reducing crime as outlined by South Carolina law. The Highway Patrol is the largest division of the South Carolina Department of Public Safety and its headquarters is located in Blythewood. This department also includes the South Carolina State Transport Police Division, and the South Carolina Bureau of Protective Services.

The Highway Patrol has many responsibilities. The primary job of the rank and file trooper is traffic law enforcement. This includes traffic collision investigation, issuing warning tickets and citations for traffic violations, and finding, arresting, and processing impaired drivers. A state trooper is a sworn peace officer, and although their primary duty is traffic enforcement, they can perform other law enforcement functions.

Patrol structure[edit]

SCHP Commander

  • SCHP Deputy Commander of Administration
  • SCHP Deputy Commander of Operations
  • Field Operations - Region One
    • Troop One
    • Troop Two
    • Troop Three
    • Troop Four
  • Field Operations - Region Two
    • Troop Five
    • Troop Six
    • Troop Seven
  • Field Operations
    • Troop Eight - Insurance Enforcement Unit
    • Troop Nine - Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team
    • Troop Ten
      • Community Relations, Recruiting and Employment Unit
      • Regulatory Compliance Unit
      • Area Coordinated Enforcement (ACE)
      • Training Unit
      • Central Evidence Facility
      • Telecommunications
  • Administrative Operations

Highway Patrol duties[edit]

The agency has specific jurisdiction over all South Carolina state highways, U.S. Highways, Interstate highways in the state and all public roads. Local city police or the counties sheriff's department having a contract with an incorporated city have responsibility to investigate and enforce traffic laws in incorporated cities. However, the SCHP can still enforce traffic laws on any public road anywhere in the state regardless if it is in an incorporated or unincorporated city. SCHP has authority over any incident that would require a Trooper's response.

SCHP troopers are responsible for investigating and disposing of car accidents, debris, dead animals and other impediments to the free flow of traffic. They are often the first government officials at the scene of an accident (or obstruction), and in turn summon EMS/Fire (although, their dispatch often does this long before they are on scene), tow truck drivers or SCDOT personnel. The SCHP files traffic collision reports for state highways and within unincorporated areas.

The patrol has around 800 employees, of whom 650 are sworn Troopers, and 150 civilians.

Specialized units[edit]

  • The Multi-disciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT): investigates complicated vehicle crashes, using state-of-the-art technology and analysis to reconstruct the scene.
  • The Civil Emergency Response Team (CERT): responds to civil emergencies using specialized training, tactics and equipment.
  • The ACE (Aggressive Criminal Enforcement) Team: works specifically to curtail trafficking and transportation of illegal drugs on South Carolina roadways and includes the K-9 Corps, which assists in tracking drugs. Also includes the Motorcycle Unit, and Safety Improvement Team.
  • The Telecommunications Centers: work dispatching troopers to incident scenes and assist the public with emergency calls.
  • The Insurance Enforcement Unit: works closely with the Department of Motor Vehicles to identify uninsured drivers and take them off the highways.
  • Community Relations Office: includes uniformed troopers and civilian staff around the state dedicated to educating the public and media about the Highway Patrol and highway safety.
  • Governor's Security Detail: works with the State Law Enforcement Division to provide security for the South Carolina Governor and his or her family.
  • Emergency Management Unit: monitors emergency traffic issues and coordinates hurricane evacuation efforts

Rank structure[edit]

The SCHP uses a paramilitary rank structure.[5][6]

Insignia Rank title Information
COL O6 insignia shaded.png
Colonel Commander of the South Carolina Highway Patrol.
US-O5 insignia.svg
Lieutenant Colonel There are two Troopers who hold the position of Deputy Commander, Overeeing Operations and Administrations
US-O4 insignia.svg
Major There are four Majors in the SCHP. Overeeing Field Operations
US-O3 insignia.svg
Captain A Captain commands one of ten Troops.
First Lieutenant Insignia USMC.png
Lieutenant A Lieutenant commands a post, or station.
SCHP First Sergeant.png
First Sergeant A First Sergeant is the second in commands of a Post, or station.
South Carolina Highway Patrol Sergeant Rank Chevrons.svg
Sergeant A Sergeant commands a patrol shift.
South Carolina Highway Patrol Corporal Rank Chevrons.svg
Corporal A Corporal acts as a field supervisor.
SCHP Master Trooper.png
Master Trooper A Master Trooper has served for at least ten years.
SCHP Lance Corporal.png
Lance Corporal A Lance Corporal has served for at least five years.
SCHP Senior Trooper.jpg
Trooper First Class A Trooper First Class has served for at least three years.
Trooper The base SCHP rank.


  • Male: 97%
  • Female: 3%
  • White: 85%
  • African-American/Black: 14%
  • Asian: 1%[7]

In the line of duty[edit]

Throughout the years of the Patrol, 51 Troopers have died performing their duty.[8][9]

Category Number
Automobile crash
Heart attack
Motorcycle crash
Struck by vehicle
Vehicle pursuit
Vehicular assault

Fallen officers[edit]

Officer Date of Death Details
Trooper Daniel Keith Rebman, Jr.
October 24, 2017
Automobile crash
Corporal D. Kevin Cusack
March 27, 2010
Automobile crash
Lance Corporal Jonathan S. Nash
September 19, 2009
Motorcycle crash
Lance Corporal James D. Haynes
February 1, 2008
Automobile crash
Senior Trooper Jonathan W. Parker
May 16, 2005
Vehicular assault
Corporal Kenneth Jeffery Johnson
July 7, 2002
Senior Trooper Michael Joseph Rao
June 12, 2002
Struck by vehicle
Trooper Eric Francis Nicholson
December 6, 2000
Lance Corporal David Travis Bailey
April 5, 2000
Automobile crash
Lance Corporal Jacob Ham Jr.
February 8, 1998
Heart attack
First Sergeant Frankie Lee Lingard
December 31, 1997
Lance Corporal Randall Scott Hewitt
June 23, 1996
Automobile crash
Lance Corporal Michael Allen Chappell
April 17, 1995
Automobile crash
Trooper Randall Lamar Hester
April 20, 1994
Vehicle pursuit
Lance Corporal Mark Hunter Coates
November 20, 1992
Trooper Hardy Merle Godbold
February 28, 1992
Vehicle pursuit
Trooper David Hunter O'Brien
December 14, 1991
Automobile crash
Trooper Marvin L. Titus
November 12, 1991
Trooper Harry McKinley Coker Jr.
June 21, 1989
Struck by vehicle
TFC George Tillman Radford
October 29, 1988
TFC Robert Paul Perry Jr.
April 15, 1987
Vehicle pursuit
TFC Bruce Kenneth Smalls
September 27, 1985
Corporal John R. Clinton
May 24, 1983
PFC David Lee Alverson
November 13, 1981
Automobile crash
Sergeant Robert Aaron Mobley
July 19, 1979
PFC William Edward Peeples
June 8, 1979
PFC Ben Wesley Strickland III
May 31, 1974
Patrolman Fulton House Anthony
March 10, 1973
Patrolman Roy Odes Caffey
October 8, 1972
Patrolman James Amechie Traylor
December 25, 1970
Patrolman Alfred Alexander Thomason
July 27, 1970
Automobile crash
Corporal Richard Varn Woods
August 19, 1969
Patrolman Marion Charles Steele
September 10, 1966
Patrolman John Ray Riddle
January 15, 1961
Automobile crash
Corporal Henry C. Yonce
May 19, 1959
Automobile crash
Patrolman Harry Boyd Ray
September 7, 1958
Patrolman Arnold R. Carter
June 18, 1956
Vehicle pursuit
Patrolman Albert T. Sealy
October 5, 1950
Automobile crash
Patrolman Norris Nettles
January 4, 1942
Patrolman Joseph P. Monroe
September 28, 1941
Motorcycle crash
Patrolman George Gibbs Broome
May 28, 1941
Automobile crash
Patrolman Harlan M. Smith
September 23, 1940
Motorcycle crash
Patrolman Walter T. Bell
February 4, 1939
Automobile crash
Patrolman L. Lawson Rhodes
July 13, 1938
Motorcycle crash
Patrolman Kenneth Earl McNeill
January 2, 1937
Motorcycle crash
Patrolman Edward M. Hennecy
November 19, 1935
Motorcycle crash
Patrolman Edwin D. Milam
December 25, 1934
Patrolman Hansford McKinley Reeves
February 15, 1934
Motorcycle crash
Patrolman John Davenport Cunningham
June 1, 1933
Motorcycle crash
Patrolman William Pierre Lancaster
June 9, 1932
Motorcycle crash
Patrolman Ralph W. McCracken
October 12, 1931
Motorcycle crash

Special programs[edit]

Auxiliary Trooper Program

  • Auxiliary Troopers assist highly trained, seasoned state troopers in enforcement support on daily patrols; to assist with traffic and crowd control at special events; and provide support during natural disasters such as hurricanes.
  • Auxiliary Troopers receive more than 130 hours of training for certification by the South Carolina Highway Patrol.
  • To maintain auxiliary status, the Auxiliary Trooper serves minimum of 20 hours per month or 60 hours each quarter of the calendar year.

Fatality Victims Memorial

  • The Fatality Victims Memorial is a website that families of those persons killed on South Carolina highways can put information about their loved ones.

Child Safety Seatbelt Demonstration

Trooper Public Speaking Program

Vehicles used[edit]

The South Carolina Highway Patrol use many different varieties of marked, semi-marked, and unmarked vehicles, like many other law enforcement agencies in South Carolina and the rest of the United States. Most vehicles are a part of fleets, usually late 1990s to as recent as 2010 Ford Crown Victoria or the modified versions of the Crown Vic (as it is commonly called), The Ford Police Interceptor. Also used are 2007 to present Dodge Charger of modified LX and SRT-8 body styles, and starting in 2012, the Ford Taurus and Ford Explorer, and Chevrolet Tahoe. They also used Chevrolet Caprices, Ford Mustang SSP's, and Ford Crown Victorias.[10]


In 2017, the South Carolina Highway Patrol issues the 9mm Glock Model 17M.

Troopers were previously issued the Glock Model 37 .45 GAP and the Glock Model 22 .40 S&W.[11]

The last revolver used was the Smith & Wesson Model 66 .357 magnum which is a derivative of the Smith & Wesson Model 19

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Population Estimates". Archived from the original on 2010-08-07. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 2007 Population Estimates
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-01-18. Retrieved 2009-01-09.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ USDOJ Bureau of Justice Statistics Census of Law Enforcement Agencies Archived 2008-11-20 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ " Redirect Notice". Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  5. ^ "Highway Patrol Command Staff | SCDPS". Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  6. ^ "Salary & Benefits | SCDPS". Retrieved 2022-09-28.
  7. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-10-31. Retrieved 2007-06-15.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics, 2000: Data for Individual State and Local Agencies with 100 or More Officers
  8. ^ "Fallen Troopers Memorial". Retrieved 2019-03-20. SCHP Memorial
  9. ^ "South Carolina Highway Patrol memorial". Retrieved 2019-03-20. The Officer Down Memorial Page
  10. ^ SC Highway Patrol to use mix of cars. Archived 2012-08-27 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Bridging the .45 GAP". 26 April 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2019.

External links[edit]