COLUMBIA – Devonte L. Anderson of Winnsboro was one of 40 troopers who graduated from Highway Patrol Basic Class 97 recently. Anderson has been assigned to the S.C. Highway Patrol Troop 1, Post D.
The troopers began training on July 19 and graduated from the Criminal Justice Academy on Oct. 30. An additional five pre-certified officers joined on Oct. 18.
Gov. Nikki Haley addressed the graduates during the ceremony.
“I think it is so incredibly important to honor what you have gone through and to talk to you about being part of the South Carolina team,” Haley said. “With that uniform comes a lot of power. You can’t demand respect; you have to earn respect. You are someone that everyone needs to trust. You are the good guys … I saw that firsthand as we went through three tragedies this past year.”
Basic 97 brings the total number of troopers in South Carolina to 772. An additional class will report to the Academy this month to begin the 98th Basic Class.
They continued with specialized training from the Highway Patrol in all areas of law enforcement. 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 of field training.
“As law enforcement faces increasingly varied and complex challenges, we are pleased to welcome this new class of men and women who are well-trained and ready to meet those challenges,” said SCDPS Director Leroy Smith.
Troopers are assigned to areas based upon population, calls for service, and the number of licensed drivers/registered vehicles in an area.
“Today, we welcome 40 troopers to our ranks, and as we do, we encourage them to remember the foundation and legacy of those who came before them,” said Highway Patrol Col. Mike Oliver. “It is a privilege to wear this uniform and serve the great State of South Carolina.”