"S" is for South Carolina Highway Patrol

Aug 7, 2019

Credit SC Public Radio

"S" is for South Carolina Highway Patrol. Operating under the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, the South Carolina Highway Patrol is a law enforcement organization that concentrates on traffic violations. The State Highway Patrol was originally a field unit of the State Highway Department’s Motor Vehicle Division. The patrol began operation in 1930 equipped with uniforms, badges, guns, summons books, and motorcycles. In 1953 the patrol became a separate division of the department. The existence and duties of the patrol were contentious from its founding. Governors Olin Johnston and Burnet Maybank tried to eliminate it. Governor Strom Thurmond got legislation passed giving patrolmen the same enforcement powers as deputies and required them to help sheriffs when asked. In 1993 the Department of Public Safety was created and the South Carolina Highway Patrol became a part of it.