Veteran trooper, leader named Highway Patrol commander - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Veteran trooper, leader named Highway Patrol commander

Col. Williamson will be the first black commander to lead the patrol. (Source: SCDPS) Col. Williamson will be the first black commander to lead the patrol. (Source: SCDPS)
(Source: SCDPS) (Source: SCDPS)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A 29-year veteran of the South Carolina Highway Patrol is taking over as its new commander.

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety announced on Friday that Col. Christopher Williamson will succeed Col. Michael Oliver, who's retiring.

DPS says that Williamson will be the first black commander to lead the patrol.

Williamson had served as a deputy commander of the patrol in recent years.

The Darlington native joined the patrol in 1988. He spent most of his career in the Charleston and Orangeburg areas until moving to a position at headquarters in 2011.

Williamson said his goals include reducing fatal collisions, recruiting the best troopers and enhancing community relations.

DPS Director Leroy Smith said Williamson is an enthusiastic and visionary leader.

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