Troopers kick off big recruitment campaign as lawmakers study SC - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Troopers kick off big recruitment campaign as lawmakers study SCHP deficiencies

(Source: WIS) (Source: WIS)
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Highway Patrol is kicking off a major recruitment campaign. From now until August 1, troopers will be taking a tour of the state to recruit – and it’s all in an effort to keep you safe.

Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers is still keeping a close eye on a state agency it believes has issues.

“My old job, being on the road, I worked right here in Richland,” said Corporal Michael Zang. “I just enjoy interacting with the public and answering questions for people and helping out.”

Right now, Zang and others have their work cut out for them. It’s their job to bring new recruits to the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

The state’s largest law enforcement agency is looking to bring in one of its largest recruiting classes in recent history.

“Currently, we’re sitting at approximately 800 troopers, and we’d like to get approximately 55 into our next class, which starts in February,” Cpl. Zang said.

The push to find recruits will begin with an education session on Shop Road in Columbia on Tuesday, and more will be held throughout the state in the coming days.

“We always got to make sure we’re always bringing that next generation on,” Zang said. “Every year, there’s a new generation turning 21 that’s eligible and willing and wanting to get into law enforcement, and that’s why we try to hold these meetings to try to give them a chance to come and talk with us.”

“We want them to do them. We want them to be effective,” added Rep. Todd Rutherford (D-Richland).

Rep. Rutherford is part of a House oversight committee studying issues at Highway Patrol.

“It has got to get better because people are dying,” he said.

After months of research, a report from April says Highway Patrol has a deficiency in hiring, recruitment, and retention.

According to that report, from 2013 to 2016, while fatalities increased, the number of patrol hours decreased by roughly 87,000 hours. The agency has faced turnover in the hundreds over the past five years.

And, during the last four years, Highway Patrol has seen about 200 vacancies.

“People may not notice, but when you drive from Columbia to Charleston, when you drive from Columbia to Hilton Head, or when you drive from Greenville to Charleston, and you simply don’t see troopers. You see troopers may be traveling, but you don’t see the number of troopers that used to be out there on our roads,” Rutherford said.

Rutherford hopes effective recruitment and changes in leadership will help.

By the way, Zang said the starting pay for an entry-level trooper is very competitive with other departments.

If you’d like to attend one of the recruitment sessions, there are plenty of opportunities. They’ll also be making stops in places like Greenville, Goose Creek, Orangeburg, and more.

Copyright 2017 WIS. All rights reserved. 

  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • 'Papa! Papa!' Audio of children stokes rage over separation

    'Papa! Papa!' Audio of children stokes rage over separation

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 1:20 AM EDT2018-06-19 05:20:32 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 2:15 PM EDT2018-06-19 18:15:42 GMT
    (U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector via AP). In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a U.S. Border Patrol agent watches as people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the...(U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector via AP). In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a U.S. Border Patrol agent watches as people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the...
    An audio recording that appears to capture the heartbreaking cries of small Spanish-speaking children being processed by U.S. officials stoked the uproar over the policy of separating immigrant children from their...More >>
    An audio recording that appears to capture the heartbreaking cries of small Spanish-speaking children being processed by U.S. officials stoked the uproar over the policy of separating immigrant children from their parents.More >>
  • S. Korea: Joint US drills suspended to aid talks with North

    S. Korea: Joint US drills suspended to aid talks with North

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 1:50 AM EDT2018-06-19 05:50:33 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 2:14 PM EDT2018-06-19 18:14:39 GMT
    (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). A photo showing U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is displayed as a member of People's Democratic Party stands to oppose military exercises between the United States and South Korea near the U.S....(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon). A photo showing U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is displayed as a member of People's Democratic Party stands to oppose military exercises between the United States and South Korea near the U.S....

    South Korea says a joint military exercise scheduled with the U.S. has been suspended to support ongoing talks both countries have with North Korea.

    More >>

    South Korea says a joint military exercise scheduled with the U.S. has been suspended to support ongoing talks both countries have with North Korea.

    More >>
  • New GOP plan: Hold kids longer at border _ but with parents

    New GOP plan: Hold kids longer at border _ but with parents

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 1:10 AM EDT2018-06-19 05:10:31 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 2:14 PM EDT2018-06-19 18:14:03 GMT
    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite). The Capitol is seen in Washington, Friday, June 15, 2018. Calls are mounting on Capitol Hill for the Trump administration to end the separation of families at the southern border ahead of a visit from President Donald Tr...(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite). The Capitol is seen in Washington, Friday, June 15, 2018. Calls are mounting on Capitol Hill for the Trump administration to end the separation of families at the southern border ahead of a visit from President Donald Tr...

    Calls are mounting for President Trump to end family separations at the border ahead of a meeting with House Republicans.

    More >>

    Calls are mounting for President Trump to end family separations at the border ahead of a meeting with House Republicans.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly