Newly minted Trooper Joshua R. Newsome of Cheraw will be patrolling Chesterfield and Lancaster counties after graduating from the South Carolina Highway Patrol academy at the top of his class in marksmanship.
Graduating with the 39 other members of Highway Patrol Basic Class 97 on Dec. 17, Newsome received the Capt. Cecil Dilworth Markmanship Award, which is presented to the trooper who had the best marksmanship scores during firearms training.
Newsome will be assigned to Troop 4, Post D, which has its headquarters patrol office in Lancaster.
Gov. Nikki Haley posed for a portrait with each award-winner — Newsome, Trooper Jonathan M. Vanderberg, who earned the Col. P.F. Thompson Outstanding Achievement Award and Trooper Brian D. Hannigan, who received the Israel Brooks Jr. Physical Fitness Award.
“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 in January to begin the 98th Basic Class.
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.
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 S.C. Department of Public Safety Director Leroy Smith.
Troopers are assigned to areas based upon population, calls for service, and the number of licensed drivers and 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.”
The S.C. Department of Public Safety provided information for this story.