Director Leroy Smith, Capt. Tara Laffin, and Col. Michael Oliver


South Carolina Department of Public Safety


May 5, 2017
Contact: Lt. Kelley Hughes, 803-530-1664




Capt. Tara Laffin


COLUMBIA – The South Carolina Highway Patrol announces the promotion of Tara Laffin as the new commander of the Highway Patrol’s Training Unit and the first female captain to serve in the Highway Patrol division of SCDPS. Laffin, a 22-year Patrol veteran, succeeds Capt. E.J. Talbot, who recently announced his retirement, after more than 27 years of service to the South Carolina Highway Patrol.


“This is an exciting and historical day for the South Carolina Highway Patrol as we not only name the first female captain, but we have an opportunity to promote a strong and forward-thinking leader for this key unit in our agency,” said SCDPS Director Leroy Smith. “Capt. Laffin has spent her entire career with the Highway Patrol, including four years in the Training Unit. Capt. Talbot has done an outstanding job and we look forward to continuing this tradition of excellence in Training.”


Capt. Laffin most recently served as lieutenant in the Emergency Management Unit, which leads the state’s traffic response during hurricanes and other large-scale disasters. From 2007-2011, she served in the HP Training Unit as a sergeant and corporal. Prior to that, she served as a corporal in Lexington County. Capt. Laffin began her career with SCHP in 1994 in Dillon County and worked as a road trooper in Kershaw and Richland counties.


“It has been a privilege to watch Capt. Laffin as she has excelled through the years and risen through the ranks,” said Highway Patrol Col. Michael Oliver. “This is a critically important position, and Capt. Laffin has an outstanding record of service and vision for moving us forward.


She is a graduate of the FBI Command College, SC Certified Public Manager Program, SC Master Instructor and FEMA Train-the-trainer. Capt. Laffin is a certified firearms, concealed weapons and driving instructor. In addition, she has extensive knowledge of South Carolina laws and training procedures as well as emergency response.


She is a native of New York and has her bachelor’s degree from Lander University. Capt. Laffin is the proud mother of son, Chancellor Laffin, who is currently enrolled at Lander University. Her parents are Maureen and Gerard Egger and she has three brothers, Chris, Jerry and Owen Egger.


The South Carolina Department of Public Safety includes the Highway Patrol, State Transport Police, Bureau of Protective Services, Office of Highway Safety and Justice Programs, Immigration Enforcement Unit and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame. Our mission is to ensure public safety by protecting and serving the people of South Carolina and its visitors.
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