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The Training Experience

The South Carolina Highway Patrol basic training program balances a paramilitary environment with an academic environment. In accordance with adult learning theory, classes run into the evening rather than starting too early in the morning and much of the instruction involves hands-on scenario-based training. The training is divided into three phases:

(1) Pre-academy Orientation/Indoctrination (3 weeks)
(2) SCCJA Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLE) (12 weeks)
(3) Post-academy (6 weeks).

All phases of training, totaling twenty-one weeks are conducted in-residence.  The first 3 weeks and the last 6 weeks of the Highway Patrol Basic Training Program are instructed by members of the Highway Patrol Training Unit.

Troopers swearing in on graduation day.

Orientation / Indoctrination

Basic Law Enforcement (BLE)

Post Academy

SCDPS Policy and Procedures – Trooper Trainees are indoctrinated to SCDPS policies and procedures. The Basic Law Enforcement program (BLE) is mandated by South Carolina Law and provides officers with the necessary knowledge, skills, and the abilities to perform the duties of a certified law enforcement officer in the state of South Carolina. The curriculum during this program includes Pre-Academy Orientation topics along with the following:

• Criminal law
• Civil liability
• Probable cause and arrest
• Emergency Vehicle operations
• Crime scene evidence
• Behavioral science
• Basic Patrol Operations
• Interview and interrogation
• Report writing
• Basic collision investigation
• DUI detection and field sobriety testing

Upon completion of the twelve week training the candidate will be a certified Class 1 Law Enforcement Officer.
Trooper Trainees will receive specialized training in collision investigation and prevention. Training includes the following topics:

• Introduction to speed estimates
• Measuring and diagraming
• Interviewing and interrogation
• RADAR, LIDAR, & TASER Training
• CPR and First Aid
• Electronic Reports
• Traffic stops
• Courtroom

Firearms – Trooper Trainees are given firearms instruction with an emphasis placed on basic weapons handling, drawing skills, and marksmanship fundamentals.
Defensive Tactics – Trooper Trainees are introduced to defensive tactics with an emphasis placed on patterns of movement, tactical handcuffing, relative positioning, and force continuum issues.
Physical Training – Trooper Trainees will participate in daily physical training sessions designed to develop cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength. It is also designed to build mental and physical toughness. It focuses on team building and espirit de corps.
Upon completion of the Twenty-one Week Highway Patrol Basic Training Program the trainee will be commissioned as a South Carolina State Trooper. The newly commissioned Trooper will then enter a Field Training and Evaluation Program within their assigned Troop/Post. The Trooper, along with his Field Training Officer, must successfully complete 400 hours of Field Training and Evaluation (FTEP). The FTEP is divided into four phases. The first phase is Observation (36 hours), the second phase is Application (120 hours), the third phase is Field Demonstration (150 hours) and the final phase is Field Evaluation (120 hours).

Once the Trooper has successfully completed the Field Training and Evaluation Program, in addition to the approval of the Troop Commander, he or she will be assigned to regular patrol duties as a Trooper.