FLORENCE COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The South Carolina Highway Patrol is looking for more troopers. Recruiters held an informational meeting Thursday afternoon from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Troop five headquarters in Florence County.
Recruiters were available for face-to-face interaction with possible applicants. Troop five consists of Florence, Darlington, Dillon, Marion, Marlboro, Georgetown, Horry and Williamsburg counties. Three recruiters at the Florence headquarters met with applicants, and said that their goal is to hit each area so people don't have to drive to Columbia.
There are some minimum qualifications to become a trooper:
- Must be at least 21 years old before basic training
- Have a valid drivers license
- Have a clean driving record
- United States Citizen
- High School Diploma or GED
- No criminal record
- 20/20 vision or no more than 20/100 corrected to 20/20
- Must be able to perform all essential job functions of a SCDPS law enforcement officer
Recruiters hold the informational events on a quarterly basis, and want to encourage and assist applicants as much as possible.
"You know honestly, they come from different backgrounds. I've had applicants with mathematical, engineering, all kinds of crazy stuff outside of just law enforcement, but we all know this is a calling. Either you have a passion to do this and serve and help and assist whether they want it or not, or you don't," said Corporal Michael Zang, with the SCHP Recruiting Unit.
One of the applicants at the event is only 20 years old and plans to become a highway patrolman. Matthew Rowell is also a probationary firefighter with Windy Hill Fire.
"I love helping people, I love saving people's lives," said Matthew Rowell. "You have to put your mind to most of the things you do in life."
Corporal Zang said the face-to-face interaction allows people to get more answers and can also build rapport.
"It's a younger generation than we are dealing with than it was years ago. Sometimes they need a little help, a little push and we are here to help them out with that and help guide them through the process," Cpl. Zang said.
"I'd rather face-to-face than over the phone or just on email. I'd rather face to face to actually talk to the officers myself," Matthew Rowell said.
Corporal Zang assures applicants a job like a highway patrolman is a calling.
"There's some sacrifice. We don't sugarcoat things, we let applicants know what the process entitles, and what they are getting into because we don't want that later on 'oh what if or what did I get myself into," Zang said.
"If you want to do two things, as in with highway patrol and the fire department, you put your mind to it and you can succeed doing it," Rowell said.
Troopers hold these events on a quarterly basis. The last one is Dec.16 in Columbia and recruiting will start back up again next year. Friday, recruiters will be in Charleston from 1 p.m. 3 p.m.