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SCDPS Announces 2016 Trooper of The Year, Hero Award Recipients; Telecommunications Operator if the Year Named

April 4, 2017

Columbia, SC – The South Carolina Department of Public Safety held a ceremony today honoring troopers from around the state for exceptional service in 2016. SCHP also recognized Telecommunications Operators from around the state for the support they provide to the Highway Patrol and other DPS law enforcement divisions.


Gov. Henry McMaster spoke to award recipients at the Blythewood ceremony, emphasizing the important role law enforcement plays in society and the importance of setting a good example in their communities.



L/Cpl. Kenneth M. Small (above), of Florence County, received the South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper of the Year award. Small, who resides in Florence, was chosen from among 10 other nominees from around the state. Small, assigned to Troop Eight/Safety Improvement Team, was alerted to an unresponsive child during a traffic stop on November 10, 2016, and performed CPR, saving the child’s life.



TCO Bradford Lee (above) of the Florence Telecommunications Center was chosen as the overall Telecommunications winner. He was recognized for the outstanding work he does each day to support troopers and other law enforcement as well as the motoring  public. 


Trooper of the Year Nominees:




First row from left: 
Trooper Richard A. Finch, Troop 3; L/Cpl. Kenneth F. Small, Troop Five, **Also presented Director’s Medal of Valor Award; OVERALL TROOPER OF THE YEAR: L/Cpl. Kenneth M. Small, Troop Eight ** Also, presented Director’s Medal of Valor Award; Trooper Lewis M. Metts, Troop 7; Sergeant Jeremy T. Leach, Troop Nine, Pee Dee MAIT, ** Also presented Director’s Medal of Valor Award.


Second row from left: 
TFC William B. Sprouse III, Troop Two, **Also presented Director’s Medal of Valor Award;  L/Cpl. Cedric D. Morgan, **Also presented Director’s Medal of Valor Award; Troop 4; Cpl. Stephen Daniel Southerland, Troop Six,  **Also presented Director’s Award for Exceptional Public Service; L/Cpl. David Jones, Troop 11, ** Also presented Director’s Award for Exceptional Service; Senior Trooper Thomas R. Christofaro, Troop One;  Lance Cpl. Joseph Stanley Sr., Troop 10, Insurance Enforcement Unit.




TCO of the Year Nominees:


TCO Stephanie Shepherd, Charleston TCC; TCO Bradford D. Lee, Florence TCC; TCO Hope Nichols, Greenville TCC; TCO Ashley F. Glover, Blythewood TCC


SCHP Troop Nominees from around the state:

Troop One:

Senior Trooper Thomas R. Christofaro                       
Post B (Kershaw/Lee)


Troop Two:

TFC William B. Sprouse III ** Also presented Director’s Medal of Valor Award
Post A (Laurens and Newberry)


Troop Three:

Trooper Richard A. Finch, Jr.
Post A (Anderson)


Troop Four:

L/Cpl. Cedric D. Morgan ** Also presented Director’s Medal of Valor Award              
Post C (Chester)


Troop Five:

L/Cpl. Kenneth F. Small ** Also presented Director’s Medal of Valor Award
Post C (Georgetown, Williamsburg)


Troop Six:

Cpl. Stephen Daniel Southerland ** Also presented Director Award for Exceptional Service
Post A (Berkeley/Charleston)


Troop Seven:

Trooper Lewis M. Metts
Post B (Calhoun/Orangeburg)


Troop Eight (Headquarters)


L/Cpl. Kenneth M. Small, ** Also presented Director’s Medal of Valor Award
Safety Improvement Team


Troop Nine (MAIT Unit) ** Also presented Director’s Medal of Valor Award
Sergeant Jeremy T. Leach
Pee Dee MAIT


Troop Ten (Insurance Enforcement Unit): 
Lance Cpl. Joseph Stanley Sr. 
Insurance Enforcement Unit
Jasper/Colleton counties


Troop Eleven (Headquarters) ** Also presented Director’s Award for Exceptional Public Service
L/Cpl. David Jones

Community Relations Unit




Telecommunications Winners:

Blythewood Telecommunications Center:  
TCO Ashley F. Glover

Charleston Telecommunications Center:
TCO Stephanie Shepherd

Florence Telecommunications Center: 
TCO Bradford D. Lee

Overall Telecommunications Operator of the Year Winner
Bradford D. Lee, Florence Telecommunications Center


Greenville Telecommunications Center:
TCO Hope Nichols




Director’s Medal of Valor Awards:

Trooper Rebecca L. Winstead: (Troop Three, Post C) 
Sergeant Kirk B. Winburn (Troop Four, Post B) 
Trooper Morgan E. Benson (Troop Four, Post C)




Director’s Award for  Exceptional Public Service:

Sgt. Rupert B. Pope
Troop 11 (Special Operations Unit)

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