State Trooper Pay Raises Cause Controversy

AGENCY UNDER FIRE FOR “RECRUITMENT” EFFORT || By FITSNEWS || A decision to give raises to entry-level S.C. Highway Patrol (SCHP) troopers has caused controversy within the department, within the broader law enforcement community and within the S.C. General Assembly. Specifically, the raises were approved by the S.C. Department of Public Safety…


|| By FITSNEWS || A decision to give raises to entry-level S.C. Highway Patrol (SCHP) troopers has caused controversy within the department, within the broader law enforcement community and within the S.C. General Assembly.

Specifically, the raises were approved by the S.C. Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) without budgetary authority from state lawmakers.  They also applied only to new troopers – not veterans or recent hires.

That’s creating considerable discord at a time when the agency is already in turmoil.

“It’s a slap in the face to veteran troopers,” one law enforcement source told FITS. “And a kick in the gut to recent hires.”

S.C. Rep. Mike Pitts – a former law enforcement officer – agreed.

“The press release (from the agency) is deceiving,” Pitts told us. “It would lead one to believe that all troopers got raises and that’s not true.”

Pitts is correct.  The raises – described by the agency as a “recruitment” tool – apply to first-year troopers only.  Under the new pay scale, entry-level salaries would climb from $31,154 to $37,069 (not counting benefits).  That’s an 18.9 percent hike.  Meanwhile new troopers with at least three years prior experience in law enforcement would see their salaries jump from $37,695 to $40,775 (an 8.2 percent increase).

Pitts has long advocated for more money for troopers – but he believes those raises should be incorporated into the state budget, not unilaterally authorized by SCDPS director Leroy Smith and governor Nikki Haley.

That’s why the S.C. General Assembly approved $300,000 last year to study state salaries – including those awarded to troopers.

“It was ill-advised for several reasons. It’s going to create animosity within the department – which is already struggling under a rogue director,” Pitts said. “It’s also going to create animosity with the other three class one law enforcement agencies because they think the raises were built into the budget for SCDPS – which is not true, either.”

“I’m not saying law enforcement doesn’t deserve raises – I’ve been fighting for raises for them for years,” Pitts added.  “But we have to be on the same team here.”

To be clear: Like Pitts, we support pay raises for troopers.  All troopers.  In fact, we support raises well above the amounts discussed in this column.

Why?  Because law enforcement – unlike the majority of itemized appropriations contained in the $26 billion state budget – is a core function of government.  It should be funded accordingly.

In fact we not only support huge raises for troopers, we support equipping them with the very latest in vehicles, weaponry and – yes – body cameras.

Spoken like true “cops and courts” libertarians, right?

We hope so …


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Bluelight September 28, 2015 at 2:28 pm

It shouldn’t just be Troopers, it should be Deputy’s and LEO’s across the board. What other $15per hour job do you work in life threatening conditions or dangerous work environment 40+ hours a week. They generally get no over time but instead are asked to use comp time that is not fairly or adequately appropriated. This should not be a unilateral raise for one division.

Crooner September 28, 2015 at 3:01 pm


Not Teachers September 28, 2015 at 4:06 pm

Teachers? Really? Monday-Friday. Nights, weekends, holidays and summers off. When is the last time that you heard the New Black Panthers of Farrakhan calling for the mass killing of teachers? How many teachers are killed in the classroom every year? Not to mention where we rank in education.

? September 28, 2015 at 4:02 pm

Deputies- Plural
Deputy’s- Possessive
Maybe that’s the reason you didn’t get the raise.
The actual reason that county and municipal officers didn’t benefit from this raise is because their pay is controlled by the their local county or municipal budget.

Bluelight September 28, 2015 at 4:41 pm

The State has been short on their County payments for years which effects the County budgets or municipal budgets which in turn effects Salaries!

Pay Up September 28, 2015 at 4:56 pm

Many magistrate and municipal courts have not sent the state their share of fines and assessments for years. That has resulted in the state being left short funded.

Fat Blue Line September 28, 2015 at 4:33 pm

” What other $15per hour job do you work in life threatening conditions or dangerous work environment 40+ hours a week.”

Lots of other jobs run $15/hour and are more dangerous, garbage men for example.

The perk of being a cop is getting to speed with impunity and work that chip off your shoulder from all the high school bullying.

Squishy123 September 28, 2015 at 7:17 pm

Barney Fife wants a raise!!! You don’t have to actually be intelligent to be in SC law enforcement.

Fits Ain't No Republican September 28, 2015 at 3:08 pm

Yeh Fits is all for raises for troopers.

He’s just opposed to raising the mo prey to pay for the raises?

And he claims he isn’t a Republican.

That’s a move right out of their playbook ,

“Spend, Spend, Spend,
Tax Cut,Tax Cut, Tax Cut”

Debt Consolidation Center September 28, 2015 at 3:13 pm

Borrow and spend Republicans know that their style of governance does not work, but deficits and debts can be used as leverage to kill programs that they don’t stand to profit from. Not only will they kill those programs but they will restructure the tax system so that the middle class and below have to pay huge taxes to make up the difference, or on the national scale, to pay down the debt.

Squishy123 September 28, 2015 at 7:16 pm

Vs the tax and spend on social programs Democrats.

Will Folks aka Sic September 28, 2015 at 3:24 pm

Core functions of government, Holmes.

Same 'ol Same 'ol September 28, 2015 at 3:22 pm

Them’s some big ol’ hands on a woman.

Cush September 28, 2015 at 3:29 pm Reply
Same 'ol Same 'ol September 28, 2015 at 4:33 pm

Thanks, I remember that one, always funny.

Told Ya September 28, 2015 at 3:30 pm

That is one hell of a mother fucking hike in pay. And its ILLEGAL at that.
Clean this State Up. Bring down the house with feds everywhere. Haley must be thrown in prison!.
Too many in this state are overpaid. Can you imagine a regular office secretary being paid $72,000.00 a year in a public defenders office? Yes Its true. Its insane, actually. Ashley Pennington is fucking women in his office.

Federal Employment Law September 28, 2015 at 3:32 pm

Seems like Federal EEOC violations to me.

. September 28, 2015 at 3:58 pm

Thank You.

G.O.B. September 28, 2015 at 3:36 pm

SC State Troopers are leaving the agency in droves!

Leroy's Boy September 28, 2015 at 3:54 pm

Because Smith, Phelps, Oliver, Williamson, and all of the command staff are mismanaging the agency, persecuting some while protecting others, and ruing by a do as I say not as I do mentality.

sparklecity September 28, 2015 at 9:24 pm

Hey, this IS the Great state of South Carolina we are talking about you know…..

Scooter September 28, 2015 at 9:23 pm

i doubt that. Let’s see the facts.

SHAWN October 1, 2015 at 2:22 am

Look for the lawsuits and EEOC complaints that are coming to fruition everyday.

Justice Is Not Blind September 28, 2015 at 3:37 pm

Does anyone realize the benefits these state workers get at YOUR expense? Its more than you will find in 90% of the private sector jobs.
SC Tax Payers are being ripped off. Government is out of control and gone rogue on the citizens. The only way to stop it is with sending people like Haley to prison with whatever you can pin on her.

Elfego September 28, 2015 at 4:23 pm

I do not know about the rip off but things surely have changed. Only someone on the inside knows what is truly happening. I know retired Troopers who worked 6 days a week,never got any over time compensation and were proud of the job they did.A lot of them even handled their court time on their time off and did all their paper work after work hours. They were responsible for working wrecks in the middle of the night after duty hours and never got time off or pay for it. You have come a long way Baby!

Speak D Truth September 28, 2015 at 7:57 pm

Those guys that were on wreck call filed a class action suit. They are getting paid off over the next several years for working overtime.

sparklecity September 28, 2015 at 9:30 pm

Yeah, then a wreck happens on I-85 and it takes FOREVER to get traffic flowing again
Put more of these fuckers on motorcycles where they can get to the wreck and get the traffic flowing.
All they ever do is write up the report, and let the traffic sort itself out.
They don’t direct shit except at Clemson or Serkerlina football games where they get extra cash or comp time for doing so………

Motor units are no help September 28, 2015 at 9:38 pm

The guys that are on the motorcycles are on a special team. They don’t investigate wrecks or make reports. They are supposed to work high traffic areas and prevent wrecks with proactive enforcement. You never see them. When it rains or gets busy they disappear and let the regular troopers handle it.

Sic Semper Tyrannis September 28, 2015 at 6:27 pm

ASAP ! She used the Dubya playbook, same one that screwed us on a federal level. 30 years may help fix the state, might not ever be fixed. These idiots will vote R forever. When mom dies, I’m gone.

Rut Row September 28, 2015 at 3:43 pm

Backlash brewing. Probation and Parole agents are fuming – want pay raises – many expected to threaten to walk if they don’t get raises like Public Safety.

They aren't even cops. September 28, 2015 at 3:52 pm

Probation and Parole aren’t even real cops. If they want the money tell them to fill out an application and come earn it. They are lower on the totem pole than the squirrel police.

Speak D Truth September 28, 2015 at 5:22 pm

Didn’t the squirrel police get the raise also since DPS considers the duties of the security guards and STP officers to be the same as troopers?

CorruptionInColumbia September 28, 2015 at 8:34 pm

I wouldn’t have their job for any salary. They are expected to have a degree and their pay is a joke. They deal with the proven worst of the worst on a regular basis with little or no backup. Their case loads are unbelievable.

Any raise they get, they deserve.

staffer September 28, 2015 at 3:46 pm

Is Nikki pregnant or just fat?

nchuckler September 28, 2015 at 4:05 pm

Actually compared to that cow Michelle My Belle Obama, she is thin.

Nikki September 28, 2015 at 4:28 pm

I’m stuffed full of dicks and it’s swollen my stomach and widened my hips.

ted September 28, 2015 at 5:04 pm

Actually she needs to stay away from the buffet on St. Andrews. She kinda looks like a weeble.

Speak D Truth September 29, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Isn’t the Punjabi buffet on Bush River?

ted September 29, 2015 at 12:34 pm

There is Delhi Palace on St. Andrews, across from Goodwill.

Sic Semper Tyrannis September 28, 2015 at 5:15 pm

Both, your kid ?

nchuckler September 28, 2015 at 5:34 pm

Fuck you traitor.

Sic Semper Tyrannis September 28, 2015 at 6:21 pm

I have a great sex life already. I’m not gay by the way !

Stop the corruption September 28, 2015 at 3:48 pm

They threw these guys a pay raise to distract these guys from the mismanagement that is going on around them.

The director is a liar and proven racist from his time in Florida. His actions there should have prevented him from being appointed by the Governor, confirmed by the Legislature, or credentialed by the SCCJA.

The Colonel is watching all of the corruption and doing nothing about it.

The Lt Colonel has long been rumored to be an adulterer and showed cowardice when the New Black Panthers were being arrested at the SC Statehouse. This video shows him walk away from troopers needing help about 1 minute in to the video.

A man with a shred of honor would resign.
At least on major and one other command staff officer are rumored to be having affairs.
A captain was reassigned for passing around pictures of an unclothed DPS employee. Both employees were reassigned and the captain was hid out until he recently retired. He will be returning to work as a retiree. All of this to cover up a rumored affair.
Another captain was recently reassigned and is being hid out for other misconduct and mismanagement.
People that have committed perjury and lied during investigations, to include failing polygraphs, are protected if they are in the Lt. Colonel’s clique.
If you aren’t in the clique and they want you gone then they will manufacture “facts” against you.
How does a trooper get recognized for bravery and disciplined for inappropriate language from one incident?
The OPR Chief is a hack that let a man die because he failed to seek medical aid for them when he arrested them. He is who they want for the next Colonel or Director. He does their bidding.
His assistant couldn’t cut it on the road as a deputy so they assigned him to courthouse security. He left there to be a security guard at Protective Services before he went to OPR. He has a chip on his shoulder for the guys that do a job that he was incapable of.
They think that if they throw these guys a pay raise that all of this will be forgotten by the troopers and they can put their people in place for another 4 years after the reappointment of Smith or the appointment of the next handpicked Director.
These guys must be stopped. The Legislature must not allow any of the guys that are the rank of major or above to remain. A retiree needs to be brought back as the director. Many of the captains need to be gone. An OPR Chief from the outside needs to be brought in, preferably a retiree that has nothing to lose by refusing to do their bidding.

Sic Semper Tyrannis September 28, 2015 at 4:03 pm

This is a right to work state. That means you can be fired anytime for anything. Good luck

Stop the corruption September 28, 2015 at 4:08 pm

But the standards should be across the board for everyone.

Sic Semper Tyrannis September 28, 2015 at 5:12 pm

Agreed, all the way to the top. It should be, but that’s just for workers. I don’t think it is legal. I may have a case on the issue soon. Let ya know what happens.

SHAWN October 1, 2015 at 2:19 am

Government is different. When the government publicly accuses a private citizen with a charge of misconduct in office then its a constitutional issue. To make public accusations against an employee without due process is a violation of one’s rights. Watch for this fight in the near future. Government cannot play by the same rules as private corporations.

Speak D Truth September 28, 2015 at 5:08 pm

I just watched that video. The little short guy that walked away should be fired. If he isn’t then the Director should be fired for incompetence and malfeasance.

Good Point September 28, 2015 at 5:55 pm

There are definitely a lot of morally bankrupt people in law enforcement.
Many aren’t much different than the so called ‘bad guys’.

Guido Sarducci September 29, 2015 at 7:18 pm

The Colonel’s position is no longer “classified.” He works at the whim and will of the Director and the Governor. He can be gone in a minute. Why anybody would want that job, except for retirement benefits, is beyond me. When the shooting took place in Charleston, Leroy and his minions lit out. Colonel Oliver stayed behind to address the troops in the graduating class the next day. I salute you. Colonel. You had your priorities in the right order.

erneba September 28, 2015 at 4:04 pm

If I am interpreting this correctly there will be State Troopers out there in the field with up to three years experience that would paid less than someone who just graduated from the Academy.
If this is correct, it is unconscionable.

nchuckler September 28, 2015 at 4:07 pm

Why in the hell do we treat those that serve and protect us so poorly?

erneba September 28, 2015 at 4:19 pm

Yes, I am all for all law enforcement officers, each and every one should be compensated in a way that is commensurate with the risk and the shift work associated with the position.

Gov Out of Control September 28, 2015 at 4:10 pm

State Paid Retirement Matches Your Social Security Retirement …. What You Put Into Your State Retirement is also matched by the State itself at taxpayers expense.

Elfego September 28, 2015 at 4:17 pm

The Highway Patrol is being manipulated and screwed by Haley and the Head of DPS. I wonder if the Head of DPS settled his suit with Florida,what he got and what is happening to the Highway Patrol!

Arthur Hastings September 29, 2015 at 8:49 am

I think one of Haley’s biggest failures as Governor is hiring all the wrong people to head her state agencies: DSS, PPP, DPS, DEW, etc. She repeatedly puts people in charge of agencies that have no experience in whatever their agency does and/or they are being appointed purely for political reasons (I’m looking at you DSS and PPP). You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room to be a good Governor, but you need to be able to hire people that actually know what they’re doing and will be good leaders of their agencies. I guess there is some argument for Catherine Templeton being the one exception to this, but even a broken clock is right twice a day.

CorruptionInColumbia September 28, 2015 at 4:26 pm

This kind of crap goes on in local agencies all over the state. Give big raises to recruits to encourage recruiting boosts and to hell with veteran officers. It is wrong and it needs to stop. Why so many departments seemingly don’t care about losing veteran, already trained, experienced officers, I don’t understand. Would common sense not dictate that you are better off retaining experienced personnel rather than having to train new people and then wait for years for them to gain experience?

Common sense is truly so uncommon as to be a super power, anymore!

Quietus September 28, 2015 at 4:30 pm

On average it cost 12,000 dollars to recruit and train a new employee (Generalized Number across the economy). It cost 3,000 dollars to retain an existing employee considering leaving.

Leroy's Boy September 28, 2015 at 4:33 pm

Add in the cost of the academy and the cost of uniforms and other non-reusable equipment for police officers. Troopers deserve the pay raise but more importantly they deserve competent leadership.

Sir,May I have another please? September 28, 2015 at 4:31 pm

DPS doesn’t need experience on the road when they are micromanaged from the top. I heard that a captain told a veteran trooper that he should have called and asked for permission before charging someone for DUI. Good thing that captain is now in charge of making sure that everyone has new hats and plenty of socks.

nitrat September 28, 2015 at 7:23 pm

No. It’s not because you believe LE is a core function of government. There are plenty of state agencies/jobs that are core functions of government in the 21st century in a developed nation and state.
It’s the same kind of thing that Scott Walker did in Wisconsin by cutting separate deals with LE and firefighter unions when he was attacking every other public employee.
It’s called ‘divide and conquer’.
And, it’s what the Kochs tell you to support doing…divide and conquer.

Speak D Truth September 28, 2015 at 7:49 pm

SC doesn’t have unions or collective bargaining. If they did the leadership of many state agencies would be different. I am no pro-union but I am anti-corruption and it looks like the leadership of DPS is full of corruption.

Speak D Truth September 28, 2015 at 7:52 pm

I wonder if they spent the money that they had budgeted for redesigning the uniforms on employee pay raises once word got out that they wanted to change the uniforms. They found a lot of money, quickly, to do this and didn’t tell the employees about the raises until several days after it took effect.

sparklecity September 28, 2015 at 9:18 pm

All I can say is I’ve never seen a SC Highway Trooper living in a trailer park but I’ve seen shitloads living in houses in the $150K – 200K range plus they get to take their car to their domicile…..
Back in 1976 I had to go to a trooper’s house on the nicest part of westside Spartanburg to pay my ticket (he ticketed me and told me he was going to his house for lunch and told me to pay it at his house and it never showed up on my driver’s record either……)
New vehicles?????Those fuckers get a new ride every year or two…that ought to be good enough considering the last B-52 was built in 1964 and are still flying and are nuclear capable…………
I’ll never forget seeing one of “South Carolina’s “finest” drive right past someone sitting in the median during a snow storm on I-385 in Greenville…
Plus a lot of them are overweight and look like they shine their shoes with a Hershey bar and a brick………….
I’ll respect the law but I ain’t got much use for them…………

Scooter September 28, 2015 at 9:28 pm

They have hired a lot of ass holes in the last years. It did not use to be like this.

They create assholes September 28, 2015 at 9:45 pm

They don’t hire assholes, unless it is second generation guys that have to prove themselves to daddy, they create them. The place them in fear of the publlc. They condition them to be robots that give preprogrammed responses to questions and show zero personality. They do not teach them interpersonal communication skills. They don’t teach them interview techniques. They micromanage them and make them fear their job if they say the wrong thing. Most decide it it safer to say nothing or as little as possible.

Sic Semper Tyrannis September 28, 2015 at 10:23 pm

U should know, eh future Donald?

sparklecity September 28, 2015 at 9:21 pm

Latest weaponry huh????
You mean like .50 caliber machine guns, rocket launchers,M-203’s and all the paramilitary ‘toys” they can get their hands on via federal grants FITS?????

YouWontPostThis September 28, 2015 at 10:42 pm

DHEC pulled this same shit under the Templemaster and no one batted an eye.

edward_enigma September 29, 2015 at 10:49 am

ahhh the troops jus need keep working hard writing more tickets and more dui’s..the upper staff will take good care of them like always…they “got ya back!!” lmao

Speak D Truth September 29, 2015 at 11:44 am

That’s like getting your prostate checked only to realize that the doctor had both hands on your shoulders during the exam.

Guido Sarducci September 29, 2015 at 7:06 pm

Thank you, Fits.

Guido Sarducci September 29, 2015 at 7:12 pm

The % of black road troopers is between 3% and 5%. The % of black executive and command staff officers is 98%. Anybody see anything wrong here?


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