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Major SCDPS Shakeup

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COMMAND CHANGES …

South Carolina’s scandal-scarred Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) underwent a major leadership shakeup this week, sources close to the agency told FITSNews.

At around 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday, agency employees were informed of multiple changes in command – including the appointment of new leaders for the state’s two largest S.C. Highway Patrol (SCHP) troops.

According to our sources, captain Stacey Craven was placed in command of SCHP’s troop three – which patrols Anderson, Greenville, Oconee, Pickens and Spartanburg counties.  Craven replaced captain Don Dickerson, who was moved “laterally” to a command telecommunications position.

Meanwhile captain Billy Floyd was placed in command of troop one – which patrols Clarendon, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Richland and Sumter counties.  Floyd replaced captain Rickie D. Grubbs, who was assigned to a newly created post of “liaison unit commander.”

In other moves at the agency, captain Donald Bannister was tapped to lead SCDPS’ Office of Strategic Services, Accreditation, Policy and Inspections (OSAPI), captain Richard Ray was placed in charge of the agency’s emergency traffic management unit and captain Johnny Rosado was appointed as head of SCHP’s Multi-disciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT).

“No one here recalls such monumental change,” a source at the agency told us.  “Never seen five (new captains) at one time.”

Of interest?  For once, it doesn’t appear as though race played a role in any of these personnel decisions – which would mark a shift in the “leadership” philosophy of director Leroy Smith.

Smith has previously been accused of racial bias at his agency, which was the focus of a damning oversight report earlier this year.  Currently SCDPS is under investigation by the state’s Office of Inspector General (SCOIG).

What’s wrong with the agency?  A lot …

SCDPS has been dogged by reports of soaring traffic fatalities, lax law enforcement, misappropriation of public funds, poor recruitment (and retention) of officers and double standards in the administration of internal justice at the agency.

Traffic fatalities do appear to be declining modestly this year, although as we’ve previously reported the data initially reported by the agency isn’t always reliable.

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