South Carolina Highway Patrol

History of the South Carolina Highway Patrol Shoulder Patch

1940 South Carolina Highway Patrol patch changed from simple round patch with South Carolina Highway Department monogram to round patch with outline of South Carolina in center, “South Carolina Highway Department” around outer edge and “Patrol” on cross bar through center then in 1963 Highway Patrol patch changed from round design to keystone shape with South Carolina State seals in center, “South Carolina” across top, “Highway Patrol” across bottom; basic design with color changes remains the same through 2005.

The History of the South Carolina Highway Patrol Motorcycle Unit

The South Carolina Highway Patrol was created in 1930.  Motorcycles were chosen instead of cars to patrol the roadways because motorcycles were less expensive to operate.  Originally, half of the Patrol’s motorcycles were Harley-Davidson and the other half were Indian motorcycles.  The Highway Patrol later switched solely to Harley-Davidson motorcycles.  Troopers continued to drive motorcycles until 1937.     It was not until 57 years later in 1994 that the Highway Patrol re-established the motorcycle program with only two troopers.  The motorcycle unit was put under the ACE (Aggressive Criminal Enforcement Team).  Soon after, four more troopers were added to the program.  The motorcycle program used Harley-Davidson and Kawasaki motorcycles in 1994, and then became first law enforcement agency in the nation to use BMW 1100cc motorcycles.  Today, the Motorcycle Unit is comprised of 25 troopers, assigned to five Regions throughout South Carolina.  The troopers drive Honda ST-1300 motorcycles.  The mission of the motorcycle Unit is to respond to areas of the state to conduct enforcement assignments that include aggressive driving, road rage and selective enforcement, based on prior crash data.The five Regions of the ACE Team Motorcycle Unit are:

  • Region 1 – Columbia and surrounding counties
  • Region 2 – Greenville and surrounding counties
  • Region 3 – York and surrounding counties
  • Region 4 – Myrtle Beach and surrounding counties
  • Region 5 – Charleston and surrounding counties 
1937 H-D Model ULH
1999 BMW

Information and Photos provided by the South Carolina Highway Patrol