Lance Cpl. James Ashley sits inside his patrol car outside South Carolina Highway Patrol Troop Two office in Greenwood. Ashley earned the South Carolina Highway Patrol Troop 2 Trooper of the Year award. He was also a Trooper of the Year award recipient in 2010. 
(Maddy Jones | Index-Journal)
Lance Cpl. James Ashley sits inside his patrol car outside South Carolina Highway Patrol Troop Two office in Greenwood. Ashley earned the South Carolina Highway Patrol Troop 2 Trooper of the Year award. He was also a Trooper of the Year award recipient in 2010. (Maddy Jones | Index-Journal)
Ten years ago, James Ashley was a criminal justice student at Piedmont Technical College with dreams of becoming a deputy or investigator.
But a brush with tragedy changed those plans and put him on his current course in life. Ashley's sister-in-law died in a car crash in 2003 and the Donalds native became engrossed in another law enforcement agency.
"I started meeting all the guys, and kind of got immersed into the (South Carolina) Highway Patrol," he said. "It just kind of sparked my interest. So I applied and I was lucky enough to get hired."


In 2006, Ashley earned his badge and became an SCHP trooper downstate. Last week, the SCHP Lance Corporal was rewarded for his work on the roadways, being named the Highway Patrol's Trooper of the Year for Troop Two.
"It just feels nice to be recognized for your hard work and dedication," he said. "I just try to be as thorough as I possibly can, and try to do my job as best as I can. When I see violations, I address them. Try to take impaired people off the roadway, and just that extra step."

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