After spending more than a decade patrolling South Carolina’s highways, the Lakelands’ latest state Highway Patrol community relations officer said he was ready for a change of pace.
“I come from the enforcement side,” Master Trooper Brandon Bolt said. “Doing that, you don’t really have a lot of time to sit down with people and educate them.”
He’s been with the Highway Patrol since 2008 and has spent that whole time working in Troop 2, which serves Abbeville, Edgefield, Greenwood, Laurens, McCormick, Newberry and Saluda counties. He began his role as Troop 2’s spokesman in November.
Working on the enforcement side of things, he said he would often see wrecks resulting in injuries or deaths that left survivors devastated and unsure of what to do. When he saw the opening for the Troop 2 spokesman position, he said he applied in the hopes of working to educate drivers on how to avoid wrecks.
“I want to make a lasting impression,” he said. “This way, when people see me, it’s not just blue lights in their mirror and me handing them a ticket.”
Troop 2 is a rural area, which can present challenges and opportunities, he said. In an area like the Lakelands, he said he’s more likely to be in direct contact with local law enforcement heads.
“McCormick only has two red lights,” he said, “but I know the sheriff personally there.”
As community relations officer, Bolt is responsible for serving as the Highway Patrol’s spokesman for agency-related news in the region. He’ll also be doing presentations and sharing educational materials with schools, businesses and other groups in the area.