Col. Michael Oliver was named the new commander of the South Carolina Highway Patrol Wednesday, a month after he was named the interim replacement for Col. Kenny Lancaster.
Oliver has been with the Highway Patrol for over thirty years, and wields a wide range of experience, including information technology, administration, and enforcement.
Oliver was tapped to the position by South Carolina Department of Public Safety director Leroy Smith. He then promoted Capt. Chris Williamson to the lieutenant colonel position.
“I am proud of the depth of experience these men bring to the table,” Smith said in a statement, “They have invested their careers in the South Carolina Highway Patrol and understand the needs and challenges of our troopers.”
Col. Oliver, a Lancaster native, joined the Highway Patrol in 1982. He has spent the majority of his career in Troop Four, which is centered in the north central region of the state.
As lieutenant colonel, Oliver managed the administrative, operational and support functions of the Patrol associated with enforcement and public safety. He has also overseen traffic/specialized enforcement and safety outreach for eleven Troops. He came to Highway Patrol Headquarters in 2008, overseeing the Telecommunications Unit.
Lt. Col. Williamson, a Darlington native, joined the Highway Patrol in 1988. He was promoted to captain in Troop Seven in 2005 and transferred to Troop Six as captain in 2009. Williamson began his career in Berkeley County and has spent his career with the Patrol in the Orangeburg/Charleston region.