Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Patrolman First Class Ben Wesley Strickland

South Carolina Highway Patrol, South Carolina

End of Watch Friday, May 31, 1974

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Reflections for Patrolman First Class Ben Wesley Strickland

I was a young Trooper with 2 years on the job when Ben Strickland was killed. His funeral was the first I attended in my career, sad to say was the first of many since then. I was called out early that morning on May 31, 1974 before coming out on first shift. I worked in district one with Ben. He was a legend in his own time in the sense that he was what a young Trooper wanted to be like. He was looked up to and respected by all. When Ben was killed a good part of the S.C.H.P. was killed. He is a big part of the Good history of the South Carolina Highway Patrol. I will never forget him. He set an excellent example for all of us in our early years.

Trooper W.R.Griffith
South Carolina Highway Patrol

April 10, 2008

Ben was one fine officer who really made an impression on me. He was someone you could admire, respect, and aspire to the example he set. He was a man of integrity and had a lot of friends because of the way he treated the people he served. On that fateful Friday when I was told that Ben Strickland had been shot and killed, I really felt I'd lost a friend. And I imagine I wasn't the only one who felt that way.
Ben was a one in a billion kind of officer. We could use many more like him.
I'll never forget Ben Strickland.

Fred Atkinson

January 16, 2008

"The Badge"
He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.
He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.
Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.
He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.
His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.
He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.
And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.
But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.
Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.
Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.
So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.
In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.
Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.
Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept.

July 11, 2007

Even though it has been thirty-two years since the end of your watch you are still remembered. Thank you for your service to the citizens of South Carolina. Rest in peace my brother.

State Constable J.L. Green
S.C. State Constables

May 31, 2006

Rest in peace, Sir! You are not forgotten.....

Police Officer

February 10, 2006

We continue to honor your memory, and celebrate your life for your dediction and service to the citizens of South Carolina.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol holds an Annual Service of Remembrance in Columbia every year during which you brave men are reverently honored. You will not be forgotten by your brothers and sisters of the SCHP.

Rest in peace. We honor you.

Lois Rao
Surviving Mother of
SCHP Senior Trooper Michael J. Rao
End of Watch June 12, 2002

Lois Rao
Surviving Mother

October 5, 2005

Ben Strictland was my classmate in the SC Highway Patrol Class of 1958. He was a fine law enforcement officer who served his state well.

Special Agent David Barrineau
U.S. Treasury Dept., Bureau of ATF

August 10, 2004



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