- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 17, 2016

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The Senate has unanimously approved giving Leroy Smith another four-year term running the South Carolina’s Department of Public Safety.

Senators took a few minutes away from a filibuster on road funding Wednesday to give Smith a second term leading the agency that oversees the highway patrol, Transport Police and the Bureau of Protective Services, which protects Statehouse grounds.

Smith took over the agency in November 2011. He was the chief of investigations for the Florida Highway Patrol before he came here.

Senators thanked Smith for his leadership last year during the debate over removing the Confederate flag from Statehouse grounds and during rallies by opposing hate groups a week later.

But senators are concerned by the agency’s inability to keep troopers. Smith says he’s working to address low pay.

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