Leaders honor slain York County deputy with a law enforcement tradition

Slain York County deputy Mike Doty
Slain York County deputy Mike Doty

It’s a commonplace decision, made every so often, to recognize a deputy whose time serving is done. But this time was different.

York County Council voted Monday night, at the request of York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson, to allow Sgt. Chris Doty to keep his late twin brother Mike’s service weapon.

Chris Doty has been with the sheriff’s office since 2004. His twin brother Mike joined two years later.

Mike Doty died Jan. 17 after being shot the previous day, while on duty. He was responding to a domestic violence incident when he and three other officers were shot in what police called an ambush just outside York.

Typically the sheriff asks council to allow an officer to keep his own service weapon when he leaves the department, often upon retirement. It isn’t every officer. Last year, the council voted twice to allow outgoing officers to keep their weapons.

Because the county vote is mostly a formality once the sheriff requests it, the decisions come in a consent agenda period without discussion or debate.

There wasn’t any discussion Monday. The council met the day Doty was shot, asking that night for prayers for all four officers involved in the incident and for donations to the “York County Officers Fund” at South State Bank locations.

“Words cannot describe the loss that our county has had today,” Councilman Michael Johnson said after the shooting, before Mike Doty died. “Our hearts are with them. Our prayers are with them.”

In addition to the officers fund, a Go Fund Me page was set up for Doty and the three other officers — sheriff’s Sgts. Buddy Brown and Randy Clinton and York Police Department Sgt. Kyle Cummings — to help with medical bills and recovery.

As of Tuesday morning, the fund had surpassed its $75,000 goal with close to $78,000 raised.