Winthrop University will honor all York County first responders at a men’s basketball game after four York County law enforcement officers were shot on duty and one died last month.
First Responders Appreciation Day is planned for the Winthrop game against Longwood at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18 at Winthrop Coliseum.
York County Sheriff’s Office Det. Mike Doty died Jan. 17 after he was shot Jan. 16 in an incident involving a domestic violence suspect near York. Three other officers, Sgt Kyle Cummings of the York Police Department and sheriff’s sergeants Randy Clinton and Buddy Brown, were wounded.
In the wake of the shootings, Winthrop Athletic Director Ken Halpin met with York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson and York Police Department Chief Andy Robinson to find a way to show the community’s appreciation for first responders.
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Winthop’s venue that seats 6,100, during a basketball game, was deemed a fitting place, Halpin said.
Winthrop’s fans, student body and staff are part of the York County community that calls on first responders “when help is needed,” Halpin said.
“We want to do everything we can to demonstrate how much first responders mean to all of us,” Halpin said.
The appreciation day is a big “Thank You” to public servants, Halpin said.
Tolson said his office and all first responders are honored that Winthrop sought to hold an appreciation day during a game.
“This speaks to the Winthrop athletic department’s mission about being part of the community, and recognizes what all first responders do,” Tolson said. “We are thrilled to be a part of it.”
The continued outpouring of support from the community since the officers were shot has been “incredible,” Tolson said.
York police Chief Andy Robinson said it was "a wonderful gesture" that Winthrop reached out with the community gesture for all first responders, with a special thanks to officers who were shot.
"I appreciate the fact that they are recognizing all first responders since there were many other officers involved, as well as EMS and fire and dispatchers, who have been affected," Robinson said.
Robinson said all are deserving of recognition for their "individual sacrifices serving our communities."
Williams & Fudge, a Rock Hill business, is underwriting the cost of tickets for first responders, Halpin said.